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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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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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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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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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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Few leaders have earned a reputation for being an exceptional talent developer… but they’re out there.  You may have heard of some of them.  In professional football, 20 of the NFL’s 32 head coaches trained under Bill Walsh or under someone in his coaching tree. In hedge funds, Julian Robertson, the founder of the investment firm…

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Right now, there is probably something you want to tell one of your colleagues… but you’re holding back.  It’s something that’s hurting their career, and they seem to be totally oblivious to it.  You’ve wanted to tell them about it for a while, but you haven’t because you are afraid that they will be offended…

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What do you think is the most important thing you can do to become a more effective, successful leader?  I often ask this question to leaders at all levels who attend my leadership training workshops.  I usually hear answers like, “improve my strategic thinking”, “become more persuasive”, and “be more motivational.”  These are all reasonable…

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This time of year, many organizations are gearing up for the annual performance appraisal – a practice best described as managerial bloodletting. It’s a tradition that, like bloodletting, has been used for too long, and has provided overwhelming evidence that it does more harm than good. And yet, there are still organizations that continue to…

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