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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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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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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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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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Everyday Choices to Lead, Follow, or Wallow

I met Chad Hymas years ago when he was a speaker at an executive retreat I was facilitating. He was putting his life back together after a devastating accident that left him a quadriplegic. Chad’s an inspiring speaker on overcoming obstacles and making the most of tough circumstances life may have handed us. How he […]

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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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Despite Dire Headlines the World is Getting Much, Much Better

Mass shootings, ISIS, the Charlie Hebdo attacks, November Paris massacre, climate change, economic upheaval, infectious diseases, Syrian refuges, crashing airplanes, hurricanes, corporate greed and deception, Donald Trump… 2015 news headlines were full of disaster and despair. One national newscaster reflecting on the year solemnly declared 2015 the “year of darkness.” But that’s mass media sucking […]

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Communication Confusion: Balancing Electronic and Human Connections

Does your team/organization need more communication? Would you like to get more e-mails? Most workshop participants give an emphatic yes in response to the first question and a deafening no to the second. Yet when told that team/organization members want more communication many leaders respond with ccing more people or sending more e-mails. During the […]

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Critical Choices: Lead, Follow, or Wallow

I was booked to facilitate a development and team planning retreat with a group of vice presidents of a large company. The group had a dinner the evening before our session to provide each other with updates and discuss common issues. The company was going through turbulent and difficult times. Productivity and profitability were down. […]

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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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Webinar on BOLD Leadership

Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. These words are often attributed to the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe but seems to be a compilation from various sources. Regardless of the author, this powerful advice identifies a timeless leadership […]

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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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