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In the topic 'Personal Growth & Continuous Improvement'


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Warning Signs: How Vulnerable is Your Career?

As the frenetic pace of organizational mergers, downsizing, and restructuring picks up speed, middle and senior managers are faced with career opportunities and major threats. A few months ago I coached “Sheila,” a manager who had been through our Extraordinary Leader development process. Sheila had been given 360 feedback from her manager, peers, direct reports, […]

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How are You Staying Sharp, Focused, and Productive?

Jack Zenger’s latest Forbes column brings to mind the ancient woodcutter’s fable. A strong young pioneer is energetically chopping down trees with his broad axe to clear farming land. His productivity amazes and surpasses everyone else. As his axe dulls from heavy use his production drops while his frustration rises. A veteran community member working […]

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Five Keys for Accepting Feedback

Last week’s blog on You Are Here: Multiple Feedback Points Locates our Leadership Skills described the work we’re currently doing introducing hundreds of leaders at one company to the groundbreaking new approach of strengths-based leadership development. As we continue to use only self-assessments to discuss leadership strengths we’re seeing an overwhelming interest in getting much […]

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You Are Here: Multiple Feedback Points Locate our Leadership Skills

We’re currently facilitating a customized version of The Extraordinary Leader development sessions with hundreds of supervisors and managers in an organization using just self-assessments. Executives in this company had very negative past experiences with using 360 feedback assessments. They agreed that those experiences came from the all too common weaknesses-based approach grounding most 360 feedback […]

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Are You Green and Growing?

The founder of MacDonald’s hamburger chain, Ray Kroc, was well known for his motto, “when you’re green you’re growing, when you’re ripe you rot.” May is a great time for us in the Northern Hemisphere to reflect on whether we’re greening ourselves with new growth or stagnating and decaying. Once again this spring I’ll be […]

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Strengths-Based Leadership Development Index

As 2012 winds down, ’tis the season for looking back at the year’s highlights. Harvey Schachter reviewed dozens and dozens of business, leadership, and management books for The Globe & Mail last year. As I contemplate my ever expanding must-read book list I am in awe of how many books he reviews. Harvey’s either a […]

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Update on Zenger Folkman’s New Book “How to Be Exceptional”

As I said to Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman in last week’s Strengths-Based Leadership Development webcast (click on title to view the archived session). How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths (click on title to read my review) really is an exceptional book. In my 35 plus years of studying, applying, […]

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GPS for A Personal Development Plan

Last week I received this e-mail from a manager in Toronto: “You were recommended to me by my boss. He is interested in having me take some leadership training specifically on the issue of ‘managing up.’ I see that this is an area you discuss on your website. Would you have some time to discuss […]

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Leadership Lessons from Evidence-Based Medicine

In the 19th century “snake oil salesmen” travelled throughout North America selling unproven or fraudulent oils, elixirs, and various cure-all remedies. In 1906 the US Pure Food and Drugs Act began to regulate medicines. This was followed by decades of research into drugs, vaccines, public health regulations, and medical treatments that dramatically reduced and even […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Performance Excellence

Insights and inspiration as I attend Zenger Folkman’s Extraordinary Leadership Summit this week in Utah and the world watches the London Olympics: “The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he ‘gets for it,’ but what he ‘becomes by it'” – John Ruskin, 19th century English social thinker, philanthropist, artist, and writer We were […]

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Three Steps to Setting and Reaching Stretch Goals

This week I am at the beautiful and inspiring Sundance Ranch in Utah at Zenger Folkman’s Extraordinary Leadership Summit, learning about innovative new research and approaches for developing extraordinary leadership. At the same time, the London Olympics are inspiring us with powerful examples of extraordinary athleticism and the pursuit of excellence. Zenger Folkman’s research shows […]

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Now For Your (E-Book) Reading Pleasure

I love e-books. Availability in a Kindle version is now one of the main criteria I use when deciding what books to read. Being able to read a book on my computer, Playbook, or Blackberry is much more convenient than lugging around a physical book or magazine/newsletter/newspaper. Making notes, highlighting, and copying passages in my […]

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Reclaim Your Time, Reclaim Your Life

I recently had a conversation with a vice president about the pressing challenges she’s facing in her division with priority overload. She was looking at bringing her management team to our Leading @ the Speed of Change: Transforming Personal, Team, and Organization Performance public workshop. We decided to tailor a session for her group that […]

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Use This 10 Point Checklist for a Leadership Check Up

Use this checklist as a “time out” to reflect on your leadership strengths and gaps. When faced with wrenching changes, setbacks, and difficulties do you generally Lead, Follow, or Wallow? What would your team say? How do you know? What percent of your time are you now spending on Technical (applying your expertise and solving […]

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Tame Your Technology and Get More Sleep

Electronic tools are incredible. They can enhance communications, build relationships, and increase time effectiveness. Electronic tools can also replace true communication with information overload, damage relationships, and overwhelm our day. Electronic tools are vital and valuable, but they can also become vampires sucking our vital time and energy. Is it time you put them down […]

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Behold! A Leader is Born!

A long time reader, P.K. Seshadri, sent this “quip to enjoy and use in your future posts: An amateur photographer was invited to dinner with friends and took along a few pictures to show the hostess. She looked at the photos and commented ‘These are very good! You must have a good camera.’ He didn’t […]

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When to Work on Weaknesses

It was an eerie coincidence! Maybe it’s because Halloween is about to pounce on us … I had just read my old colleague Jack Zenger, and his colleagues Joe Folkman and Scott Edinger’s excellent article in this month’s issue of Harvard Business Review. Entitled “Making Yourself Indispensible”, the article builds on the strong research and […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm… on “Flourishing” from Martin Seligman

My last post reviewed Martin Seligman’s new book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. Here are a few key excerpts: “When asked what, in two words or fewer, positive psychology is about, Christopher Peterson, one of its founders, replied, ‘Other people.’ Very little that is positive is solitary… Other people are the […]

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Review of “Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being” by Martin Seligman

Since the mid-eighties I’ve been an avid follower of Martin Seligman’s leading-edge work at the University of Pennsylvania. He began his distinguished psychology career in the late sixties studying pessimism, learned helplessness, and depression. His two previous books, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life and Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive […]

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For Pete’s Sake: Learning from the Error of My Ways

Within 10 minutes of Tuesday’s blog being posted (“Changing Seasons, Changing Skills, Habits, and Perspectives”) an alert reader sent me an e-mail entitled “For Pete’s Sake,” pointing out that I’d incorrectly credited Bob Seger as writer of the song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” from Ecclesiastes. It was actually Pete Seeger. Mia culpa! Sorry Pete! I hope […]

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