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  • Leading for long term success

    Leading for Long-Term Success

    If you’re in it for yourself, your people will never be in it for you. Ever.  I observed this throughout my corporate career, and came to see it as a fundamental truism of leadership. Self-seeking leaders can’t get the best out of their people, because it’s almost impossible to rally them to a higher purpose.  […]

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  • Where Stress Meets Performance

    Where Stress Meets Performance

    We generally talk about stress like it’s a bad thing. Putting people under stress is something that many leaders try to avoid. Why? Well, if you put people under stress, then maybe they’ll feel bad and won’t like you anymore. And because of our natural conflict aversion, we want our people to like us. We […]

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  • The Anatomy of High-Impact Decisions

    The Anatomy of High-Impact Decisions

    It’s important that we understand how all the little choices we make add up to potentially significant consequences – but in reality, there are big decisions and there are small decisions.  So what are “high-impact” decisions… they’re the ones that really test you… the ones that scare you a little (or maybe a lot)… the […]

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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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  • Changing a culture is not for the faint-hearted

    Changing a Culture is Not for the Faint-Hearted

    I used to say that, with any team, nothing happens unless a leader makes it happen. But, to be more accurate, I now say that nothing different happens unless a leader makes it happen! A leader… that’s you, right!? To make any serious change requires a change of culture—the way we do things around here—and […]

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  • The 5 Hidden Enemies of High Performance

    The 5 Hidden Enemies of High Performance

    A low accountability culture doesn’t happen overnight. But as it evolves, the barriers to performance inevitably grow. Weak accountability permeates the culture, and leaders resign themselves to the fact that gaps and overlaps are inevitable. Then, they rationalize that strong single point accountabilities aren’t necessary, or that they’re subordinate to some notional concept of better […]

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  • performance standards

    The Standard You Walk Past Is the Standard You Set

    One of the most important roles that a leader plays is to set the right standards for performance and behavior that the team is expected to rise to. Sometimes, we think we’re setting an appropriately high performance standard but the exceptions we make indicate otherwise. How do you actually set the standard? Now, I’m talking […]

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  • Building a diverse organization isn't simple

    Building a Diverse Organization Isn’t Simple

    If it was easy to build a diverse organization, everyone would have already done it. There’s a couple of limiting factors that I’ve learned from experience make this an incredibly difficult pursuit. The first thing is that disadvantage is historical. When you’re trying to fix historical anomalies, the people who are already in the senior […]

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  • High-performing teams start with high-performing individuals

    High-Performing Teams Start With High-Performing Individuals

    Many leaders claim to have built high-performing teams. Many of them are completely full of shit… and in my experience, most can’t even clearly articulate what a high-performing team is! If you want to build a high-performing team—I mean, really want to build a high performing team—then there’s going to be some pretty tough leadership […]

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  • Is leading from the front a good thing

    Is Leading From the Front a Good Thing?

    Is leading from the front a good thing? Well, the short answer is yes, but it comes with one major caveat. I’ve seen many leaders doing the work of people below them and then painting this as a virtue by saying, “I’m leading from the front.” This concept is completely flawed, and it’s a dangerous […]

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