New ideas and perspectives focused on results

Leadership coaching in the best of times is powerful in helping leaders overcome day-to-day challenges, achieve business objectives, and foster deep and lasting change within themselves. Companies that have invested in leadership coaching understand the value and importance that coaching provides facilitating both personal development while helping that leader achieve business objectives. These are benefits of coaching in normal times. As the world, companies, and individuals find themselves in uncharted waters due to Covid-19, the importance of leadership coaching is even more critical.

> MORE INFORMATION

When one hears the terms “hand-on” or “micromanagement,” what often comes to mind is the controlling, shortsighted, overbearing manager who, based upon insecurities or other issues, has to have their hands on everything. The cliché micromanager does not have the managerial or leadership style that one perhaps would want to shine a spotlight on as exemplary. The overbearing, ultra-hands-on style of the micromanager has numerous limitations, from the lack of independence and frustration it fosters in employees to the fact that micromanagement does not allow a manager or leader to grow or scale their responsibilities.

> MORE INFORMATION

Success, execution, delivering results—what gets measured gets done and recognized. However, in thinking about your team members and their contributions, it is vital not only to look at what results they are delivering but also to make sure their contributions are not sacrificing more important company principles. A number of leaders we have worked with grapple with the challenge of excusing bad behavior from employees who deliver results. In our experience, the potential long-term negative impact of overlooking or even excusing destructive behavior far outweighs the benefits of short-term positive outcomes.

> MORE INFORMATION

Ill willed CEO’s beware, your days may be numbered. Professional services titan PWC has released a report on the biggest changes in the executive world between 2011 and 2016. Their main finding was that the number of CEOs forced to resign from their positions as a result of “ethical lapses” increased 36% worldwide.

> MORE INFORMATION

As the awareness and application of leadership coaching grows, so does the use of giving and receiving feedback. Giving feedback is a critical manager and leadership skill that when done correctly is an important building block of developing employees. However, there is a tremendous risk of damaging employee productivity, sense of self, and engagement when feedback is not delivered correctly.

> MORE INFORMATION

Leaders, by design, are supposed to inspire their employees. In order to do so, they must create relationships and an environment that supports and motivates people.

> MORE INFORMATION

Many people think that a leader has to be an outgoing and extroverted people person. Because of this, introverts can be overlooked for leadership opportunities.

> MORE INFORMATION

“Influence is 15% professional knowledge, and 85% the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.” Dale Carnegie

> MORE INFORMATION

Think about how we portray leaders -- both business leaders and otherwise -- in our culture. In movies, they rally the troops with inspirational speeches right when things seem bleakest.

> MORE INFORMATION

When it comes to performance goals, a lot of employers think bigger is better -- and they want them to be big. Setting big stretch goals can motivate employees, but if the resources, support, and even the potential for success are not aligned, the result may not only be failure to achieve the goal, but also damaged morale.

> MORE INFORMATION

Any organization that is driven to stay ahead of their competition has keen eye on relevant business leadership trends – not only in their industry but trends that manifest on a more macro level.

> MORE INFORMATION

The smartest organizations, and the ones that will prove to have staying power in the marketplace, are the ones that have established a comprehensive leadership development plan.

> MORE INFORMATION

There’s a leadership problem in the workplace. Companies lack employees with leadership skills and fear they don’t have enough rising leaders to take the reigns. Case and point -- almost half of the companies surveyed for Workplace Trends’ Global Workforce Leadership survey in February and March 2015 said that leadership is the hardest skill to find in employees.

> MORE INFORMATION

The company culture is the heart of the organization. Goals, processes and policies should be tied to it. So when leadership styles within the organization match that culture, success should follow, right?

> MORE INFORMATION

Want to hear something alarming? The Institute for Corporate Productivity conducted research with 665 global organizations and found that half of managers admitted to hoarding talent – keeping their best employees in their current roles. That’s not all…

> MORE INFORMATION

In a 2016 Harvard Business Reviewarticle, Michael Beer, Magnus Finnström, and Derek Schrader shared the story of a leadership development program they studied. Initially, the program started off with a bang. Participants enjoyed the training sessions and post-assessments indicated it was successful.

> MORE INFORMATION

Don’t wait for an angry employee’s email to go viral to realize you’re behind. Here are three management trends you need to know about right now:

> MORE INFORMATION

It’s the age-old leadership question: Is it better to be loved or feared? And an August study published online in the "Journal of Business and Psychology" finds there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

> MORE INFORMATION

According to a 2016 survey by Paychex, 44.6 percent of the 2,000 employees surveyed said they left their previous job because they didn’t like their boss. But bad leadership isn’t always easy to spot, especially when those leaders have the best intentions. Here are three telltale signs of ineffective leadership and how to address them through leadership development:

> MORE INFORMATION

With the increase of technology and sophisticated work tools, more and more employees are working from coffee shops, couches and the virtual office. In fact, 52 percent of employees surveyed by Workfront in July, expect the majority of employees will work remotely in the next few years.

> MORE INFORMATION

Everyone wants a promotion, but it’s not as simple as waiting a year or two to “get” one. That’s because promotions are earned, not given. This is especially true at the leadership level; professionals need to prove their worth and show that they’re ready for career advancement. Demonstrating value isn’t making a one-time presentation to senior leadership about why a promotion is deserved. It requires a conscious effort to improve and grow as a leader and simultaneously position yourself as a high-performing professional. Here’s how:

> MORE INFORMATION

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 Healthfound 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.

> MORE INFORMATION

Women in leadership positions are often told to behave in ways that are viewed as more masculine to be successful. But it’s not that simple. Because when women act like men, their peers and employees tend to think that one thing -- that they’re bossy. In fact, research conducted by our company, Skyline Group International, Inc., found a significantly lower perception of effectiveness when women express the masculine behavior in 57 percent of the 28 leadership competencies studied.

> MORE INFORMATION

Leadership coaching is typically reserved for the top one percent of employees. In other words, those nearest the top are getting all the development needed to get to and stay at the top. But what about everyone else? Do they get the same opportunities? Without coaching and development, employees at lower levels can never reach the next step of their careers, and they never reach the top. The same people get better and move forward, while everyone else stays the same. It’s time to level the playing field.

> MORE INFORMATION

When companies talk about leadership development, words like "coaching" and "mentoring" often get tossed around. Not only that, but the terms are used interchangeably. So, most listeners just assume they mean the same thing. Certainly, at first glance, they do seem to be one and the same: Both, after all, involve an authority figure who helps guide a leader to success. And that's the same thing, right? Well, no. In reality, there's a big difference between mentoring and leadership coaching; and both tasks are essential. What's more, when development programs combine or mis-label the two, leaders miss out. So, what’s the difference, and why should we care?

> MORE INFORMATION

The current conversation on gender in leadership is at a standstill. Professionals and employers alike recognize there’s a problem, but can’t seem to move forward to a solution. Traditional leadership development addresses the problem by telling women to become more masculine and men to act less like jerks -- but that approach isn’t working. While women make up 53 percent of entry-level employees, there’s a serious lack of women leaders -- a 2015 analysis published in the "Journal of Applied Psychology" found that women account for just 24 percent of senior vice presidents and 19 percent of c-suite executives. And men and women agree that bias has a large impact on the lack of women in leadership positions. In a 2015 Pew Research study, 40 percent of Americans agreed there is a double standard for women seeking to achieve the highest levels in either politics or business. The same study found that 52 percent of women and 33 percent of men agree the double standard exists. The problem is well acknowledged and well documented, yet the conversation is stuck. Here’s why the issue isn’t moving forward and what employers and leaders can do about it:

> MORE INFORMATION

Technology changes so rapidly that it’s a challenge to keep up. And not only our personal technology, but we see this in the workplace, too. Almost every aspect of business has been made better by advancements in technology -- except leadership training.

> MORE INFORMATION

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.

> MORE INFORMATION

There’s a leadership problem in the workplace. Companies lack employees with leadership skills and fear they don’t have enough rising leaders to take the reigns. Case and point -- almost half of the companies surveyed for Workplace Trends’ Global Workforce Leadership survey in February and March 2015 said that leadership is the hardest skill to find in employees.

> MORE INFORMATION

Search “leadership engagement” on Google: 308,000,000 results. Search “leadership development” (94,900,000 results) and “ROI of leadership development” (1,840,000 results). What more can be said about the popularity, seeming importance and value of developing and engaging leaders in your company?

> MORE INFORMATION

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."

> MORE INFORMATION

"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.

> MORE INFORMATION

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 should do 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!

> MORE INFORMATION

We, Stacy and Thuy, were in a staff meeting in which the discussion around women in leadership came up as part of our suite of solutions. First, we were delighted to be having the conversation around women in leadership positions and how to continue to support them in their growth. Second, we were also frustrated that we had to even be in this conversation in the first place. That said, we accept that the world is the way it is and that we all have biases. What we found to be most interesting in our exploration of this topic as a team was how often the victims of workplace discrimination were also the perpetrators.

> MORE INFORMATION

Few topics in recent years have garnered as much attention as the topic of HR analytics. Several notable thought–leaders (e.g.,John Boudreau, Tom Davenport, Jack Fitz-enz) are calling for the HR profession to adopt a predictive analytics approach to understanding and managing people in the workplace, and a number of Fortune 100 firms have been leading the way such as Google, IBM, and Intel to name a few.

> MORE INFORMATION

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.

> MORE INFORMATION

Why is the middle is so often overlooked? We see this phenomenon with the middle child in a family. We pay attention to the first child with caution and our youngest child with gentle coddling, yet we often have to remind ourselves not to forget about that middle child. Much like in a family, middle performers in a company are often overlooked, and it could be holding your organization back.

> MORE INFORMATION

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!

> MORE INFORMATION

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.

> MORE INFORMATION

Inspired by the Leon Wieseltier’s Article “Among the Disrupted” in the New York Times January 18th, 2015 Book Review Section.

> MORE INFORMATION

We often get stuck in our approach to new opportunities by relying upon what comes easily to us and what has worked in the past, whether it is playing a new game, entering a new relationship, or accepting a new promotion. On the other end of the spectrum are the things that despite our painstaking attempts to improve, just don’t budge and we avoid doing. In between this spectrum are your middle skills – the skills that fall between what you already are great at and the things that you are inherently just not good at doing. Your middle skills are the majority of the skills that you have and, with focus and practice, can become your powerful solution for ongoing personal and professional development. Your middle skills can be thought of as hidden strengths waiting to be developed.

> MORE INFORMATION

For some, the word “innovation” conjures up feelings of open frontiers, the future, unbridled possibilities. For others the word conjures up feelings of dread. Not because they are not interested or excited by innovation, it is because of the pressure that comes with an environment that is driven to innovate faster and better. Tremendous pressure and anxiety exists when people turn a creative, open, and fun process into a specific activity—picture a domineering manager stating to her staff, “Today we innovate and we don’t leave this room until we are done!” No, you cannot force yourself or your team to innovate. Innovation is not a task.

> MORE INFORMATION

Unless you live and work alone in a cave,it is almost certain that you have work relationships that involve some level of collaboration. Collaboration is vital not just for getting work done as efficiently as possible; it is also critical for optimum workplace satisfaction, because true collaboration increases an individual’s morale, sense of accomplishment, and identity within their team and company. As a leader or an aspiring one, you should be consistently reflecting on how you collaborate and seeking opportunities to raise your “collaboration game.” Not only will being a strong collaborator raise your productivity and job satisfaction, it will reinforce to others that you are a leader.

> MORE INFORMATION

In today’s turbo-charged, nitro-powered, gotta-go world, we are pushed to perform faster and, in many environments, we are rewarded for speed. However, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the right objectives on time if you are not clear on what success really looks like, on the resources required, and have a plan. Taking the time to prepare and identify a strategy to achieve success will prevent truly detrimental derailers and, in turn, help you beat your deadlines.

> MORE INFORMATION

Leaders past, present, and future are individuals who have faced opportunities and obstacles; and triumphed in the face of these circumstances. Some of these leaders succeeded because they were able to jump over the hurdles in their path by deploying a set of skills that have been tried and true. Great Leaders, however, became triumphant by building new skills and evolving themselves to meet the challenges and opportunities in their midst. This reflects the most fundamental aspects of leadership development – that great leaders observe and adapt. Great leadership requires more than a fixed set of skills, abilities, and traits. Today, underlying all of the requirements of being and staying a great leader is agility – flexible, being able to move and change. Think bamboo in hurricane vs. oak tree.

> MORE INFORMATION

Real Leaders Don’t Say They Are Authentic—They Are Authentic Perhaps the most important element concerning authenticity as a leader is understanding the traits and values that are important to you and manifesting these consistently. To provide a bit of structure and guidance on honing your authenticity, we provide the following.

> MORE INFORMATION

In the end, nothing will matter as much as the legacy you leave behind. Successful leaders tend to focus on the future, on five-year plans and long-term strategy. It takes a conscious effort to create and leave an intentional legacy and shape what will be remembered from your time in a position of leadership.

> MORE INFORMATION

Your team should be focused on productivity, but as a leader, your focus should be on bringing the right perspective to your role.

> MORE INFORMATION

Around the world, there are leaders who are intentionally or unknowingly relying upon their psychic abilities and those of their employees to relay important information with disastrous results. The results of failed telepathy range from massive product recalls, failed change initiatives, to unengaged employees. Humor aside, the lack of information and assumptions made by leaders regarding things as broad as their vision to as specific as individual performance expectations leads to big problems that are easily avoided.

> MORE INFORMATION

Sadly though not surprisingly across the U.S. in companies small and humongous there are tens of thousands of leaders who are doing a lousy job. Some may not know they are doing a bad job and many other leaders know they stink but are stuck; unable or not knowing how to change. These Leaders suffer from Lousy Leader Syndrome (LLS)

> MORE INFORMATION

Scanning headlines, popular literature, and reflecting upon what my colleagues and I experience on a daily basis, I am struck by how many leaders (managers included) have seem to either have forgotten, never learned, or are too self-absorbed to get it. It, being the Golden Rule of leadership: Leading others is a privilege that is earned not a right. Leaders who understand that leading others is a privilege understand that leading first and foremost, is about service.

> MORE INFORMATION

Punk Rock - the music that fuelled my skateboard charged youth still rings true in my ears today. Punk rock changed my life and how I see and interact with the world. In the context of work – punk has influenced me in a range of areas including how embraced my first real corporate job, set about trying to change the world of work, and the books I write – my second book even opens with a quote from Suicidal Tendencies first album.

> MORE INFORMATION

Traditionally the manifestations of “leadership” show up in what can be seen as in specific behaviors or experienced in the manner of what and how things are communicated. The combination of the verbal, non-verbal communication, and leader-like behaviors make up almost the entirety of how a leader is experienced and judged.

> MORE INFORMATION

The benefits derived from executive coaching are many including - higher functioning leaders, higher performing companies, and better-performing stock price. Whether you are just starting out learning to coach as a new manager or a seasoned coach, what you’ll find in the executive coaching world is a lack of consistency how coaching is deployed and how the success of the engagement is measured. To overcome this obstacle, I created the “4x4 Coaching Methodology.” This methodology ensures a coaching experience is consistent and hits the objectives you (both coachee and organization) have identified.

> MORE INFORMATION

I have been thinking lately about recent Aberdeen Group research that year over year indicates consistent CEO concerns with significant business issues such as innovation, employee productivity, execution, etc. Consistent issues, no surprises, yet year over year the concerns remain the same. Why? Certainly, leaders have the authority to make things happen. Making significant changes doesn’t always cost a fortune- so budget shouldn’t be an issue. These issues are fundamental to company success, share price, and competitive advantage - so prioritization also should not be an issue. What is going on here?

> MORE INFORMATION

Are you a career employee? A career employee is an individual who spends their career working for others versus working for themselves. Don’t get us wrong. There is no judgment here. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a career employee. There’s a certain level of safety, comfort, and stability associated with being employed. Very few us by nature of our personality were actually designed to venture out on our own and brave the world as an entrepreneur. Trust us, we know personally and have done both. It’s painful and it’s not for everyone. That’s not just because it’s tough, sometimes being an entrepreneur is unrealistic. So many of us, choose to become career employees.

> MORE INFORMATION

Even in today’s new job market realty where persistent high unemployment is becoming the norm, every company wants great employees and dreams of the perfect hire. Given the high unemployment rate and economic uncertainty, companies are more often holding out on hiring employees like a virgin bride waiting for Mr. or Miss right.

> MORE INFORMATION

Picking a coach can be a difficult decision. How do you decide one person is going to be more helpful to your learning and growth over another one? I regularly find myself with potential clients explaining my approach and providing them with the best information to help them make the right choice. The bottom line is that it is a very personal decision and while I’d love to say there is no bad choice, I’ve actually seen leaders make the wrong choice. How do I know? They’ve come back to me later and said, “I want to work with you because it didn’t work out with the other person. I should’ve gone with my instincts.” What was their decision informed by? What were they paying attention to and distracted by?

> MORE INFORMATION

When I’m talking to leaders, the conversation around how to motivate their team typically comes up whether it’s a top performer who needs to be motivated to stay within the organization (and not lost to the competition) to middle performers who would do even better if they would take things to the next level. So what actually motivates people?

> MORE INFORMATION

Once you set your strategy and are clear about goals and objectives, everything else is about execution. Solid research shows that excellent execution of a mediocre strategy beats poor execution of the best strategy. Given that execution is key to success, we must look at where execution takes place...in the middle.

> MORE INFORMATION

Even with a recovery in the economy, the job (and housing) market will take some time to catch up. That doesn't mean there aren't jobs out there. It just means they are for very specific talent. Those talent know exactly who they are. Since 2008, we've personally seen this talent pool still get calls from headhunters and move around from one company to the next with bigger titles, pay, and responsibility.

> MORE INFORMATION

I see this often, and it’s pervasive: You can make somewhat lateral moves in an organization, but it’s sometimes difficult to make substantial upward moves. Why? Because the perception of you has not been updated in the minds of people who met you as a young, up-and-coming employee.

> MORE INFORMATION

I recently had a conversation with a client about his desire to be more strategic about decision-making—particularly about decisions that would impact his career and his life.

> MORE INFORMATION

One of the questions clients ask me most often is, “Can I change?” Sometimes they ask the question in general, wondering if dramatic change is within our capabilities as human beings. But the most relevant version of this question is about self.

> MORE INFORMATION