Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

Are you dealing with successes and setbacks effectively?

Whenever you take on a major improvement, breakthrough or transformation in your team or company, it is inevitable that along the way you will have successes and setbacks.  The bigger you play, the bigger your successes and/or setbacks will be. The only way to minimize the setbacks is to play smaller. The only way to increase the successes is to play bigger.  You will have to determine what is more important for you. When it comes to successes and/or setbacks mindset is everything. I was in a meeting with a team that had taken on a big change initiative. We were meeting after two months to review progress and firm up the plan forward. At […]

Is “good” good enough for you?

Here’s my high-level assessment of corporate and business teams: Many, perhaps most are dysfunctional or mediocre. Some are good. Few are excellent. Unfortunately – this report card doesn’t directly correlate with business results. I say “unfortunately” because pretty much every team talks about wanting to become more effective and some version of moving from “good to great” yadda, yadda, yadda.  However, for most teams this desire lives as a “good idea”, not a “must do”. If only great teams produced great results it would be easier for the dysfunctional and mediocre, and even good teams to confront and own the consequence of their inadequacy. But, things don’t work that way and there are a lot […]

Stop focusing on lagging indicators!

I was supporting a technology company that was going through tremendous growth and change. They had ripped apart and restructured their entire business and they were working very hard on integrating the new pieces. Even though they were going through all this change they were given no relief from achieving their bold sales numbers. What made things worse is that they had fallen short in their few previous quarters. Needless to say, the pressure and stress were very high. Everyone was focused on achieving the next quarter’s results. But, a growing number of leaders were becoming frustrated. They felt that the short-term focus was part of the problem. They believed that the team’s single focus […]

Stop Prioritizing and start Promising!

You would think that getting your priorities straight would be the answer to the overwhelming, stressful burden of too many commitments, too little time and scarce resources.  Well, you may want to think again! Setting priorities is definitely a solution, but it isn’t the most powerful and effective one. You write down everything you are supposed to do, want to do, said you would do and have to do. You then take that list and through some form of screening criteria, rank each in order of importance, sense of opportunity, urgency or obligation. You then tackle each item on your to-do list in order of importance starting with the “A” priorities then, as time and capacity […]

Is your team’s communication candid, transparent and courageous?

Is your team’s communication candid, transparent and courageous?

Most teams are not good at having the tough, uncomfortable conversations, even if it is necessary for a really important cause. Furthermore, most people are not good at giving honest and direct feedback and coaching to others, especially if it involves negative criticisms and feedback, even if it would make a big difference. Even when team members do attempt to say what’s really on their minds, they often say things in such a diplomatic, vague and sugarcoated way that the impact of their message is lost in its tepid delivery. At times being diplomatic can be an effective approach. It may allow you to address a delicate problem with a teammate in a more sensitive […]

High-Performance Team

How to build a High-Performance Team

A lot has been written about this topic. I would like to keep it simple.   For me a high-performance team is: A team that is truly cohesive, aligned and trusting. Everyone has each other’s back and people feel they are in it together. Team members address and discuss any topic, no matter how sensitive or difficult – in an open, honest, authentic, courageous, effective and respectful way. People give feedback, coaching and hold each other to account. Everyone is comfortable taking a stand and being explicit about what they are committing to. And lastly – there is no tolerance for gossip, blame, and negative conversations. So, how do you develop a High-Performance team? Here is […]