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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on….. Leadership Reflections from Warren Bennis

Excerpts from Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership: “…stories are a powerful tool for engaging others. All of us present ourselves to the world through the stories we invent about ourselves, consciously or not.” “The leader of a group must never get overly involved with its sickest member… the temptation is always […]

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Change Lessons from The Dutch Golden Age

Heather and I have just returned from ten wonderful days in The Netherlands. We began our trip by attending a three day Global Speaker’s Summit in the quaint village of Noordwijk on the shores of the North Sea (about 45 minutes from Amsterdam.) The conference brought together speakers, trainers, consultants, and facilitators from across Europe […]

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Leadership in These Turbulent Times is More Critical than Ever

Turbulence, uncertainty, and lightning quick shifts sure are rocking our world these days! Leading in these turbulent times — and dealing with fear and stress — is on my mind lately as we prepare for my only public workshop this year, Leading @ the Speed of Change: Navigating Turbulent Times. The CLEMMER Group is in […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Coaching and Development

"Coaching is the process of enabling others to act, of building on their strengths…To coach is to facilitate, which literally means ‘to make easy’ — not less demanding, less exciting or less intense, but less discouraging, less bound up with excessive controls…Coaching is face-to-face leadership that pulls together people…encourages them to step up to responsibility […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm on… Leading Through Uncertainty

My last few blog posts dealt with our predictable New Year’s “Silly Season” filled with useless forecasts and predictions. This multi-billion dollar industry is built around our deep insecurity about dealing with uncertainty. But life doesn’t come with any guarantees and nobody knows what triumphs or tragedies await us around the next corner of our […]

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Are You a Management Hedgehog or a Leadership Fox?

In Dan Gardner’s fascinating new book, Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway, he cites the research of Professor Philip Tetlock, in dividing the expert forecasters he studied into hedgehogs and foxes. This comes from an essay entitled, “The Hedgehog and the Fox” by political philosopher Isaiah Berlin. The […]

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Book Review of Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway

Once again we face a fresh New Year with countless possibilities stretching out far beyond the horizon. Will this year be filled with triumphs or tragedies? What changes lay ahead? Is the uncertainty daunting or exciting? Are we creating a new earth or witnessing the end of history? Will this be the year of “The […]

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Emotional Intelligence is a Strong Predictor of Job Performance and all about Leadership Smarts

I’ve extensively quoted and cited the expanding body of emotional intelligence research for many years in my writing and workshops. This rigorous and ever deepening research provides hard evidence for the catalytic power of “soft skills” in personal, team, and organizational performance. EI brings empirical science and greater clarity to the fuzzy topic of leadership. […]

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Kouzes and Pozner Book Proves That “What’s New in Leadership?” is the Wrong Question

During decades of work in this field I’ve seen many new approaches burst on the scene only to fade away. I have dozens of studies in my database library showing the high failure rates of these “hot” programs. What’s most important when dealing with change and turbulence is not to be on the leading edge […]

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Survey Shows Inadequate Leadership Skills Main Reason Executives Derail

I just read about the results of an OI Partners (a global talent management firm) survey with these sobering statistics; “Inadequate management skills such as leadership, motivating people, and building team work are the top reasons why executives and managers today are not working out. 65% of surveyed companies cited deficient management skills as the […]

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Lessons in Leadership and Change from South Africa

With the eyes of the world on South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup there have been many media stories on the remarkable progress of the country since abolishing Apartheid in 1994. Last Saturday night Heather and I were looking for a movie to watch at home. We happened upon Invictus starring Morgan Freeman […]

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Implementing IT Systems: “Change Management” Is Usually Too Narrow and Unbalanced

We’ve recently run into another wave of problems with implementing new organizational computer systems. In one case, the term “change management” became a derogatory euphemism for having inflexible and ineffective systems forced on divisions and departments. When frontline staff pointed out deficiencies with the system and how it caused problems for customers – and most […]

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Characteristics of Admired Leaders

I am a member of a LinkedIn leadership group that recently discussed the characteristics of admired leaders. This is a topic very near and dear to my heart. I’ve studied, worked to apply, written books, developed keynotes and workshops, and provided coaching and consulting on leadership for many decades. There’s a lot of jargon and […]

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Time Travelling: Current Lessons from Changes Past

I don’t dress up in character and I haven’t learned how to speak Klingon, but I have enjoyed the Star Trek TV series over the years – especially Voyager. I love having my imagination fired up by all the possible twists and turns that could be far in our future. When I was writing Growing […]

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Constant Change: Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis

Harvard Business Review published a special July/August issue on “Managing in the New World.” One of the many excellent articles in this expanded issue is entitled “Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis.” The authors state “when the economy recovers, things won’t return to normal – and a different mode of leadership will be required.” They go […]

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Book Review: An Excellent New Resource on Strengthening Emotional Intelligence

I just received a published copy of Harvey Deutschendorf’s great new book, The Other Kind of Smart: Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence for Greater Personal Effectiveness and Success. As Harvey was writing this book a few years ago he sent me an outline and sample chapter and asked for a “cover quote” endorsement. […]

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Choosing our Perspective: Invigorating or Disastrous Time to be Alive?

There’s plenty of evidence to show that we’re in the midst of a major world shift. We’re living through another of dozens in a centuries-long line of disruptive pivot points. Part of nature’s rejuvenation is a phase of cleansing and purging. This usually rocks our current frameworks, expectations, and maybe too-comfortable lifestyles. Cleansing and purging […]

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Winds of Change: Life Blows On

A positive outcome of these turbulent times is that it’s reminding us to never get too attached to our jobs, “stuff” we’ve accumulated, or circumstance of our lives. It’s all here today and gone tomorrow. I’ve been studying the ancient wisdom of Buddhist philosophy for many years. A key teaching is accepting life’s impermanence and […]

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Permanent Impermanence: Unchanging Cycles of Change

I just participated in a conference call with a small group of professional speakers and workshop leaders debating the worldwide societal and organizational changes we’re currently experiencing. It was a continuation of the discussion from my April blog posting (“What in the World is Happening Today”) at https://www.clemmergroup.com/blog/?p=697. I have the scars from starting in […]

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What in the World is Happening Today?

Last week I introduced the April issue of The Leader Letter by pointing out the world is in the midst of major change. I also suggested that we’re seeing glimmers of hope and signs of renewed growth. Richard Kessener, Out-Patient Pharmacy Manager at Feather River Pharmacy in Paradise, California (I got a taste of paradise […]

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