The Five Obsessions of Winning Teams

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…

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The Leadership Dance

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. It's the leadership dance. 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…

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Reinventing Vermeer

Tim’s Vermeer is a riveting documentary about inventor Tim Jenison’s quest to understand the genius of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.  The film chronicles Jenison’s discovery of a technique Vermeer may have used to create his photo-realistic paintings prior to the invention of photography. History offers few clues to Vermeer’s life.  Most art experts have cited a genius of vision—the ability to…

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What the NFL Can Learn from a Civil War Soldier

By Brian Layer Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth "Beware how you take away hope from another human being." — Oliver Wendell Holmes This week, the Miami Dolphins stole headlines from their NFL competitors.  Unfortunately for the league, the Dolphins, and the rest of us, the way their players talk and not the way they play invited the scrutiny. Words are unique to the human condition and the…

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Clear Counsel – How Sweet the Sound

By Brian Layer Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth 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…

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A Simple Lesson from the Declaration of Independence

By Brian Layer Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth Fifty-six Continental Congressmen signed the Declaration of Independence in July 1776.  With each quill stroke, the men committed treason and placed at risk their lives, fortune, and sacred honor. The act was more than symbolic; it added weight to the cause and tied their personal fate to the Revolution.  There was no denying they had skin in the…

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When in Doubt, Rehearse!

By Brian Layer Chief Executive Officer, N2Growth Lately I’ve seen several leaders trip over the unexpected outcome of a grand plan. They failed to anticipate the mistakes and mishaps that happen in all organizations.  When I see an outcome surprise a leader, I’m reminded of a lesson I learned years ago from my Dad.

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A Leadership Trait that Saved America

By Brian Layer, Chair, Organizational Development, N2Growth Today the U.S. Army celebrates its 238th birthday.  Looking back, its growth into comfortable old age seems inevitable but in its youth that outcome was far from certain. In 1783 on the Ides of March, the inseparable fates of our Army and Republic were very much in doubt; disgruntled officers of the fledgling Army were gathered in a…

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