April 2, 2018

It’s All in the Definition

In working with leaders, teams and cultures, we often find the need to define certain terms. This ensures that everyone is clear on what’s being discussed or decided. Here are some of our primary definitions: Leadership: The skill of influencing individuals and teams to enthusiastically accomplish common goals, previously thought impossible, with character that inspires excellence. Team: A group of people that enjoy being mutually accountable achieving common goals, impossible to achieve individually, with diversity of skills and similar values. […]
April 2, 2018

Communication and Clarity

Productive communication is critical in every organization. Some of the essential aspects of communication include: listening, building trust in relationships, being honest in every interaction, and dealing with conflict effectively. Great team communication must be engaging, motivating and authentic. It must help the team to see the path and the destination. The larger the organization, the geometrically more complex communication becomes. With one-on-one communication, we can watch body language, hear tone of voice and create an immediate feedback loop. With […]
April 2, 2018

Key Characteristics of Powerful Leaders

Top leaders need to be especially good at what they do. The power they have available to them accentuates both their strengths and their weaknesses. Leaders are also not subject to the ordinary checks and balances like other employees.  Additionally, people will magnify the characteristics of the top leader, both good and bad, by mimicking their behavior without even knowing it and use the leader’s behavior as the excuse/justification for what they do. While there are many characteristics of great […]
April 2, 2018

Does Your Team Have Perseverance?

At the beginning of relationships, with new teams, and with new projects in business, there is often a lot of logical discussion regarding the best idea and how to implement it. We discuss both the “what” and the “how”. When others are involved in the decision (e.g., for an acquisition, funding a project, a joint venture, a new important hire), people consider logic and debate over what should happen, who should be involved, how it impacts the overall strategy, does […]
April 2, 2018

Unique Ground Rules for Effective Meetings

Handling meetings effectively today means that you spend only as much time as is necessary on the agenda, making decisions, and then adjourning. The best result from a meeting is full engagement, enhanced creativity and commitment to action from the team. Here are five unique rules we use among the other basic ones (e.g., issuing and closely following an agenda, providing data prior to the meeting) to ensure you get the most from your time. ELMO: this is not the […]
March 28, 2018

Surviving Success and Watching Failure

Have you ever seen a problem coming and not done anything to fix it? Was it someone failing at a project? Perhaps someone was ruining a relationship? A project where the team was not resolving the main issues? Someone was in great pain? Too often we see cultures in organizations where everyone stays in their own “box” very tightly. When they see an issue or problem coming, they do not say anything. (This is the “it’s not my job” or “not my […]
October 14, 2015
Draw a ‘Line in the Sand’ Before ‘Pulling the Trigger’
  At times leaders in organizations approach the difficult decision of possibly terminating an employee. These evaluations are not easy and before you make a final decision, you should make certain if the problem is the employee or the manager. There are techniques that can be used to turn the situation around. So before pulling the trigger and firing an individual, challenge them by first drawing a line in the sand. To draw the line, use very clear language, tell […]
October 14, 2015
Always Find a Way to Win
  In life and in business, people can be divided into two groups, happy and very unhappy. Those who are very unhappy never find a way to win. They look at every situation, interaction, and opportunity and see only what went wrong. They could win the lottery but find some issue that steals their joy, they may say, “too many taxes, I’ll hardly get any of the money.” This is unfortunate. This type of attitude will hurt the individual personally […]
September 17, 2015
Recognize and Avoid The Perils of Extroverted Leadership
The boardroom of a company is often filled with a bevy of extroverts. That comes as no surprise; outgoing and authoritative, extroverts are natural leaders. Extroverted leaders prize communication, openness, and group work, and they get their energy through socialization—all of which makes an extrovert a great fit for the head of a company or an organization. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, 60% of senior-level managers identified as extroverts—and a full 65% said that introversion would be […]
April 22, 2015
Are you about to lose someone?
It’s fascinating to see how different individuals leaving a company choose to handle their departure. We have seen key people getting ready to leave for another job approach this many different ways: not telling anyone, telling at least one other person, or telling everyone upfront. You may want to know, what difference it makes if they are leaving? The truth is – A LOT! In the first case, the person leaving actually told us instead of the appropriate person in […]
April 1, 2015
To Engage or Not To Engage
Some organizations believe that the goal of every interaction is to engage everybody. There’s an entire industry out there of consultants, trainers and coaches that tell the general public, business leaders, and teams that they need to engage their people. We believe in general that is true; however, as a sound bite, it sends the wrong message. Engaging everyone can get too much happening too quickly and engagement may not be right for an individual situation or team. We have […]
October 21, 2013
Cycles, Spirals & Patterns: Oh My!
Many meetings we are in have a tendency to start with a great deal of data and information.  If the meeting does not go well, many times it is because there are lots of individual tactical observations of what the data means.  There is not a coming together or clarity of the patterns or themes at a higher level. On the other hand, after being clear about the data and what it means, those that use their instincts to spot […]