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21 Ways to Improve Leadership Effectiveness

Every box on every organization chart is about who the executive or manager is going to be. At least that is where the thinking usually starts. We somehow think we need to name the managers first, then we place employees under them to build out a team. This whole focus on “managing” the team sets […]

Saying Thanks to Old Mentors for Their Inspiration

This week families across the USA gather to celebrate Thanksgiving. It means many different things to different people. As one of my clients shared when I asked about his plans, “lots of food, too much to drink, and too much football.” (Sounds like my kind of gathering, but I digress). The spirit of this holiday is […]

What Are Your Defining Moments?

Defining moments. What do they mean to you? I don’t hear people talk much these days about defining moments, but we all share them. No, not the exact situation or set of circumstances, but the reality of having things happen to us or through us that make big changes in the way we see the […]

Living in the Meantime

There are times when nothing particularly big is happening. You’re in between assignments, projects, or deadlines. You have work to do and places to be, but the sense of purpose goes on autopilot. The time between one occurrence and another; an interval is the meantime. Should that bother you? I say not necessarily unless it lingers too long. I call this “living in the […]

Questions, Questions, Questions – Asking Better Leadership Questions

questions

Our headlines are filled with questions. Did he? Did she? Who did what and when? Why? All of these questions consume our attention and build tensions between opposing factions. For what real good? (Ha, another question!) Questions can be used for good or bad. Well-intended questions can add clarity. A properly structured question uttered in the […]

Leadership and Life – Walking the Fine Lines

walking-fine-lines

Travel around the sun a few times and you learn things. If I’ve learned anything traveling my journey around the sun (I’ve done it 65 times), I see people all around who trip on the fine lines. What do I mean? I am talking about those oh so subtle differences between things that are very […]

In Decision Making: Is It Requirement or Desirement?

There’s a decision to be made. You weigh the options and ask for more information. Then it’s time to choose. But wait. Is the thing you have to decide a requirement or a desirement? Decision making can get clouded by issues or priorities that are more a desire than a requirement. To oversimplify the argument, […]

How to Be a Good Coaching Client

Executive coaching is growing in popularity. Former stigmas associated with having a coach are evaporating. There once was a time when Boards only hired coaches to “fix” someone. Now, very successful executives are hiring coaches to grow even further than before. Companies are embracing coaching as ways to leverage their investment in senior managers and […]

Leaders: Looking for Advice? Where Do You Go?

managing up the organization

Leaders are looking for advice. Business people often need it. New challenges and ever-changing priorities leave us looking for fresh ideas. Businesses operate at such a fast pace that owners and leaders are looking for advice wherever it is available. More often than not, you may reach toward the wrong resources. Un-tested advisors and questionable […]

Who’s the Brightest Bulb?

This is a question I’ve heard asked far too many times in a boardroom or around the table when trying to select new managers. It comes from the full phrase “He/she may be the brightest bulb in the string (string of lights)”. It runs in the same vein as “Sharpest knife in the drawer”, “best […]