Leddin Group Blog

How a Civil Rights Run Teaches Us that One Thing Can Drive Motivation

By Patrick Leddin | July 15, 2019

A few months ago, my daughter asked me if I would run a half marathon with her. I agreed, knowing that I would relish the opportunity to train and run the 13.1-mile race together. The weekend that we chose for the race proved to have events in several cities within driving distance of our homes…

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How USWNT Coach Jill Ellis’​ Response to Criticism Can Inform You as a Leader

U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) coach Jill Ellis has had more than her share of criticism and second-guessing over the years. Here are a few recent examples: SBNation declared that although the USWNT is extremely talented, the team “is barreling towards the World Cup with no idea what it should look like. It’s concerning.” The…
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6 Leadership Lessons You Can Learn Over Lunch

Might I suggest you take a lunch away from the office this week. Put away the cell phone and any other distractions and just spend some time observing. Why? Well, you never know what leadership lessons you can learn from a change of venue. One afternoon, I stepped away from the office and walked to a local…
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What You Can Learn from 4 Swift Brand Building Ideas

LinkedIn’s Daily Rundown features Taylor Swift’s “battle over her master recordings as digital distribution makes it more desirable for artists to control their own material.” According to the New York Times, “It all started on Sunday morning, when Mr. Braun’s company, Ithaca Holdings, announced that it had acquired the Big Machine Label Group, which Ms. Swift left in…
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Closing Doors vs. Burning Bridges

Years ago, I was working on my doctorate. At the time, my wife and I ran a management consulting firm. Our company was growing with offices in several states and an increasing number of employees and clients. We also had two young children. By any measure, we had more than enough on our plates. Nonetheless,…
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What Seth Godin Told Me about Building a Strong Personal Brand

I recently interviewed Seth Godin for the next episode of the Leadership Lab podcast. Of course, I want you to listen to the podcast when it launches June 26th, but I simply couldn’t wait to share with you a piece of advice that Seth divulged in our conversation. Seth and I discussed (among other things)…
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5 Lego Leadership Lessons that Can Be the Building Blocks to Your Success

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Lego, was hitting brick walls in its efforts to move to sustainable alternatives to its raw materials. “Realizing the scale of the challenge, it (Lego) later invested $150 million to hire scientists and fund research and development,” to reach its goal by 2030. Guy Brooks, Lego‘s head of environmental…
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Global Wages are Rising. Are You Prepared to Ask for a Pay Raise?

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that, “U.S. wage growth is set to pick up over the next year, as economists expect a tight labor market will continue to push up workers’ pay.” According to the article 70% of economists are predicting unprecedented growth over the next year. These predictions aren’t limited to the United…
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Keep a Sharp Eye Out for 8 Abundant Leadership Behaviors

I’ve spent considerable time thinking about and studying the concepts of scarcity and abundance. I want to understand, not only, how abundant leaders think, but also how they behave. My efforts thus far have yielded eight behaviors of truly abundant leaders. “Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see…
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How to Be a Leader People Need: A Lesson in Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, and Skiing

There is a ‘common’ experience that most of us have encountered. Perhaps you have: Had this done to you. Done this to others. Watched others do it to others. Experienced a combination of the above. What is this ‘common’ experience? It’s not one experience per se; it’s actually a range of experiences – all of which stem from…
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Hey Leaders, Don’t Ignore the Baby Elephants Growing in Your Midst

You are no doubt familiar with the expression, “Don’t ignore the elephant in the room.” The saying refers to an issue that no one in the organization talks about, but everyone knows exists. Some elephants are thrust upon an organization by external forces (e.g., economy, regulatory issues, etc.); however, many are the direct result of…
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My Grandma Died 80 Years Ago, Yet She Just Taught Me a Lesson You Should Know

I never met my grandparents. That’s not fully true. One of them, my mother’s mom, lived until I was two-years-old. So, we did meet. I just have no memory of the interaction. Throughout my life, I’ve had friends, classmates, and coworkers with very different grandparent experiences. Many grew up knowing and spending time with their…
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How to Retain Top Talent When Job Quitting is at an Historical High

A recent LinkedIn Daily Rundown reveals that, “the ratio of job openings per unemployed American grew in March, the most recent figures show, and brought to 13 the consecutive months in which available jobs have outstripped the number of people out of work and searching for it.” Moreover, the Labor Department explains that people are quitting their jobs…
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The 145th Kentucky Derby is Saturday. 6 Derby Ideas to Improve Your Business.

May 4th is the first Saturday in May. That means it’s time for the Kentucky Derby (aka The Run for Roses or The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports). The Derby rarely disappoints. That was certainly true last year when Justify began a three-win stretch to win the Triple Crown. He is only the 13th horse…
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The NFL 2019 Draft and the Challenge to Develop STARS in Your Organization

Former Oklahoma quarterback, Kyler Murray made a statement in the 2019 National Football League (NFL) Draft when the Arizona Cardinals selected him as the first overall draft choice. His pink three-piece pinstripe suit added an exclamation point to that statement. Nashville hosted the 2019 event and Music City didn’t disappoint. “2019 NFL Draft reaches new…
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The One Word that Negates What Harvard Professor Says is Leadership’s Central Issue

John Kotter is a legend in the world of leadership and change. A Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor Emeritus, author of numerous business articles, and consultant to Global 5000 organizations, Kotter is, “internationally known and widely regarded as the foremost speaker on the topics of leadership and change.” (Harvard Business School) I’ve never met Kotter;…
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Tiger Wins the 2019 Masters, Don’t Miss This Key Leadership Lesson

Tiger Woods just did what many had thought he would never accomplish. He won the Master’s Tournament, again. I just read an article about the clubs he carried in his golf bag this weekend. Yep, everything about Tiger is a story of interest. I learned that Woods used to use only a Scott Cameron putter…
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Great Leaders Create a Culture of Quitters

You are likely familiar with the concept that employees don’t quit companies, they quit bad leaders. It is with this in mind that many organizations invest time, energy, and resources developing leaders who foster employee engagement. Yes, employees might quit an organization because of a bad leader; however, these same employees may quit their own bad behaviors…
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Leader Brain Bites: Breaking Bad…

Leader Brain Bites:  Breaking Bad… …habits– or starting and keeping the good ones. We all know change isn’t easy. So what’s going on in our brain that makes it so hard? As a leader in a world where constant change is the new norm, it’s probably worth knowing. The most accurate answer, the proverbial “it’s complicated”,…
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6 Things You Need to Know Today to Help First-Level Leaders to Win

First-level leaders who play the player-coach role in your organization make a significant impact on every metric in your business: employee productivity and engagement, customer satisfaction and loyalty, innovation, and financial performance. ————- This week Major League Baseball (@MLB) celebrated the start of its 2019 season. It was the earliest opening day in the history…
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A Very Wicked Leadership Lesson

Several years ago, my family and I were in Chicago. A tourist’s day of shopping and sightseeing was capped off with a night of theater. We chose –Wicked – the touring Broadway musical. If you are familiar with the show, I’ve probably just made a song pop into your head. If you have no idea about Wicked, it’s…
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You May Not Get a $330 Million Harper Contract but You Can Strike this Deal

At this very moment, the United States population is estimated to be nearly 330 million people. Imagine that over the course of the next 13 years, each and every U.S. citizen gave you one dollar as payment for doing something that you truly love to do. That’s essentially what just happened for Major League Baseball…
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How to Create a Successful Career in the Face of Relentless Job Automation

Technology futurist CK Kerley visited Vanderbilt University this week and delivered a presentation called, The Tech Megatrends: The Tech Trends Reshaping Our Lives, Our Work – And Our World. CK, who specializes in understanding the rise of emerging markets and tech, shared five tech trends and how they are changing everything. I invite you to…
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How Top Performers Respond in the Face of Growing Uncertainty

LinkedIn’s Daily Rundown this weekend discussed how, “uncertainty over the pace of U.S. economic growth has been renewed by sharply, slowing retail sales in December.” The article continues to point out that a recent increase of unemployment claims has impacted sales at restaurant, stores, and online. Add to the pot the volatility of trade tariffs, the fight…
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Research Reveals 3 Keys to Motivating People at Work. How are You Doing?

Since the establishment of the first organization, leaders have always looked to motivate workers. Brute force, fear, intimidation, and other barbaric ‘motivational’ approaches dominated leadership tactics for much of history. Under those conditions, leaders treated people like cogs in a machine, at best, and in the very worst of situations revealed the most vile aspects…
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Why I’m My Own Brand and Why You Should Be One Too

“In 350 words or less, please tell us why you would be a great fit for our company.” This prompt looms over nearly every internship application I’ve submitted. Though painfully daunting, this request provides a unique opportunity not just to explain my skills and qualifications, but also to reflect my unique value—my very own “Skyler…
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How Brady and Beyoncé Will Inspire You to Take the 20-Minute Challenge

Super Bowl Weekend has come and gone. All that is left now are the debates about the quality of the game, discussions about the commercials, and fist pumps for the winners. I invite you to set aside this past Super Bowl and join me in a reflection on something that happened three years ago. Prior…
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8 Culture Building Questions that Every Leader and Team Member Should Answer

Think of a top-notch organization you know—one you wholeheartedly tell others to work for, or whose story you share with friends at dinner. Why do you recommend it? What makes it so unique? Or put more forcefully, why is that organization so remarkable, and rare, that you tell stories about it? What causes you to…
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Jen Auerbach Shares the Secret Ingredient to Clary’s Customer Loyalty Success

Guest Writer: Jen Auerbach A brief intro from Patrick Leddin… Several years ago, I met Jen Auerbach and her business partner, Adriel Denae. Owners of Clary Collection, they have achieved amazing success in the hyper-competitive skincare industry. In just a few short years, they went from kitchen-based start-up to a growing product line available worldwide…
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Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos is a Strategic Wolf – Here’s How You Can Be One Too

Bezos’ divorce is dominating the news. It’s a tragic situation. However, the calls for concern about Amazon’s future will fade away as the company’s leaders provide once again that they are true strategic wolves in a world of sheep. You should be a wolf too! Here’s the rest of the story… In recent days, the…
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8 Questions Leaders Must Ask Themselves and How to Handle the Answers

In the past, it was probably enough to be a good manager, figuring out how to do more with less, “adding value,” making sure your customers and employees were satisfied – but, no more. It’s time to move beyond the mindset that every team member’s role, and yours, should be prescribed and you all simply…
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Queen shares why your early career needs a “free fall”

Guest Writer: Queen Stevenson This coming May, it will be two years since I graduated college. Wrapping my head around that is difficult, as I can just about remember what it was like to hammer through a last minute paper, or scramble to get to my dining center before it closed and I went hungry…
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Imagine Using this Surprisingly Powerful Word More Often

Imagine that your organization has been struggling with an issue for a long, long time. Occasionally, the problem goes away; but, it inevitably reappears. People are frustrated with this reoccurring and costly issue. You return to work after celebrating the new year AND the issue is still there, waiting for you! Can’t think of a…
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5 Strategies to Make Your New Year’s Resolution(s) Stick

Guest Author: Henry Lescault As a FranklinCovey Consultant and Facilitator, I have the honor and privilege of working at the best Leadership and Behavioral Change company in the world. Our mission is simply this: We Enable Greatness in People and Organizations Everywhere. When working with the thousands of clients I encounter as a FranklinCovey behavioral…
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What Every Leader Can Learn from Sears’ Pending Liquidation

Did you hear about Sears? CNBC just reported Sears could force liquidation within 24 hours. A litany of issues has inflicted pain, if not utter destruction, on the once dominate retailer. Consider the: Advent of eCommerce Powerhouse that is Amazon 2008 recession’s impact on expendable incomes Three-headed dragon of globalization, digitization, and regulation List goes…
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Musk’s Surprisingly Boring Vision May Change Your Goals Forever

In the 1830s, Charles Pearson proposed a rather ingenious, and arguably mad idea for public transportation. Some 14 years later his boring vision began to take shape as Londoners started to bore a tunnel that over time weaved its way under the streets of the city. Nine years after that, the first segment of what…
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Perception of Leadership from the Entry Level

Guest Author: Taylor Leddin As a 24-year old, I’m the first to acknowledge that I have not been in the workforce for very long. However, I have had the privilege to work for a number of different companies and individuals over the course of my relatively short work life. Thanks to time off school in…
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How Lawnmower Leadership Hurts You and Your Organization

It is quite possible that you and other leaders in your organization have inadvertently fallen into the trap of being a lawnmower leader. Not sure what I mean? Allow Me to Give a Bit of Background A few months ago, an article, written by an anonymous middle school teacher and posted online, went viral.  In the…
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4 Tools Great Leaders Use to Avoid Pulling the Chicken Switch

Guest Author: Kit Allowitz The “chicken switch” is the ejection cord inside the cockpit of an F16 fighter jet.  The F16 is a $50 million-dollar piece of machinery that blares through the sky at speeds faster than the speed of sound.  Pilots are often faced in the moment with highly charged, high stakes decisions whose outcomes…
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Given a Choice, Would People Choose to Follow You?

Regardless of the type of work you do and who is (or isn’t) on your team, the job of being a leader starts with you. This is why you should invest time to evaluate how well you are doing at the job of leading yourself and leading others. And, of equal importance, evaluating why you…
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How Warren Buffet’s Words Can Shape Your Team’s Purpose

For all too many organizations and teams many purpose statements are looked at by employees as backroom jokes. Why? Because of the tremendous irony in trying to engage people’s passions and talents in a mission they have no passion for and no involvement in creating. At the same time, there is nothing more powerful than…
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A Surprisingly Simple Way to Make Yourself the Rarest of All Leaders

Take a minute to think about your leadership role. Write a statement that describes the contribution you want to make. Don’t just describe what you do now, write down what you want to do in your leadership role. In this way you’ll tap into your own passion, discovering what really motivates you and how you can…
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Answering These Key Questions Will Dramatically Change How You Lead

If you want to be a truly great leader, you must start by leading yourself. This includes having a vision or mission that inspires and energizes you. It also means that you have a clear purpose in mind for everything you do—initiatives, projects, meetings. It’s based on the simple principle of knowing your destination early.…
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How Great Leaders Leverage Diversity to Build Better Teams and Drive Results

Most of us have heard the expression the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, but what does that truly mean and how do you create an environment like this for your team? A team of people with diverse skills and perspectives is always more productive and creative than each member alone can…
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8 Tactical and Practical Steps to Assess and Change Your Daily Routine

Have you ever found yourself crazy busy doing stuff, but failing to accomplish things that truly matter most? You’re not alone. At times, we all get caught up in the “thick of thin things.”  A simple way to get back on track is to look at your daily habits and commit to making small changes.…
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This Potentially Counterintuitive Habit is Critical to Your Success

As a leader, it’s critical to seek first to understand other people before you try to make yourself understood. The basic principle here is empathy—putting yourself in the place of others so you can know and feel what they know and feel. Why is empathy a crucial habit for a leader? Picture a museum curator with…
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How the High Cost of Low Trust Hurts You and Your Organization

Let’s take a few minutes to consider the impact of low trust in business. Only 10 percent of workers trust their bosses to do the right thing, and only 14 percent believe their company’s leaders are ethical and honest. Less than a fifth of the general public trusts business leaders to be ethical and honest.…
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Insights from an Amazing Performance: This Has Only Happened 5 Times in 147 Years

With four swings of the bat, Milwaukee Brewers center fielder, Christian Yelich, went from a successful baseball career to one destined for the record books. This week Yelich hit a single, a double, a triple, and a home run all in the same game. This is called hitting for the cycle; and, it is rare.…
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How to Own a Room; A Firsthand Lesson from Iceland’s Prime Minister

I recently delivered a presentation on leadership at Iceland’s National Government Day. The event took place at Harpa, Reykjavik’s inconic concert hall and convention center, and served as a celebration of Iceland’s 100 years of sovereignty. 500 Icelandic leaders, from all facets of the country’s government, attended the session. It was an honor to be…
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Great Leaders Know How to Create the Conditions for Engagement

The vast majority of employees are disengaged from their work and you – not the CEO, the HR department, or someone else in the organization – are key to addressing the issue. Don’t believe me? Here are two findings from Gallup: Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their work. This means that, “one in eight workers…
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How Nike’s Kaepernick Ad Might Be a Game Changer this Time

This weekend Nike unveiled their latest “Just Do It” ad campaign. The company’s well known formula of marrying the familiar tagline with high profile athletes was on display once again; however, there was a bit of a twist this time. Serena Williams, known for her dominate play on the tennis court and Odell Beckham Jr.,…
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A Southwest Captain Shows How to Effectively Pilot a Career

Last week, I traveled to Orlando, Florida for a client meeting. As I settled into my seat, the Southwest Airlines flight attendant announced that the journey was the final leg in our pilot’s 42-year aviation career. After 22 years with Southwest Airlines and 20 years in the U.S. military, he was hanging up his captain’s…
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3 Days with Beyoncé, Taylor, Garth, and Pikachu Made Me a Better Leader

This past weekend, my adopted hometown, Nashville, Tennessee, truly lived up to the name Music City. Festivities started with a Thursday night concert by Beyoncé and Jay-Z to a sold out Vanderbilt University stadium as part of the OTR II Tour. Three days later, the city wrapped up a weekend of high-profile concerts, including performances from: Taylor…
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Manchester Divided, 3 “Shocking” Growth Strategy Lessons

I think we can all learn a bit about Growth Strategy Execution from the Head Coach of the Manchester United Football Club, Jose Mourinho. Framing the Discussion In 1957, Igor Ansoff, an applied mathmetician and business leader, introduced a business growth model. The model depicts four growth strategies. Here is a quick example of each: Diversification:…
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#1 Reason Strategy Fails and What Leaders Can Do About It

How often have you heard leaders announce a bold new initiative, only to watch it die a slow, painful death? How often have you done this yourself in your organization or team? Most strategies fail, not because they are poor strategies (although that happens – click here), but because they are poorly executed. It’s discouraging…
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HBS Professor Identifies the Central Issue of Leadership – One Word to Help You Address the Challenge

John Kotter is a legend in the world of leadership and change. A Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus, author of numerous business articles, and consultant to Global 5000 organizations, Kotter is, “internationally known and widely regarded as the foremost speaker on the topics of Leadership and Change.” (Harvard Business School) I’ve never met Kotter; however,…
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5 Behaviors of True Win-Win Negotiators Graphic

Odds are that on any given day, you find yourself in multiple negotiations with friends, family members, co-workers, direct reports, and even your boss. For many of us, negotiating happens so often, we fail to even notice it, think about it, or prepare for it. We just do it. And, frankly we often do it…
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Use this Proven ‘Secret’ to Tap into Your Team’s Productivity

Contemplate the energy, vitality, and optimism of people who are deeply engaged, particularly in this era when our technology leaves us breathless. We are at the edge of the greatest of times. California Gubernatorial Candidate Gavin Newsom has this insight: “The reality is, people will build cool things for the sake of building cool things. They…
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You Should Listen to Apple’s Angela Ahrendts’ Leadership Advice…

When asked, “What advice would you give to a new chief executive?” the remarkable Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President for Retail Sales at Apple and former CEO of Burberry, has a one word answer: “Listen.” And what is the greatest mistake a leader can make? “Not listening.” When interviewing for her role at Apple, Ahrendts…
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4 Awesome Reasons to Hire a Canine Coworker (#4 Might Save Your Life)

In 2017, The New York Times reported that, “…43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely….That represents a four percentage point increase since 2012, a shift that meets the demands of many job seekers.” If you are part of the growing wave of people working from home, or envision…
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Leadership Communication Choices

Are you making the right communication choices? Use this graphic to remind yourself of the importance of making the right communication choices as a leader. You can read the underlying article on the topic here.  A pdf version of the following graphic is available and ready to print for free on the tools page. Simply…
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“Boss” Research Says Do this for Team Accountability

If you plan to drive from New York to California, you don’t just fill your car up once with gas and expect to make it all the way there. You start out making good progress, but eventually you’re going to need to fill up again. In the same way, you need to fill your workers’…
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8 Behaviors of Successful Creatives Job Aid

Last summer, I wrote a post about being more creative. In it, I shared a process that a colleague and I developed and taught to thousands of people around the world. Many found the process simple and insightful. I thought my readers might find a quick graphic or ‘job aid’ helpful as they work to…
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Schultz Has Left the Coffee Shop. Wake-up & Smell 3 Leader Lessons

The business world has watched Howard Schultz slow departure from Starbucks. He stepped down as CEO in April 2016 and as of this month transition to chairman emeritus. Many believe he will now turn his attention to brewing up a U.S. Presidential candidacy in 2020 (Fortune). Upon his departure, I think it useful to spend…
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These 5 Remarkable Practices Will Transform Your Organization

The principles of proactivity, execution, productivity, and trust underlie every truly great organization. These five practices leverage those principles and are foundational to sustainable success in any industry. Do you want to change your organization for the better? Then put these five remarkable practices to work for you, your team, and your organization: 1. Find the Organization’s Voice Highly effective organizations find the voice of the organizational,  connect people and align systems .  They don’t just merely create and post a mission statement on the wall. 2. Develop & Execute Strategy Highly effective organizations find the voice of the organizational,  connect people and align systems .  They don’t just merely create and post a mission statement on the wall. 3. Unleash & Engage People Drop the “Do more with less,” mantra. Focus on unleashing and engaging people to do infinitely more than you imagined that they could. 4. Become the Trusted Provider Effective organizations work to be more than the provider of choice. They want to be the most trusted provider in their industry. 5. Drive Customer Loyalty Satisfying customers is not enough. These organizations work to create fervent loyalty with customers.
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Trying to Find Your Fit?

If you are trying to find your fit, to discover your unique contribution, or determine your voice, consider starting with these questions.  No, they won’t be the final answer, but may get you on the “right” path. Download a pdf version of this image by clicking on the Tools tab and scrolling down to the…
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Money Questions

I recently created this tool to help you think through money issues that each of us should be able to answer.  You can read more about the concept in this article. You can also visit the tools page by clicking the tab in the menu bar to download a PDF version of the image.
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Costco Stock Soars; How You Can Make “Wholesale” Customer Loyalty Changes

It took retail giant and wholesaler Costco less than thirty years to become the second largest retailer in the USA and seventh in the world—without advertising. How? By growing a worldwide base of intensely loyal customers and employees, many of whom “wouldn’t shop/work anywhere else.” Just last week, Costco’s earning report beat expectations for both top…
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Make Yourself Invaluable

Over the past 25+, I have been surrounded by many top performers: Courageous fellow paratroopers in the U.S. Army Amazing colleagues at both a global consulting firm and my own professional services agency Outstanding clients I’ve supported throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia Brilliant students at one of the nation’s top universities As I…
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A Few Ideas to Create Effective Meetings

Here are a few ideas to help you create more effective meetings. Print these out and keep them close. They might save you a ton of time, energy, and frustration! Download a printable version of the graphic on the tools page. Just scroll down to the section marked meetings, find the file, and download it.…
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6 Behaviors of an Effective Mentor

Effective mentors fulfill 6 key roles.  Each role is critical to success.  Click here to download the image. Do you want to dig deeper?  Click on tools tab for a free assessment of your mentorship abilities. It’s easy. Just scroll down to the Mentor Self Assessment, click the link, and complete the assessment.   Photo…
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One Radical Idea that May Change Your World

In the 1830’s, a rather ingenious and arguably mad idea was proposed. Some 14 years later a long journey went from concept to reality as a tunnel began to weave its way under the streets and buildings of mid-19th century London. Nine years later, the first segment of what would become London’s Underground opened for business.…
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What Are Your Core Competencies?

I invite you to take a moment to reflect on what your competencies and what you bring to the table. What skills do you have? What do you know? What is the essence of your work? What makes you competitive? What about you is unique and difficult to imitate? What superior value do you provide? Here’s…
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4 Customer-Centric Questions

If you are looking to create a customer-centric team, work with your teammates to answer 4 critical questions.
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Science Says This Motivates More Than Money or Happiness

Scientists tell us that there is enough nuclear energy in a few buckets of seawater to power the entire world for a day—if it could be unleashed. Likewise, there’s enough talent, intelligence, capability, and creativity in each of the people in your organization to astound you—if it could be unleashed. Just take a moment to…
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It’s Time for Baby Boomers to Retire

In 2017, Pew Research explained that, “still sizable, the Baby Boom generation’s sway in the workforce is waning. In the early and mid-1980s, Boomers made up a majority of the nation’s labor force. The youngest Boomer was 53 years old in 2017, while the oldest Boomers were older than 70. With more Boomers retiring every year…
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Talent Engagement Matrix

Allow me to introduce the Talent Engagement Matrix. You can use this tool to assess how well your people are positioned to best leverage their passion and potential. Read more here. You will also learn what to do if someone isn’t well positioned.
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3 Problems Plaguing Your Productivity (#3 Might Be Killing You)

Today’s productivity problems go far deeper than just managing units of time. Our world has a few specific challenges that allow the time to just “go by,” and can leave us feeling unaccomplished and weary at the end of a day. Productivity Problem #1 We are making more decisions than we ever have before. Think…
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3 Coaching Lessons from Olajugbagbe and a British Knight

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an article about 18-year-old Ruti Olajugbagbe and learned three great coaching lessons. Ruti is the 2018 winner of The Voice UK Season 7. The show is a multi-week talent contest in which celebrities partner with contestants in an effort to be named the season’s best singer. The competition…
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We Simply Do Not Know What the Future Holds

“We simply do not know what the future holds.” – Peter L. Bernstein
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The Answer to Engaging Your People May Lie in a 2,200-Year-Old Story

The great Archimedes (287–212 BCE), one of the world’s finest mathematicians, was a person before his time. Not only did he invent integral calculus and figure the approximate value of π (pi) he is also said to be the father of the machine age by discovering and putting to use the properties of levers and…
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What 250,000 Meals a Day Teach Us About Purpose

In Mumbai, India, a city of 17 million people, fast food has a unique meaning. Every day, about 5,000 dabbawalas, or “lunchbox people,” deliver nearly a quarter of a million home-cooked lunches around this vast, tumultuous city—at high speed and without error! Because people who work in the city enjoy a home-cooked lunch, thousands of…
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Engage Your People

With all of the discussion about employee engagement, have you considered this? Engage the passion your people innately possess. You don’t have to invite them to have dreams – they already have them.
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How to Create a Culture That is Continuously Learning and Growing

Organizations that fail to continuously improve their capabilities will inevitably fade away. Creating a culture that is continually learning and growing is essential to the future of your organization. Creating this type of an organization is a leader’s job – it can’t be outsourced. Let’s face it… In many organizations, employees have become so entrenched…
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The Secret to Producitivity

Do you want to increase the productivity of the team? Technology certainly helps, as does process improvement. However, someone has to use the technology. People need to embrace new processes. The secret to productivity is to ignite the passions of your team.
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How a 100-Year-Old Research Study Can Make You a Better Leader

More than a century ago, researchers at Clark University did an experiment with a walleye pike, a very aggressive fish. The researchers placed the pike in a large tank filled with water and added several minnows, the pike’s natural food, and watched as the fish immediately devoured the minnows. The researchers then placed a transparent…
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FOCUS

It sounds obvious, but most of us have a way of piling up “must-do” priorities, making it impossible to do a very good job on any of them. One recipe for disengaging people is to overwhelm them with things to do, all of which are “Job 1” and “key priorities” and “top-of-the-list.” But if you…
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Scientist Call It “Exhaustion Syndrome” and It’s Killing Your Team

All too many of us suffer from a personal energy crisis. We no longer work a standard eight-hour day. Our minds are constantly churning trying to make high value decisions, virtually twenty-four hours day. Our mode of life today—constant stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise and sleep—leads to what scientists call “exhaustion syndrome.” “[Exhaustion…
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How to Unleash the Power of Your People

Given enough support, any human being has virtually limitless power. Each person in your organization is unique and has an irreplaceable set of gifts, talents, skills, and passions that cannot be found anywhere else. Too many leaders have the pernicious paradigm that people are interchangeable, that one worker equals another, that they can easily replace…
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4 Leadership Addictions that Fuel Employee Burnout

I bet most of you are familiar with this adult only concept. Imagine yourself in this scenario… You’re commuting home after a long workday. Exhausted, you want nothing more than to eat a quick meal and a chance to relax. As you reflect on your day, you think to yourself that you were really busy,…
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The Power of Purpose: Discover (Rediscover) Your Purpose

A key habit of any true leader is to have a clear “end in mind,” a vision or mission that inspires and energizes people. It also means having a clear purpose in mind for everything true leaders do—initiatives, projects, meetings. It’s based on the simple principle of knowing one’s destination early; even if one fall…
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How a Jackass Manager Treats People

In many organizations, the typical approach to changing people’s behavior is to reward or threaten them. This is what Stephen R. Covey called “the great jackass theory of human motivation—carrot and stick.” The problem with this approach is that it treats people like animals, and it works only on the surface and only temporarily. When…
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Your Organization’s One True Competitive Advantage

No matter what industry you work in, when your people quit work for the night, your competitive advantage quits too. You might say, “What about our mission? Organizational structure? Internal rewards program? Work processes? Computer systems? Aren’t they advantages that will overcome our competition?” Obviously, competitive advantages can come from many sources, but the bottom…
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The Foundational Habit of a True Leader

We are often told of all the things that leaders should be, how they should act, what they should say, etc. If you don’t believe me, just google the word “leadership” and you will find article after article of things that leaders should do (or not do). I know, I’ve written some of them myself.…
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How One Leadership Idea Can Change Everything You Do

How Did We Get Here? Ever since the founding of the first organization (whatever it was), leaders have struggled with this problem—how do you motivate people to give their best? Age after age of autocratic leaders used fear as the primary lever for engagement. Compliance was key. In the last century, scientific managers used the…
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Is it Time to Prune

To flourish we must let go of things that hinder us. This means that we sometimes have to let of good things too. Perhaps even friends, mindsets, fears, and how we spend our time, money, and other resources. Sometimes our lives need a bit of pruning. What do you need to cut back on in…
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What Legos Teach Us about Teamwork

When our son was a little boy, he discovered a passion for Legos – not a general liking, but a true passion. His exposure started with a small Lego set. I have no recollection of his first Lego, but it was probably a car, a boat, an airplane, or some other form of transportation. Over…
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How to Create a Culture Where All Voices Are Heard

Let’s face it; many people feel that their voices aren’t heard, or even welcome. They don’t feel like they belong. This phenomena is not limited to any particular country, industry, or business – it’s ubiquitous. This isn’t just a concern. It is a tragedy. The good news is that regardless of your role, you can…
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RIP Toys R Us – Avoid a Similar Fate in Your Organization

Toy’s R Us is dead – at least in the United States. According to CNBC, “Toys R Us is planning to either close or sell all of its more than 800 stores across the U.S.” The debate is underway about what killed Toys R Us. Was it poor strategy and execution? Including specific issues like store selection…
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David Marriott Asked Me One Question: You Should Ask this of Every Customer

You are likely familiar with one, if not several, of Marriott International’s brands. With revenue of $22.69 billion in 2017, Marriott is the largest hotel group in the world. Marriott is my hotel of choice, but that wasn’t always the case. You are likely familiar with one, if not several, of Marriott International’s brands. Marriott…
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