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Competition: Healthy or Destructive?

The president of a high-growth and successful service company recently confided that two of his top executives were not getting along. “They speak badly of each other to me, behind each other’s backs,” he said.  “They can pretend to get along in meetings, but when they’re with me one-on-one, they throw digs at each other. They […]

How Culture Affects Leadership. And Visa Versa

I think we all would agree that corporate culture – a system of shared beliefs and values that influence “the way we do things around here” – influences every workplace. A positive and desirable corporate culture is highly beneficial – not just to morale and productivity, but also to recruiting, achieving long-term goals, and successfully […]

Lessons in Leadership – In 15 Minutes or Less

A client company recently conducted a comprehensive executive leadership program, consisting of a full year of seminars, pod work, capstone projects, and one-on-one coaching. To celebrate the program completion, the client asked me to address the participants. I was honored, but there was an unexpected hitch – I was scheduled to speak for 15 minutes. […]

Resolve Now to Check Your Corporate Vision

Consider a world without vision (or sight). How would you feel? Fearful? Confused? Reticent? Confined? Of course you would – and the same is true for a business without vision. In an organization without a clearly expressed and clearly understood vision, it is only natural that team members fall short of expectations. They are operating, […]

5 Essentials of Great Organizational Culture

I’ve been mentoring millennials recently as they graduate from college and look for jobs. I’m proud of them — they are receiving generous offers from their prospective employers. But these intelligent upcoming professionals are looking for more than competitive salaries. They are also intently studying potential employers’ cultures before considering any offers. At the same […]

Want To Be A Successful Leader? Be a Builder.

You have power. A lot. No matter who or where you are in your organization, you have the power to make or break someone — with your words, insinuations, and behavior. I recently completed a 360-degree interview process on a coaching client who is already a great leader of people. As I sought feedback on […]

Trained to Trust

Two different organizations recently asked if I could “train” their respective leaders to trust each other within their organizations – and I certainly understood why it was so important to them. “Trust” is essential to “teamwork.” However, “training” one person to trust another isn’t so straightforward. “Trust” cannot be assigned, required, or taught. Trust must […]

Know Yourself!

Self-awareness is the first step in identifying ways your behavior might impact your organization. Introspection and openness to change go hand-in-hand with self-awareness. Often, feedback is needed to enhance your ability to be more aware of negative behavior, and the process always begins with you. In essence: You might think that self-awareness simply means that […]

Follow the Leader

A behavior-based approach to leadership does not focus on education, personal drive, or intelligence. Instead, the focus is on how you act. What you say and how you say it influences the nature of your corporate culture. A positive corporate culture leads to interdepartmental cooperation, reduces duplicated efforts that lead to wasted resources, boosts productivity, […]

Management Dilemma: Millenials

At first, I noticed it only occasionally, but now, it’s a clearly defined trend. As I wrap up a meeting or presentation, a common question is: Can you help us manage Millennials? “Millennials,” of course, are that demographic group who reached adulthood at the beginning of this century. They are — by and large — […]

Passionate Communication

Passionate Communication Let’s talk, for a minute, about passion. No, not the kind of passion you find on soap operas and in novels. I want to talk about passionate communication – enthusiastic or energetic workplace communication that produces enthusiasm or energy in others. Great leaders communicate in this manner — without going over the top. Can you?  Connect Communication […]

It’s Not What You Say; It’s What You Communicate

A huge amount of my time as an executive and leadership coach is spent interpreting. I am fluent in other languages and, as such, am accustomed to translating for other people. But the interpreting I’m talking about now is for boards of directors, leaders, and their employees, who all speak a common language but may […]

Leading: The Way

 Dear Friends: Earlier this year, I alerted you to the publication of my book, Leading: The Way — Behaviors That Drive Success. I am so appreciative of the broad support I have received for this significant endeavor. Sales have been terrific — largely due to word-of-mouth from wonderful contacts, colleagues, and clients like you, who […]

The Second Leg of Personal Stewardship: Mental

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”  – John Fitzgerald Kennedy There exists a well-known phenomenon among American executives: As they ascend the ladder, assuming more and more management responsibilities, they perform less of the “tactical” work upon which their careers were based. And as essential as “management” is, it is no replacement for […]

Doing the “Write” Thing: Humility In Action

Given the Carolina Panthers’ extraordinary season and success-to-date, now seems like a great time to share this excerpt from the “Humility” chapter of my upcoming book, Leading: The Way – Behaviors That Drive Your Success. Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the […]

The First Leg of Personal Stewardship: Physical

To keep the body in good health is a duty … otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha When, in the midst of executive coaching, I eventually address the behavior of “physical stewardship,” most leaders light up. At last! Of all the behaviors of successful leaders, this […]

What I’ve Learned From You

After back-to-back meetings with no breaks one day last week, I finally arrived home and opened a client email. It was a thank-you note — completely unexpected. I can’t tell you what a difference it made, reenergizing me and reminding me of the many lessons I’ve learned from the wonderful people I work with, including: […]

Can You Read Minds?

“There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”– Dale Carnegie What if you could read other people’s minds? Think, for a moment, how many people you could influence. Consider how effective you could be. Consider what you could achieve.I’m not […]

Change is in the Air

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker Change, as they say, is inevitable. What is not inevitable, however, is a smooth transition to, and acceptance of, change. The good news is that you actually have control over how you affect […]

Resolve Now to Check your Corporate Vision for 2014

Consider a world without vision (or sight). How would you feel? Fearful? Confused? Reticent? Confined? Of course you would – and the same is true for a business without vision. In an organization without a clearly expressed and clearly understood vision, it is only natural that team members fall short of expectations. They are operating, […]

Putting a Face on Communications

A client recently had a heated discussion with me. His vehemence, however, was not directed at me. Instead, he was frustrated/exasperated with his college-aged son, who is competing for a highly coveted summer position. The son, however, doesn’t appreciate the role of personal communications with a potential employer. “Why do I have to meet with […]

Doing the “Right” Thing: Integrity

Today’s topic is one that could have been ripped from recent headlines: Integrity. Once again in the news, we see good people – good leaders –struggle with abiding by a moral or ethical code.At Ashlin Associates, however, we know that integrity is an essential attribute and sound business practice. A leader with high integrity inspires […]

To have control, be in control

“Would you follow this person over a hill?” Seems like a fairly mundane question, but when I talk to people about the extent to which they would follow their leader – even when unfamiliar with the path or journey themselves – the responses are telling. How would your own team respond? Remember, without “followership,” your […]

In Our Humble Opinion: Three Little Words that Inspire “Followship”

A common television sitcom plotline involves the lead character’s inability or unwillingness to say “I love you.” Inevitably, the character will stutter or feign laryngitis or resort to comic diversionary tactics – anything to avoid uttering those three little words. THREE WORDS Sadly, there’s a real-life parallel in the business world, where a lead executive, […]

The Most Fundamental Attribute of Excellent Global Leaders

I bet every one of you looked at yourself in the mirror this morning to get a picture of how others see you. Why? Because you know how you look affects how people perceive you, and most of us care what others think. SELF-AWARENESS What you see in the mirror, however, can be distorted by […]