The Myth of Innate Leadership

The Myth of Innate LeadershipWhen you hear something repeatedly put forward as fact, it begins to take on a sacred truth that is hard to disprove:  “The world is flat.”  “Elephants have uniquely excellent memory.”  “Women are more emotional than men.”  And another:  “Leaders are born, not made.” Continue reading

The Myth of the Super Leader

The Myth of the Super LeaderThe cover of a recent publication shouts, “Wanted: Super Leaders”.  Obviously, they’re wanted because they’ve not yet been found.  Expectations continue to build for finding people who combine a set of traits that are a cross between the Dalai Lama’s serenity, Steve Jobs’ drive, Einstein’s intellect, and God’s omniscience.  Are you ready to take on the challenge? Continue reading

Making the Most of Conflict

Making the Most of ConflictYuck.  It’s the ‘C’ word again.  No one likes to deal with it.  We avoid conflict and are asked to step up to it instead.  But still we avoid it.  We squirm even when we think about it.  Conflict is uncomfortable and uncertain and unwelcome – or is it necessarily so? Continue reading

Bridging the Generation Disconnect

Bridging the Generation DisconnectA group of 50+ business people talked over dinner one evening about the promising young leaders coming into their firms.  While complimenting the smarts of these young leaders, they also expressed some dismay:

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Decision-Making Fast and Slow

Decision-Making Fast and SlowDecisions can be relatively inconsequential, but when they are tough ones, one of the complexities leaders face is how quickly they need to make the decision.  As illustrated in last week’s blog post about James Comey’s many decision points, sometimes you have more time to develop good assessments, and other times you don’t.
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Making Solomon’s Choices

Making Solomons ChoicesThe recent firing of James Comey, the FBI Director, highlights a dilemma that many leaders face: how to approach difficult – even no-win – choices when tackling tough challenges.

Comey gives us an audacious role model to examine around his choices to act.  He did things that are either bold or insolent, depending on the eye of the beholder.  And while the political environment exaggerates the effect of his actions, they are situations leaders face frequently.  Let’s look at some of the parallels. Continue reading

How to Acquire Resilience

How to Acquire ResiliencePeople really admire Jim.  His integrity is impeccable.  His spirit is boundless.  His intellect is keen.  But the one thing people comment on over and over again is Jim’s resilience.  After losing his wife, the treasure he spoke about endlessly.  After staring down cancer.  After almost-crippling other health problems.  After the business he started faced near-bankruptcy.  Jim just never seemed to bow under the pressure of life events, springing back stronger after each one. Continue reading

How to Undertake a Makeover

How-to-Undertake-a-MakeoverBrian was dismayed at the results of a 360-degree assessment he’d received through his company.  Although he was greatly appreciated for his strong problem-solving and decision-making skills, the feedback showed his style was getting in the way.  His staff saw him as not inclusive in making decisions that affected them, his colleagues pointed out a tendency to push too hard for decisions and to not wait for crucial data.  But most dismaying for Brian was that his boss, who had always been his champion, was also raising concerns about how he got his good results as well as the results themselves. Continue reading

The Five-Minute Emotional Intelligence Assessment

The Five-Minute Emotional Intelligence AssessmentDo people like you, respect you, and want to work with you?  Are you caring and supportive?  OK, check that box – you’re emotionally intelligent.  Not so fast, says emotional intelligence guru Daniel Goleman in a recent Harvard Business Review article. Continue reading

The Five-Minute Self-Assessment

The Five-Minute Self-AssessmentDon’t you love those 360-degree assessments you get on occasion?  It’s pretty painful, many times, to face the mirror and know that others see the warts we didn’t even notice.  But the truth is, we’re not always good at recognizing the warts.  Those warts are called ‘blind spots’ for a reason.  And like the blind spot in your car, they contribute to dangerous situations.  So it’s good to know what career accidents we might avoid by actually inviting an assessment of those blind spots. Continue reading