Employee Engagement And Empowerment

Employee engagement is defined as an active state related to productivity and innovation. Engaged employees can be described as being fully immersed in and enthusiastic about their work.  This emotional attachment means that employees will go above and beyond the call of duty. Employee Engagement differs from employee satisfaction.  Satisfaction can be described as being happy at work. Engagement…

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The No. 1 Thing Successful Companies Scale

I’ve often said, “if leadership doesn’t scale neither will your organization.” Experience has led me to conclude there is no greater contribution a leader can make to the enterprise than developing a true culture of leadership. Here’s the thing – a culture of leadership can only exist when leaders understand their primary obligation is to develop other leaders. If leadership is sought after,…

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A Leadership Job Description

When was the last time you read a leadership job description? We have job descriptions for every position under the sun, but I’ve yet to see one for leaders. Virtually every job description you’ll read lists “leadership ability” as a quality/characteristic/attribute that is valued, and in fact, most list it as a requirement. So why is it we place so much value in leaders, when we can’t even…

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Leadership & the Super Committee

It's been a while since I've weighed in on the political front, and with the recent failure of the Budget Super Committee, I thought it would be an interesting time to examine the difference between statesman and politician.  I don’t know about you, but I’m so fed-up with the rhetoric and the gamesmanship in Washington that I’m about ready to give up on all politicians. Our country was founded by…

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When to Restructure

To restructure or not to restructure? When to restructure is the question many a business is forced to ask at some point during their life cycle. The mere discussion of corporate reengineering can cause fear, anxiety, and in some cases even panic. This is so much the case that some CEOs will avoid restructuring initiatives at all costs. There are even some business theorists that warn against…

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There IS an “I” in Team

As much as some don't want to hear this, there is an "I" in the team - there is simply no getting around the fact that teams are comprised of individuals. If you crush the individual character and spirit of those who form your team, how can your team operate at its best? It cannot. The strongest teams don't weed out or neutralize individual tendencies, they capitalize on them. The goal of 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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Training Isn’t Dead – But it Should Be

In the text that follows I'm going to poke holes in a process generally accepted as productive when it rarely is. In this piece, Training Isn't Dead - But it Should Be, I'll likely take some heat over this, and while this post works off some broad generalizations, in my experience having worked with literally thousands of leaders, they are largely true. According to the American Society of…

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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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How to Hire & Manage Consultants

While you might be lucky enough to survive in business with little or no advice from others, you will certainly not maximize your potential for success by doing so. All CEOs and entrepreneurs need advice in a wide variety of constantly changing areas…That said, I’m always somewhat perplexed as to why people hire certain professionals. The nature of my business is that I often succeed other…

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Capital vs. Influence

I have watched entrepreneurs and executives initially trivialize the value of influence in a capital transaction, only to regret it down the road. Savvy CEOs simply aren't in a rush to close the deal and secure the funding if it means sacrificing knowledge, experience or influence. Impulsivity has a huge cost when it comes to capital formation. I have long held that the influence a capital…

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Leadership and Knowledge Management

It's one thing to possess the knowledge, but it's quite another thing to leverage it. Leaders who don't understand the value of distributable and actionable knowledge not only limit opportunities but they're also building huge contingent operating liabilities. One of the great challenges for any leader is to break down cultural tendencies that foster silo-centric thought patterns. Savvy leaders…

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Smart Leaders Do More Than Talk About Talent

Those of you familiar with my work know how much I detest politically correct sound-bites. Even worse - when those sound-bites are used in an attempt to make statements that embolden a corporate position that doesn't really exist, to begin with. Just because something is written in a vision or mission statement, placed on a website, included in company collateral material, or frequently espoused…

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Should CEOs Have Term Limits?

I have read some interesting articles and blog posts of late on the subject of CEO term limits and felt this topic worthy of discussion. You should know from the outset that I fundamentally disagree with the concept of CEO term limits, and quite frankly I cannot really come up with a valid reason for supporting such a regressive concept. Any such argument in my opinion is rooted either in flawed…

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How Dumb is Your Business?

How dumb is your business? At the risk of drawing the ire of corporate elitists, I submit to you that the dumber your business is, the better off you are. The truth is that great companies are those which can thrive and prosper in the absence of sophistication. As odd as it sounds, businesses that are not dependant on smart talent, capital, or technology can scale faster and easier than those…

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