Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

Do you talk about your issues or not?

When it comes to communication and conversation, especially about the more sensitive, touchy and uncomfortable topics there are two types of leaders: the “Let’s talk about it…” type and the “Let’s not talk about it and it will go away…”. Let’s be frank, no one looks forward to, or enjoys discussing the tough topics such as “What is not working?”, “Who is not doing their job properly?” or “Who is accountable for the failure in results?“. People especially don’t like to talk about these topics when they know or suspect that their people are frustrated with, or blaming their leadership, performance or behavior. However, some leaders seem to be braver, more mature or more responsible […]

Are you open to your possibilities?

If you don’t believe that some future goal is actually achievable or likely to happen, would you still put your heart into it and go after it? I am sure your answer is NO! People only really wholeheartedly pursue the aspirations that they believe are achievable and doable. I was trying to convince a client that he can achieve the promotion he wanted to VP in the short time frame he wanted, but he was very skeptical about his odds for success as he could not see any apparent openings for a VP role in the foreseeable future. He kept telling me “There is no way!” This was his outlook and mindset about his chances to […]

Are you controlling or empowering?

I don’t think I have ever met an executive, leader or manager who didn’t pronounce the importance of teamwork and collaboration, then express their commitment to building that environment around them. Unfortunately, I have met quite a few executives, leaders, and managers who said it but when the moment of truth arrived, they were too closeminded, proud, self-righteous or afraid to let go of their control and truly invest in, promote and leverage the collective power of their team. These leaders when in public took every opportunity to express platitudes about “we are stronger together”, “the power of teams” and “feedback is a gift“. However, when their team members wanted to have real, authentic and […]

Never forget the power and magic of Courage

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 courageous conversations?

I’d like to share three true stories with you… True Story One: In a very large global financial service organization there was a strategic conflict between one of the lines of business and the regions, who were selling its products. The regions felt they were different. They knew their territory and customers best, so they wanted to control the sales process. But the business unit believed their products were meant to be sold through a consistent global program, which only they could do. Needless to say, this caused a lot of conflicts, tensions, and stress among the senior leaders. It was causing even more anxiety at the middle managers level as they felt stuck between […]

If you don’t have a clear outcome and someone who owns it, you have nothing!

I was supporting a group of senior leaders in a global technology company to create breakthrough projects in a few key areas of their business in which they wanted to elevated performance. As a kickoff, I asked each of the project teams to present their ‘Starting Point Status’. Different projects were at different stages of maturity. However, they all shared a few common mistakes. One team outlined several initiatives, but it wasn’t clear what was the overarching outcome of their project.  So beyond the individual outcome of each initiative, I couldn’t tell if the initiatives they’d taken on were the right ones for this breakthrough project. Another team outlined the outcome of their project, but […]