When we think about motivation we tend to imagine people bounding around, smiling and excited to make things happen. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not much of a recipe for long-term productivity in a work place. While I’m all for a healthy dose of inspiration, there are three things which are completely underestimated in their ability to motivate employees, and all available without delivering a stirring speech…. Read More»
I suppose we can claim no harm/no foul on commitments to projects of our own choosing that we later go rogue on. Who really needs another cross stitch and if all tables were beautifully finished why would we need table cloths? The same can’t be said of commitments that we make to others, whether personally or professionally. Commitments we make to people are important – not only for they mean to them, but also for what they make of us. … Read More»
Be it General Motors, the Veterans Administration, or the U.S. Congress, the answer to the problems these organizations face is always the same: change the organization’s culture.
Culture change appears to be a daunting task. A task so big, so formidable, we don’t even know where to start. So we give up. We go along all the while blaming the culture for the way things are. This is convenient, but hardly useful…. Read More»
“Yes, and” is a powerful tool for collaboration, negotiation and effective communication. The concept of “Yes, and” comes from the improvisational stage, and over the last 15 years, I’ve seen it transform leaders and teams across industries. Unfortunately, a lot people think that “Yes, but” is the same thing, when actually it is an ugly, nasty, evil twin to “Yes, and.”… Read More»
In today’s marketplace, business leaders can’t succeed without the ability to communicate effectively with others, manage their emotions and collaborate on finding solutions to pressing challenges. Perhaps most importantly, they have to be able to connect with employees on a human level, a trait that requires both understanding and empathy…. Read More»
Want to be trusted? Don’t seek it out. Trust is something you earn, not something you ask for or demand. It doesn’t work that way. Think of trust as a result, not an action itself.
It’s important (and far more fruitful) for a leader to strive to be trustworthy instead of trusted. But trustworthy isn’t an action either. You can’t declare yourself trustworthy, much as crooks and con men, used car dealers and self-described “trusted advisors” throughout time have tried. Being trustworthy is also a result, not an action itself…. Read More»
Part of the equation to do work that matters is to know when to engage in strategic conversations. Strategic conversations are purposefully designed conversations intended to produce high-stakes outcomes that deliver results at a critical time for the business. Think of them as the antithesis of meetings-as-usual…. Read More»
All major decisions come with consequently major consequences that must be identified and reconciled. As a leader, you have the responsibility for managing risk and determining which consequences are worth overcoming in order to reap the rewards of your decisions. Risk management, therefore, becomes a cornerstone of great leadership, in business as in war and politics…. Read More»
The Veterans Administration and General Motors currently sit center-stage for behavior that has ruptured the trust of customers and employees. But trust breaking goes on all the time—and not just with large hide-bound bureaucracies…. Read More»
As someone knowledgeable and often looked at as a leader in the community building field, many would think I wouldn’t have much to learn. But one lesson I’ve learned is that in this rapidly evolving field, or any field, not one person knows everything and we all can become better leaders when we open ourselves up to learning and understanding…. Read More»