Monthly Archives: March 2011

Leadership Ego: Crossing from Confident to Arrogant

“Ego is the invisible line item on every company’s profit and loss statement.” — David Marcum and Steven Smith in egonomics: What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Most Expensive Liability), Fireside, 2007 I’m re-reading egonomics… which Publisher’s Weekly describes: “In this uneasy mix of business analysis and psychological study, business consultants Marcum and Smith […]
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How Stress and Play Create Peak Performance

Is it up to managers to create optimal conditions for peak performance? I don’t think they are responsible for everything, of course. In my last post about the importance of play (The Road to Peak Performance is Paved with Play), I suggested managers ask open-ended questions to encourage playfulness and creativity. Can you do that […]
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Road to Peak Performance Is Paved with Play

How much fun are you having at work? Seriously. Amid so many natural disasters, global civil unrest, and our own business and economic recovery to deal with, it may seem out of place to look for ways to enjoy work. But it’s essential to peak performance and motivation. Without tapping into play and imagination, we […]
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Peak Performance: 9 Questions to Bring Out the Best in People

Speaking about the drivers of peak performance, I believe managers can bring out the best in their people by asking good questions. Let me share my nine favorite questions to ask workers and team members about their jobs. They say it’s unprofessional for manager to ask personal questions… so “they” say. If you’re in charge […]
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Motivation: How to Find the Spark that Replaces Carrots

How can managers motivate disengaged people? How do you find the spark that lights people’s fire at work? If carrots and sticks don’t really work, what does? People are most motivated, productive and satisfied when work puts them in a state of “flow” — popularly called being “in the zone.” In the flow state, one […]
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Flow: How Managers Create Optimal Experiences

In the groundbreaking book Flow, author and University of Chicago psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi shows that a person enters a state of flow when he engages in a task that is both challenging and within his skill set. I can’t tell you how important this concept is when you are managing people in organizations, but […]
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What Is Peak Performance for Managers?

How would you define managerial success? What determines peak performance for managers? Most of the clients I work with are busy executives and managers who all work hard to be good at what they do and produce good outcomes for their people and organizations. It may be easier to first say what does NOT qualify […]
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Debunking 3 Myths of Success

If you’re like me, you grew up with several false ideas about what it takes to achieve success and peak performance. It wasn’t anybody’s fault, really, it’s just what we thought was true then simply didn’t pan out. For example, in school everyone was told IQ predicts success. Those with the highest IQ scores were […]
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How Leaders Create Loyalty

There are leaders, and then there are those who actually lead. Every executive who supervises others knows how to motivate people—that skill isn’t difficult. However a truly good leader creates loyal customers and engaged employees and inspires them to go beyond incentives and self-interest. That’s the most challenging part of inspirational leadership: how does one […]
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How Leaders Seduce Us

There are as many different formulas for leadership development as there are brands of cereals at your local supermarket. Why is it that some CEOs inspire people to go beyond their job descriptions? And, why do so many others not inspire dedication and loyalty? I believe it comes down to better communication skills. Great leaders […]
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