Who makes the decisions?

Who makes the decisions in your company? It’s a cultural question, isn’t it? Hierarchical command-and-control organizations keep decision-making firmly at the top. And that means there’s generally a lack of trust, plus a lack of rank-and-file understanding of, and commitment to, strategic goals and objectives. This in turn leads to a lack of context for the people doing the work …

Where is the courage to lead?

I think we all know that leadership – true leadership – requires courage. Here’s something else I think we all know, either consciously or intuitively: courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is about doing the thing even in the presence of fear. Now, there are a lot of leadership experts, gurus, thought leaders, influencers (you name it) out there …

Leadership development is disruptive

There. I said it: leadership development is disruptive. And I’m serious. It requires that you: Decide who should be trained (which can upset those who aren’t selected); Choose a process for training (which can take precious time that you don’t have); Pull those selected for training out of their regular day-to-day work (which – since they’re your best employees – means …

Ever work for a “whiz kid”?

Many years ago in my early corporate days, I was on a team reporting to a self-described “whiz kid.” I kid you not. (Pun intended.) He really did call himself a whiz kid. He was a nice enough guy … but a really bad manager. He was so bad that I and my fellow teammates went to not just one, …

Water leaks and repeating problems

They’re digging up the street outside my house. It’s yet another water leak. I live on a short, three-block street. We have roughly one leak per month. Seriously. The water-company office staff groanlaugh when we call to report Yet.Another.Leak.Here. My husband and I have often wondered – as we circumnavigate a puddle or pile of dirt and gravel – why …

How to learn leadership

I posted a question this morning on LinkedIn: “What’s the most successful thing you’ve done to develop your leadership?” The common denominator among all the answers? Choosing to own their leadership skill development. Whether that was accepting a reeeaaally stretchy promotion, taking a volunteer leadership role, or simply deciding to learn leadership skills, it was all about personal ownership and …

Osmosis is for scientists, not leaders

You can’t learn leadership by osmosis. It sure would be great if you could. Promoted from an individual role into management and leadership? Poof, whoosh, hey presto, you’re a leader – you “just know” how to do it. But no. Becoming a good, successful, caring, effective leader requires training practice with what’s learned guidance coaching mentoring all of that and …

Why leadership development programs fail

Leadership training programs don’t always have the best reputation for success. Perhaps you’ve experienced this: your company allocated budget for a program, spent time, effort, and money conducting the training, had high hopes for a great outcome, and … ended up disappointed. Sadly, it’s not all that unusual – AND it’s completely avoidable. Let’s look at some of the reasons …

Leadership development during the pandemic

I’m hearing from many people right now that they have no budget for leadership development. Or that they’re trying to figure out how to do leadership development when everyone’s working from home, and certainly not gathering in a central community learning space.  Or – both.  It’s frustrating, because they also know that leadership development is important. You know that. In …

Identifying Emerging Leaders

When you leave it up to managers to select employees for professional development programs, there’s a lot of uncertainty involved. It depends on the quality of those managers. Are they good managers, alert to their employees’ accomplishments, skills, and career ambitions? Or are they overwhelmed, frustrated, and perhaps with their own political ax to grind? What inherent – or, let’s …