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Dealing with Toxic Bosses

In what may be a sad sign of our times, I recently received two e-mails from new web visitors/subscribers inside of a few days asking for advice on dealing with a toxic or bad boss. I have written quite a bit about upward leadership and dealing with a bad boss. One of my more comprehensive […]

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Retaining Top Talent and Our Self-Worth

Grant’s experience in the e-mail he sent me below underlines the need for manager’s having authentic conversations during performance discussions. His is a vivid example of how people join an organization and quit their boss. Retention is going to become a critical issue in the next few years in many organizations as baby boomers retire […]

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Refusing to be Victimized by a Bad Boss

Following are selected excerpts of a series of e-mail exchanges I had with a reader of my books and articles. It’s a great example of having the self-esteem, and mustering the courage, to do all you can to change your job situation (some of those details have been left out of this summary). And when […]

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Dealing with a Bad Boss

I wish I had a sure-fire formula for changing the boss! It’s one of the common questions I get during my leadership development workshops. If this is your issue, I think you have these choices: 1.Do nothing and hope things get better. 2.Work around your boss and try to avoid him/her as much as possible. […]

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Watching the Olympics at the Office: What Leadership’s Got to Do with It

Just before the opening ceremonies in Beijing, Tavia Grant from The Globe & Mail sent me an e-mail and interviewed me for her story on how managers should deal with people watching the Olympics at the office (“World’s Watching: Who’s Working”, August 8, 2008). As the Globe & Mail so often is, her story was […]

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I-Lands in the Stream: Lack of Awareness Creates a Moose Mess

A print journalist asked me if there was any one incident that led me to write Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work. It was a great question that caused me to step back and reflect on how my experiences came together to weave the book’s storyline and core themes. Moose […]

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When Senior Management Doesn’t Set Clear Strategy and Goals

Greetings Jim, I am responding to your call to share my experience in putting up with the moose (see “When Personal Candor Doesn’t Fit the Culture” from May 2008). Recently, my CEO found the time of his convenience to summon us all for a management retreat. Heads of business units from different parts of the […]

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Leading Change from the Middle

Recently I was working with a Client struggling to bring about cultural change in her organization. Senior managers were paying “passionate lip service” to the organization’s core value, but their actions clearly conveyed that “hitting the numbers” ultimately trumped all other behaviors. Unfortunately, this is an all too common situation. This HR professional was reinforcing […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm…on Breaking Through the Bull

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” – Gandhi “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off. Good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It’s inevitable, if you’re honorable. Trying to get everyone to like you is a […]

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Alcohol and Drug Addiction is a Huge Moose

Peter Dunfield, Senior Advisor, Safety Health and Environment at Syncrude in Fort McMurray, Alberta sent this photo of a thank you memento he was given after his presentation a few years ago to The Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA). Peter had asked for my permission to use one of my moose-on-the-table slides to raise […]

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The Fish Tank Factor

In The Leader’s Digest, I wrote the following about the kind of culture or environment created by management teams: If you buy a little goldfish and keep it in a small bowl, it will remain no bigger than a few inches long. Move that same fish to a large aquarium and it will double or […]

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Barrick Gold Hunts Moose Worldwide

One of the sections in the Courageous Leadership for Health and Safety training program we designed Barrick Gold (see July 2006 and December 2006 issues for more details) revolves around initiating courageous conversations using our moose quiz and moose hunting tips from The Leader’s Digest: Practical Application Planner. Recently their Health and Safety Director, Bruce […]

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The Motivation Myth That Won’t Go Away

In the movie, Groundhog Day, actor Bill Murray plays Phil, a weather forecaster who spends the night in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where he is to do a broadcast the next day (February 2), broadcasting the annual ritual of the coming out of the groundhog. He wakes up the next morning, does his story and is annoyed […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm……on Avoiding Difficult Conversations

Excerpt from Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work (Chapter Three; “The Dread POETS Society”) “We go back far enough together for me to know just what leadership you’re capable of,” Harold said. “I don’t know how you’ve lost your way. I’m going to tell you this as a friend as […]

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More Moose Hunting

As generally happens whenever I use the Moose-on-the-Table approach (go to http://www.clemmer.net/excerpts/authentic_comm.shtml for an explanation), it generates lots of feedback and questions. One reader asked, “How would you, or can you, change the leadership style of individuals who have come to believe that this is normal behavior?” Here’s my response: Changing the leadership style of […]

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Moose Hunting: Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Moose

Brainstorm potential Moose issues by asking for ideas on the “dumbest things we do around here,” “biggest barriers to reaching our goals,” “major implementation issues we need to address,” “pet peeves,” “dumb rules and forms,” “things that drive you crazy,” or the like. List each point. Cluster the similar points until you have 5 – […]

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Moose Still on the Loose

I continue to use the analogy of “Moose-on-the-Table” with many management teams to get at issues that are blocking their progress but aren’t being discussed (click here for an excerpt from The Leader’s Digest explaining this concept). I was working with the head of a small professional services organization where prior to the retreat, her […]

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Is That a Moose Standing on the Table?

One of the more popular metaphors I have been using in workshops and management retreats is the notion of Moose-on-the-Table. It’s a playful, fun way to open up deep, authentic conversations about problems or issues that aren’t being addressed. When I work in the U.S., people are sometimes more familiar with the idea of Elephant-in-the-Livingroom. […]

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Involved and Active Listening is Key to Strong Leadership

In August I posted my top three “Favorite July Improvement Points” Here are two comments left by visitors: “The challenge that I see as one of the ‘masses’ is there is a huge disconnect between what some leaders say and what they actually do. With the healthcare worker shortage now is the time to start […]

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Leading Generation X

A web site visitor read my The Leader’s Digest excerpt “A Tale of Two Managers: Command versus Commitment” (contrasting Joel and Denise’s management/leadership approaches) and sent me this e-mail. My response follows. “For two years I have been managing a team of thirteen GenX contract staff working in a client’s site. We have twenty percent […]

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