The Most Misunderstood Aspect Of Great Leadership

I was recently asked what I consider to be the most misunderstood aspect of great leadership; in other words, what makes great leaders great? What immediately came to mind is not only misunderstood, but it also happens to be the most often overlooked element of leadership, and the one which also affords leaders the greatest opportunity for personal, professional, and enterprise growth. If you…

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The Power of Focus

I am frequently asked what it takes to become more productive. My answer is simply become very, very focused. Focus has always been a powerful characteristic that has served me well in all leadership roles alike. Relentless focus results in aligned priorities, order, discipline, and productivity. That sounds simple enough doesn't it? Then why is this so hard for executives and entrepreneurs?…

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Why Leadership Development and Talent Programs Fall Short

Why are so many leadership development and high potential talent programs continuing to fail, or at the very least, not producing what we hope for? The answer is simple, those at the top of the organization are in denial about their own leadership capability. This is not to point fingers at the top leadership, but rather this should be a call to arms for all of us to take a good look in the…

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Why Best Practices – Aren’t

My thesis is a simple one; Don't copy - create. Don't benchmark against others - benchmark against a unique and better version of you. Don't compete against how others do things, compete against your own thinking. More than 20 years ago I coined the term "next" practices in an effort to focus people forward in their thinking. I've always wondered why any business would want to adopt the same…

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6 Defining Values of a Leadership Culture

Twelve years after launching culture change consulting services, I am finally sitting down to write about six defining values of a leadership culture. These are factors I’ve learned that define whether an organization can improve their Culture or not. No surprise that all six values rise and fall on leadership. Before I unpack the six values, let me paint the backdrop of how it all began. In…

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Follow The Leader

Does the term “Follow the Leader” still apply in today’s world?   We live in an age of “followship”, but does followship imply that a leader is the one being followed?  Success on social media is often defined by the number of followers.  I get that to a certain extent, but look at who is being followed.  We have celebrities, professional athletes and controversial figures with huge…

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10 Exceptional Strategies For Extraordinary Executives

Most extraordinary executives would agree that business practices evolve over time, and our experiences turn into knowledge. My such experience has inspired this article, 10 exceptional strategies for extraordinary executives. As a coach, my goal is always to see my client succeed. I want to high-five them when they hit a home run or score a touchdown. I want them to have experiences that will…

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Success Depends on You Asking the Right Questions

As a team leader, it may be uncomfortable for you to ask the right questions. After all, the people you lead expect you to have answers. While it may give you pause to develop a list of questions for success, a Harvard Business School study indicates it is a really good idea. Consider the following: Are you asking yourself and your team the right questions? Will those questions propel you to…

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Strategic Planning Must Change With The Times

If you’re frustrated by your organization’s current strategic planning and execution processes or the outcomes from that work, you’re not alone. Whether they’re developed in-house or brought in by outside strategy firms, many strategy methodologies are of little value if they don’t keep up with the times. So if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.…

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10 Leadership Lessons From My Favorite Clint Eastwood Movie Quotes

Regular readers of my weekly column have come to expect me to do my best in presenting them with fresh perspectives on how to manage the challenges that most of them face as leaders in their respective organizations. But, this week I decided to lighten it up a bit and look to what can be learned from some of my favorite Clint Eastwood movie quotes. So, let's have some fun! What we can take away…

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Leadership Matters

(as featured in mining.com) CEO Interview: Sam Walsh This edition of the CEO interview features Sam Walsh, the recently retired CEO, of Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto, founded in 1873, is a British-Australian multinational and one of the world’s largest metals and mining corporations. The company has grown through a long series of mergers and acquisitions to place itself among the world leaders in the…

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Work Performance and the Perils of Comparison

Let me take you back in time.  You're in 8th grade.  You've signed up for your first guitar lesson and the teacher plays Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."   She offers it up as an example of a great song that you can learn to play.  You're motivated to learn, right?  Wrong!  She no sooner finishes her sentence about "you can learn how to play," when you hear Jimmy Page rips into his classic…

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Leadership – It’s Not About You

If you think leadership is about you, your ego has led you astray. Leadership has little to do with you and everything to do with those you lead. If you think leadership is about the bottom line, think again; it’s about the people. Without the people there is no bottom line. Closely examine the core characteristics of great leadership, and you’ll find it’s not power, title, authority or even…

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Welcome to Business 2.0 as Powered by New IT

Business 2.0 represents a new way of thinking and doing for early 21st Century companies. Unlike e-commerce where consumer transactions are done via the Web, Business 2.0 is about using the Internet-based services to drive entire business processes. Indeed, the work of transforming an enterprise to Business 2.0 is quite an undertaking. But, this transformation has an ally in "New IT"--a…

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How Peer Pressure to Conform Affects Your Business

I've written about staff engagement from the top-down in many of my past columns--written from the perspective of executives engaging their people in transformation work. But, this is the first time that I've tackled the subject from the bottom-up. How do staff members engage their executive sponsors in the process of change management? As a management consultant responsible for driving…

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8 Tips for ‘Keeping It Real’ During Your Cultural Transformation Effort

Whenever I consider the pain and toil that goes into every deep, cultural transformation effort I recall the words of Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." Indeed, transformation work is always challenging. You're asking people to change and to move out of their comfort zones. Resistance, misunderstanding and confusion abound! But, managing through change…

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