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 […]
March 16, 2018
Leadership definition affects organizational culture
A great many people have attempted to come up with an effective leadership definition. Webster’s defines leadership as: “a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.; the time when a person holds the position of leader; the power or ability to lead other people.” However, this doesn’t tell you what a leader actually does or the key attributes of a leader. We prefer this definition of leadership: the skill of influencing individuals and teams to enthusiastically accomplish common […]
November 22, 2017
The Talent Drought
Written by: The Challenge In the past, as employers we could look for employees that had certain types of training.  When they came aboard, they could move quickly.  Today, most employees we hire do not have the training or experience.  If they have the experience, we have to unwind some of it since we may do it differently.  Some organizations get so desperate that they simply need bodies and hands to be able to even be able to handle work […]
October 17, 2017
What We Need To Succeed
Written by: During the course of my life, as we have studied successful people in all positions, industries and organization sizes, we have noticed certain commonalities of attitude and habit.  These commonalities not only improve current situations and circumstances, but also improve life over time.  These same approaches have value and power in our personal lives, not just in business. The sum total of them cause: Self awareness Maturity Great relationships Ever increasing results But how do you get there?   […]
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, […]
May 2, 2016
Effective Coaching in the Workplace
  As a leader of a group, a team or an organization you must remember to focus on the impact you have on the audience.  When you are coaching or evaluating your own interactions, do not focus on how you delivered the message (what you said or what you did), focus on the reaction you see.  That is the true test of a productive session. Regardless of the vehicle used to coach (a story, an assignment, a book to read), […]
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 […]
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, […]
March 1, 2016
Are You Leading with Integrity and Passion?
Think back on your work career; try to remember those leaders or mentors that really stand out. What made you think of them? Why did they stand out? If you are remembering more than one, were they both the same type of leader? There are different styles of leadership and each one of them may bring success, but great leaders, must also possess the ability to unify those around him or her and those that report to them. They also […]