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 […]
September 29, 2017
Are You Ready For The Homerun?
Each of us has an opportunity every day to live each moment to the fullest and make each and every interaction one that is memorable and impactful.  In order to do that you must make a concerted effort to make each interaction a homerun. Once you make up your mind that this is how you want to lead your team, drive your organization forward and live your life to the fullest, here are a few tips that can help. Review […]
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 […]
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 14, 2016
culture of sincere appreciation
Introverts in Your Logistics Team: How to Improve Teamship and Communication Skills
A local logistics company had hired a great team of very qualified drivers, engineers, and managers, but they had a problem, and that problem’s name was Dave. Dave was great at planning. He had the math skills of a rocket scientist. He could figure out routes, costs, weights and savings better than anyone else on staff. Dave spotted inefficiencies the way most people spot a twenty-dollar bill on the sidewalk. His face would light up as if he had found […]
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 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, […]
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 […]
February 22, 2016
How to Increase Employee Engagement in the Workplace
We recently encountered a client with a problem. They wanted to build their business with an engaged, cooperative workforce—a common goal of so many of our clients. However, their company was extremely compartmentalized, so employees from different divisions hardly ever spoke to each other. This led to a great deal of disconnect between various departments. For instance, the sales team and the warehouse team viewed each other as adversaries, rather than as allies. Obviously, this was a roadblock on the […]