Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

Stop wasting time in worthless meetings

I was working with two different organizations that were going through significant growth and change. One company had completed its second acquisition of a large competitor and was in the midst of integrating teams, products and strategies to optimize this significant change and growth. The other company had done such a great job in their core business of selling machines and hardware that they were expanding their market reach into adjacent areas of software development and consulting. This change required new capabilities, skills, processes and mindset. Needless to say, in both cases, there were many complex details for the leadership teams to debate, make decisions about and iron out both in their growth and change […]

Do not be afraid of the roller coaster of taking a stand

Taking a stand is like putting on a fresh pair of glasses. You start seeing things more clearly. I was working with the middle managers of a global technology-based company. This group was suffering from a lack of internal cohesion and trust, plus communication issues between its members. These negative dynamics had been going on for so long that it was hard for the managers to tell if their trust issues were coming from personal relationship issues or from the fact that businesses and functions were simply not working together cohesively and effectively. However, one thing was clear to the managers – that their issues were hurting productivity, business results and morale in their wider […]

If you want your people to live the values, live them yourself!

Every modern organization has cultural values that outline the type of culture and behaviors the CEO and his or her senior executives want to drive in their organization. The CEO and senior team are typically the ones who stand on the stage and share the values. Most CEOs only mention the values a few times a year in the formal company-wide events. In many cases, this happens because their human resource leader or communications manager adds it in their presentation deck. Some CEOs really care about the values. They see them as their personal endeavor; perhaps the legacy they want to leave behind them. These CEOs find any opportunity to mention, repeat and reference the […]

How to sustain your excitement with the change you want?

Have you ever attended a really powerful and great strategic planning meeting at work where at the end of the meeting you felt truly excited, inspired and hopeful about the new future direction? But then you returned back to your day-to-day work environment and it wasn’t long before the routine, workload, churn and perhaps cynicism around you set back in and you lost that sense of optimism and excitement that you had in that meeting? So how do you sustain your excitement toward a new direction or the change you want to bring about? Here are a few practical suggestions: Speak to as many people as you can about it. The more people you will […]

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 […]