Leadership

CULTIVATING TRUST

Trust is essential to leadership. People enter new relationships with a degree of trust.  Then trust either grows or recedes as the relationship develops.  If people don’t trust you, they might follow your instructions (kind of), but they won’t follow you. In Stephen M. R. Covey’s best-selling book, “The Speed of Trust: The One Thing…

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DEALING WITH INSANITY

I saw someone wearing a t-shirt the other day with the kind of snarky comment that I appreciate with my sense of humor. It read: “I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.” After a chuckle, I wanted to buy this t-shirt to give it to the owners and CEOs of companies…

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CAN YOU PICTURE YOUR BONSAI TREE?

The original Karate Kid movie was released in 1984, a coming of age story of Daniel, a young man, whose mentor and best friend is an elderly Japanese maintenance man, Mr. Miyagi.  The movie is an excellent blend of teen angst, Asian wisdom, and martial arts. One of my favorite scenes is when Mr. Miyagi…

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THE ELEPHANT AND THE DEER (an Elephant Tales story)

elephant tales

As the Elephant’s company continued to grow, he noticed his team of ants struggle to keep up with the volume of work.  The ants worked hard, and he hired new ones as fast as possible, but the higher volumes and faster turnarounds seemed beyond the ants’ skill and experience. The Elephant decided to hire a…

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THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT FOR KIND LEADERSHIP

In my last email, I explained how being “nice” is self-focused and short-term.  Mastering kindness develops many skills that are an essential part of leadership like choosing long-term results over short-term.  Giving honest feedback versus spin.  Communicating, not just talking numbers. If you didn’t receive my comments about nice vs. kind leadership, you can read…

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IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE “NICE” OR “KIND”?

The commercial message for the KIND® protein bar was a smart play on words, “Nice tells you what you want to hear, but kind is honest.” It brought me back to a time long ago that taught me to be kind, instead of nice. I was at a software company, and we were having difficulties finding new…

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A Real Life Leadership Story

A Real Life Leadership Story A college senior I know was the Director of a team of engineering students competing in SAE Aero Design, an international competition to design, build and fly an original aircraft.  I was asked to coach him in leadership and team building. The time came for the competition.  There were dozens…

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HOW DID YOU DO THIS YEAR?

It’s that time of year when we get a clear view of how the year will turn out.  There is still much business to do, but the planning is complete, and the decisions made.  You can begin assessing how your organization performed. One more question, how did YOU do this year?  As the organization’s leader,…

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YOU ARE WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS SAY YOU ARE

Years ago I joined a company just as they were preparing to launch a new (and expensive) marketing campaign. A focus group comprised of a dozen customers was invited to preview the campaign. As the new executive, I was asked to attend. The central message of the campaign was “innovation.” Its focus centered upon all…

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WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING?

I had lunch with a friend the other day, a local business owner.  She was frustrated with her employees, who never seemed to know what she really wanted.  They required constant direction and even micro-managing. I asked, “What is the first thing you look for when hiring?” She was a bit surprised by the question,…

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