Top 10 Reasons Diversity is Good for the Boardroom

I do quite a bit of work on matters of board composition, selection, and succession, and what I can tell you is this; board diversity is simply smart business. You'll never hear me recommend diversity solely for the sake of checking a box, but when diversity in the boardroom offers so many benefits to the CEO (and to the entire organization) it's nothing short of irresponsible for chief…

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Clear Counsel – How Sweet the Sound

When you want to know how your leadership is working--ask.  Years ago, I learned this lesson when I received some unsolicited advice that challenged my professionalism, served as a wakeup call, and changed the arc of my career.  The counsel came from a subordinate as I was leaving an important leadership position but it would have come earlier if I had only asked. I was very interested in my…

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Why Your Organization Suffers From Leadership Dysfunction

Have you ever wondered why organizations tolerate dysfunctional leaders? The answer is dysfunction is so prevalent it’s often not even recognized as problematic. Many corporations just desire leaders to go along and get along more than they desire them to lead. It saddens me to articulate this next thought – corporate leadership is rapidly becoming an oxymoron. Think of those you know in a…

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Leadership, Influence & Relationships

Have you ever wondered why some people have more influence than others? It's because they invest more "in" others. Those with leadership influence have built into others through some form of a consistent direct or indirect contribution to relationships. Those with the greatest amount of influence almost always have the strongest relationships. My hypothesis is a rather simple one: If true…

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Why the “F” Bomb Shouldn’t Be Dropped

I recently read an interesting article on The Wall Street Journal discussing the use of colorful language in business settings. It prompted me to re-post an earlier piece I authored on the same subject. While both perspectives cover some of the same ground, the article in The Journal hedges a bit too much for my taste. You'll find my piece a bit more direct and firm in expressing there is NEVER a…

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5 Reasons Tenure Kills Culture

If your organization confuses loyalty with tenure there is trouble on the horizon. Put simply, tenure kills productivity, and ultimately tenure kills culture. If your business rates tenure higher than performance as a measure for employee evaluation, it's time for you to consider updating your talent management practices. So, what's wrong with tenure you ask? In principle very little; but in…

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Workplace Gossip

Allowing gossip in the workplace is like encouraging your employees to swim with sharks. Let me cut right to the chase – real leaders don’t participate in gossip, and likewise, they don’t tolerate gossip from others. Gossip destroys trust, undermines credibility, and is one of the greatest adversaries of a healthy corporate culture.  While the emotional distress associated with gossip can be…

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10 Steps to Productive Meetings

If you’ve ever watched an episode of NBC’s “The Office” you know exactly what unproductive meetings look like. The tragic news is many real-world meetings too closely resemble a fictional Michael Scott get together. Stories of "death by meeting" is a well-represented part of corporate folklore for good reason - unplanned, unnecessary, uninspired, or otherwise unproductive meetings are a colossal…

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When Humor Isn’t So Funny

The old saying "everybody loves a comedian" has regretfully given birth to a time where everybody thinks they're a comedian. Sadly, what many have failed to realize is the old saying noted above was meant to be sarcastic...We all love good humor, but the truth is all humor is not good. The timely and appropriate use of humor is an asset to any leader. Likewise, distasteful or inappropriately…

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Leadership & Toxic Work Environments

I have read a tremendous amount of information over the last several months on the topic of toxic work environments. While these articles tended to stir the pot a bit, they were in my opinion mostly missing the mark. The articles should have been written on the topic of poor leadership. Toxic work environments can only exist where a lack of trust and respect are present, and this can only occur…

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Diversity And Leadership – Right Topic Wrong Conversation

I have really grown quite weary of the "Diversity" debate. It's not that the diversity discussion doesn't have merit; it does. The problem is that people are having the wrong conversation. They are arguing the wrong points for the wrong reasons. Diversity has been hijacked by those who have a political agenda, and many leaders have simply surrendered to the pressure. Let me be clear: a leader's…

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Culture Trumps Strategy – Not

Does culture trump strategy? I think not, and I'll explain why. Even though I have seen this phrase quoted by some very bright people whom I respect, it just doesn't resonate with me. I thought perhaps I was misunderstanding what was being said, so I decided to Google the phrase "Culture Trumps Strategy" and found that Stanford offered an Entrepreneurship Lecture by this title, I found several…

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Questions and Team Building for CEOs

An army of one isn't really much of an army is it? And I can assure you that any CEO who views him or herself as an army of one will fail. Whether you like it or not, your success as a CEO will be largely tied to your team building ability. Not only do great CEOs understand how to recruit a top executive team, but they also understand how to build cohesion among team members through collaboration…

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Why Consensus Kills Team Building

I read an interesting post by Dan Rockwell (@LeadershipFreak) entitled "Six ways to make teams work" and found myself in complete agreement with Dan on 5 out of the 6 points. Where Dan lost me was on point #4 - Teams Decide by Consensus. In recent months I have observed a decent amount of politically correct discourse on the topic of team building, consensus and equality. The gist of the argument…

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Values Based Hiring

Why play a game of chance when you don't have to? I was casually reading the results of a survey on the topic of hiring methodologies last weekend when one particular survey question really caught my attention: "When considering a new hire, what is the one characteristic or attribute of the candidate that would most influence your hiring decision?" The "right" answer seemed quite obvious to me,…

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Truth Matters…

There is simply no substitute for the truth. That said, how do you measure a person's positional conviction? How do you know if someone is sincere in their communication? How do you know if you're being told the truth, or just being spoken to in a manner designed to elicit the desired response? Listen to what's being said... When attempting to evaluate the shifting sands of fluid messaging, or…

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