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The After Action Review: A Leader’s Guide

How do you improve your team with an After Action Review? The After Action Review (AAR) is a deceptively simple yet powerful way to stimulate the growth and performance of any group of people.  As an organizational learning tool it has been used to transform small teams and entire armies into

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I’m building a new team; who should be on it? Often we just inherit the teams we lead, but occasionally we have the opportunity to build a new team from scratch.  How do you know who to pick?    Here are five action steps you can take when building a

What kind of virtual team building can I do with my distributed team? We all know that teamwork is critical to getting things done through people.  Building cohesive teams is already a challenge when everybody is face to face.  But developing trust, communicating well, collaborating readily, and problem-solving effectively become

Kennedy said that “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other,” so how do we make sure we keep learning? It’s easy to get caught up in the daily business of getting things done.  But if we’re not careful, though we may accomplish much, we don’t become better in the

The Ransberger Pivot - How to Win an Argument by Not Arguing

“Do you ever really ‘win’ an argument?” When someone says something that we don’t agree with, our first impulse is often to contradict or correct them.  They are wrong.  We are right.  Then they argue back.  The debate becomes heated, personal, and ultimately counterproductive.  No minds are changed.  If anything,

Optimization - Surprising Lessons in Efficiency From the Ant World

“How can you optimize a system that’s error-prone?” As humans, we are fallable.  In our efforts to achieve, produce, and progress, we make mistakes, we misjudge, we stumble. Any enterprise that involves humans will, by definition, be imperfect.  But is that really such a bad thing?  When it comes to

Problem Solving Steps - 3 Steps to Take Before You Take Any Steps

Is the first problem solving step really ‘Identify the Problem?’ If you’ve ever watched someone who is tired or emotional struggling to solve a problem, you know that somebody forgot a step in the problem solving process. People can get so wrapped up in the problem of having a problem

Micromanagement: 7 Signs You are a Micromanager and What to Do About It

Could you be guilty of micromanagement? The micromanager has been called the bully of the business world, and micromanagement is responsible for killing motivation, eroding trust, and leading to waste and inefficiency. Yet the last person to recognize that they are a micromanager is the micromanager themselves. Could you be

Demotivation - 7 Ways You Might Be Killing Your Team's Spirit

Could your efforts to lead actually lead to demotivation? A team’s spirit means everything when it comes to productivity, engagement, and satisfaction.  But sometimes, despite our best intentions, the way we lead can become a source of demotivation. Here are seven things you might be doing that deplete your team’s

Leadership Mistakes - 3 Things to Do When You Really Step In It

What should the leader do when he makes a mistake? Nobody likes to “step in it,” but leadership mistakes will happen.  What you do when they occur makes all the difference. Do these three things well, and you may end up with a stronger team than you started with. Share

Skills for the Introverted Leader - Six Ways to Expand Your Comfort Zone

What skills does an introverted leader need to develop? Statistically, about half of us tend towards introversion (I’m definitely one of them).  That fact doesn’t exclude us from being effective leaders. In fact, many of the traits associated with introversion are actually strengths for someone who wants to lead well. 

How to be a Great Boss - 9 Ways to Get a 5-Star Rating From Your Team

What does it take to be a great boss? Some bosses are more memorable than others, and some perhaps you’d like to forget.  But what does it take to be a great boss?  What distinguishes the one that people remember years later as the leader who made a difference? I

How to Tell if You are Sinking or Swimming as a Leader

How can 80% of people believe themselves to be above average leaders? One of the many challenges of being a leader is knowing how well you are doing.  Are you sinking or swimming? It can be hard to really know, and yet knowing is the key to becoming better at

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