Start the New Year with a New Mindset

Start the New Year with a New Mindset

Ebenezer Scrooge learned his lessons the hard way. It required a harrowing night of visits from three ghosts to set him on a better path. Mr. Scrooge took his ghostly apparitions’ messages to heart, and bought the big fat goose for the family of his poor, bedraggled employee Bob Cratchit. He also thought more about how he could catapult his newfound enthusiasm for helping others from the joyful festivities of late December into the cold, yet ever-hopeful newness of January. He promised to make Cratchit’s life at work more purpose-driven and well-defined, and committed to starting the New Year providing better clarity for his team. You should do the same by asking yourself these questions:

Is Your Business Locked into Narrow Thinking?

Is Your Business Locked into Narrow Thinking?

Have you heard the riddle of a father and son who get in a horrible car crash that kills the dad? The son is rushed to the hospital and the surgeon exclaims, “I can’t operate, that boy is my son!” The listener’s expectation is challenged when the riddle’s answer is given: The surgeon might be the boy’s mother. Or have you heard about how people see meaningful shapes in their grilled cheese sandwich or homegrown potato? Once you see them, you can’t unsee them; what your mind has conjured becomes your reality...

Smarty Pants Don't Always Fit

Smarty Pants Don't Always Fit

Hiring is a confounding game. Some people have a great knack for it and an intuitive sense about people — but even they can get it wrong. The world-renowned Disney Institute hires “attitude versus aptitude,” and you would be wise to do the same.

Recently, I worked with a company who filled a position with great match for the technical skills needed for the role. But this new employee’s on-the-job performance created communication nightmares that led other long-term employees to quit. Within a year, the team was sinking...

The Hard Truth on Trust

The Hard Truth on Trust

Trust is often at the heart of what goes right and what goes wrong. Strong trust leads to constructive conflict while poor trust invites elephants into the room. When a company has a culture of trust,  people keep their commitments. In its absence, team members become unreliable and productivity drops.

Let’s take a step back. Every spring, I anticipate hearing the first thunderous roar...

More Asking, Less Telling

More Asking, Less Telling

Quality communication goes far beyond organizational structures, clear directives and efficient systems. Time and again, I’ve watched highly effective teams crumble due to a lack of effective dialogue. And that’s because the most successful way to engage and improve your company is not by talking. It’s by listening.

One of the unconscious strategies I witness in business leaders and teams is a strong tendency to get to the quick answer, give directives or refuse to engage in dialogue that may reveal problems. It’s easier to just give someone the answer, make decisions for them, ignore problems or just step in and do it yourself. Yet such strategies have costs...