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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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Quotes to Note from “The Trifecta of Trust”

Last week’s post, How to Build and Restore Trust, was a review of, and key points from, Joe Folkman’s new book, The Trifecta of Trust: The Proven Formula for Building and Restoring Trust. My copy is full of yellow highlights. Here are a few of the most notable ones: After years of analysis, I discovered […]

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How to Build and Restore Trust

Trust is the currency of leadership. Like money, leaders can earn it, squander it, or leverage it for a high return on investment. Leaders, teams, and organizations have highly variable trust accounts. Some are rich with trust, some are getting by, and some are bankrupt. Trust is easy to talk about. But it’s tough to […]

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Is it About Time: Tips and Techniques to Mind Your Busyness

Brian’s head was starting to throb as he scrolled through the two-dozen new voice and e-mails messages on his phone while walking to his cubicle. Looks like another crazy day in the hamster cage, he muttered to himself. Brian was growing increasingly frustrated. Despite working 50 hours and more per week (with an increasing amount […]

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Quotes to Note on Purposeful Leadership

As mentioned in my recent post, On Purpose: What Condition is Your Mission In?, spirit and meaning are missing in many organizations. The huge disconnect between our existential search for a deeper purpose and the empty words of mission statements is a major factor behind The Great Resignation.   “Those who are able to inspire […]

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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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On Purpose: What Condition Is Your Mission In?

Raise your hand if your organization has a mission statement. When I do that survey during leadership/culture presentations, almost every hand goes up. Mission statements are as common as a logo, website, or budget. Everybody has one. BUT…does it… Define the soul of your organization? Energize and engage? Align with leaders’ and employees’ personal purpose? […]

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Who Are You and What Do You Want?

At a leadership conference years ago, I shared the stage with the CEO of a top-performing company known for its powerful combination of management discipline and people-focused leadership culture. He illustrated the defining role of vision, values, and purpose with a great personal example. He told us he called a friend and got this message; […]

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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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The Great Resignation Calls for Values Rededication and Integration

Recently I was asked to facilitate an executive retreat for the leadership team of a professional services firm. With everyone working from home, the firm came through the pandemic with strong financial results. Client satisfaction was high, and the firm won awards from industry peer groups for the professionalism and effectiveness of their services. However, […]

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Do Your Values Pass the Sniff Test?

When he spotted his grandpa asleep on the family room couch, the rambunctious ten-year-old saw his chance. With cat-like stealth, Lucas quietly crept up on grandpa and gently smeared a small bit of smelly old cheese into his moustache. As grandpa mumbled and stirred, Jason bolted from the room. Peeking around the corner, Lucas fought […]

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Mind the Gap: Are Your Values Rhetoric or Reality?

It’s easy to spout motherhood statements about caring for people, teamwork, trust, partnering, we’re all in this together, and the like. Tough times expose a leadership team’s true values. When the pandemic panic set in last year, some executive teams showed their true beliefs that employees are human capital or assets with skin to be […]

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Communication Matters: Is Your Logic on Fire?

The American poet, Robert Frost, said, “Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep saying it.” Ironically, in today’s age of instantaneous communication and social media, communication breakdowns are one of the biggest complaints we hear. It’s a […]

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Drowning in Information While Thirsting for Communication

“Nobody ever tells me anything.” “We need to improve communications around here.” “Our biggest problem is we don’t communicate.” “Our leaders treat us like mushrooms — they keep us in the dark and feed us lots of… (manure).” Does your organization need to improve communications? Would you like to get more texts, posts, or e-mails? […]

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How Your Leadership Team Can Slow Down to Speed Up

An old fable tells of a farmer with a wagon brimming full of cabbage heading to a new market. He stops for directions and asks, “How far is it to the market?” The man replies, “It’s about an hour if you go slowly. But if you rush, it will take all day.” It was a […]

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How to Boost Strategic Retreat Effectiveness

Getting your leadership team away from daily operations for a few days of reflection and planning is incredibly effective. I am clearly biased since I’ve facilitated so many retreats. When offsite retreats are well designed and facilitated (a bit more bias), the return on investment is exponential. Planning a retreat starts with clarifying 3 or […]

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How Highly Strategic Leadership Teams Rock

The metaphor of putting rocks, pebbles, and sand in a jar has been used for decades to illustrate the time management principle of prioritization. If we start with sand, then marbles, and finally rocks, we likely won’t get many rocks in the jar. And the jar will have gaps and empty spaces. However, if we […]

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4 Strategic Planning Traps and How to Avoid Them

I recently had a call with a CEO about facilitating a strategic planning retreat this fall with 15 of their top leaders. That will be a refreshing change — we’re all fully vaccinated and ready to get together in person again. The CEO sent me their draft agenda for the session. Looking at the fairly […]

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