Monthly Archives: August 2010

Leadership Talk: Why Leadership Is Messy

Considering the challenges of top management teams it’s a wonder people still want to become leaders. Of course, along with promotion comes the salary, the perks and the prestige. Whenever I am coaching in organizations, I am privy to the challenges, the debates, the failures and the stress that goes along with leading people. Leadership […]
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4 Steps to Leadership Clarity

Alan Weber is one of the best business journalists around. As an award-winning editor, author and columnist, he launched Fast Company, the fastest growing, most successful business magazine in history. He is coauthor of three business-related books, including most recently, Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self. It’s full […]
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Leadership: More Signal, Less Noise

What’s the right way to think about leadership today? Put another way, what’s the organizational  problem that leadership needs to solve? That’s a great question asked by Alan Weber in his neat little book Rules of Thumb. Weber reminds us  that every year, Fortune magazine published a cover story naming “the ten toughest bosses in […]
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Leading Change: Argument + Story

How do leaders in organizations lead people to new behaviors? How do they convince people to change? If we were bees working in a hive to make honey, leading teams would be far simpler. A dance around the hive, a wiggle here, a waggle there, and we would motivate workers to go get the food […]
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Changing Minds: How Honeybees Lead Teams

Have you ever observed yourself changing your mind about something? What makes you decide to reverse direction? It’s worth thinking about and finding out what triggers you, no? The way you’ve experienced your own reversals can inform you about how others change their minds. Here’s a story about honeybees I find fascinating. It’s from Stephen […]
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Coaching Change: Use Negative Stories in a Good Way

Social scientists have shown us that negative messages are what gets people’s attention. Bad is stronger than good, when it comes to getting people to listen. But without being a fear-monger or doomsayer, how can we effectively use negativity to encourage change? I’m a big believer in the power of stories for getting people to […]
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The Real Reason Fear Won’t Motivate

There’s a danger in using fear to motivate people. When you present a “burning platform” story to spur your people into action, there are inherent risks. People may jump into action, but will it be the right action? Will it be purposeful? Most of the big problems we encounter in organizations or society are ambiguous […]
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Positive Illusions and the Need to Change

Before you can convince people to move in a new direction, they need to see themselves needing to change, they have to see that they need to improve. That should be easy enough for leaders to do, except for one great big brain flaw: most people see themselves in a positive light. That would seem  […]
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Business Presentations: Show Don’t Tell

Sometimes you need a little drama to evoke a desire to change. Without it, business presentations are dry as toast. I’m not a big fan of reality TV shows that pit one person against the other in cut-throat competitions. The producers encourage participants to be brutal with each other, and exaggerate every little personality difference. […]
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From Choice to Change

When we’re faced with too many choices, most of the time we’ll just go back to our original decisions or default behaviors. How many change efforts fail to take hold because people have too many options? Too many decisions, and people will just go back to doing what they’ve always done. Decision paralysis sets in. […]
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