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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“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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Although the origin of the phrase “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is up for debate (we aren’t 100% sure who said it first), the validity of the phrase is not debatable. There is no question and ample evidence that culture, like the mass of an iceberg lurking below the surface of the ocean, can sink the…

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In my previous article on How To Cure A Passive-Aggressive Culture, I made the case that the essence of leadership is to “go before” and guide others to a destination.  The way leaders guide others is by constantly pointing to the destination and providing frequent feedback about how well individual efforts are moving the team…

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Do you know someone who has had many experiences that should have taught them something (humility, money management, stop dating losers, etc.) but they haven’t learned it?  Easy, right?  We can all point to people who haven’t learned from their experiences.  Now what if I asked you, “What changes have you made in the last…

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