Throughout history, giving birth was a risky business. However, in the early nineteenth century, deaths of mothers during childbirth suddenly and inexplicably skyrocketed. An epidemic known as childbed fever swept through the western world in the 1800s, and it was only getting worse. By the mid-1800s, about one out of every ten women who gave…

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Most companies have a business strategy, or a “strategic plan,” but far fewer have a people strategy.  That’s kind of ironic because how can an organization have any confidence in their strategic plan if they don’t know whether they will have enough of the right people to execute that plan? There are three primary goals…

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With all that’s been written about leadership, it’s surprising how much misinformation exists on the subject. Leadership is not the mysterious cosmic force that it’s been made out to be. It isn’t an art, and it has little to do with charisma. Before I share possibly the most succinct and complete definition of leadership I’m…

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Julie Payette is an engineer, a scientist, and a former astronaut who speaks six languages, is a critically acclaimed musician, has held executive positions at the Montreal Science Centre and the Canadian Olympic Committee, and has a school named after her.  By anyone’s standards, she is an extremely accomplished individual.  That must mean she’s a…

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When was the last time your boss asked you to give them some feedback on how they could improve?  If your boss is like most managers, you’re probably thinking “I can’t remember the last time they asked me for my perspective on their performance.”  This lack of feedback is a big reason why most people…

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Everybody loves a great story.  Our favorite stories often involve a protagonist who is dealt a bad hand but who manages to rise victoriously above their circumstances because of their remarkable character and unconquerable spirit.  These are stories of a hero’s journey, and are stories that many famous leaders have lived. In our everyday life,…

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Getting things done through others has long been thought to be the primary goal and challenge of leadership. However, the more we learn about people and performance, the more we understand that there is another factor leaders must be concerned with: employee engagement. Ensuring that employees enjoy their work and that they are developing and…

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It feels like the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our lives almost over night. The current global crisis seems to consume our every waking moment. It dominates the news and our conversations. Almost nothing else seems to matter right now. It has been said that people’s true colors shine through in a crisis. As I have…

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I once worked with a VP of Operations who found it nearly impossible to praise the people who reported to him for doing good work.  Don’t get me wrong, he was a super nice guy.  In fact, he possessed the rare combination of a good natured, humble personality and an almost genius level IQ.  But…

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