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Is Your Culture Attracting or Repelling Top Talent?

Compatibly charged electromagnetic particles will pull toward each other and bind together. When the particles aren’t compatible, they’ll repel each other. We’ve all experienced meeting someone for the first time and feeling highly attracted or repelled by them. We’ve also experienced entering a new office or organization and feeling energized and positive or anxious and […]

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Trusted Leaders Build High-Trust Cultures

Nine-year-old third base player, Juan Miguel, fielded a ground ball and tried to tag a runner going from second to third base. The umpire, Laura Benson, called the runner out, but young Juan immediately ran to her side and said, “Ma’am, I didn’t tag the runner.” Umpire Benson reversed herself, sent the runner to third […]

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Yeah, right. Overcoming Organizational Cynicism and Mistrust

We’ve got a big leadership “opportunity.” Cynicism and trust are falling. According to the General Social Survey, the belief that “most people can be trusted” has dropped from 45% to 30% in the last five decades. It’s a global issue. This year, the annual Edelman Trust Barometer found that nearly 60% of people in 27 […]

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X or Y: Are You Patronizing or Partnering?

  Every workshop or planning session I’ve led since returning to in-person sessions earlier this year has discussed approaches or policies to working remotely or hybrid models balancing in-office and at-home work. These discussions expose underlying values about trust, partnering, and treating team members as adults or children. Last week was an especially clear example […]

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A Frank Summary of Looking for Love in All the Right Places

“The Great Resignation” is part of a greater rethink about what matters most at work — and in life. The pandemic forced a pause that gifted us with time to step back and search more deeply for purpose and meaning. The last seven posts focused on Frank’s search for spirit and meaning. This seven-part series […]

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Heart Restart: Touching the Why (part 7 of 7)

Last in a 7-part series: Let’s Be Frank about Spirit and Meaning (Links below to previous installments) That greener grass on the other side of the fence often turns out to be spray painted. Frank had broken through his “trapped emptiness.” He had a renewed sense of hope and purpose. He was energized. Life was […]

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That Loving Healing: Leading with Heart (part 6 of 7)

Part 6 in a series: Let’s Be Frank about Spirit and Meaning (Links below to previous installments) Frank decided to quit his job. The price of “success” was too high. The awakening he experienced that morning in his study helped him realize that he needed to get off the speeding treadmill before he killed himself. […]

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Into the Heart of Love, Life, and Leadership (part 5 of 7)

Part 5 in a series: Let’s Be Frank about Spirit and Meaning (Links below to previous installments) The pinkish orange glow of the rising sun bathed the oak-paneled study in a warm light unlike any Frank had ever experienced. It pulsed with life. As the shimmering hues embraced him, Frank felt like his body dissolved […]

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Soul Searching: The Dash Between Our Years (part 4 of 7)

Part 4 in a series: Let’s Be Frank about Spirit and Meaning (Links below to previous installments) As he struggled to deal with what he was now calling his “trapped emptiness,” Frank came across a poem entitled “The Dash.” It was written by a former player and student of Lou Holtz. Frank learned that the […]

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State of the Heart: Looking for the Why (part 3 of 7)

Part 3 in a series: Let’s Be Frank about Spirit and Meaning (Links below to previous installments) With his typical intensity, Frank began searching for ways to deal with his emptiness. He checked out a few churches and attended introductory classes for various inner development and spiritual groups. He started reading books on spirituality, soul, […]

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Soul Hole: In Search of Purpose and Meaning (part 2 of 7)

Part 2 in a series: Let’s Be Frank about Spirit and Meaning Click to read Part 1 One evening after an especially hectic day, Frank decided to join a few others from the office at their favorite brew pub around the corner. When Sheila asked him, she expected another, “no, thanks. I’ve got too much […]

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Souled Out: Into the Heart of Starkness (part 1 of 7)

Part 1 in a series: Let’s Be Frank about Spirit and Meaning Frank is a regional manager in a fast-growing technology company. Many major corporations in his area are clients and he’s a trusted consultant to their senior executives. As the top producer in his firm, he’s a key contributor to the company’s rapid growth. […]

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May the Force — of Inspiring Leadership — Be with You

Today is Star Wars Day. May 4th has become an annual commemoration of the Star Wars media franchise. “May the Fourth be with you” is a punny take (I do like to jest for the pun of it…) on the Star Wars catchphrase “may the force be with you.” I don’t dress up on any […]

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Telling Tales: Fable Shows the Dangerous Growth of Autocratic Leadership

In his weekly Guardian column, Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, and author, explained how “Dictators like Putin surround themselves with liars and propaganda. That leads to very bad decisions.” He writes, “Trump, Putin, Xi — these men aren’t stupid. But they […]

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To P or Not to P: Does Your Purpose Provoke Passion?

A recent report by McKinsey and Co. found the pandemic has caused half of employees surveyed to consider leaving their current job. This research also found that 70 percent of workers said their purpose is defined by their work. The Big Resignation is a big pain point for many organizations. Attracting and retaining top people […]

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Bluster Buster: How to Bring Your Values to Life and Strengthen Your Culture

Years ago, we helped an international mining company transform its safety culture from good to outstanding. Their 65% reduction in injuries over a three-year period vaulted them to become a benchmark company in their industry. A delegation of senior leaders and safety professionals from another mining company visited a few of their mine sites to […]

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Dealing with a Bad Boss: Are you Leading, Following, or Wallowing?

A sociologist was researching the long-term effects of family violence. He interviewed two sons of an alcoholic and abusive father. Both brothers were now in their sixties. One son looked back on a life of alcoholism, violence, failed marriages, joblessness, prison terms, suicide attempts, and poverty. The other son was a very successful professional. He […]

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Boss Leadership Tips and Techniques

“Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle” is proverbial wisdom that sure applies to dealing with a weak boss. It’s so easy to get on the BMW Boss Bus — bitch, moan, and whine — about the boss. Or we ride the Bitter Bus into Pity City and curse the darkness of “them” — head […]

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Why is Your Boss a Weak Leader?

Have you lost the boss lottery? Did the boss quiz show your boss is a poor leader? As you decide how to lead your leader, it can be helpful to understand where he or she is coming from. Some bad bosses are bad people. Their personal relationships are disasters, they’re miserably unhappy, and their values […]

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Bad Boss or Bully Boss? Don’t be a Victim

Surveys show that many people have been bullied by their boss or have witnessed bullying. As I wrote in Is Your Boss a Bully or Just a Really Poor Leader? there’s often a fine line between a bad boss and a bully boss. Bad bosses are frequently good people doing a bad job. Bully bosses […]

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