New Ideas and perspectives focused on results

You’re working diligently at your desk when your supervisor stops by your cubicle with yet another business initiative they want you to spearhead (remind you of anyone?). What he doesn’t realize -- or take the opportunity to look into -- is that you’re leading the efforts on several side projects, in addition to your day-to-day tasks.

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People complain about their “crazy” boss all the time. But what do you do when your boss actually suffers from a mental health condition?

It sounds absurd, but it’s more common than you might think. The latest numbers from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that, in the previous year, 18.1 percent of adults had suffered from a mental illness.

For 4.1 percent of the population, it was a serious mental health problem.

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The conversation on gender and leadership centers on the same advice. Women in leadership need to be less bossy and more confident, and men need to be more understanding. It’s been said over and over again, and yet, the balance between men and women in leadership isn’t getting any better.

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It's not surprising to notice that some people you work with never step up to fully embrace their leadership role. It's not that these individuals are not productive employees; they just never seem to go the extra mile. We call these individuals "reluctant leaders." To identify reluctant leaders within your organization or on the team you're managing, there are three main indicators to look for:

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"I don't trust you..." It's the sentence we all dread. How can someone not trust me? I'm a good person. Trust is one of those incredibly loaded words. What trust means to one person may mean something else to someone else. We don't need a universal definition of trust. Instead, we need to stop using that word as a replacement for identifying and precisely defining a problem.

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Do you get annoyed like I do when someone responds to a question or observation about his or her behavior with, “Yah, yah, yah, I know I shoulddo a better job at ___.”? Initially, you have a feeling of guilt for making the person feel self-conscious for his or her poor work. Then, without meaning to, you let your cynicism set in. You don’t want to believe that the other person has no intention of doing what they say they will do and then you feel like a bad person to think that. But it’s true, right? More than likely, they aren’t going to do it!

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Everyone wants feedback, right? Wrong. Most people cringe at the thought. Although the term feedback has become mainstream in the world of corporate speak, giving and receiving it still ranks below going to the dentist for a deep filling. This is because we are wired to reject things we don't want to believe is true about ourselves, and most of us feel uncomfortable telling others information that could come across as insulting. So when someone asks you for feedback, you naturally think twice about providing him or her with the truth.

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When people consider leadership roles, their common reaction is to think about the flashier characteristics -- sexy things like vision and strategy. Many people who follow strong leaders find that high-level aspirational talk gets them excited. Whereas others in the know, are aware that kind of talk is hot air. The majority of leaders can talk a good vision or strategy game. Great leaders are the ones who can also get it done. You know the type of leaders I am talking about -- real leaders who not only talk it, they can walk it by crafting a vision, identifying a strategy, and then making it happen. Give me a leader who backs up their talk with some spicy, hot planning and organizing, and I'll following him or her any day!

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How do you know when you have become a control freak? A great indication of this not-so-complimentary badge of honor is when your team starts calling you some variation of "(Insert Your Name Here), the Control Freak Show"behind your back.

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