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 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
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 […]
August 28, 2017
Passing The Torch
Succession planning can be an intimidating subject for most everyone, but the fact is that it shouldn’t be.  It’s not something that has to be overly complicated nor should it be viewed in a negative light.  If handled properly it can be an amazing experience with new opportunities and optimism in its wake.  As a follow-up to the previous article, “Changing of the Guard”, we would like to leave you with a letter passed on by one of our clients. […]
August 15, 2017
Taking Action, Killing “Joe” and Meetings vs Movies
Written by:  Don Hadley The Primary Problem In organizations, there can be too much talking and not enough doing.  Vision without action (or talking without action) is simply wishful thinking or hallucination. When this sort of behavior is occurring, some leaders tell me “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink”.  This statement implies that we cannot get employees to take action. That is a cop-out!  The reality for great leaders is that we realize […]
October 27, 2016
Secrets to Engaging Your Team and Producing Success
Most of us realize that in order for our organization to realize the potential success we know is possible, a strategic plan must be in place.  Common knowledge, right?  According to a recent study of 26,000 start-up companies, 67% had no written plan.  The same study found that businesses that have and use a strategic plan are 12% more profitable than those who have no plan.  Ensuring the commitment of your team to the company’s vision and goals is a […]
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 […]
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 11, 2016
culture of safety in manufacturing
Workplace Safety Topics for Skeptical Managers
When my brother-in-law started applying for jobs in our home town, everyone had advice and recommendations. “I know someone at the car factory!” “Don’t forget the cabinet company!” “The rolled aluminum plant is always hiring.” There was one piece of advice that he heard over and over. “Don’t work at the foundry. We’ve heard it’s risky over there and we don’t want you getting hurt.” The foundry paid well and had great benefits, but its safety record was lacking. Managers […]
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 […]