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 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 […]
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 […]
February 26, 2016
hiring for team fit
Choosing Project Team Members: The Five Employees You Need on Every Team
Kaitlyn’s company had a big contract coming up and she wanted to put the perfect team together to finish the job. As a very involved CEO, her first step seemed obvious. She went straight to the resumes. She knew she needed a coder, a designer, a technical writer, a customer support person, and a manager. She’d just choose the best person for each job, and then she’d have her dream team, right? Wrong. As she compiled her list, Robert, her […]