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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20 Essential Terms that You Need to Know to Transform Your Business

Whenever you begin business transformation work, it's important to establish a common vocabulary that everyone in the organization can grasp and incorporate into their respective vocabularies. It improves communication and encourages engagement and buy-in. Here are the 20 most essential terms that you'll want your team to understand and to use. Each concept is described in its simplest form:…

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Preparing Your Organization for the “Big Change”

Organizational change is inevitable. Like all living things, it's vital that organizations regularly adjust in order to accommodate the ebb and flow that goes on within the ecosystems in which they thrive. Every so often, though, a "Big Change" is needed to better position an organization for long-term success. In those times, proper preparation is required. Here are 6 steps that you can take to…

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7 Management Hacks Worthy of Tacking on Your Wall

It's easy to become overwhelmed when time is tight and the pressure is on. Use these 7 management hacks the next time you sense that you're about to lose control. They will help you to get things back in perspective and manage your way through those stressful times, which we all struggle with from time to time:Place Laser-Like Focus on What's Important and ignore the rest! Know that you can't…

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4 Indisputable Principles for Building a Business Worthy of High Esteem

Over the past couple of years, I've written extensively in this column on the subject of competitive differentiation. Many of my articles offer advice on becoming "of choice" and "indispensable" among your customers. But, a business does not rise to a level of preeminence within its niche without developing another essential quality--integrity. Here are 4 principles that absolutely must be…

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5 Things You Can Do to Make 2016 Special

A new year begins in less than a week. Do you have a 2016 agenda that will move your business forward smartly? Here are 5 things that you can do to make next year a special one for your business: Put Your Customer First: I know that every business leader says that the customer comes first. But, this often comes with a caveat, like, "as long as it doesn't cost too much to make it so." This year,…

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How to Use the Holiday Wind-Down to Generate Positive Energy for the Coming Year

Work slows a bit for many businesses during the Holiday Season. Even so, it can be quite a task to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in the coming year, while immersed in the hustle and bustle of the Holidays. Let me suggest that we all become a bit more deliberate about using the Holiday slow-down to generate the positive energy that you'll need for the coming year. Here's how: Slow Down…

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Raising the Bar: How to Leverage the Organization, Function, and Process Connection for Peak Performance

A business is the composite of its organizational structure, functional design and process workflow. You can think of the three as the legs of a stool. If the legs of a stool are not in perfect alignment the stool will wobble. If one leg is too long or too short, the stool will collapse under weight. Same holds true for your business. A lack of synchronization among the organizational, functional…

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The Truth About Lawyers – What Every CEO Must Know

“You can either manage the legal process, or let it manage you.” Lawyers – just the word conjures up negative feelings for many. The funny thing is even a lot of lawyers tend to dislike other lawyers. But regardless of your feelings for the legal profession, dealing with attorneys just goes with the territory when you’re a CEO. Whether you have a large in-house legal staff, and/or manage a…

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Stop Negotiating – It Doesn’t Work

Negotiation isn't all it's cracked-up to be. In fact, I believe negotiation to be an inherently flawed business practice. Negotiation is not an art to be mastered, rather it's a sloppy approach to be avoided. While many a consultant, author and trainer have made personal fortunes teaching the finer points of negotiation, it is my belief they have accomplished little more than to create legions of…

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Leadership & The Expectation Gap

When it comes to leadership, I can share the issues of creating and delivering on expectations are no small matter. In fact, understanding how to come out on the right-side of the expectation curve can often be the difference between being viewed as an average leader and one held in high regard. Let me make this as simple as I can; managing expectations is gamesmanship - aligning them is…

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What Would You Do?

What would you do if you didn’t need to work? Golf, travel, volunteer, spend time with family and friends, teach, go into politics – the list of options are virtually endless. A friend of mine called me today, told me the sale of his business had closed, and then informed me he had enough money to never need to work again. He told me he was calling to ask what I would do if I didn’t have to work…

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Managing The Board – 10 Things Every CEO Should Know

I've yet to meet a CEO who at some point in time hasn't been frustrated by their board - it goes with the territory. That said, it should be the exception, and not the rule. Ultimately, chief executives deserve the board relationships they develop. As a CEO, your board can be one of your greatest allies. Conversely, and just as easily, they can be a significant contributor to your undoing…

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First Impressions

Do first impressions really matter? While they shouldn't, the reality is that they most certainly do. As the old saying goes "you only get one chance to make a first impression," and often times it is the perception of appearance that determines whether or not you are even afforded the opportunity to get up to bat. The truth is most people when first meeting someone will quickly attempt to size…

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Help – It’s Not a Dirty Word!

With 2019 staring us right in the face, I thought I'd dust off an old post as a useful reminder as you plan the year ahead -  "help" is not a dirty word. I have always believed asking for help is a sign of maturity as a leader. I think John Lennon said it best: "I get by with a little help from my friends." So my question is this - are you easy to help? Think about it...do you make it easy for…

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Personal Branding Done Right

So what's the big deal about personal branding? The mere mention of this topic sparks intense emotions and frothy debate. The legions of personal branding advocates believe it's the great brand equalizer, and the growing constituency of disgruntled adversaries see it as little more than the latest form of snake-oil. So which is it? The answer is for you to decide...I'll frame both sides of the…

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