Are SMART goals keeping your organization thinking small?

Posted by on Sep 24, 2014 in News & Resources | 0 comments

Once upon a time in a management world far away, the acronym SMART for setting goals entered the business lexicon. It first appeared in a 1981 issue of Management Review in an article entitled There’s a S.M.A.R.T Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham. A big thanks to those guys for getting us more disciplined about the goal setting process. SMART goals work and they’re good enough to support biz objectives. But, given how little time leaders have to make an impact...

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Executive Freak Outs ~ not funny

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in News & Resources | 3 comments

  Last month’s Super Bowl gave the rare glimpse of opposing coaches who also happen to be brothers, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens and sibling Jim of the San Francisco 49ers. A disgruntled New England Patriots fan, I amused myself during the game (which I secretly hoped both teams would lose) by observing their wildly contrasting leadership styles. John seems the low key, thoughtful type, while Jim is… well, uhm, not.   As he has demonstrated in the past and again at the Super Bowl (sidebar left), Jim Harbaugh is an...

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Memories of a Mentor ~ Semper Fi

Posted by on Dec 29, 2012 in News & Resources | 0 comments

On Thanksgiving Day my first mentor, longtime colleague, and friend passed away. So ironic that he would die on Thanksgiving because in this month of gratitude, I owe no greater thanks for where my career took me and how I came to understand the value of leadership than to him.

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The King’s Speech ~ Now, that’s coaching!

Posted by on Dec 27, 2012 in News & Resources | 0 comments

A powerful story of a leader with a big challenge and his speech therapist, The King's Speech abounds with parallels between that relationship and how leadership coaching happens in business today.

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Perfection, insanity & Jack.

Posted by on Jun 20, 2012 in News & Resources | 0 comments

The “perfect” combo. You want the truth? The truth is this: people who pride themselves on perfectionism fear that they are just the opposite ~ flawed, inadequate and not good enough. The perceived risk that, at any moment, our incompetency will be revealed to the world in humiliating fashion keeps us stuck in an obsessive loop of details, preventing us from seeing the bigger picture. When we find ourselves leaving the land of the merely conscientious and venturing out to Planet Perfecto, these strategies help return my clients...

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Strategic Planning: Why Bother?

Posted by on Jun 7, 2012 in News & Resources | 0 comments

Here are the benefits of regular strategic planning: #1 Promotes Strategic Thought and Action (Proactive, Not Reactive) More systematic information gathering about internal/external environments Increases attention to organizational learning Clarifies future direction Establishes priorities for action decisions #2 Improves Decision-Making Focuses attention on what’s important Helps make today’s decisions with tomorrow in mind Coordinates decisions across levels and functions # 3 Enhances Flexibility and Adaptability  To respond...

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Why (and when) do I need a facilitator?

Posted by on Jun 7, 2012 in News & Resources | 0 comments

I know how to lead meetings. I can facilitate myself. The role of facilitator is not the same as the role of the meeting leader. And, it is not possible to simultaneously lead a meeting and facilitate it. The main reasons to bring in a facilitator are: A facilitator brings objectivity and a fresh pair of eyes and ears The facilitator has no horse in the race or attachment to outcomes A facilitator has a very specific set of process design and group dynamics skills And the skills to build consensus and help a group resolve conflict Having a...

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Death, taxes and public speaking

Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in News & Resources | 0 comments

Fear is a mild word to describe how I used to feel about public speaking. While I don’t believe I actually would have chosen death over talking to a crowd, there was a time when I may have preferred a tax audit. So, I understand the fear. It’s palpable and it can be paralyzing. You’ll notice I did not title this “10 Tips to Better Power Points” or “The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Speakers.” You can find those yourself with any Google search. When I think of unforgettable speakers, I think about...

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Billy Beane and Changing Your Leadership Game

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 in News & Resources | 0 comments

Moneyball, based on the book by Michael Lewis, is about the true story of Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) and how he turned his team around with the help of Ivy league graduate computer whiz Peter Brand (Jonah Hill). The film is sharp, shrewd, fascinating and moving. For all its concentration on numbers and statistics, it never loses sight of the importance of teamwork and the romance of our national pastime. Beane demonstrated gutsy and unconventional steps in rebuilding his team. These excerpts from the screenplay...

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Transition: that forgotten phase of change

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in News & Resources | 0 comments

Change and transition are often thought of as the same and they definitely are not. Change is what you are trying to achieve ~ a merger, reorganization, lean enterprise system, or process improvement. Transition is the “stuff” people go through internally to adapt to the new situation the change will bring. Transition is that grey area in between the black and white of what is ending and what is beginning. It’s unpredictable and uncomfortable. As a result, we are a transition resistant culture. A family member dies and we...

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