Lines for Leaders: Rocket Surgeon

Lines for Leaders - Rocket Surgeon

He struggled to lead his team to land a rover on Mars; here’s what this ‘rocket surgeon’ learned about getting his people to work together.

The Eraser Test: How to Know When It’s Time for a Change

The Eraser Test - How to Know When Its Time for a Change

How do we know when to change the plan? A casual remark by a friend last week got me thinking about the idea of flexibility and change.  As leaders, we choose the objectives and set the course.  But once we’re underway, how do we know if we should keep on keeping on, or if we […]

15 Pretty Good Virtual Team Building Ideas

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 all the more difficult when […]

Creating Unexpected Wins: Leadership Lessons from “Team Short People”

Creating Unexpected Wins: Leadership Lessons from "Team Short People"

[Guest Post*]   Everyone loves an underdog story, but much of the time, we only perceive the underdogs as such because we are overlooking the strengths that really matter. In the story of David and Goliath, the fact is, much of David’s unexpected win boils down to the fact that his sling was more powerful […]

New Leader Checklist: 4 Questions to Ask if You Want to Lead Effectively

New Leader Questions

Whether it’s your first leadership position or your fifty-first, taking over can be a challenging business.  One key to success? Don’t start out by answering questions; start by asking them.  Today we’ll talk about four new leader questions you should ask, and how to get the answers so that you can lead confidently and effectively.

Why You Should Value the Nonconformist

Nonconformist

I’m not paying you to agree with me.  I’m paying you to think. That’s Colin Powell’s approach to leadership. When it’s time for planning and problem-solving, the best leaders aren’t looking for unity and agreement. They want the opposite. They want dialogue, a clash of ideas.  It’s not the time to get comfortable.  It’s the […]

Disrupting the Routine: 7 Ways to Change for the Good

Disrupt the Routine

There are some who will tell you, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  I don’t necessarily agree.  “Functioning” doesn’t always mean “fully optimized,” and without change, we risk falling into a rut, losing perspective, and falling behind. To grow and stay competitive, you have to change.  Here’s why it’s important to disrupt the routine […]

How to Build Team Culture One Test at a Time

Building Team Culture One Step at a Time

We all recognize that building team culture is important   We know a strong team culture can have a huge positive impact on team effectiveness, employee engagement, and overall productivity.  The question is, where does it come from?  How do we build it? To me, the short answer is that culture is shaped most powerfully by […]

Book Notes – Sea of Glory: The 7 Habits of the Highly Insecure Leader

Sea of Glory - Nathaniel Philbrick

Lacking confidence in your leadership?  Are you an insecure leader?  Sometimes the things we are tempted to do to compensate for insecurity are the worst options, as Lieutenant Wilkes, United States Navy, found out the hard way in 1838.  Here’s what happened, how you can avoid these seven deadly habits, and build the confidence you […]

Burning the Pancakes: 7 Steps to Empowerment

7 Steps to Empowerment

“I will let your son burn the pancakes.” This is what I tell visiting parents who are trying to decide if their boy should join our Scout Troop. What I’m really telling them is that we do our best to empower the boys, and that the process can be messy. Here’s my thinking on that […]

Book Notes: The Right Kind of Crazy

The Right Kind of Crazy - Adam Steltzner

“How do you build a close-knit innovative team under high pressure?” Imagine being put in charge of leading a team to do something that man has never been done before.  You have about ten people with widely differing backgrounds and personalities to work with.  You have tight budgetary limitations, a rapidly shrinking timeline and high […]