Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

Are you tolerating the blame game?

I was speaking with a senior executive in a global company who has a successful division. He described his team in the following way: “I have great, smart and committed people, but we don’t work as a powerful team. Trust is not high, we don’t address big issues well and I am especially frustrated by the fact that there is too much blame.” I’ve known this executive for many years. He is a great leader, he has always had successful teams and he got to where he is by always achieving strong results. This time was no different. His business results were very strong, but he wanted to make them even stronger by getting rid […]

Stop using the “S” word!

If I’d received a dollar every time I heard someone say “We should do X…” or “We should stop doing Y…” I would be very rich! And, if I received a dollar every time the person saying “We should do X…” actually did what they said should be done, I would be broke! Every organization is filled with good and committed people who sincerely want to be part of, and make a difference in the corporate mission. They also want to be known and feel appreciated and valued for their efforts and contributions. Let’s be honest, in most organizations, it can be hard to step up, take responsibility and make things better, especially in large […]

Are your leaders all in?

Building a high-performance culture in an organization is a daunting undertaking. Anyone who has taken on such a commitment on would attest to that fact. You are never going to get it perfectly right. You need nerves of steel and a combination of conviction and drive together with patience and tolerance for a messy process. The main reason, of course, is that people are different, with diverse personalities, styles, and commitments. The likelihood of getting everyone in the organization to commit to the change, growth or success you are trying to implement is slim to none. At the level of the employees, that’s OK. In fact, even with the managers, you don’t need to achieve […]

Don’t overlook the power of authentic conversations

I was participating in a meeting of the senior leadership team of a leading technology company. The leaders were discussing important strategic and operational topics that are critical to the future of their business. At some point, I looked around the table and at least 50% of the leaders were looking down at their smartphones, probably responding to emails or something like that. In fact, throughout the entire meeting, this was pretty much the case. This is not an isolated dynamic for this team or company. It is pretty much the norm in most or all meetings of most teams and organizations. From time to time the CEO would stop the flow of the conversation, […]

Don’t forget to enjoy the journey toward your destination

I was coaching a senior executive who was not demonstrating the leadership that he had wanted and that people expected of him in his senior position. During our session, he shared his disappointment and frustration with the fact that he had recently turned 50 and he hadn’t reached the level of promotion that he had wanted. It seemed that his miss behavior was a reaction to his sudden realization and panic that “he was behind on achieving his life goals…”. As ambitious members of a modern and demanding society, we have the tendency to go through life with the sense that we are “not quite there yet”. We set goals for ourselves and then along […]

Are you owning your personal power?

I was working with a senior leadership team of a successful technology company that was dealing with great change as a result of changes in their market and the way their customers wanted to partner with them to purchase and consume their offerings. The stakes were high and the senior leaders had to make some big and bold decisions about how they will organize their company differently to accommodate this change. The good news was that the company had a strong portfolio of offerings that was relevant and desired by their customers. The bad news is that this organization and leadership team had a long history of working in a particularly siloed way. While teams […]