Are ‘Bright Shiny Objects’ Worth Your Time (And Money)?

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

Beware of bright shiny objects!

That could be a lesson contained in J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy when we see characters who find themselves in difficulty because they have strayed from their moral center. Today the term “bright shiny objects” is used in reference to organizations that cannot formulate a strategy, or if they do develop one, they fail to adhere to it. As a result such companies end up chasing after things that on the surface look appealing but upon investigation prove to be untenable.

 

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Before you start making changes…

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

Change is part of organizational life — inevitable, unsettling and necessary.

Too often when managers are pushed to improve, they make changes without taking stock of the situation and their talent. So, before you embark upon a change process, learn to ask yourself and your team five critical questions.

Knowing what you are now, coupled with the fortitude to push for positive change, is what leaders today need to succeed in our turbulent times.

Thoughts?

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Leaders: How do you say Hello?

By Brian Layer
Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth

Hello is one of those words where a change in pitch changes definition.  It can be a warm invitation to a new relationship or a cold indication that you’re too busy to talk.  When you begin a leadership position, you only get one opportunity to say hello and most leaders, overwhelmed with their new responsibilities, say hello in the wrong pitch: “Nice to meet you but I’m too busy to talk.”

As a young Army leader, I frequently moved from one leadership position to another and searched for a way to forge strong bonds in a hurry.  Over time, I developed a new way to say hello that reduced the time it took to get acquainted with my team and discover what made them tick.

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Redemption Tour: Humility Matters

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

How a leader makes amends is a reflection of character. In my experience I have seen examples of managers who have verbally abused employees and then turn around and act as if nothing has happened. But it has. A humble leader would have apologized, asked for understanding and then made amends.

Conversely I have seen leaders whose teams have screwed up royally work to help the team recover by investing themselves in the recovery process. The difference between the two is accountability. The bully holds others accountable; the leader holds himself accountable for helping others.

 

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Leadership and Perfection

What Stands Between your Organization and a Perfect World?

By Brian Layer
Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth

Seeking perfection is the business of excellent organizations.  Like a coach who helps you visualize victory prior to tip off, great leaders have a way of describing what perfection looks like for their organization.  This leadership is particularly important in large organizations where managers waste so much energy protecting the status quo and avoiding failure that there is little left for progress.  They become stuck, mired in mediocrity.

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5 Safe Decisions That Aren’t So Safe

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2Growth 

I’ve found safe decisions rarely are. Great leaders possess the courage to not only seek out the right decision, but they also understand the importance of giving others permission to do the same. We need leaders who want others to do better and be better. What we don’t need is more leaders who hide in safe harbors. Leaders don’t get paid to make safe decisions; they get paid to make the right decision.

 

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Understand the Inner Life of Your Organization

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

The Sopranos, as TV critic David Bianculli puts it, was “one of the first series I can remember watching where what isn’t said is as important as what is. And the characters never show their cards.”

Such an approach, which mirrors the approach that novelists use when exploring character, has been adopted by other television dramas. A good example is the BBC adaptation of Henning Mankell’s novels featuring Swedish police inspector Kurt Wallander. As played by Kenneth Branagh we see the inner life of a deeply conflicted man who seeks justice for victims but struggled to find peace in his own life.

 

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