Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

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 […]

How to overcome being a narcissistic leader

I work with narcissistic leaders from time to time. While narcissistic leaders are often very ambitious, driven and successful, they do not empower, promote, recognize and elevate the people around them. Instead, they tend to take the credit, seek the limelight and remain the stars of the show under all circumstances. Here are eight typical characteristics of narcissistic leaders: They always have to be “the star”. They don’t like to share the limelight, elevate others and overall enable others around them to become too powerful, influential or great. In fact, they seem to be threatened by others shining and they get quite upset when others play too much of a dominant role. They take the […]

Can your team handle tough conversations?

If you want to know how powerful your team is, just see how team members deal with sensitive and tough topics. Sensitive and tough topics are any subjects that require the leaders and team members to put their own personal feelings, egos, and agendas aside for the greater good of their company or team. It could be anything as big as deciding which team to invest in, which team member to promote or re-allocating people and budgets from one leader’s team to another. It could be something as trivial as giving honest feedback to colleagues, your boss or subordinates about poor performance. When it comes to sensitive and tough conversations the line between big and […]

Stop having objectives if you are not going to explicitly promise to fulfill them!

All teams have objectives or outcomes, which team members usually believe in, aspire to and want to deliver. However, not all teams have the same relationship with their objectives and outcomes. Most leaders and teams seem to believe that if their objectives are well articulated and clear enough they have a greater chance of succeeding. That is not necessarily true. Yes, it makes a difference that an objective or outcome is well articulated. However, I have seen many teams with well-articulated outcomes achieve mediocre traction against their outcomes. In contrast, I have seen teams with mediocre level outcomes achieve extraordinary traction and results against their outcomes. Why? Most leaders and teams seem to believe that […]

Why are people so afraid of bluntness?

What is wrong with being blunt? Most people generally tend to avoid being too blunt. However, in many organizations bluntness is non existent and in most organizations Ambiguity and Vagueness are an epidemic. I couldn’t count the number of times I have been in a meeting about an important topic and someone rambled on and on without getting to the point, or someone expressed their opinion and still no one understood what it is, or someone said they had the solution only to continue to highlight the problems, which everyone already understood to begin with. People tend to talk a lot without saying much! I see this behavior at every level of the organization, from […]

Are you staying on top of your communications?

Recently I wanted to get some additional phone and TV services from my cable provider, so I called them up and after being passed along from one agent to another I finally asked to speak with a supervisor.  After hearing my frustrations and needs the supervisor apologized and promised to take care of all my needs quickly and effectively. There was one item that he couldn’t get for me in our call so he gave me his personal email address and again he pledged to get back to me ASAP with the resolution. Several days passed and I didn’t hear from him so I emailed him a few times and eventually he responded, again apologizing […]