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 […]
April 8, 2016
preserving company culture
Preserving Your Organizational Culture During Company Growth
I’d been a dedicated customer of a local food company from the day they opened. Lily had started out as a small-scale gardener and baker, selling her vegetables and sweetbreads at area farmers’ markets. That’s where I discovered her, and I made her table a regular stop on my Saturday morning rounds. As demand grew, she hired a few friends to help her expand her garden and bakery. After a few years, she had requests from local restaurants, a regular […]
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 30, 2016
hiring for team fit
Spotting and Hiring an Employee for Team Fit Is About Looking Beyond Personality
My friend Liz was worried about the future of her workplace. She was on the Quality Management Team at Gaskets, Inc. (not its real name), and the CEO wanted to expand the team. “We get along really well right now,” she explained. “We laugh a lot, we go out after work, and we don’t bother each other. We focus on our own projects and still get to socialize. It’s great!” “So why are you worried?” I asked. “It sounds like […]
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 […]