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 […]
August 28, 2017
Passing The Torch
Succession planning can be an intimidating subject for most everyone, but the fact is that it shouldn’t be.  It’s not something that has to be overly complicated nor should it be viewed in a negative light.  If handled properly it can be an amazing experience with new opportunities and optimism in its wake.  As a follow-up to the previous article, “Changing of the Guard”, we would like to leave you with a letter passed on by one of our clients. […]
September 30, 2016
Employee Accountability In The Workplace
The mind and heart can envision and feel great things, but so many times there is a disconnect in where we are today vs. where we desire to be. While there are many necessary pieces to bridging that gap, one of the key girders is accountability:  the willingness to do what one says. Part of this is holding others accountable. There must be both individual and team accountability for a business to work effectively. I am reminded of Peter Block’s […]
August 26, 2016
Effective Communication Skills for Business Success
  In this “Drive Through With Don”, he discusses two different teams and the effect communication had on the success of the businesses. One team was struggling and frustrated and they communicated very poorly with each other.  Poor communication damaged relationships, created mistrust among the team members and any efforts to turn this around were either blocked or given very little effort.  Once a team becomes ineffective it bleeds over to customers and suppliers and before too long, the problem […]
August 23, 2016
Effective Communication and Better Listening Skills
When most people think of communication, they think about talking and passing along information, advice or opinions.  Effective communication also involves actively listening, knowing when to speak and when to stay silent.   Keep in mind that 85% of what we communicate is nonverbal so in addition to being patient, your face and actions must also be considered.  All organizations maintain that they value open communication, but few listen to their staff, customers and suppliers effectively.  Listening, like any other skill, […]
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 […]
June 23, 2016
Effective Communication in the Workplace
  A clear, effective communication skill is one of the best attributes a person can develop. It equips you to be successful professionally and personally.  By communication, we mean stating your needs clearly and listening to others with the intention of fully understanding what they are trying to say. It is a “two-way” street. Can you identify with this example?  It is the job of leaders to go to the unknown and find out what’s there.  Asking employees for honest […]
March 9, 2016
Continually Improve Your Leadership Capabilities
  As a leader you must continually build your techniques, capabilities and habits. You need to be able to evaluate honestly where you are, what strengths you have and what you need to work on. Some of the improvements can be external, some internal and at times it is simply awareness of your weaknesses. “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of […]
February 24, 2016
servant leadership
Giving Back: How Servant Leadership in Your Community Can Increase Your Talent Pool
Mike was the third-generation owner of a manufacturing facility located in rural North Carolina. He loved his town and the local culture, and he was proud to maintain a business there. In fact, he even wanted to add a line to his facility, but he had a problem—he’d tapped out the local market for qualified employees. While he offered excellent pay and benefits, he had trouble attracting applicants who didn’t already have roots in the community. His beloved small town […]
February 15, 2016
Investing in the Future: Raleigh Bankers Attract Future Leaders Through Community Involvement
Every industry needs new faces and fresh ideas to stay relevant. For showy new industries like the startups of Silicon Valley, it’s easy to seduce brilliantly talented young people who want to make a change in their field. For well-established industries, it’s just as important to bring in that talent, but how does a long-standing industry like banking make the same appeal to new graduates? A group of Raleigh bankers is actually reaching out to young adults in North Carolina […]