Entries by gmader

Are you leading with power or force?

In my work with organizations, I meet many effective managers and executives who have a wide variety of leadership styles and personalities.  Some drive progress in a proactive way and others are more reactive. Some make things happen directly, while others talk a good game but only play it through others. Some are self-centered and selfish in their pursuit of results, while others are generous and kind. Some promote politics and fear around them when they get things done, while others get results by inspiring and motivating others to do their best. When it comes to driving results and making things happen there is a difference between leaders who lead with force and those who […]

Don’t stop while you are ahead

Most teams make the classic mistake of taking their foot off the gas in their change initiatives when things actually start to change. They commit to change, work hard to make changes and then at the most critical moment when things start to improve and change, they abandon the rigor, discipline and focus that brought them to the change in the first place. This is a typical human behavior that most or all of us are guilty of from time to time. How many of you can relate to the following example: You decide to lose weight and/or get into physical shape. You sign up to the gym, hire a personal trainer and perhaps even […]

If you don’t have goodwill, you don’t have anything

When making agreements with others what is more important, having an ironclad contract or an atmosphere of goodwill to live by? Obviously, the right answer is “both” However, hypothetically, if you could only have one, which would it be? Any agreement is only as good as people’s intentions to live by it. That is the reason when there is lack of goodwill people say: “This agreement is not worth the paper it is written on.” People are so smart. They know how to go through the motions and pretend like they are committed to an agreement while doing the minimum to live by it. They always have excuses and blame circumstances and others for their […]

Complete 2017 in a meaningful way

As we enter the holiday season and end of 2017 it seems appropriate and timely to write something about “completing the year.” Completing a chapter, initiative or task effectively can be just as powerful and exciting as starting or executing it effectively. However, it seems as if most people tend to focus more on the starting and executing part. We underestimate the power and value of completing things effectively, not merely finishing or ending them. The dictionary defines finishing as Bringing a task or activity to an end‘. It defines Completing as ‘Making something whole or perfect’. You don’t have to do anything for something to end. It is the nature of life. Things begin, […]

Success through Rigor, Clarity and Responsibility

I received a few reactions to last week’s blog about not expecting what you haven’t been explicitly promised. Explicitly being the key word here. One of the comments said: “How do you deal with situations where someone promises you something, you expect it and it doesn’t happen?” The dynamic of people requesting and promising is often not as clear-cut and straightforward as people think, expect and describe it to be. In fact, it is rife with pitfalls, misunderstandings, and upsets. I have learned from experience that when disappointed people describe breakdowns as: “They promised and didn’t deliver!” there is almost always more to the story than that. I want to share a few basic tips […]

Stop expecting what you haven’t been promised

Having hopes, dreams, and expectations is a good thing, for the most part. However, sometimes having expectations can be a source of disappointment and frustration. We have expectations in most areas of our life. At work, we expect our boss and colleagues to treat us a certain way. And we expect that things that are not working well in the work environment will get addressed and fixed in a timely manner.  In our personal relationships, we expect our partners to treat us lovingly, and with respect and generosity. In fact, if you self-reflect I am sure you’ll see that most of the time in most key areas you have clear images and standards about how […]

Are you living in the moment…?

I work with a lot of ambitious and driven professionals who set big goals for themselves and pursue these goals with extreme passion, commitment, and relentlessness. I pride myself on being the same. For highly driven people the line between work life and personal time are often nonexistent. They think about work-related matters at home, attend to emails and text at all times of the day and night, and they have no issue creating, planning and managing personal endeavors while at work. I have had many friends excuse themselves during dinner to take a call or respond to email about a business deal or transaction. At first, this seemed rude and antisocial behavior to me. […]

Don’t ask if you don’t want to hear the truth

I was attending a senior leadership team meeting of one of the key functions of a large global technology company. The function’s leader, in his attempt to improve the team’s alignment with, and in support of the business, leader undertook a significant organization structure change, in which he created new departments and made changes to existing ones. The leaders were discussing the reorganization that had been announced and purpose of the conversation was to review the list of team members who were going to move from one team to another as part of the change. Needless to say, for many of the leaders, this was not an easy or comfortable conversation. Those who were losing team […]

Courage makes the world go around

W.H. Murray, the leader of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition that pioneered the path to the top of Mt. Everest, knew something about COURAGE. He shared his experience in a known quote, which I really love: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That, the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and […]

Are you having or avoiding the courageous conversations?

The senior leaders of a large and successful technology company I was working with wanted to improve their overall effectiveness as a team, including their communications and meeting productiveness. The leaders acknowledged that their conversations and meetings were not effective and that included: The short-term fire-fighting always took over meeting’s agendas and the team never got to discuss the more strategic topics of opportunity and change When the leaders did get to the discussions the same few team members always dominated the conversation and other team members felt unable to contribute The team debated issues endlessly without reaching conclusions, alignment and decisions Important decisions that affected everyone were made behind the scenes with the same […]

The four Es of making a difference with others

If you manage people or if you are simply trying to make a difference through coaching, mentoring or supporting someone you care about, I would like to share with you some thoughts about four distinctions you should focus on.  I refer to these as – The Four Es of Making a Difference ENABLE: The dictionary defines enable as “To give someone the means to make something possible” So many people get resigned and give up too quickly when they face big challenges. They view their obstacles as bigger than them, so instead of staying the course to overcome their obstacles they quit or simply go through the motion, which is worst. In fact, too many people fail […]

Is your team evolving by default or are you shaping it by design?

I was coaching the senior members of a new leadership team of a mid-size technology company on developing themselves a strong leadership team. We were in a collective discussion about “What is your role as a leadership team?” and people were expressing their views. At some point in the conversation, I shared some of my own thoughts and recommendations about what the role of a strong leadership team could be. I included things like: “Ensure that the strategic commitments and objectives of your organization are alive and meeting their results” “Ensure that your people are in great shape from a professional, productivity, development and motivation standpoint” and “Ensure that you, yourselves are operating and being viewed […]