The Insularity of Anger

As I watch mesmerized at the fallout from the Brexit results I can’t help thinking about the power of anger and how it insulates people from its impact.  In today’s landscape, there seems to be no shortage of anger and its omnipresence is deadening forward movement by leaders and their constituents. The “Leave” voters in England are angry at a government who … Continued

Leading Collaboration: It’s About Connecting, Not Calm

You have decided that collaboration is an important company value and critical to its culture. However, what does that mean in practice to a leader? Consider the following scene: Leader: Okay, how are we doing on the Xerxes project? Engineer, how is the programming going? Engineer: It’s going, but it would go a whole lot better if Sales hadn’t come back in … Continued

The Uncomfortable Attributes of Leading

So often I hear from executive clients that they want their direct reports to step up in the way they can depend on. It’s amazing how many times senior leaders say their “directs just don’t get it”. What they need: Someone they can send to a critical meeting. Someone that thinks beyond current deliverables and is trying to find ways to improve … Continued

The Power of Empathy: What We Don’t Know Won’t Help Us

“I know I have to work for him,” complains a young executive. “He runs our company but he seems so judgmental. Whenever we talk he just looks at me levelly as if waiting for me just to go away. That’s a problem when I need him to approve the restructuring of our group.” “What do you think is going on for him?” … Continued

What Makes Strategic Initiatives Fail?

Your job as a leader is to make things better, think beyond the status quo, and move people towards that new reality.  That means you need your innovative strategic initiatives to succeed. Often critically needed initiatives fail for the same avoidable reasons. Here’s an example: Jim knows that his company needs to adopt a new customer centric program in order to be … Continued