Preparing for a Tough Conversation with Your Boss

In the last few weeks, several people have told me about their plans to have conversations with their respective bosses about raises, promotions, or changes to work arrangements. Knowing that one of the business classes I teach at Vanderbilt University is Negotiation, each person asked how I would handle these potentially tough conversations. Like any…

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3 Ways to Tackle a Challenge

Recently, my son, son-in-law, and I went for a long hike. We covered about 11 miles of fairly hilly terrain, but the real challenge came at the end. The last mile required us to ascend a steep and fairly long stone stairway. Once we reached the top, I asked about their approach to tackling the…

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What an Ice Storm Taught Me about Friction and Leading

Not too long ago, my neighborhood was covered in ice. The slick spots made walking a bit treacherous as there was no friction. My shoes didn’t grip the slippery surface and the only thing between me and a trip to the emergency department was dexterity and luck. Fortunately, luck was on my side each day…

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The Kind of FIT that Truly Matters to Your Culture

I enjoy a challenging puzzle. I also like a great analogy. That probably tells you a lot about me. That said, I don’t particularly enjoy the analogy that compares puzzles to teams and people to pieces. Perhaps you’ve heard this analogy. It can show up in ways like these: A person interviews for a job…

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Snow Days and Other Traditions

The United States was hit with a major snow and ice storm a couple of weeks ago. While my newsfeed filled up with stories about the weather and its aftermath, my social media populated with images of kids sledding and drinking hot chocolate. In the midst of all of it, I became a bit nostalgic…

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Leading Your Whole Self

In today’s world, outsourcing is commonplace. To reduce costs, a company ships jobs to another country or location where labor is less expensive. This shift in management mindset coupled with advancements in technologies allows a company to establish a call center halfway around the world and enjoy the associated cost savings. The situation seems almost…

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What Moving 250,000 Meals Per Day Can Teach You 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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4 Lego Building Blocks for Your Organization.

Since inception, Lego has produced over 650 billion pieces. That’s nearly 93 blocks for every person on the planet. They’ve also manufactured 4 billion lego mini figures – one small Lego ‘person’ for every 1.75 people on earth. Ten years ago, Lego was struggling on every financial front and headed toward ruin; however, they turned…

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