Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

Are you a good communicator?

Most people are really not great communicators. They assume that others see things the way they do, and/or they know what is expected of them, so they either avoid communicating or they communicate in an implicit and ineffective way. Even those who do communicate often, do it in a much less direct and effective way then they think. I was coaching two very seasoned and successful executives in the trust and communication between them. Each of them commanded a very large and critical division. Their divisions depended on each other for their success and the overall success of the company. Because these two executives didn’t trust each other they also didn’t communicate in a transparent […]

Do you love your job?

Early in my career, I was facilitating a manager meeting at a manufacturing plant. There were about 100 people in the session and the managers were going around introducing themselves, one-by-one they stood up and shared a few personal things about themselves. At the far-right corner of the hall sat a supervisor, from simply observing his demeanor and everyone’s attention on him I could tell that he was one of the factory veterans. At his turn, he stood up and introduced himself using the following words: “My name is Bill. I don’t remember how many years I have been here, but I have 64 months to go!” and he sat down. There was then awkward […]

Are you tolerating toxicity and unproductivity?

In order for a leadership team of any company to truly operate at a high-performance level, the leaders need to have the courage to look at themselves in the mirror, face reality and take stock of what is working and what is not working in their own team dynamic. The ‘working’ part is easier than the ‘not working’ for obvious reasons. There are always challenges, tensions, and issues between teams and between leaders. At times, teams feel frustrated by the fact that other teams are not listening or providing the support they need. Some leaders feel their counterparts are complacent, arrogant or simply incompetent and not adding value. A few recent examples I have encountered […]

How good is your strategy?

I was supporting the senior leadership team of a global service provider in taking their game to a new level. As part of my preparation for the work with this firm, I attended a PowerPoint presentation of the global vision, mission, and strategy of this firm. It was spectacular both visually and in terms of its content. It was simple, clever, it used catchy phrases and it incorporated a few cool visual effects. It was one of the best I have seen (and I have seen many), I was impressed! Then I started the work with the team, and I cannot begin to tell you how dysfunctional these leaders were. They had significant trust, cohesion […]

Are you failing often enough?

Strange question, you may think, and you are probably right. I don’t mean it literally. However, I am sure you would agree that people who make bolder decisions and choices; people who go for it ‘all out’ tend to have a higher risk of failing. In fact, the bigger you play in any area if you fail you will most likely fail bigger. In contrast, people who play small and safe tend to avoid failures and if they do their failure is much smaller. So, perhaps the right question is: “Are you playing big enough?” What’s big enough? There is no objective definition or metric. Each one of us has to determine that for ourselves. However, […]

Do you know when to ’empower’ and when to ‘command and control’?

In most organizations, a leader who manages in a command and control style is frowned upon and branded as an uncaring tyrant who doesn’t listen to people and doesn’t empower them. While, people’s negative reaction to a top-down command and control leadership style is understandable and most often legitimate, there are times in which a command and control approach is the most appropriate and effective. In fact, at times it is necessary. Take as an example the new CEO of a large global financial service organization. When he took the helm of his organization, he soon realized that he inherited a bigger mess than he anticipated. The financial performance of the company had been on […]