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
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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 30, 2016
Employee Accountability In The Workplace
The mind and heart can envision and feel great things, but so many times there is a disconnect in where we are today vs. where we desire to be. While there are many necessary pieces to bridging that gap, one of the key girders is accountability:  the willingness to do what one says. Part of this is holding others accountable. There must be both individual and team accountability for a business to work effectively. I am reminded of Peter Block’s […]
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, […]
July 22, 2016
Poor Communication Skills in the Workplace is Costly
Poor Communication costs you, both professionally and personally. One source estimates employee misunderstandings cost organizations $37 billion per year.  “Misunderstandings” are defined as: actions or errors of omission by employees who were misinformed (or misunderstood) company policies, business processes, job functions or a combination of all three.  Additionally, communication barriers resulting in productivity losses had a cumulative cost of $26,041 per year per worker.  Leaders must make a conscious decision to improve. Eighty five percent of our success in life […]
May 27, 2016
Executive Coaching and Leadership Team Development
  The truth is there is no BEST way.  Regardless of the type of training, there is no one way to do it and one size definitely does not fit all.  Each of us has an overwhelming need to be understood.  When it comes to teaching people and you desire learning and communication to occur,  we have found that working from the inside out and utilizing all styles of learning is the most rewarding and is critical to achieving 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, […]
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 […]
January 21, 2016
Are You Carrying a Lazy Man’s Load?
  In the day to day operation of a business, at times you may find that there are tasks that need to be done that aren’t complicated but they are necessary. You may be inclined to push through them quickly without much thought, planning or care. We encourage you to be sure that you aren’t carrying a lazy man’s load, meaning you pile these tasks on and hurriedly go about accomplishing them haphazardly in a rush to get them done. […]
December 29, 2015
Emerging Business Trends For 2016
At this time of year we look at the trends emerging for next year and for a few years to come. Here are a few of our observations: We have seen that teams, organizations and leaders have become much more flexible and fluid to stabilize their structure and organizations. Leaders are paying more attention to millennials.  A purpose must be created and a value system understood with a clear sign of progress seen to attract, motivate and retain this group […]