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The Unlikable Leader: 7 Ways to Improve Employee/Boss Relationships

Can a leader be highly effective (increase productivity, profitability, service/quality levels, boost safety, etc.) without being liked? Less effective leaders often think so. They might declare “it’s not a popularity contest, I don’t care if people like me; my job is to get results.” Unlikable leaders get results alright — poor and unlikable results. Zenger […]

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Story Road: Charting Steps in our Journey

In his classic book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, American mythologist and writer, Joseph Campbell outlined common steps to the hero’s journey. These cut across cultures, times, and every society’s stories, fairy tales, novels, and movies. We’re all living in our own novel. We write a page each day of our own action adventure. […]

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Career Check Up and LinkedIn Profile Revisions

Erin (not her real name) is a rising high potential director now reporting to a new VP. He was hired from the outside with a mandate to revitalize their department. Erin is upset and struggling. The personal values and leadership approaches that made her so effective were seen as too soft and not results-focused enough […]

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How Coachable Are Your Leaders?

Are leaders who are resistant to, or uncomfortable with being coached less likely to succeed? Our research clearly answers that question with a resounding “Yes.” This quality of being coachable seems extremely important early in one’s career.

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Creating Leadership Energy is an Inside Job

You can’t impassion others about their work unless and until you’re impassioned about yours. Creating leadership energy is an inside job. The spark that ignites the leadership energy you bring to your team or organization comes from within you. But you can’t give energy if you don’t have it.

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How Coachable Are You and Your Leaders?

Often a “dragon investor” on the Dragon’s Den TV show or a “shark investor” on the Shark Tank show will decide not to invest in a hopeful contestant’s company because he or she feels the budding entrepreneur isn’t “coachable.” An article in Entrepreneur magazine on how to attract venture capital investors lists coachability as one […]

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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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Beyond the Doom and Gloom: Over 65 Ways Our World Keeps Getting Better

We’re naturally wired to look for what’s wrong — or could go wrong — and overlook what’s right — or ignore the high likelihood that things will work out. We also live in a world where the dealers in disaster who can stoke our fears get the most attention. Videos of horrendous crimes or fake […]

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Stepping Up to Avoid Wallowing in the Swamp

The December 1 issue of Fortune magazine has an in-depth profile of Satya Nadalla, the new CEO of Microsoft entitled “The Man Who is Transforming Microsoft.” Writer, Andrew Nusca, was “on the road with Satya Nadella’s traveling rival show” during a recent whirlwind tour of Europe. During those busy few days Andrew gained insights into […]

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Keys to Strengthening Hardiness and Resilience

In Japan the Daruma Doll is a good luck charm with a rounded bottom. When knocked down, it bounces back upright. This ability to bounce back is a symbol of perseverance and good luck. The doll is modelled after Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk who founded Zen about 15 centuries ago. Legend has it he mediated […]

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Resilience, Positivity, and the Power of Leadership

I grew up in the small farming community of Milverton, Ontario, in Perth County just north of Stratford. Arden Barker was a farmer, local politician, and well-known community builder. His wife Helen was also very active in the community and wrote a weekly newspaper column filled with her wit, experiences, observations, and philosophies. Helen was […]

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Key Leadership Lessons From Our Most Popular Workshop

Of all our custom keynotes and workshops topics, the most popular continues to be variations of Leading @ the Speed of Change. One reason for that is in today’s fast-moving world it’s easy to be overwhelmed by rapid changes and difficult problems. While we can’t control the changes, we can manage our response. It’s not […]

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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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Contagious Leadership: What Are You Spreading?

Martin Luther King, Jr., American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement once said: “In a real sense all life is inter-related. All persons are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what […]

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Steps to Strengthening Authentic Leadership

In their book, Learning to Lead, Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith write, “To be authentic is literally to be your own author (the words derive from the same Greek root), to discover your native energies and desires, and then find your own way of acting on them. When you have done that, you are not […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm from…”The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha

“This instinctive need for what we don’t yet have creates in us a persistent state of dissatisfaction. Without it, our ancestors would always be only one failed hunting session away from starvation…unhappiness is nature’s way of keeping people on their toes. It’s a crude system, but it has worked for thousands of years.” “Studies show […]

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Review of “The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha

With the rapid growth of Positive Psychology there’s been an explosion in books on happiness. Amazon lists 100,000 books on the topic! I lean heavily toward personal, leadership, or organization development books that are evidence-based. Neil does cite some research and many of his approaches align well with the emerging science of well-being. What sets […]

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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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