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Leading The Way In Times of Stress

I was talking to a coaching client — an internationally renowned healthcare leader — on the phone a few days ago. As you’d expect, we ended up talking about coronavirus. Something he said really struck me, “With all the work we have to do, and the crises in our halls and in our hospitals,” he […]

The Blame Game: Everyone Loses

My client looked upset. Although widely-acknowledged to be a successful leader, he’d been berated, once again, by his direct manager. She rarely provided positive feedback. Her “style” was to beat down her direct reports, focusing on areas where they fell short. Her habit of disregarding areas of accomplishment and success left my client feeling uncertain […]

Your Resting “B” Face (It’s Not What You Think)

I was 21 years old, new in my job, and invited to my first executive meeting. Excited and flattered, I ruminated over what I would wear, where I would sit, who I could interact with. I planned for every detail within my control. When the day finally came, the meeting was fascinating — exceeding my […]

Three Common Mistakes of Accountability

One of the ongoing challenges of high-performance organizations and leaders is the challenge of employee accountability. While agreeing in principle that holding employees accountable for their behavior yields positive outcomes and builds morale, indeed, companies and individuals routinely fall short, usually in one of three ways.   Mistake #1: Not effectively addressing under-performance.   For […]

Why “Feedback” Doesn’t Get Results

There are occasions when individuals fall short of expectations. Maybe it’s a direct report who does not execute clearly established objectives. Maybe it’s a co-worker who disregards deadlines. Maybe it’s a teammate who pursues his or her own goals, rather than agreed-upon team goals. How do you respond to these situations? And more important, as […]

Diplomacy In The Office and At The Dinner Table

Successfully navigating tricky political issues in an organization requires the same skill needed to successfully navigate this season’s onslaught of holiday dinners and family gatherings – diplomacy. I recently coached an executive facing difficult organizational issues. Drawing on considerable interpersonal skills, he had to maintain excellent relationships with diverse constituents, while delivering absolute and defined […]

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, […]

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