Systematically Killing Progress

Systematically Killing ProgressMcKinsey published an article in January 2012 (How leaders kill meaning at work, by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer) that notes: “A multiyear research project whose results we described in our recent book, The Progress Principle, found that of all the events that can deeply engage people in their jobs, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.”  This finding is not dissimilar to what author Daniel Pink found in his research: “there are three factors that the science shows lead to better performance, not to mention personal satisfaction: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” Continue reading

Becoming a Revolutionary in Pearls

Becoming a Revolutionary in PearlsLeaders today are facing a big problem, and many of them don’t see it clearly.  As the world rapidly becomes more and more complex, with economic, cultural, and political shifts of tectonic proportions, leaders can’t just go about their business of being the leaders of the last century.  The world is rife with disruptions, and it calls for leaders who can themselves be disruptive.  We’re seeing that happening on the global political scene.  But interestingly, the disruptors haven’t burst forth from the business ranks yet.

If you think the institutions of government are staid and resistant to change, take a hard look at your own organizations.  Continue reading

Offering the Gift of Hope

Offering the Gift of Hope“A leader is a dealer in hope.”  So said Napoleon Bonaparte.  Coming from the mouth of a conqueror of nations, Napoleon’s quote can sound Machiavellian.  But leaders who know how to generate hope create powerful motivation.  They tap a human longing to believe in – and advance – something more beautiful than what they see in their current circumstances. Continue reading

Questioning That Counts

Questioning That CountsThere are questions, and then there are questions.  Which leader, below, would you rather work for or with?  Both leaders have the same objective: assuring that decisions are well-explored before they are made.

Nick is known for his penetrating questions of both his staff and his colleagues, digging deep into details to root out problems.  He challenges assumptions with questions like, “How do you know that data is accurate?  Whose data is it; is that a reliable source?  How did you get to that conclusion?  What alternatives have you considered?” Continue reading