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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“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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