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:

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 Masked Agitator

The Masked Agitator

I recently coached an organization that employed a toxic employee. Nationally, she was highly regarded as an expert in her profession — but co-workers saw beyond flashy credentials. They saw her as controlling, erratic, manipulative, paranoid and brilliant — even creating little hand signals to talk about her unnoticed. Leadership had been dazzled by her public performance, but chose to ignore the red flags and repeated complaints from her employees. Once her supervisors understood the problem, they had already kicked the can down the road for so long due to their paralyzing fear of conflict, they were at a loss as to what to do next (as she had previously threatened litigious actions).This is what toxic employees count on: keeping their negative behaviors from decision-makers and, in some cases, threatening legal action at any attempts toward accountability. Since lower-level employees are exposed to toxic behaviors routinely, leadership needs to connect with these employees to get feedback on their work experiences.

Let me be clear: People with the proper motivation can...

Bosh Bosh: A Study in How Thoughtful Leadership Is Changing Lives in Liberia

Bosh Bosh: A Study in How Thoughtful Leadership Is Changing Lives in Liberia

Charlene Espinoza greets everyone with warm eyes and a genuine smile. Confident, calm, and unflappable, she has traveled much of the world, exploring unfamiliar cultures. As a Peace Corps volunteer 3 1/2 years ago, Charlene was assigned to teach English to the young students of Salala, Liberia in West Africa. But teaching English soon became secondary to the passionate enterprise Charlene embarked upon with the young women of Salala. She started an organization called Bosh Bosh, a manufacturing company that creates beautiful fabric bags made from the multi-colored, quintessential African “lappa’ fabric.  I was lucky enough to be invited to spend two weeks working with this remarkable organization in June of last summer.  Here is the story of Bosh Bosh: