Blog

Great Leaders are Inquisitive Explorers

First and foremost, truly awesome leaders are Inquisitive Explorers (i.e., they have a natural curiosity in what is going on…not so they can control it, but because what’s going on around them leads to learning). These leaders are also constantly checking themselves (i.e., What could I have done differently? What was my role in this failure? Why […]

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Writing a Leadership Success Story

At one point, the exec team was stalled because a key pain point organically emerged that sidetracked them. The CEO became frustrated and stormed out of the room. What I noticed was the group’s reaction: They acknowledged that he was upset (which was rather obvious) and then they simply began problem-solving the issue. It was […]

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Compliance or Commitment?

It was command central. Eight foot tables lined up in an awkward “L” shape. Fifteen people sitting on one side of the “L”–right next to each other…heads down…all of them profusely cranking information into their computers like mad scientists on a top-secret quest. I was one hour early…but their day was already in full swing. […]

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The Power of Informal Conversations

I just came from an organization that is crazy busy. Because of the insane pace, they pride themselves on using technology to the hilt–email, chat rooms, instant messaging, etc. The effectiveness (or not) of email and chat rooms as a form of workplace communication is a study in and of itself. What this executive team […]

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The Tough Conversation

I just finished facilitating a Quarterly Planning session where I observed the Exec team maturing before my very eyes. An outburst of frustration (over some very true systemic issues) finally made its way outward (courtesy of one brave soul in the room who dared to say what needed to be said.) While the outburst was […]

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Your Company’s Brain Map

Creating alignment can be a daunting task for any group of key executives. Great plans are made…activities discussed…task lists made…action steps identified. Yet, how to you cascade this information to others in your company (thereby creating the magical alchemy known as ‘alignment’)? Alignment is only created when there’s clarity. Remember being a kid and whispering […]

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Sustaining your Passion: It’s a Leader’s Job

Like it or not, you (as a leader) write your organization’s stage play. Life is hard, and being a leader can be downright grueling. Hard times, tough decisions, people who won’t do their work, focusing everyone on the common goal…a leader’s job just isn’t easy. One thing I like to stress to leaders is that […]

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Passion + Focus = Success

We hear a lot about following our passion, living for what we’re passionate about, etc. Psychologists tell us that it’s passion that drives us to do what we do and that it’s passion that helps us define a sense of purpose. There is a graphic on this blog that shows a row of matches being […]

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Why On-Site Planning Matters

The CEO said he wanted all the behind-the-scenes jabbing to stop. Another leader said he just needed his exec team to be more realistic and in alignment. Yet another said he simply doesn’t understand why his team can’t reach agreement. To all of these CEOs, I simply stated what was really needed: A meaningful conversation. […]

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Forward Movement: Who’s Driving–You or Mr. Magoo?

With very good intent, many executive leaders celebrate the bottom-line (which is fine), but at what expense? Many leaders are simply hard-wired to celebrate nothing but hard-core metrics. They look at these metrics with a linear lens vs. viewing them as multi-dimensional forces that impact an entire system (the ‘system’ being their organizations). If not […]

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