Do you compliment?

People whose efforts are rewarded are more engaged and do better work. Unsurprisingly, they’re happier, too, at work and at home. So here’s the question for leaders and managers: do you compliment? Do you acknowledge? Do you recognize? Compliments are, as Christopher Littlefield points out, “conflict prevention.” Littlefield knows whereof he speaks: he’s a conflict resolution expert, author, and founder …

Is leadership lonely?

“It’s lonely at the top.” We’ve all heard that saying, typically in reference to C-suite executives, especially CEOs. It may be true (though many CEOs have colleagues and formal mastermind groups supporting them and helping them feel less lonely). But I’d say that all leadership is lonely, whether at the top, the bottom, or somewhere in between. Especially the first-line manager …

Cookie-cutter leadership?

Cookie-cutter leadership. Leadership best practices. Leadership rules. Let’s be clear: none of that actually exists Except perhaps in people’s wishes and dreams and textbooks. Don’t get me wrong: there absolutely are foundational skills and important tools of leadership that you need to learn. But applying them in a cookie-cutter way doesn’t work, best practices are only “best” according to a …

How do managers learn leadership?

How do managers learn leadership? Any way they can. That’s not a joke, though it sort of sounds like one. Let’s start here, with the 70-20-10 model of learning and development. The 70-20-10 model tells us that 10 percent of learning comes from classroom instruction, 20 percent from observation, and 70 percent from doing. Yes, we can – and some …

Five facts about organizational culture

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? Culture is a company asset Yet so many organizations treat it as an afterthought, at best. Here’s another fact for you: Culture is either by intent – or by default If you’re not intentional about what you want your culture to be, you’ll end up with whatever takes shape around the personalities of …

Goldfinches, learning, and leadership

At this time of year, there are literally dozens of goldfinches at our birdfeeder. They’re wearing their winter plumage: faded, dusty taupe. The only reason I know for sure that they’re goldfinches? The black-and-white stripes on their wings. Every year, I’m amazed at how – all of a sudden – the males are vivid bright yellow. Overnight. Wait a minute. That’s …

Stop with “fake it till you make it”!

I’m sure you’ve been given that advice at some point. “Fake it till you make it!” I actually had a therapist tell me that many years ago. Oof. It’s the worst possible advice. Because here’s the thing: “fake it till you make it” is a sure-fire, guaran-damn-teed way to land yourself in the middle of imposter syndrome, unconfidence, insecurity, and …

Time: the ultimate NFT

Time. It’s ubiquitous – it’s everywhere – we swim around in it like the proverbial fish oblivious to the water it swims through and breathes. And that ubiquitousness, that everywhereness, that swimming-in-it-ness, means we usually don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. Even as we bemoan the lack of time, and wish we had more, and try to …

Why are you promoting me?

I heard that on a podcast episode recently. And I’ve heard variations on the theme from – let me think to make sure I’m not overstating this – yes, from everyone I’ve ever asked about that moment of stepping from individual team member into a leadership role. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the skills required to excel …

Why should they stay?

I suspect we’ve all gotten a little tired of hearing about the Great Resignation. But it’s still happening – and there are still important questions that need to be asked, even as you scramble to hire replacements. WHY are they leaving you? And WHY should they stay? There’s an old old saying that “people leave managers, not jobs.” You can probably find proof …