“Professional” may be over-rated

I had a blast at the OHIMA24 conference last week. My Change Leadership talk on Tuesday morning was, without a doubt, the best I’ve ever done (and I’ve been giving that talk for years). I’m not basing that opinion only on my own experience (I’m not that egotistical!). I’m basing it on audience response, during and after the presentation. And, …

The #1 requirement for leadership

Once upon a time, I conducted an informal survey of senior executives, HR leaders, and executive coaches. I asked each of them what they thought the most important and most-often-lacking leadership skill was for newly-promoted managers. I fully expected the answer to be “communication.” I was 100% wrong, and the answers were 100% consistent: strategic thinking. So now you probably expect …

Your brain is lazy

Yes, your brain is lazy. Not only your brain – everyone’s brain. The brain is a greedy organ. Proportional to its weight, it gobbles up far more energy than any other organ in your body – more than your skin (yes, skin is an organ), digestive tract, lungs, and so on. So the brain prioritizes habit and routine, because that’s efficient. It …

Who supports you?

There’s a recurring theme I’ve observed in listening to successful people interviewed on podcasts, or whilst reading their books. They talk about the meaningful, vital support they received as children, as teens, as young adults. There are plenty of people who had very difficult childhoods – poverty, violence, abuse, learning difficulties – and who nonetheless became successful. So I’m not …

What is an authentic leader?

Authenticity is one of those words. There’s a lot of talk about it, it’s become a buzzword in management and leadership, and … what does it actually mean? Obviously (I hope!) it’s not “letting it all hang out.” TMI (too much information) is still TMI, no matter how “authentic” someone’s experience and feelings may be. It may be completely authentic …

The loneliness of the first-line manager

They (whoever “they” are) say that “it’s lonely at the top.” Referring, of course, to CEOs and company founders. The thinking is that these people at the top of the company hierarchy have no one to talk with about their challenges. That may – or may not – be true. But what I’ve heard, over and over again, from my …

When someone is dragging…

Is someone on your team dragging? It’s hard to know what to do when a team member who’s typically a good performer starts dragging, slowing down, being less responsive, turning in lower-quality work, and just isn’t . quite . there. There’s a lot of emphasis on employee mental health these days, which on the one hand is a great thing …

Are you the company doormat?

My clients are nice people. That’s not a bad thing. As long as they’re not too nice. I was talking with one client recently who wanted help learning how to manage what seemed to them like an abundance of toxic situations in the different jobs they’d had over the years. What could be done to avoid, or at least deal with, …

Microaggressions, gaslighting, and other toxicities

I wrote this article for my LinkedIn newsletter The Leadership Leap. I don’t typically cross-post LinkedIn articles here on my blog, but this is an important topic, so I felt it deserved to be here as well as there. See the end of the article for links to subscribe to the Leap. There’s nothing “micro” about an endless stream of …

The elephant in the conference room

Office politics. Something I’m often asked about, and something my clients almost always want help with. More accurately, they want it to go away. But – as I wrote about in my book – you can ignore the elephant in the conference room, but you’ll still have to deal with it, including cleaning up after it. (Yeah. Eww.) The reality is …