Learn Concepts

Waiting for the Light to Change

Are you waiting for permission to proceed?
Traffic signals organize and coordinate the flow of traffic. They keep things safe and orderly. We wait for the green light to proceed.

Organizations have managers and supervisors. They direct the traffic too. Most people wait to be told what to do, then do it.

But leaders don’t wait.

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Anatomy of a Fall

Saturday.  A mountainous trail half-marathon.  Mile 11.5.  Rocky down-slope.  Running.

Legs are tired.  They feel like clumsy chunks of solid rubber with hamburger for feet.

Left foot finds an unseen rock, and stops short.  Then the right foot joins the mutiny.

Suddenly anchored, everything rotates earthward.  Not in slow motion, either – it happens fast, unexpectedly.  I twist at the last moment […]

Goal Failure: Mission (Almost) Accomplished

What happens when you set a goal and fail to achieve it?
In January of this year I set a personal goal.  Made it public on this web site.  Tweeted about it almost daily.  Posted weekly updates on Facebook.  I worked at it just about every day – hours of exertion, sweat, even a little actual blood.

The day of reckoning came last Saturday, and in the end, I was not equal to the test.  I failed.  But does goal failure make us failures?

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Climbing Solo

When I hear of the exploits of amateur climbers who somehow manage to summit Mount Everest, it makes me wonder – how many more times has his guide been to the top?

When I watch amazing footage of wild life experts and extreme sports, I wonder, “If it was hard for the person on screen, how much more challenging was […]

Is Your Team Due for a Spring Cleaning?

There’s something about “new.”  Somehow the idea of new gives energy, enthusiasm, focus.  Yet so often we find ourselves stuck in “old.”  Same job, same house, same routine.

Just as winter transitions to spring and the world outside renews itself, maybe it’s time to look at your leadership and your team and take a moment to renew, too.  Today we’ll look at four ways to do a team spring cleaning to renew, energize, and help you recapture that sense of “new.”

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Spotlight the Support

My daughter is a big fan of Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton.  She was home on spring break recently, so we took her to see an earlier production of his:  In the Heights.

Our seats were good, the actors were talented, the lyrics were clever, and at the end the crowd gave the actors a standing ovation.  They […]

How to Build Team Culture From the Ground Up

Every team will develop its own distinctive culture.  A good culture can be positive, supporting, and contribute to greater productivity, employee engagement, and satisfaction.  A bad one can have the opposite effect.

The thing is, you don’t have to leave it to chance to see which way your team culture will go.  If you want to build team culture that will move you in a positive direction, here are over a dozen ways to help you build yours from the ground up.

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Who are the Real Stars?

We like to focus on the star – the one person who always seems to get it done.

But if we zero in too closely on one star, we lose sight of the other points of light in the sky.

The Chicago Bulls put five people on the court, not just Michael Jordan.

Somebody has to be there to block the defense, […]

3 Ways You Might be Sabotaging Your Team’s Culture on Day 1

Your team’s culture is it’s life-blood, its soul.  It’s who you are and how you interact as a group.  If it’s a good one, your culture can directly contribute to increased employee engagement, rising productivity and decreased turnover.

But if you are not careful, from the very first day someone new joins your team, you have several good opportunities to torpedo the culture you were trying to grow without realizing it.  Here are three good ways to sabotage team culture, and some better approaches you could use, just in case that’s not what you were trying to do.

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Finish What You Start – It Will Set You Apart

Starting something is fun.  It’s exciting.  Everything is new, the possibilities seem limitless.  Potential is everywhere.

It takes only a moment to make a promise or set a goal.

Delivering is harder.  It takes effort.  The excitement fades.  Everything seems to take longer than it should.  Distractions arise.  Frustration sets in.  The shine comes off the penny.  Other things seem more […]