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“Can Team Leadership really be boiled down into four steps?” Leaders are always busy, and whatever we are involved with, things only seem to grow more complicated over time.  As complexity grows, it can help to view our roles as leaders in the simplest terms possible. What should we be

What is it about leading experienced people that makes it so challenging? They know more than we do.  They have been there longer.  They already have their ways of doing things. Then we walk in and we’re expected to tell them what to do, and when to do it.  We

Bad vs Good: Why Does the Bad Seem to Outweight the Good?

“When it comes to Bad vs. Good, why do bad things get all the attention?” There’s a struggle between good and bad and it’s happening on our teams. The bad news?  The “bad” is far more powerful than the “good.”  The good news?  As leaders, we can use the power

What's the Difference Between Manager and Leader and Why Does it Matter_

Why should we care about the difference between manager and leader? I was having coffee with a new friend last week.  He had been recently promoted to his first supervisory position.  As we talked about the challenges he would face, we found ourselves discussing the differences between a manager and

No one likes to hear that they are not doing well, have weaknesses, or are not measuring up in some way.  As leaders it often falls to us to give this kind of feedback to others, and those can be difficult, uncomfortable conversations.  But what about receiving critical feedback? Most

How can asking questions be more powerful than answering them? In the effort to demonstrate our worthiness to lead, often we find ourselves in a hurry to provide answers.  People want guidance, direction, and need to understand priorities. But if we’re playing the Shell Answer Man all day, we miss

Why should anyone listen to you? If you’re trying to lead people, one of the first challenges you face might be just getting them to listen.  This can be doubly challenging if you happen to be newer to the team or younger than the others. When it comes to getting

How do you know if your plan will work? Having a solid plan is one thing; knowing that it will work is something entirely different.  In the transition from idea on paper to success in the real world, refining the plan though testing is probably one of the smartest things

She started her own business late in life and turned it into a multi-million dollar enterprise.  She donated millions to worthy causes.  She was once named the most outstanding business woman of the 20th century.  Much of her success was the direct result of good old fashioned hard work and

What do you do when things go wrong? Leading can seem fun and easy when things are going our way, but it’s when things go wrong that true leaders emerge.  In this example from an Antarctic expedition gone disastrously wrong, one leader achieved great feats of endurance and survival to

What if that carrot we offer actually slows them down? In the effort to motivate our teammates, we are quick to offer carrots we think will incentivize them to greater efforts.  But as this story of the Soviet Union’s most prolific athlete shows, sometimes our incentive system can do the

Not long ago, my son called me from Oregon.  He was driving some friends to the airport when his car suddenly quit and wouldn’t restart.  Beyond attempting to diagnose the problem over the phone, there was little I could do to help from where I was in Minnesota. The good

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