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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Human beings are social animals.  Aristotle observed this fact over two thousand years ago, and it’s never been more evident in today’s connected world.  The central lesson of our species’ rise to the top of the food chain, our ultimate advantage, is our ability to work together. And that’s why we build relationships.  We’ve learned…

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“Apples simply don’t grow for me.” I thought to myself as I looked at the spindly bare twigs poking out of the thin trunk.  I had planted an apple tree in my back yard two years previously and was getting frustrated with its lack of production.  Having bought an apple tree, I dug a hole,…

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Lack of accountability is everywhere.  It’s a contagious virus that infects minds and paralyzes progress.  Any time you experience poor results, look closely at the sequence of events leading up to the poor results and you will almost always find that many of the people involved (including yourself) failed to take sufficient ownership of the…

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When you look at failed relationships—be they business, personal or otherwise—you will almost always find they have at least one thing in common: unmet needs and expectations. Intuitively, we all know this.  But when was the last time you asked any of your important relationships to come to a shared understanding of what you need and…

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Imagine if you could look into a crystal ball to know for certain who has what it takes to be a great leader.  Think of how many hiring and promotion mistakes could be avoided? Consider the impact on your workforce if you only hired and promoted people to management and senior management positions who were top…

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The annual performance review is widely believed to be the least popular practice in business.  An artifact from post WWII corporate America, performance reviews have been described as a “rite of corporate kabuki.”  Stanford University professor and leadership author Bob Sutton says that doing performance evaluations well is like “doing blood-letting well — it is…

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This article was originally published on CPHR Alberta In talking with business leaders about implementing a world class people development process in their companies, one often hears: “We just don’t have the budget for that sort of program.”  Or, “We’re a very low-tech company.  We’re not sophisticated enough to have world class anything.” Many business…

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