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In the topic 'Personal Growth & Continuous Improvement'


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Nature’s Might Law is Change

“I hate all this change. Why can’t things just stay the same?” Dirk shouted angrily at the TV news anchor. He threw a pillow at the TV screen and clicked it off with a snort. Suddenly a hissing noise arose from the corner of the room and green, shimmering mist filled the air. Dirk stood […]

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Motivating Leaders to Implement Individual Development Plans

Despite extensive use of competency models and annual performance appraisals, our research shows that only 10 percent of leaders have an individual or personal development plan and are actively making progress on it. What’s going on? Most leaders are career driven and want personal and professional growth. Many want promotions, bigger opportunities, and higher levels […]

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Execution – The KEY to How Leaders Get Things Done

Execution and follow through is the key to how extraordinary leaders get things done. We need to convert leadership theory to action and strategy to implementation. It’s transforming why to how and converting what to when. Execution is the only way for a leader, team, or organization to succeed. But there’s a world of difference […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Knowing versus Doing

      My last blog linked to Zenger Folkman’s May 25 webinar on Execution – The KEY to How Leaders Get Things Done with a discussion of knowing versus doing. Common sense often isn’t common practice. “With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know but we must try to have and use […]

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Webinar: Execution — The KEY to How Leaders Get Things Done

“Belling the Cat,” a tale from the ancient Greek fabulist Aesop, points to the timeless dilemma of knowing versus doing. The story describes a counsel of mice trying to figure out how to deal with “the sly and treacherous manner” that the cat sneaks up on mice and kills them. A young mouse proposed putting […]

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Build Strengths that Play to your Passions

The “dark side” of fixing weaknesses is very alluring. Last week I was facilitating our Extraordinary Leader workshop with a group of senior leaders. This was a highly experienced team who were strongly motivated to improve their organization and their own effectiveness. All participants had been through 360 feedback assessments before. Many reported feeling beat […]

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Don’t Lock the Door and Get Trapped in Old Thinking

The evening before a speaking engagement in Vancouver, I was in a hotel room on the 37th floor overlooking Stanley Park, English Bay, and The Lion’s Gate Bridge. After a pleasant dinner with a friend, I returned to my room. The sun was setting on a beautiful, warm spring evening. Wanting to enjoy the view, […]

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Learning @ the Speed of Change

In his 1973 book Reflections on the Human Condition, social philosopher, Eric Hoffer wrote, “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” How true that’s proven to be over the past few decades. If […]

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5 Attitudes that Define Great Leaders

Many succession planning processes involve identifying and developing high potential leaders. As with promising amateur athletes working to secure very scarce spots at the professional level of their sport, not every leader considered to have strong potential grows in their career to ever higher leadership roles. Through our evidence-based approaches to identifying key leadership skills […]

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Balancing Life in the Fast Lane with Slow Country Backroads

Gandhi, the towering political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement, once observed “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” But we live in an ever accelerating world. Zenger Folkman’s research based on their “speed index” showed that extraordinary leaders are both quick and effective. Ten years ago I bought […]

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Spotlight on Feedback

Plato once observed “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when people are afraid of the light.” Ignoring or failing to understand how others see our behaviors keeps us in the dark and diminishes everyone’s perceptions of our leadership effectiveness. Those perceptions then shape […]

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Good Advice on Seeking and Giving Advice

A recent Harvard Business School newsletter summarized research from David Garvin, the C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Joshua Margolis, professor in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School. They point out that effective leaders need good advice and need to give useful advice to others. “Yet business […]

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Turning Feedback Into Change

Our research shows that leadership self-assessment correlates to performance outcomes like employee engagement, turnover, safety, customer service, or profitability only half as reliably as ratings from everyone else (manager, direct reports, peers, and others). Some leaders rate themselves much higher than all the other raters. Other leaders don’t see their own strengths and assess their […]

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Turning Feedback Into Change

When people ask for feedback, sometimes it is something they don’t want to hear. However, how they react to the feedback is critical.

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Webinar: 8 Ways to Increase Leadership Speed without Breaking a Sweat!

With e-mail in-boxes burying managers in hundreds of e-mails while they rush through a blur of meetings, speed is essential to effectiveness — if not survival. Zenger Folkman recently analyzed 360 assessments on over 50,000 leaders to understand how speed impacts evaluations of their effectiveness. A “speed index” was created to measure speed in three […]

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What’s the Meaning of Your Work?

Any job can become a career or calling, and any career or calling can become a job. A scientist, physician, or pastor may have initially felt called. But if he or she finds work has become drudgery, it’s now a job. An hourly production worker or hospitality server may have started in a job and […]

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Courageous Leaders Ask for Feedback

Ignorance may be bliss, but it’s deadly to leadership effectiveness. And it’s often the mark of a blind and weak leader. Feedback-impaired leaders often mistake compliance for commitment. They might, for example, proclaim an open door policy and when no one enters their office to raise problems, believe there aren’t any serious issues to be […]

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Double Your Resolution Success by Building Strengths

A University of Scranton study on New Year’s resolutions reports that 2/3 of Americans make one. 47% of these are “self-improvement or education related.” The study found that only 8% are successful in achieving their resolution! Many New Year’s resolutions are aimed at correcting our deficiencies or shortcomings. So is it any wonder that 92% […]

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7 Habits of Highly INeffective People

As shown in the extensive research of our web site section, Focusing on Strengths, we have overwhelming evidence that building strengths is 2 to 3 times more effective than fixing weaknesses, closing gaps, or “rounding out” lower leadership skills. But when a weaker leadership skill crosses the line into fatal flaw territory the “horns effect” […]

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Perceptions Are a Leader’s Reality

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “that’s not reality, that’s just their perception”? This is a common trap leaders often fall into when receiving personal feedback or reviewing organizational survey data. We judge ourselves by our intentions. Everyone else assesses our leadership effectiveness by our behavior. That’s a highly subjective evaluation based on what others […]

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