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In the topic 'Personal Growth & Continuous Improvement'


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Why Most Personal Development Plans Fail – and How to Fix It

A sure path to marital unhappiness — if not divorce — is when a newlywed sets out to change his or her spouse. Yet how many performance management discussions are built on the same premise? Too often managers set about trying to “improve” his or her direct report by fixing weaker areas. How enthused are […]

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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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Is the Rate of External Change Exceeding Your Rate of Internal Change?

Change happens. We can’t control much of the world changing around us. But we can control how we respond. We can choose to anticipate and make changes or resist them. Resisting change is usually like trying to push water upstream. Generally we’re quick to point to others who resist change. It’s much harder to recognize […]

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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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The Pause that Refreshes

Progress towards your vision, values, purpose and goals by stepping back to step ahead. Savor and celebrate your success.

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The Myth of the Born Leader

Our leadership development choices raise us up or drag us down. Our development is our choice. Those accumulated choices prepare us to take advantage of unexpected opportunities or weaken our abilities and set us up to be victims of change.

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Successful Failures

Key characteristic of learning leaders; they refuse to be trapped by "conventional wisdom" or what others say is or isn't possible. Highly effective leaders go against the odds – or just ignore them.

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Successful Change Flows from Learning, Growth, and Development

Resistance to today's change comes from failing to make yesterday's preparations and improvements. We need to deal with change by improving ourselves. Then our time of success must come.

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Signs of Stagnation

Not all experience is equal. Experience isn't what happens to us, it's what we do with what happens to us. There's a major difference between growth experiences and stagnating experiences. Just because we've shown up year after year and put in the time, doesn't mean we've gained by the experience.

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