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  • Balancing Banter With Boundaries

    Balancing Banter With Boundaries

    In my career as a corporate executive and CEO, I paid close attention to each individual who reported to me. I knew what was important to them. I knew what made them tick. I knew about their aspirations, their frustrations, and their joys. I could tell when they were off their game, and I could […]

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  • When Should You Outsource?

    When Should You Outsource?

    We outsource a lot of things, in business and in life. How do we decide what to outsource, and what to do ourselves? In the 1990s, outsourcing became all the rage, particularly in the IT industry, where I was working. But the principles behind outsourcing have their roots in the economic theory of comparative advantage, […]

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  • Defining Weak Leadership

    Defining Weak Leadership

    I talk quite a bit about strong leadership, a term that typifies the style of leadership that I advocate on the NBL podcast. It’s not arrogant, controlling, or aggressive… rather, it’s compassionate and empathetic. But, unlike many new-age leadership philosophies, it requires leaders to do the hard things that stretch themselves, and their people to […]

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  • From Individual Contributor to Leader

    From Individual Contributor to Leader

    A great documentary was made several years ago called Back and Forth, which chronicled the formation and rise to stardom of the rock band, the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl, the band’s founder, and the former drummer of legendary grunge band, Nirvana, had transitioned to front man. He was the Foo Fighters lead singer and guitarist. […]

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  • Why Management Teams Become Stale

    Why Management Teams Become Stale

    Do management teams actually become stale? Absolutely. High-performance is fragile. There’s a few reasons why teams sometimes lose their lustre.  The first is personalities. If you’re hiring really good people, you’ll have a bunch of rugged individualists, and there will be disagreements. When people are consumed by a drive for excellence, it can be tricky […]

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  • The Risks and Ramifications Of Office Romances

    The Risks Of Office Romances

    How do you, as a leader, set appropriate boundaries in your work relationships? How do you strike the balance between establishing trust-based, caring relationships with your people, and maintaining professional distance?  Call me overly-cautious, but I’ve come to the view over the years that leaders simply should not have romantic relationships in the workplace.  I […]

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  • Mastering Your Mindset

    Mastering Your Mindset

    As a leader, if you don’t want your business to suffer the impact of poor decisions that are driven by fear, it’s useful to be able to recognize the triggers that indicate you’re in a fear response state. If you can sense, and then short-circuit your physiological reactions as they arise, you’ll be in a […]

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  • Unmasking Reluctant Leaders

    Unmasking Reluctant Leaders

    Some people really don’t want to lead. But they don’t necessarily know that they don’t want to lead. How do you identify them? Well, they’ll tell you somehow, if you’re paying attention.  The most obvious sign is the constant bargaining. You’ll see them going through it every day. Should I do this? Can I justify […]

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  • How to be more promotable

    How To Be More Promotable

    There are a few key things you need to do in order to maximize your promotability. The first is to know the difference between being a workhorse and being a trusted advisor.  Everyone loves a workhorse, but workhorses generally aren’t at the front of the line for promotion. They’re mired in the detail of the […]

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  • Why Performance Trumps Tenure

    Why Performance Trumps Tenure

    In a hot job market, you can’t retain every one of your people, which is why it’s important to think about who you really need to keep and why: and it’s important to be deliberate in your approach. First, think about the people who are exceptional individuals. Now, be careful here: exceptional means they produce […]

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