A Chicken/Egg Leadership Recipe

Question: Which Should Come First, Being or Doing? Answer: Being. A leader’s greatest potential to contribute [to people they lead and their outcomes] is granted by followers who perceive a leader as “BEING leader.” Unlike the title “manager,” the title “Leader” is earned (over time), and determined (by people who WANT to follow that person). [...]

Gaining Strategic Agility through Paradoxical Leadership

How do you lead with bold optimism while realistically recognizing and analyzing pitfalls… those you see and those you can’t lying around the next corner? How do you balance the authoritative and collaborative components of group decision making, or drive your team with warmth and empathy while enforcing deadlines and objectives? F. Scott Fitzgerald once [...]

Can Millennials be Managed toward their Highest Potential?

Prompted by the convergence of two trends in the workplace — 10,000 baby boomers a day retiring between now and 2030, and 8 million Millennials entering the workplace in the coming years the question we tackled was “How are corporations managing their talent pipelines and the career expectations of their employees?” From our survey of [...]

Begin 2016 with Stop. Start. Continue.

I have played this game with CEOs I’ve coached and it’s clearly not a game. It is an assessment of where you are now and how you might essentially reconstruct your future based on what is working and what is not working to get you to your goals. Simple and profound, the exercise can be [...]

Fat Cats and Smart Rats are Slowing HR Transformation

“The ability to make good decisions regarding people represents one of the last reliable sources of competitive advantage since very few organizations are very good at it.”- Dr. Peter Drucker Making good decisions about people means elevating “people” to a strategic conversation. It means inviting HR into the inner sanctum. REALLY. That is not an [...]

A Vulnerability Test – 7 Ways Leaders Demonstrate Trust

Trustworthiness requires being willing and able to be vulnerable. A dictionary definition would say that vulnerability is being susceptible to physical or emotional injury. In this case, it means emotional injury — being "available" emotionally such that you care sufficiently. If something goes awry, you feel it. I ran smack dab into vulnerability 16 years ago, [...]

Can You Handle the Truth?

Seeking the truth. Finding the truth. Facing the truth. Communicating the truth. It takes an extraordinary commitment to the truth to seek it and frankly not everyone is interested. Some people like their own version of reality just fine, thank you. It’s hard to make a difference with these people. Serious truth seekers don’t fit [...]

Right People in the Right Seats, Please

Remember this premise from Jim Collins in his book Good to Great? “When we began the research project, we expected to find that the first step in taking a company from good to great would be to set a new direction, a new vision and strategy for the company, and then to get people committed [...]

Listening is a Power Source for Leaders

As a facilitator of CEO business support groups, I held conversations with candidates for my groups to discern the likelihood that they would be good listeners.  I distinctly remember one CEO who told me, “I take only my own counsel.  No thank you.”  I had had candidates suggest it, carry that attitude, but never had [...]

Publicly Question your Assumptions — No, Really!

Here’s a proposition for you:  Take your leadership insecurities to your peer group for review.  Consider that sometimes when you are “being right” you are really being arrogant and it is costing you credibility. The downside of “being right,” when dealing with a subordinate, can be costly.  For example, if an employee isn’t feeling heard, [...]