Leadership Talk

Some truths about leading transformation

The first story. Late one evening, about six months into a company transformation effort, I approached a team member’s empty desk to drop off a document. In the middle of his perfectly ordered desktop was a message clip holding a 3x5 index card. I picked up the card...

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Overcoming stifling limitations

Overcoming stifling limitations

“Is life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves?” Friedrich Nietzsche When a leader avoids responsibility for his actions, it often shows up as belittling, disingenuous, unsympathetic, incredible, unreliable, and egocentric. This list illustrates the...

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Knowing where to tap

Knowing where to tap

Once upon a time, a ship’s captain found himself stuck in port due to a broken boiler. He asked around the shipyard for someone who could fix the problem. He was given a name and summoned the repairman who showed up in the form of a 10-year old boy with a hammer. The...

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The power of leadership whispering

The power of leadership whispering

While working on a company-wide transformation effort with an outstanding cross-functional team, there were frequent opportunities to engage with leaders and employees about what we were doing, why we were doing it, and how we planned to accomplish our vision. Before...

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Skip Intro

I noticed the Skip Intro button for the first time this week while watching Netflix’s Stranger Things 2. After the first scene of the show, the opening credits roll, and the button appears. I pressed it and continued the episode. I thought about how often leaders...

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A battle plan against exhaustion

A battle plan against exhaustion

Some owners and leaders are waking up exhausted today. They spend a few extra minutes in the shower, stare into the mirror with tired eyes, and drink an extra cup of coffee. Once outside, they stare at the wall with both hands on the wheel before starting the car....

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Five things that make HR work difficult

Five things that make HR work difficult

I’ve spent time as a senior HR leader and more time as an internal client. Unlike other company functions (i.e., accounting), there is significant variation in how HR is designed (often haphazardly) and deployed across organizations. There is an ongoing question of...

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What are you getting up in the morning to be?

What are you getting up in the morning to be?

What are you getting up in the morning to be? Do you wake up to make a difference or focus on three more days until Saturday? Will you take an extra moment to thank someone for their contribution or assume that their manager already did? Will you say hello in the...

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