September 18, 2017

Are You Leading A Great Team?

Written by:  Don Hadley Businesses are working to compete more effectively with better people and teams. However, competition is tougher now than it has been in the past.  The world moves more swiftly.  The culture of what is expected is vastly different than it was even three years ago. To be able to prevent problems, overcome obstacles and take advantage of opportunities, we need to use true teams to make the difference. The Typical Approach Many leaders develop a following […]
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. […]
August 15, 2017

Taking Action, Killing “Joe” and Meetings vs Movies

Written by:  Don Hadley The Primary Problem In organizations, there can be too much talking and not enough doing.  Vision without action (or talking without action) is simply wishful thinking or hallucination. When this sort of behavior is occurring, some leaders tell me “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink”.  This statement implies that we cannot get employees to take action. That is a cop-out!  The reality for great leaders is that we realize […]
July 28, 2017

The Changing of the Guard: The 6Ps of Succession Planning and Implementation

Written by:  Don Hadley One of the biggest challenges organizations face today is “the changing of the guard”.  The examples below briefly demonstrate how succession (or lack of it) can dramatically hurt or transform an organization: One disaster:  The head of the company was almost 80 years old.  He was having troubling recruiting and retaining leaders that wanted to run the organization.  None of the existing employees, to his knowledge, had the desire, attitude, skills and habit to be able […]
July 21, 2017

Changing The Patterns Of Thinking

Written by:  Don Hadley     As part of our ongoing effort to provide additional value to the business leaders in our community, everyone in our firm was “fired” on a recent Friday and given new titles and priorities beginning the following Monday. While it seems like a drastic tactic to try, the desired effect was achieved. As the newly appointed “Director of Continually Expanding Patterns of Thinking” my approach to things has changed.. Most businesses are struggling with issues […]
June 30, 2017

The Power of Trust

A 2016 survey of CEOs by PWC showed that a strong majority of business leaders — 55%— believe a lack of trust in the workplace constitutes a foundational threat to their company. Source: Forbes Trust is an interesting animal.  It not only involves trusting someone’s intentions, but also their competence in being able to do what they say.  It is more than trust in an individual, but also in ourselves, the process, the world, other people in general, life, etc.  […]
April 15, 2016
wooing key employees
Change Management Process for New Managers
When my friend John moved downstate to take a new position, he was nervous. He was coming into a totally unfamiliar organization as a manager. Most of the people he would be managing were 20-30 years older than he was. There was an established culture with prevailing relationships and time-honored routines, yet part of his job was to shake things up. He and I both worried about his ability to tackle these challenges. How could he, a much younger manager, […]
April 13, 2016
culture of sincere appreciation
Employee Retention by Building a Culture of Sincere Appreciation
During college, I worked in a used bookstore close to campus. The pay was low. The hours were often inconvenient. And yet, we were dedicated to our jobs. The only time a job in the store came open was when a former employee graduated and left town. (If they stuck around after graduation, they’d keep working at the bookstore.) I was lucky and stumbled into a job there my first week of freshman year, and I stayed. I worked overtime […]
April 1, 2016
personality tests in executive hiring process
Relying on a Personality Test in the Executive Hiring Process Is Like Following Your GPS Off a Bridge
I’ve been a customer of the same local farm and orchard for nearly 20 years. I go to Gatwood’s for the excellent produce, the great prices, and the incredible donuts. Those things never change. However, over the last ten years, Joe Gatwood, who took over the farm when his dad retired, has made some pretty big changes. An entrepreneur by nature, Joe has expanded the selection and opened orchard stores in several of the surrounding towns. He’s made deals with […]
March 23, 2016
Create and Cultivate Great Culture to Secure High Performance
Company culture seems to be a widely circulated term, but one that few people clearly understand. Culture is the ‘good stuff” in an organization that makes individuals work harder, more enthusiastically, with honest direct communication, which translates into peak performance. It may be defined as: a company’s values, practices, beliefs, language or simply the way of thinking that exists in an organization.   If you want to be a truly successful and innovative company, culture must be a daily focus in […]
March 23, 2016
Training on Soft Skills Can Increase Productivity and Profitability
  We have found that working with teams and organizations on soft skills can be very valuable in improving team camaraderie as well as productivity and profitability. Teaching soft skills like empathy can help your team be more in tune with your clients, their direct reports, other departments, as well as family and friends. The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence found that training on this type of interpersonal skills showed increases in daily production as high as 20% and […]
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 […]
March 9, 2016
cognitive flexibility in leadership
Cognitive Flexibility in Leadership Can Make Any NC Business As Nimble As a Small Business
It was 4th down on the two-yard line, early in the first quarter of a September 2013 game between the struggling Carolina Panthers and the go-nowhere Giants. The choice to go for it or not was a seemingly obvious decision. Of course, you kick the field goal. You “have to take the points here,” as announcers are fond of saying. Panther’s head coach Ron Rivera was perhaps the perfect example of a by-the-book coach. Generations of coaches had kicked the […]
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 […]
March 2, 2016
empowering employees to speak up
Empowering Employees to Speak Up: Why Raleigh’s Red Hat Meritocracy Is Effective
It should have been an easy meeting. Management at all levels agreed on the path for the new initiative. It wasn’t really a time for discussion; it was a time to explain plans and to set goals. And then, a lowly associate asked to speak. Point by point, goal by goal, the associate tore into the agreed-upon solutions. Management was taking the wrong direction. The new program would fail without key changes. He could see the flaws in their plan, […]