Working Without Purpose Is A Waste Of Time

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

“Sometimes you can learn best about a topic by identifying what it isn’t before you define what it is.”

This hit home with me when I was asked how you could know when an organization lacks purpose. The interviewer was Shawn Murphy, a workplace consultant and host of the popular “Work That Matters” podcast. I thought the question was brilliant because it challenged me to define purpose by first describing what it was like without purpose.

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5 Obsessions of Champions

The Five Obsessions of Winning Teams

By Brian Layer
Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth

March Madness resumes tonight and in a pressure packed weekend of excitement, the Sweet Sixteen will shrink to the Final Four.  Only the strongest teams will survive and while their defensive pressure, explosive running game or deep shooting might define their style, their success rests on five obsessions. These obsessions are common to champions and may very well help your team in your competitive endeavor. 

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Leaders Who Think More – Accomplish More

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2Growth

* This post was originally published on LinkedIn

I’ve always been amazed at the number of tremendously gifted leaders who underutilize the one asset most responsible for their success – their brain. It’s not that leaders don’t think; it’s that they don’t think enough. And when they do find time to think, many leaders often think about the wrong things, in the wrong ways, at the wrong times. My message is simple, but not necessarily easy; to do more – think more.

 

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10 Ways to Provide Quality Feedback

By Joel Garfinkle
Chair, Executive Coaching, N2Growth

Employees want feedback. They want an honest assessment of their behavior to help them improve their work. They know that if they listen to, and take action on, clear and constructive feedback, their overall performance will improve. And so will their job satisfaction.

However, most managers feel uncomfortable delivering feedback, especially when it involves a problem or concern. So many managers take a passive approach or are guilty of knee-jerk, “drive by” feedback, which can be counterproductive. Providing feedback that gets results isn’t as difficult or painful as you think. Listed below are ten tips to make it a powerful, positive experience.

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Chuck Hagel Lunches (And Learns From) Service Members

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

When you want to know what’s going on in an organization, especially a very large one, you talk to the people who make the place run well.

That is what Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is doing every since he assumed his current position last year. While Hagel was a Senator and businessman prior to taking this job, he is a two-tour Army sergeant Vietnam veteran – in fact the first enlisted man to become Secretary of Defense. He knows first hand what it means to serve on the front lines.

 

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On Being an Authentic Leader

By Grant Wattie
President, N2growth Australia

Wolfgang Beltracchi is the most successful art forger in history. His fake paintings have sold for $46 million to museums, and private collections all over the world.  He says the experts hate him because he managed to fool them for decades – he eventually wound up in jail. Some say what he did was a crime against the art culture and others think it was acceptable because he didn’t hurt anyone.

This story paints a strong allegory to leadership. It might sound a far fetch, yet how often have we tried to pass off our own behaviour as fake to maintain a façade?  In the following article I’ll share some observations, insights and research on how we can be more authentic and learn to spot our own in-authenticities.

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The Leadership Dance

By Brian Layer
Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth

Not everyone will respond to your leadership.  No matter how good you are, there will be skeptics.  Leadership is a human endeavor and humans have choices.  Still, it’s your duty to find a way to lead them.

No matter how big your organization, your message, direction, and motivations flow through a handful of people and leadership is like dancing; it is accomplished one partner at a time. I’m not talking about square dancing, line dancing or break dancing but the kind where you drum up your courage, look someone in the eye and ask: “Will you dance with me?”

Great dancing requires a mix of physical, mental, emotional and social skill.  Great dancers know they aren’t just spinning around the floor; they are inviting another on a journey for a song or two.  It is a negotiation of trust.

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David O. Russell: The Confidence Game

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2growth

Confidence is a cloth with many colors.

That thought came to me as I was listening to David O. Russell speaking to Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air as he was discussing his award-winning trilogy of films – The Fighter, Sliver Linings and the latest, American Hustle. Each film is about characters reinventing themselves because they are not satisfied with themselves. The degrees of self-invention range from a fighter trying to overcome his past, a bipolar man seeking normalcy and a hustler seeking a better outcome.

As a writer and filmmaker Russell himself says he has struggled with re-invention. He once wrote scripts for hire now he seeks to tell stories that he himself connects with and can portray on the screen. That takes confidence. Especially when things fall apart. He says you need to trust yourself.

 

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Shirley Temple Black: A Life Lesson In Optimism

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2growth

“I don’t like to do negatives. There are always pluses to things.”

That quote is attributed to Shirley Temple Black and is cited the The Economist’s obituary of the former child star. Indeed as Shirley Temple she was the most bankable star in the Hollywood firmament being its highest grossing performer in the mid-Thirties.

The secret to her success was her cheerful optimism backed by her relentless work ethic and winning personality. Cute of course but Shirley Temple was a triple-threat performer who could dance, sing and act. She was a favorite of the high and mighty who loved to have her in their company and even making room for her on their laps. During the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt noted her “infectious optimism,” adding that “as long as our country has Shirley Temple we will be alright.”

 

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