Birds of a feather – why we need to belong

It commonly happens. Single adults hang out with other single adults. After marriage, couples transition away from their single friends and begin to hang out with other couples. The same occurs after children arrive. Why? Because we are socially programmed to associate with people who are like ourselves. We find both encouragement and support in … Read more…

5 things you should do to prepare yourself to lead a strategic planning session

Every company and organization has them…or at least they should if they want to remain relevant and viable. Some conduct strategic planning sessions quarterly, others but once a year or so. There really is no “right” number. We hold them at least once a year, and for most companies that’s probably sufficient. You will need … Read more…

Why leadership training programs fall short

The American Society for Training and Development reports that U.S. businesses spend a whopping $170 billion on leadership training programs.  They largely fail or at the very least fall way short of the expectations set for them. Why? Because you do not train leaders; you develop them. Training does have its place. We can train … Read more…

Stuck in 1st gear – is the impediment to progress you?

It happens easily enough and usually innocently enough. You start a business or organization then endure what is often a long and expensive learning curve. Along the way you learn…you learn a lot. You discover the competencies and incompetencies of those working with you. You learn how to manage cash flow challenges. You learn the … Read more…

Three things you can measure right now that will help determine where you fit as a leader or manager

At what level do you most often think? At what level are you most often called upon to think? You have to think about a lot of things. You daily task list may be long and detailed or limited and general. But you have a lot to think about. Paul Hersey and Kenneth H. Blanchard … Read more…

3 types of confidence leaders must measure

On the Velocity Channel I watched a reality show about a classic car restoration shop in Canada. In the episode I saw, the owners of the shop had hired an apprentice mechanic. After a few months on the job they considered him worthy of increased responsibilities, so they gave him a project to manage. As … Read more…

Leadership Challenge #1 – The Customer Service Fail

You are the owner/manager of a retail department store. Your store is busy so high sales volume also means a lot of returns. One of the new employees is tasked with handling the checkout register and for restocking items as they are returned when checkout traffic permits. The employee has gone through the company’s orientation … Read more…

4 Lessons from a meddling boss

The hour was late, quite late in fact, somewhere around 8 p.m. The office had technically been closed since 5 but I was still there working with two volunteers. I was tasked with the job of preparing registration packets for the 1300 or so incoming guests at a conference. The sponsoring organization had contracted with … Read more…

Power Plays – the 6 principles of delegating responsibility

A man got on a crowded bus carrying a heavy briefcase. There were no seats, and he had to stand near the driver, holding on to a pole next to the driver’s seat. He held the pole with one hand and the briefcase with the other. After a while, the bus driver looked at him … Read more…

Power Plays – How power flows

The mantra goes like this. We have a staff of employees, associates, and subordinates for three purposes: To extend our reach – to make it possible for us as leaders and managers to get influence more people and thus get more done. To multiply our effectiveness – the principle of reproduction works here. We impart … Read more…

Keeper Trait #15 – Initiative

Many potential employers put it directly in their ads – “must be a self-starter.” It is, apparently, an all too unusual trait. Perhaps more than any other trait, it separates the successful from the failure, the winner from the loser, the prosperous from the poor. A person with initiative does not wait to be told … Read more…

Keepers – those not-so exceptional people who make their life and your job so much more successful

She was a hidden gem. A degree in Business Admin, she had taken a job as a server just to get a job. In the economy of her city, jobs were not that easy to find and even though she was way over-qualified, she took the job. For several months she worked, showed up on … Read more…