Leadership Blindspots

5 Essential Practices of Great Second-in-Commands

I served as the third-in-command in a large branch of a fairly dynamic service organization.  When I recently told my leader that I was transferring to serve as the second-in-command at a different branch of the same service organisation, he told me “Go show them what it means to be a first follower.”  I was…

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Are You a Decision-Making Bottleneck?

When I was the director of human resources for a mid-sized construction company I reported to the Executive Vice President.  He was the type of manager who insisted on making nearly every single decision in the company.  He didn’t come right out and say “I need to have the final say on everything.”  What he’d…

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Stop Scrambling And Get More Strategic

I do it all the time. I’ve got too many things to do in too little time, so I’m running around doing the things that seem most urgent at the time. Invariably, I forget something or make a mistake that I wouldn’t normally make. It’s only when I stop to remember a lesson I learned…

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Making Effective Resolutions: The Essential 1st Step

Have you ever known someone who is blissfully unaware of the things they do that grate on everyone else’s nerves? If this person is a co-worker, that may be annoying. But if this person is your boss, their unconscious quirks can easily become the bane of your work life. What’s worse is that their lack…

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How to Overthrow the Dictator in the Corner Office

Dictators don’t just live in North Korea and Russia. They are alive and well in the corner offices of many companies great and small. Sure, they may not threaten to blow up movie theaters or invade neighboring countries, but corporate dictators do rule their domain through the strategic use of fear and punishment. Here is…

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5 Ways Leaders Can Generate More Innovation

In the book the 8th Habit, business author Stephen Covey recounted a story told to him by Bill Marriott, founder of the Marriott hotel chain. Bill told Stephen that his son John was working in a hotel that Marriott had just acquired. John went into the hotel kitchen and asked one of the kitchen staff…

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The Most Common Leadership Pitfall

Having the freedom to make our own decisions is one of our most fundamental human needs. It’s like oxygen for the soul. The desire to exercise our agency becomes acutely evident in toddlers as soon as they learn to say the word “no”. It is such a fundamental human need that restricting a person’s ability…

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New Year’s Resolutions for Managers

New Year’s resolutions are usually things you want to start doing to improve yourself, such as working out more, eating more healthy foods, or reading more good books. But when it comes to being a better leader, it’s actually those behaviours that you stop doing that will bring about far more prosperity in the New…

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I Really Am More Important Than You

I used to think that arrogant people were attracted to positions of power because it gave them license to act out their true narcissistic nature. As it turns out, holding a position of power brings out the arrogance in all of us. Dr. Dacher Keltner, a leading researcher on the effects of power, asserts that…

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The Self-Enhancement Bias

Have you ever heard someone in a leadership position flat-out admit that they thought they were not a good leader? I haven’t. That’s because only 2% would actually admit it. A poll that surveyed a million people revealed that 70% of them thought that they were above average in leadership ability. What’s even more telling…

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