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
Coachfootballplayer

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 […]
July 22, 2016
Poor Communication Skills in the Workplace is Costly
Poor Communication costs you, both professionally and personally. One source estimates employee misunderstandings cost organizations $37 billion per year.  “Misunderstandings” are defined as: actions or errors of omission by employees who were misinformed (or misunderstood) company policies, business processes, job functions or a combination of all three.  Additionally, communication barriers resulting in productivity losses had a cumulative cost of $26,041 per year per worker.  Leaders must make a conscious decision to improve. Eighty five percent of our success in life […]
March 28, 2016
hiring for team fit
Google and Yale Study Shows Experientially Diverse Teams Yield Productive Chaos
When we think of efficiency, we tend to picture something mechanical like a train–a well-tuned system that chugs along, each part working in unison, creating a beast of unusual power. And it is true that trains are very efficient, which is why when we create teams in our companies, we try to craft the most efficient possible group. Lots of time and money is spent figuring out which teams would have the smoothest dynamic. It turns out, though, that in […]
March 21, 2016
wooing key employees
Dean Smith Shows Why Inclusive Leadership of Diverse Teams Fosters Creativity and Flexibility
Dean Smith began his long and historic coaching career at the University of North Carolina in 1961, at the tender age of 30, but already with a long history of compassion and inclusion behind him. As a high schooler in rural Kansas in the late 1940s, he pushed his school to integrate the basketball program, which at the time had separate teams for black and white players. He kept that activism up at UNC, where he signed the first African-American […]
February 10, 2016
Leading A Small But Effective Team
  We believe that great teamwork is essential to an organization. It enables businesses to achieve goals that an individual working alone cannot. Employees can achieve a higher level of contentment and becoming part of something greater is the very fuel for happiness. In order to create an effective team, we have identified four necessary attributes: Have The Purpose, Value or Charter In Writing If you are going to achieve success, you must start by identifying your purpose, values, or […]
January 22, 2016
The Rule of 44 For Hiring “A” Players
We believe that hiring “A” players is the most important job within an organization and it can be one of the biggest challenges. To get and keep your top performers, you have to engage both their current skill sets and their future aspirations while demonstrating a culture of trust and respect. Rather than trying to identify what the exact answer is for you in your industry, we like to use ‘The Rule of 44.’   In four areas, have four different […]
December 31, 2015
Equal To The Love You Make: Improve Your Company Culture With Charitable Giving
There is a new trend in the workplace. Since 2007, employer sponsored charitable programs have been rising steadily, with 20% of employers offering some kind of charitable options as of 2013[1.Halzak, Sarah. “Paid Time off for Volunteering Gains Traction as Way to Retain Employees.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2013. Web. 27 Oct. 2015. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/paid-time-off-for-volunteering-gains-traction-as-way-to-retain-employees/2013/08/09/86189774-fe95-11e2-96a8-d3b921c0924a_story.html]. Whether employers are offering their workers time off or matching contributions in their name, employers are learning that getting involved doesn’t just help […]
December 29, 2015
Emerging Business Trends For 2016
At this time of year we look at the trends emerging for next year and for a few years to come. Here are a few of our observations: We have seen that teams, organizations and leaders have become much more flexible and fluid to stabilize their structure and organizations. Leaders are paying more attention to millennials.  A purpose must be created and a value system understood with a clear sign of progress seen to attract, motivate and retain this group […]
October 13, 2015
React Quickly: Prevent Slow Death
Running an organization is like flying an airplane, although it is not as dramatic. When an airplane has a warning light go on, the crew reacts. In business, too often leaders wait to see what happens…and they wait…and they wait… and by the time the crash occurs, it is too late. We have identified seven typical situations where we see slow death occur within organizations. Leaders in these situations must make changes to get to a new and better reality. […]
September 30, 2015
Diversity Is More Than Just a Buzzword: How to Cultivate a Workplace Culture That Celebrates — Not Stifles — Employee Diversity
Hiring for diversity is an especially hot topic in the world of HR right now. But diversity in the workplace is about so much more than filling hiring quotas; having a diverse workforce can position companies to succeed in places where a more homogenous group of employees might fail. Business leaders are increasingly concerned with fostering a workplace culture that values and encourages employee diversity — and great leaders understand how to use that diversity to a company’s advantage. Is […]