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Creative Leadership III
Creative Leadership - mindfulness - and the topics include vision, wisdom, values, ownership, power, direction, high performance, pride, trust, spirtuality, and of course - leading, following or getting out of the way.
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Traits of a Leader
by Paul B. Thornton

Leaders focus on change. They see possibilities. They are optimistic and willing to take risks to achieve something better. Leaders have the courage and confidence to speak up for what’s right and needed. Their tremendous drive and determination allow them to see their visions become reality. They inspire us to change and achieve bigger goals.

The CEO Must be the Chief Reputation Officer
by Daniel Diermeier

Most companies still believe that building a strong reputation is easy and only requires common sense; it is merely a natural consequence of doing right by customers, employees and business partners.  This approach is flawed. Good business practices are important, even necessary, but they are not sufficient for successful reputation management. A company’s reputation needs to be actively managed by the business leaders, led by the CEO as the steward of the corporate reputation.

The Leader's Checklist
by Michael Useem

The animating premise of this book is that effective leadership can be learned, and indeed should be learned, by those with responsibility for the performance of their enterprises and their employees. The further premise is that leadership benefits from an approach built upon specific guiding principles that, taken together, create a clear road map for navigating any situation.

What Big Picture?
by Stephen Balzac

If you really want people to focus on the big picture, there are a few things that need to happen in order to make that possible. It’s amazing how much better the picture is when you give yourself the space to enjoy it.

The Feminisation of Business: What it Means for Leadership
by Sandy Arpino

The established dominance of stereotypically masculine behaviours – characterised by competitiveness, territorialism and the acquisition of status symbols - is being challenged and unseated, replaced by softer styles of operating. Networks and relationships, teams and shared goals provide the means of attaining success in the newly fashioned enterprises, supplanting the traditional ‘reward and punishment’ systems of previous eras.

How Personal CEO Brands Accelerate Corporate Growth and Influence Consumers
by Suzanne Bates

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the names Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and Richard Branson?  I’m guessing you’ll say they are all rich, famous or perhaps even industry icons.  While it’s true that they all enjoy wealth, fame and success, the most important element they have in common, the one factor I will argue that has made them the most successful is that they have discovered and nurtured their own personal brand and integrated that brand into the companies they run.

One-Armed Puzzle Solvers vs. Multi-Armed Detectives
by Vikram Mansharamani

As noted by Malcolm Gladwell, "a puzzle grows simpler with the addition of each new piece of information" while "mysteries require judgment and the assessment of uncertainty." Conceiving of financial booms and busts as a mystery necessitates the application of different lenses to develop a probabilistic interpretation of the facts to better understand the mystery.

The Sinking of the Titanic - An Analogy of Failed Leadership
by Gregory P. Smith

Why did the largest, most advanced ship of the century sink? None of us were alive when the Titanic sank, but all of us lost something that night.  Hopefully, we recognize the lessons learned and will chart your course toward the right direction.

Leaders Don’t Wait and 7 Other Traits
by Ann Latham

We all have so much to do that setting our sights on anything above surviving the daily rush can seem unthinkable. Thus, organizations without strong leaders surrender to the daily struggles and believe that tomorrow or next quarter or next year will be a better time to start making changes. Unfortunately, tomorrow is always tomorrow. That’s why leaders insist on starting today. Leaders don’t wait.

The Cynefin Framework (VIDEO)
by David Snowden

The Cynefin Framework is central to Cognitive Edge methods and tools. It allows executives to see things from new viewpoints, assimilate complex concepts, and address real-world problems and opportunities. Using the Cynefin framework can help executives sense which context they are in so that they can not only make better decisions but also avoid the problems that arise when their preferred management style causes them to make mistakes.

Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace
by Dennis Reina and Michelle Reina

The Great Recession rocked workplaces everywhere, and now it’s time to rebuild trust. But how? There is a proven seven-step process, drawn from two decades of research, for taking concrete, constructive, and compassionate action. By practicing these seven steps, you can muster courage, mend broken trust, and move forward with a more engaged and energized workforce.

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There and Think!
by Daniel Patrick Forrester

Imagine a whole day with no immediacy and no email where you can let your mind wander to deeply consider your work, behaviors, dreams and aspirations.   If you create some white space, you will quickly discover new ideas and potential outcomes that are rarely if ever born within the incessant flow and immediacy of our busy, busy days.

Two Crucial but Often Overlooked Rules for Creating an Inspirational Vision Statement
by Shelley Kirkpatrick

Clearly, creating a great vision statement is no easy task.  It is up to the leader to find a way to put into words or images the reason that the company exists.  Although vision statement development is still very much an art, there are some general principles that have been identified by science.  These often overlooked rules should be carefully considered when crafting a vision statement.

Dear CEO:  Just Do This
by Elizabeth Barrett

Herewith is your recipe for a stronger culture, higher retention and increased talent and a better bottom line:  Blow up HR. The HR department should NEVER be responsible for: staff development, performance reviews, communication, crafting the company culture and any employee issues. The department heads need to be empowered and trained to make these their number one priority, and most importantly this burden falls to you, the CEO. 

Developing People ~ A Key to Eliciting Excellence
by Michael Beck

There is tremendous opportunity and satisfaction as a leader in developing others.  By effectively developing the people around us, we elicit excellence in a number of impactful and far-reaching ways. By effectively developing others, you elevate everyone.  As people grow and stretch, their value and their sense of pride expand, which in turn, elicits excellence from them and the entire organization.

Expecting Excellence - A Key to Effective Leadership
by Michael Beck

The idea of expecting excellence isn't new, nor is the premise that every leader should expect excellence from his or her team.  But just like everything a leader says and does, it's not so much a matter of "what" he or she does as much as it is about "how" they do what they do.

A View from the Flip Side
by Lori Richmond

Over the past two years as a front-line level employee, I have maintained a list of observations about leadership, from a front-line view. As I have gained more responsibility in my company I have used this list as a set of guidelines when dealing with employees. I would like to encourage everyone from line-level to CEO to be aware that your employees DO, in fact, watch you and learn from you … whether you are aware of it or not!

Leadership—Off the Wall
by Paul B. Thornton

Over the past twenty years I have collected and analyzed many of the quotes leaders post on their office walls or keep on their desks. Many of these quotes are the guiding principle they followed to achieve success. Here are my top 15.

Instilling Pride: A Key to Eliciting Excellence
by Michael Beck

Instilling pride has a myriad of benefits - quality of work and workmanship improves, creativity and innovation increases, collaboration is facilitated more easily, and people are willing to "go the extra mile" to do their best. A team or department instilled with a sense of pride will excel simply to prove to others that things can be accomplished that are otherwise thought impossible.

Most Companies Get Leadership Wrong
by Michael Beck

In order to be a great company, the culture of bringing out the best in others must permeate the entire organization.  Let me offer some perspective on how to make that happen.  In order to do that, three questions need to be asked and answered.

Being Fred Flintstone
by Stephen Balzac

Results are a form of feedback. However, as long as you’re on track to accomplish those results, then it doesn’t much matter how hard or how easy it looks; as Fred Flintstone discovered, you probably can’t accurately gauge that anyway. When something doesn’t work, then you need to know the process so you can figure out why.

If You are a Leader, are You a Peacemaker?
by Ian A. Vickers

We all know that conflict cannot be completely avoided.  Leaders as peacemakers, however, can diminish conflict and reduce its long-term effects. A good leader creates an environment of peace that compels people to walk in that direction.

The Zen of Leadership
by Michael Beck

There are many aspects to leadership that parallel the philosophies, concepts, and perspectives of Zen Buddhism.  I don't profess to have a great depth of knowledge regarding Zen Buddhism, but from the insights I do have, I can see the application with respect to effective leadership.

A Satisfying Thump
by Stephen Balzac

I recently had the opportunity to attend a jujitsu clinic with Coach Ed Griffin, a 75 year old, 7th degree blackbelt in Judo and Jujitsu. He demonstrated a technique in which someone would punch him in the face … or at least try to. All he did was turn around and gently place his hand on the attacker’s punching arm and, amazingly, the attacker would go flying through the air.

The Doorbell is Dead
by Ed Muzio

Probably, like me, you’ll find that not all of what is clamoring for your attention is in line with your own priorities. Although saying “no” is never easy, it is much easier when you have a burning “yes” to focus upon instead. Now that you know where you’re trying to head, you can begin to make the difficult decisions about what not to do. From here, the rest is up to you. 

Are You as Resilient as Hillary Clinton?
by Rebecca Shambaugh

We all get discouraged at some point in our lives. We reach a point when we wonder if it wouldn't be easier to just give up. We begin to doubt our own abilities and lose faith in others. This is when you need to dig deep inside yourself and find that well of determination and inner strength that will help you face your fears, counter the ensuing complacency, and keep you committed to reaching your goals.

The Secret to Becoming a Leader
by Brian Tracy

Leaders are made, not born. They create and develop themselves by becoming men and women of fine character and integrity. Your greatest personal asset is the way that you are known to others. It is your personal reputation for keeping your word and fulfilling your commitments. Your integrity precedes you and affects all of your interactions with other people.

Leadership Strategies to Overcome Adversity
by David Heenan

When living during our current economic times resembles a roller-coaster ride on the way down, untold numbers are living Thoreau's "lives of quiet desperation," without the drive or know-how to shift gears. Even though there is talk that things are turning around, 2010 is going to be tough for many. Learning how others have created bright triumphs from dark hours can be helpful and inspiring to those currently in the trenches.

Is Your Company Headed for a Crisis Like Toyota?
by Douglas Reiter

Among the many skills that CEOs need these days is the ability to spot a potential disaster, like the one that recently hit Toyota.  This vigilance, of course, must be performed at the same time the CEO is busy motivating staff, delivering products and services and building sustainable profits for shareholders.  Nonetheless it must be done.  The Toyota safety crisis is a good reminder of how quickly public confidence can fall.

Walk Your Talk or Lose Your Job
by Anne Riches

"What they say and what they do are two different things." How many times have you said this yourself or heard others say it about some managers? It always reminds me of the times I got confused and irritated when my mother used to say to me "Do as I say not as I do!" It seems that inconsistency used to get to me even as a child. The interesting thing is that in the last few weeks I have just discovered why.

Toward Becoming a Great Corporation. Part One
by Gary B. Brumback, Ph.D.

Corporations come and go. Some go under totally. Some get swallowed up. Few become and last as truly great corporations. And those that get anointed as truly great often embarrass the anointers not long afterwards. That’s why I never anoint any. I’ve been studying corporations and other organizations for more than 50 years. I want to distill and share with you what I have learned.

Toward Becoming a Great Corporation. Part Two. Starting at the Top
by Gary B. Brumback, Ph.D.

In Part One I introduced the ideas of the great corporation and the Gold Standard. With these ideas as a framework I will use a hypothetical corporation to illustrate how a real corporation might start on its journey to greatness.

Toward Becoming a Great Corporation. Part Three. Lowering the Hierarchy
by Gary B. Brumback, Ph.D.

The hierarchy as an organizational model was perhaps built more than two millennia ago when Ch’in, the “First Exalted Emperor, established a hierarchical bureaucracy to control the newly unified China. The hierarchy is still the norm today even though it makes becoming a great corporation impossible. It remains the norm because it is the perfect place for emperors and imperial CEOs and their managerial classes to accumulate and wield their power over people inside and outside the hierarchy with little or no accountability.

Toward Becoming a Great Corporation. Part Four. Changing to a Culture for Greatness
by Gary B. Brumback, Ph.D.

The culture of a company is like an autobiography that captures the very essence of the place, its history, its people with their shared beliefs and values, its rituals, its reputation, its formal and informal ways of operating internally and externally, and its outcomes. A company’s culture, whatever its particulars may be, usually affects for the better or worse the company’s internal operations and its overall performance.

Toward Becoming a Great Corporation. Part Five. Managing the Right Performance the Right Way
by Gary B. Brumback, Ph.D.

We have been following a hypothetical corporation undergoing a major “turn up,” not turnaround. The organizational structure has been changed from a hierarchy of commanded and controlled people into a lowerarchy of empowered people. Managerial layers and functional departments have been replaced by self-managed, cross-functional teams and core processes. The corporate culture is being changed to one that will further, not hinder the journey to greatness. In this final part we take a look at what the corporation needs to do in managing the right performance the right way.

A Life That Counts
by Dr. John C. Maxwell

As I age, I gain perspective on the illusion of wealth and status as forms of fulfillment. I don't want my life to be measured by dollars and cents, or the number of books I've authored. Rather, I want to be remembered by the lives that I've touched. I want live a life that counts.

Developing Leaders We Can Trust
by Bruce Piasecki

I find that the best leaders are both in this world and in the world of the near future – at the same time. At firms like Toyota, HP, Shaw Industries and Agrium, I learned firsthand that you best have one foot in the here and now making the current market and technological choices, and the other foot pressing ahead for the clear gain, for both the consumer and the company, when the product hits the market with a shelf-life of a decade or more, not just a single shopping season.

10 for ‘010: 10 Smart Leadership Questions for 2010
by Gayle Lantz

If you’re like most business leaders, you spent much of 2009 feeling down and just about out. Odds are, you grappled with many new challenges, uncertainties, and “don’t want to, but have to” decisions. It was a difficult year—period. Now, 2010 is here, and in the earliest days of the economic recovery, it’s time to take the bull by the horns. Smart leaders will bypass the predictable New Year’s resolutions and, instead, start ‘010 with 10 essential questions.

Simma’s Seven Step Solution for Successful Inclusive Leadership
by Simma Lieberman

Do your employees know your name? Do they even know why your organization exists? If the answer to one or both of these questions is “no,” you cannot possibly have an inclusive culture in your organization. And if that’s the case, you are not optimizing your business results.

The Problem with Leadership
by Dan MacDonald

Why it is so hard for companies to find great leaders? Even extraordinary companies with insightful, intelligent, and experienced boards of directors and senior executives have erroneously chosen leaders based on their perception of leadership capabilities.

Unexpected Discoveries
by George Barna
I suppose we all entertain fantasies from time to time. If pressed to confess mine, I would have to include a last-second swish from the top of the key to nail down the championship for the Lakers; and penning a bestseller that becomes instrumental in transforming millions of lives. Oh, and one more: I’d love to spend a day in conversation with the best leaders in the country to discover personal insights on how to be a better leader. Well, strangely enough, my leadership fantasy was about to come true.

The Seven Habits of Pointy-Haired Bosses
by Stephen Balzac

Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, routinely features tales of bumbling managers. The popularity of Dilbert, and the degree to which it resonates with people, are a testament to his accuracy; indeed, Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss has become an iconic figure.

Play! The Sanity Saver For Tough Times
by Eileen McDargh

The opposite of work is not play. It's depression. So states psychiatrist Stuart Brown in his new book, Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul. Brown is not original in his assertion. Anacharsis, a 6th BCE philosopher insisted that we are to, "Play so that you may be serious." Even in the Hellenistic world, play gave rise to scientists, writers, philosophers, and builders of great civilizations.

Why Managers Should Care About Employee Loyalty
by Timothy Keiningham and Lerzan Aksoy

The reality is that employees are only as loyal to the company as they believe the company is loyal to them. This is true almost everywhere in the world! So in the end, building an organization of committed, loyalty employees ultimately comes down to demonstrating to employees that the company deserves their loyalty.

How to Create a 20/20 Business Vision and Why it Matters
by Roxanne Emmerich

The turning point for a vision is when everyone sees it, gets it, and buys into participating to make it happen.  And if you've built your vision around a bold and audacious idea, a ludicrous, unreasonable, captivating idea—like, oh, I don't know, going to the moon—people will throw their hearts over the bar with you to make that unreasonable dream a reality.

Leadership Doesn’t Require a Suit: Answering the Call and Becoming a Leader in the 21st Century
by Tim Hebert & Giselle LaFrance

In our century, in an uncertain economy and an uncertain future, the call for leadership has never been more apparent. Our success lies not in the hands of our parents, our bosses, our politicians or even our Saturday morning Superheroes. Our success lies in the ability each of us – individually and as a united whole – to take the reins, seize our potential and become leaders - to become superheroes.

Leadership is a Results Contest
by Tony Jeary

Leadership a results contest and is the means by which every leader must understand their most strategic duties and responsibilities. People can spend years studying and refining their leadership styles, philosophies, techniques and other tools that leaders must use -- but the real issue for all leaders is getting results!

Transformational Leadership in the 21st Century:  Shakespeare on Leadership
by Julia Poulos

On the world stage, with the backdrop of this time in the USA, I ask you to listen to the wisdom of Shakespeare and his lessons on transformational leadership. My purpose is to define the practices of transformational leadership, briefly share some of Shakespeare’s lessons on Leadership, and offer some applications for leadership development in organizations.

Zen and the Art of Leadership
by Stephen Balzac

When preparing, the swordsman must care deeply and passionately; once swords are drawn, it is time to not care. Ready or not, the best chance the swordsman has of living is to trust so deeply in his own skill that he can act without caring. He must have the patience to create the moment of victory, recognize it when it comes, and then strike without fear or hesitation.

How the Best Leaders Build Trust
by Stephen M. R. Covey

Engendering trust is, in fact, a competency that can be learned, applied, and understood. It is something that you can get good at, something you can measure and improve, something for which you can "move the needle." You cannot be an effective leader without trust.

Are You Managing Paradox?
by Eric Garner

Managing opposites and managing paradox turns management from a science into an art. It requires a different mindset from the management attitudes of old and with it a completely new set of skills. And old as the principles are, for many it is a new way of managing.

Don’t Waste God’s Time
by Jim Seybert
It’s easy to confuse leadership and management. Some managers are also leaders, and some leaders do a good job of managing. The two functions are often interchanged and combined, but they are not the same. As the leader, you’re the one who stands at the door and says, “Come and look outside. I’ve seen what’s out there, and it’s awesome,” or “I know the policy manual says to follow this procedure, but I think we need to try something different.”

Leading With a Light and Gentle Touch
by Eric Garner

There is a paradox at the heart of facilitation as there is at the heart of all people management; and that is, that to get people to do great things, we, the group leaders, need to allow things to happen, not by doing a lot but by doing as little as possible.

Holographic Enterprise: A New Look at the Potentials of 'Conscious' Business
by Jamie S. Walters
Conscious Capitalism has become a new buzz word and emerging business trend. Is it visionary, or a fresh version of the status quo? What are the possibilities hinted at through the weaving of consciousness and business? Assuming a holographic definition, what would a truly 'conscious business' look like?

The Art of Non-Doing Leadership
by Eric Garner

Managing people without doing things ourselves is a foreign concept to most people in the Western world. Here our tradition is one of managing by harnessing, directing, controlling, dominating, exploiting and using. However, this approach works less and less in today's world. Find out in this article just how powerful you can be by stepping back and doing nothing.

How to Fly Safely Through Turbulence
by Jim Sirbasku

CEOs these days must feel as if they are piloting a plane upside down and backwards through the perfect storm, where all things that can go wrong, do. Making sure your employees have the talent, skill and knowledge to make it through the storm is more important than ever.  Here are some key things to do– in good times and bad.

The Dollar Value of Your Impeccable Word
by Tony Simons

Your effectiveness in relationships depends on how much people see you as living by your word. Where they see it strongly, people trust you more, listen more closely to you, and allow you to influence them. This form of credibility is necessary to lead, to sell, and to address conflicts. It shows up on the bottom line as the integrity dividend -- and I can prove it.

To Outmarket the Competition, Run with the Rhinos
by Christian D. Warren
In a recessionary environment, it's easy for companies to say, "Times are tough. Nobody's making a living. Of course we expect a downturn in sales." But companies with a rhino-like mind-set never take that attitude. Their mind-set is that they can make money in any economy. In fact, strategically minded companies with aggressive marketing thrive during recessionary periods.

So You Want to be an Oxymoron? - What You Need to be a Collaborative Leader
by Philip Anderson
Traditionally business leadership has been about individual decisiveness, clarity of vision, clear command of a situation. Collaboration could have been viewed as a weakness, involving too many people and too much time. Today the tables have turned. The collaborative leader has come of age.

The Problem with T-Shirts
by Nancy Ortberg
As leaders, our job is to breathe life into the vision and fill the words with meaning that stir people in the deepest parts of their souls—the parts that long for significance and transformation. Vision is about stirring and provoking, reminding and imagining. It’s about showing people the wonder of an improved future and infusing them with hope. Vision is about creating a reason to believe again.

What's Your Purpose?
by Dr. Rosie Steeves
It was a real pleasure to sit down recently with Nikos Mourkogiannis, a world-renowned leadership consultant who knows the power of a bold idea. Published in 2006 (Palgrave MacMillan), his book Purpose continues to resonate with CEOs around the world. Nikos himself is more certain than ever that senior leaders need to be shaken up--and fast.

by Steven S. Little
What I've come to learn is that growth leaders are distinctive not only in their actions, but also in their attributes. These specific attributes are more like personality traits than true management skills, and they ultimately build trust. As an ancient Eastern adage says, "Three things cannot be hidden forever: the sun, the moon, and the truth."

An Option for Tough Times
by Steven C. Coats
If you are like many, you may be stuck looking only at possible ways to cut even more costs.  Quite frankly, you need to do better.  Cost management is surely important, but if it is your only option, you are not stepping up to your responsibility as a leader.  While probability analysis falls squarely into the domain of management, it is up to leaders to find ways to increase the number of possibilities that can be put into play.

Creating Massive Engagement
by Sharonne Phillips
We all want to learn how to create the kinds of relationships that will keep our customers, clients and staff coming back for more.  And if we were honest, we would probably extend this wish to virtually all of our relationships. There really is a simple recipe for this. It is: Say what you mean, Listen with your ears and not your ego, Mean what you say, Then do it!

Outsourcing With Grace
by Robert H. Thompson
Grace moved swiftly down the hallway towards the cafeteria, nodding hello to those she passed. Some looked her in the eyes with stares that would freeze fire. Others kept their heads down as if looking for a pin on the grey slate floor tiles. Phil was the only one who managed a sheepish hello. She knew what was coming. Rumors were flying. This all-hands meeting was meant to put them to rest.

Power Up Results: Hundred-Watt Bulb or Laser-Like Focus?
by Dr. Thomas D. Jonez
One primary leadership skill is the ability to focus an organization on its goal or mission.  Simply stated, a leader must be diligent to “keep the main thing the main thing.” What are some practical steps to implement the leadership skill of “clear focus” when applied at the organization or  “big picture” level?

The Milkshake Moment
by Steven S. Little
What is a Milkshake Moment? It’s certainly not a full bowl of ice cream, half a glass of milk, and a long spoon. Instead, a Milkshake Moment is a brave individual action, be it big or small, that furthers the cause of growth in an organization. Milkshake Moments materialize when individuals understand the organization’s true purpose, honestly believe it is their job to fulfill it, and are given the tools and the freedom to make it happen.

Are You Ready for 'Slow Business'?
by Jamie Walters
You might have heard the inklings about the 'Slow Food Movement', pioneered by Carlo Patrini of Italy, whereby the cultivation of appreciation, mindfulness, and awareness is suggested as an antidote to the poison of our frenzied, 'fast food' (and fast everything) culture. The more I read and learned about the Slow Food Movement, the more I realized that it mirrored the principles that I have endeavored to explore and share through Ivy Sea.

Leadership Strategies: How to Lead Your Organization through Thick and Thin and Achieve Your Goals
by Richard Martin
World-class leaders have the personal resolve and willpower to create effective plans and the organization to implement their strategies. They energize their organizations through these plans. They act decisively. They assess and adjust their plans constantly on the basis of sound situational awareness and outer directed information gathering.

Leaders as Fire Starters
by Chip Bell and John Patterson
The leadership antidote to passion-free mediocrity may not be to change employees or telegraph your displeasure or even “crack the whip.’ Your employees may simply need to be inspired.   And, one of the key roles of a leader is to provide inspiration—to be a fire starter, igniting passion and commitment.

How to Engage Employees, Improve Productivity and Sustain Improvements Over the Long Haul
by Bernhard Opitz
There is an urgent need for every company in this global economy to improve its processes continuously. The ongoing strive to be better than everybody else and become better than oneself the day before, is at the core of survival. And the key to the success of the program lies in sustaining the gains from every step!

Transient Leaders: Invigorating or Toxic?
by Sandy Arpino
All too often business leaders move on long before the changes that they were employed to design and implement are complete. As a result the workforce can feel deserted and de-motivated - confused by an array of initiatives that appear disconnected and half-baked in the absence of their inventor. Can a company nowadays avoid the potential damage left behind, following the departure of the creator and champion of a partially executed new strategy?

This Kind of Moose Hunting is Never out of Season
by Jim Clemmer
I started using the Moose-on-the-Table metaphor in the mid to late nineties in my work helping management teams identify and address the issues that were getting in the way of higher performance. Just like dysfunctional families, many teams find it easier to avoid tough conversations. But rarely do problems get better when left unaddressed. Rather, the moose grow larger, breed, and increase the size of the herd.

Pygmalion Effect
by Kausar Fahim
The way managers treat their subordinates is subtly influenced by what they expect of them. If managers’ expectations are high, productivity is likely to be excellent. If their expectations are low, productivity is likely to be poor. It is as though there were a law that caused subordinates’ performance to rise or fall to meet managers’ expectations.

Become a Better Communicator by Keeping Your Mouth Shut
by Kenny Moore

In corporate life we are in serious danger of believing that those who talk the loudest win the day. My twenty years in business have taught me that leaders who can actually keep their mouths shut and ears open have a better chance of being heard, believed and followed.

Six Steps to Becoming a Market-Focused, Profit Generator That Delivers Customer Value
by Sean M. Gallagher, Linden Brown, and Christopher Brown

What we have learned from working with scores of clients and through a comprehensive review of 60 studies covering more than 7,600 companies and business units in 26 countries, is that organizational culture is more of a driver of successful business performance than the level of leadership skills displayed by the CEO. And the corporate culture that beats all other corporate cultures is called "market culture." Or, more precisely, "strong market culture."

It’s Not What We Know, But What We Do That Matters
by Mike Robbins
There are very few people I meet who don’t see the importance of bringing more appreciation into their lives, their relationships, their families, their work groups, and more. However, many admit that while they may know that appreciation is essential, they aren’t always sure when and how to put it into action. Here are a few simple things you can do to bring more appreciation into your life.

Leadership Traits
by Liz Weber
A client recently asked me to help him identify leadership skills his son would need to develop to help him successfully takeover and lead the family business in a few years. He also wants to be able to evaluate all his managers on these skills on a scale of 1 (none/low) to 5 (exceptional). From my 20 plus years of experience working with really good and not-so-good "leaders," several skills stand out, but I'll focus on just seven for now.

Empower Your People
by Paul B. Thornton
If managers really did "empower their people," they would be able to make "on-the-spot decisions" to satisfy customers. Should managers give their employees unlimited power and authority? No, of course not. Should mangers give employees the power to make small exceptions like the ones I have discussed? Yes, absolutely.

What Leaders Need To Know About Failure: When Jack Welch Blew Up The Plant
by Phil Dourado
You probably don't think of yourself as a failure. But, you or so-called 'leaders' in your organization may find it a useful label to hang on others. Allocating blame when things go wrong is a longstanding convention for maintaining the myth of leader infallibility. The best leaders adopt a different perspective on failure, encouraging a forgive and remember culture.

Love And Leadership: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name
by Phil Dourado

Fear constrains behaviour. Love liberates it. So, if all you need is compliance, fear will probably do. But fear freezes initiative, stifles creativity, and provides no incentive to stretch and grow. Love is about wanting and allowing people to be at their best, and engaging with them to help them achieve that.

The 11 Simple Secrets
by Robert W. MacDonald

In his new book Beat the System: 11 Secrets to Building an Entrepreneurial Culture in a Bureaucratic World Robert MacDonald shows professionals, business leaders, and entrepreneurs how to smash the bureaucracy that smothers the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit essential to long-term business success. Beat the System provides proven, real-world advice for building an entrepreneurial culture in your entire organization, your department, or even in your individual position.

The Place for Passion in Leadership
by Sandy Arpino
Business success requires a loyal workforce, committed to achieving organisational goals.  Leaders who exhibit passion – “devotion to a cause and tireless diligence to its furtherance – releasing energy boundlessly” – inspire those around them;  employees and clients alike become partners, with the leader, enthused and energised to realise a shared dream.

Reaching the Summit: 8 Keys to Running a Successful Business
by John McQuaig

After years of dreaming, four seasons of training, months of planning, and five days of climbing, I found myself at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, all of Africa below my feet. The feeling was exhilarating, overwhelming…and exhausting. But oddly, what I thought about  more and more during those thrilling moments was…business! It began to dawn on me how climbing to the top of the world closely paralleled what it takes to run a successful business.

Productive Relationships Rule
by Estienne de Beer
The surest way to a successful workplace and effective teamwork is to build trust. But unfortunately trust is the most endangered sentiment that barely exists in the business world. Processes and systems can easily be programmed and don’t operate on trust. People do!

Developing Your Psychological Hardiness
by Rosemary Rein, Ph.D.

There is no doubt that our troops encounter an almost unimaginable stress level. Accordingly, developing psychological hardiness in troops remains a core component of today’s military training. The following 7 point formula for psychological survival have stress survival lessons for civilians as well.  Are you in psychological shape for handling life’s sometimes stressful situations?

Discovering Everyday Gratitude at Work
by Mike Robbins

We don’t have to wait until everything is handled. We don’t have to wait until we get it all perfect. And, we don’t have to wait for people to do things exactly as we want them to.  We can start appreciating life, others, and ourselves exactly as we are, right now.

How Do Successful Leaders Spell Survival
by Rosemary Rein

Did you know that the same skills used in Survival Situations are the same skills needed for effective Leadership? The U.S. military uses the word SURVIVAL as a pneumonic device to help its troops and leaders remember right actions under fire. Today's successful leaders and managers can follow the same principles.

Leadership - Off the Wall
by Paul B. Thornton

The sayings and quotes leaders post on their desks or office walls often represent guiding principles they have followed to achieve success. What are your guiding principles? What do you have posted in your office?

A Vision for Business
by Daniel Yankelovich

Companies will come to realize that it is necessary to focus their long-term profitability goals on projects that make enhancing the public good an explicit objective, rather than taking it for granted as an automatic byproduct of their search for profits.

Doing Business in the Garden of Forking Paths: Synthetic History as a Leadership Tool
by Adrian J. Slywotzky

One of the most essential skills, and one of the least-discussed, is foresight--the ability to see around corners into a tomorrow most other people haven't begun to imagine. An effective business leader sees his or her company’s best potential future, understands what is needed to realize that potential, and takes the steps necessary to transform vision into reality.

Transforming Vision Into Value
by Renate Rooney

How do you take your vision and transform it into a tangible reality that delivers true value to all stakeholders? Integrate your people, processes and technology so that everyone and everything is moving the company toward its vision. Companies that make the commitment will find it worth the effort when their business reaps the rewards of successful strategic execution.

Cloning the C-Suite
by Dr. Lucille Maddalena

How can we effectively "pick the brains" of today's business leaders short of medically cloning our senior managers? How do we tap, retain and deploy the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of those who currently lead our organization?

Where Are Your Executive Offices?
by Ed Horrell

Customers are saying everything else being equal, I want to do business with a company who treats their employees with respect, has fun at work, and provides great service. Oden is an outstanding example of a company that places employees and values above just being "good" and is a true leader in the Kindess Revolution.

How to Get Employees to Behave Like a Bunch of 6th Graders
by Kenny Moore

It seems that kids don't yet know they can't do a lot of things - so they just move forward and improvise - something we in business lost sight of a long time ago. If all the world's a stage, then we have a sacred responsibility to perform.

The Heart of It All
by Steven C. Coats

What do you believe is the most important aspect of leadership? I have given this question a good deal of thought and my reflections keep pointing me toward the same conclusion. There is nothing more important for leaders than the relationships they develop with those they are aspiring to lead.

Are You a Leader?
by Mitch McCrimmon, Ph.D.

The power to lead has shifted forever from personal power to the ability to generate new ideas, the next great thing that captures everyone's imagination.

The Three Types of Leadership
by Jamie S. Walters

Drawing from each of the three types of leadership will add to the fires of inspiration, and your effectiveness and satisfaction as a leader, and come closer to the expression of your own highest purpose through the privilege of leadership.

Leading from the Core: How to "Be" Versus "Do" Leadership
by Nick Craig

True leadership is that invisible, unmistakable something. My experience suggests that, as elusive as it might seem, each of us has the gift of being a powerful leader.

From Phase of Life to Way of Life
by Jim Clemmer

Learning is a habit that accumulates little by little each day. How much we invest in that fund and where we invest it will determine how wealthy we eventually become.

The Case for Positive Energy
by Jon Gordon

Positive energy is more than just a term. It is a power source that will fuel your business and profits if you cultivate it within your people and engrain it into your process, systems and culture.

Thinking as an Art Form
by Rosemary Rein

Five ways to improve the quality of strategic and creative thinking.

Team Spirit Built from the Top
by Jim Clemmer

Team spirit is the catalyst every organization needs to achieve outstanding performance. The emotional commitment of the people using the tools and executing the plans is what determines whether companies sink or soar.

Judgment and Strength of a Leader
by Ram Charan

You have to do the analytic work to separate out the facts and assess the opportunities and risks, but you also need to call upon your inner strength and judgment as John did as CEO of his company.

Four Ways to Energize Your 2007 Business Growth
by Lisa Nirell

As a business leader, what would your life look like if your growth strategy were clear, focused, and exciting?

Visioning - Personal and Powerful
by Jim Clemmer

Discover Personal Visioning approaches that can help you to avoid the pitfalls and pave your organization's pathway to success.

On Walking the Talk
by Liz Tahir

If you want your staff to instinctively do things without being told, you need to let them see that you yourself instinctively do these things.

Cultivating Character and Excellence
by Jamie S. Walters

By practicing virtues — or the ways of excellence, skillfulness, and good character — you increase not only your own sense of meaning and confidence, but also distinguish yourself within your organization, and as a leader and business.

Bhagavad Gita and Management
by M.P. Bhattathiri

What makes the Holy Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence and we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge.

Chili and Your Intuition: Eight Ingredients for Making Better Strategic Decisions
by Jeff Mowatt

Effective leaders hone their intuition the way a chef cooks a pot of chili. Like chili, intuition needs to include the right ingredients and then be allowed to simmer a while. Here are eight ingredients for you to stew on.

How Top Leaders Create Accountability
by Bob Prosen

Here is the seven-step formula you can use to create accountability and achieve extraordinary results in any organization.

The Jack Bauer Guide to Leadership - Ten Lessons for Leaders from "24"
by Rosemary Rein, Ph.D.

As the 24 seasons have unfolded I have thought more than once about the lessons that 24 has for today's business leaders running their own Competitive Tactical Units.

Be Your Own CEO!
by Angela Mondou

Five tips to seize your leadership potential and own your career!
(From Hit the Ground Leading!)

Making Your Company Human
by Le Herron

By helping to unlock people's potential, the process of making a company human can create an alternate and more desirable reality.

Corporate Renewal as a Business Growth Strategy
by Dean Robb, Ph.D.

Creating companies that are hard-wired for ongoing renewal, innovation and reinvention is a major transformation, requiring new leadership and management approaches, as well as new organizational structures, processes and performance management systems.

The Power of Sacred Wisdom
by Jamie S. Walters

By tapping into the wisdom and practices that our elders and ancestors have left for us, we can renew them, and become renewed by them.

Leadership Development: A Whole Lot of Hooey
by Kenny Moore

Where does Talent come from? How does Destiny get played out? The next time someone offers to send you away for some Leadership Development, tell 'em to buzz off: you've got more important things to do with your time.

The Dance of Mastery and Adaptation: Continuous Growth Through Cycles of Renewal
by Dr. Dean Robb

Business growth in today's complex, turbulent world is more akin to a continuous adaptive dance between "winning" and "losing," that is, being on top of your game and needing to create or learn a whole new game.

The Holographic Enterprise of the New Era
by Jamie S. Walters

There is much talk of 'conscious capitalism' and 'conscious business', and since I'm not a complete pessimist or cynic, I believe that there is potential for business to be a force for good.

Cultivating Leadership
by Jim Clemmer

Managers often use a "one size fits all" approach and try to "mass grow" people. Leaders work with people to discover where they are best able to thrive and succeed.

The Right Time to Think About Your Legacy
by Robert M. Galford and Regina Fazio Maruca

Do you think that you are too young to start thinking about the legacy you're going to leave? Or that you're too old?
The answer to both of these questions should be "no." The right time to start thinking about your legacy is now.

Annual Business Planning Meeting? Forget the "Bored" Room - Go Wild!
by Rosemary Rein, Ph.D.

Here are ten "Wild Ideas" for sparking fire and creative thought in corporate leadership retreats while staying within your budget.

Storytelling and Storymaps: How to Use Them for Organizational Change
by Laurie Durnell and Robert Pardini

In a business setting, storytelling can express the passion a leader has for a vision and, at the same time, build everyone's commitment to the vision's goals. Yet few organizational leaders fully use it to full advantage.

The Leadership Strategy: An Unmined Comstock Lode of Results
by Brent Filson

Most business leaders can develop a business strategy, but they usually neglect what is equally important - a Leadership Strategy - having the people take ardent action for the strategy's success.

Do You Need to be a Hero?
by Mitch McCrimmon, Ph.D.

If you are less successful at work than you could be, you might be your own worst enemy for being too individualistic.

Finding and Liberating Your Authentic Voice
by Jamie S. Walters

Whether you view the reclamation of your Authentic Voice as a spiritual practice, or simply one designed to keep you sane or infuse your life with more meaning, there are several things you can do to begin your journey.

Taking Care of Business
by Rosie Steeves

Many of the current workplace challenges are termed 'adaptive challenges,' problems for which there are no easy answers and which defy resolution through traditional means.

The Problem with Answers
by Dean Robb, Ph.D.

To create organizational fluidity and space for deep inquiry that can effect profound organizational change, we must build a system that supports the development of intrinsic, self-determined personal identity and self-esteem.

Three Questions for New-Era Leaders
by Jamie S. Walters

Given the deep loss of trust and respect for leaders in our contemporary era, new era leaders must find within themselves the capacity to carry themselves in a way that restores and earns trust.

Looking in the Mirror
by Abhay Padgaonkar

If you are the top dog in your organization, what is your main job? John P. Kotter says that "leaders prepare organizations for change and help them cope as they struggle through it." That is their main job. But how do they go about doing it?

Post-Heroic Leadership
by Rosie Steeves

Leadership in today's whitewater environment demands a shift from authoritative to collective, from command-and-control to organizational learning, from individualistic to relational and from power over to power with.

Leading Knowledge Workers: Avoid These Five Deadly Leadership Sins
by Faith Ralston

To ensure high performance -- you must manage these talented individuals differently than employees of the past. Their talents can help you take your business to the top. But like a spirited racehorse, they must be handled with care.

Mastering the Entrepreneurial Art
by Tom Nies

Entrepreneurial success, like success in any pursuit, is about the consummate understanding and mastery of key principles and not about following rules.

The Seven Essential Skills to Become a Great Leader
by Dr. Peter J. Dean

Using these seven essential skills, leadership is not restricted to positions of authority or stature and can, in fact, be practiced by individuals acting within their sphere of influence without being labeled as leaders.

Rebuilding Organizational Trust
by Robert M. Galford

Broken trust can be controlled, tamed, and banished. How it's done ultimately depends on the circumstances in which the trust was lost, but in most cases the principles of the REPAIR model apply.

Navigating Change and Adversity
by Jim Clemmer
We often don't choose the difficulties or negative changes that spring upon us. But we always choose how we respond. To choose our response is to choose our reality.

How NOT to Lead Geeks
by Alexander Kjerulf
The fact is that IT people hate bad management and have even less tolerance for it than most other kinds of employees. Here are the top 10 mistakes I’ve seen managers make.

Can You Follow a Dead Leader Without Believing in Ghosts?
by Mitch McCrimmon, Ph.D.

Leadership in a postmodern world can come from outside one's immediate group, bottom-up or outside the organization altogether. There are no enduring authorities; anyone with a better idea and the courage to promote it can show leadership.

The Powerful Attractors for a New Era of Leadership Mastery
by Jamie S. Walters

New-era leaders are catalyzed and fueled by several inner-attractors that organize and mobilize the leaders' priorities and activities — vision, intention, courage and mastery.

"Inside-Out" Alignment: Maximum Engagement for Superior Performance
by Dean Robb, Ph.D.
Workplace engagement and commitment are at an all-time low. This represents a crisis as the accelerating pace of global competition is forcing businesses to elicit maximum workforce performance, creativity and innovation.

Fostering a Culture of Deep Inquiry and Listening
by Jamie S. Walters

Most of the issues and challenges facing leaders and organizations point to the need for a culture of integrity, leadership, adaptability, creativity, engagement, respect, and camaraderie. Each of these, in turn, relies upon a foundation of skillful communication.

Strategic Roles for Model Leaders
by Donald W. Mitchell

CEOs in the companies whose stocks grew fastest repeatedly upgraded their business models to more profitable and appealing ones for stakeholders. The most successful companies turned this focus into an on-going process to perpetuate business model innovation.

Leadership, Business and Politics: Three for the Money
by Herb Rubenstein

Solid leadership and entrepreneurship is required to design, plan, execute, evaluate, and improve every part of your business. In this article we discuss an area given far too little attention among small businesses, "external politics."

Mentoring Experienced Leaders When Experienced Leaders Fail
by Jeffrey D. Yergler

The crashing and the resulting wreckage that happens in life is never the final word but rather the seedbed of the new, that is, if one can see through the wreckage of the old to the possibility of the new ... of what could be.

Best Thinking: A Catalyst that Creates Competitive Advantage
by Tom Northup

Properly implemented best thinking is the catalyst that generates high level focus. Focus drives performance and performance drives results. Best thinking is genius work - the highest and best use of the CEO's time.

How Can Chaos Be a Benefit for You and Your Enterprise?
by Jamie S. Walters

The next time you think you’re being pulled by an undertow of chaos, remember what civil rights leader Septima Poinsette Clark said, "I have a great belief in the fact that whenever there is chaos, it creates wonderful thinking. I consider chaos a gift."

The Cultivation of Transcendent Leadership
by Jamie S. Walters

Transcendent leadership requires more substantial characteristics, the traits and abilities that are honed through means perhaps more in keeping with modern-day peak performers and Tibetan monks than your average CEO.

Challenging the Gospel of Growth
by John Abrams

I've come to believe that there are optimal scales for different businesses and organizations, that we need to think more broadly about the meaning of growth, and that the concept of "enough" has a place in our internal debates.

Building Strength from the Weakest Link
by S. K. Gupta

When charting new paths, we need to evaluate our strengths, admit our weaknesses and hire someone whose biggest strength is our weakest skill.

How Companies Thrive When Their Core Values Sing
by Joe DiSabatino

One small compromise with a core value becomes the basis for the next small one, and so on. A company must commit to making its core values sing as clearly as possible in every phase of its business.

Performance Management, Appraisals and a Little Math
by Byron Kalies

If it were your own business would you give yourself a Performance Agreement? Of course not. So why impose this on others. There is more time spent chasing people to follow the correct procedures than can be justified by any benefit.

Management is Just Not Enough
by Steven C. Coats

Growth is hard, hard work. The challenge to "leaders" is to examine what you are doing differently - everyday - to attempt to grow your business.

Shining a Light on the Shadowside of Organisations
by Byron Kalies

A great deal of the shadow side can be negative and time consuming. These models (the Shadowside and Cultural Web) force managers to look at their Organisations, find the shadow side practices and deal with them.

Sharing the Reins
by John Abrams

In 1987 I sold my business to my employees.
It's clear to me that due to employee ownership, we've become, at once, better problem solvers and better dreamers. There's a lot to be said for ownership and the responsibility it encourages.

Ten Self-Defeating Behaviors to Avoid
by Mark Goulston

Want to succeed at work?
First step: Get out of your own way

Three Underrated Aspects of Leadership
by Byron Kalies

I feel there are three seriously underrated aspects of leadership: myths and stories, genuine empathy and understanding for people, and not making people wrong.

Growing Old in H.R. - One Alternative
by Kenny Moore

I'd like to believe that a select number of us might deviate from the purely quantifiable work and seek to rekindle the human spirit.
It is, after all, what's at the heart of our work - and the foundation for business success.

Effortless High Performance
by Veronica Lim

In this new age of the 21st century, do you dare to find the new way of leading, by aligning and harnessing the gifts of all three elements of mind, so that your results have no choice but to spiral upwards beyond your current realm of possibility?

Fuzzy Direction Kills Business
by Gary Sutton

After three decades as a turnaround CEO - my old grandpa, a coal miner, began to look smarter and smarter.

The Vocabulary of Leadership: How Mere Words Shape Organizational Realities
by Dr. Jeffrey D. Yergler

There are two sets of vocabularies that are available to leaders: deficit vocabularies (negative talk) and appreciative vocabularies (positive talk). Both have tremendous power to build and construct realities. What you choose makes all the difference!

Six Key Principles of Corporate Accountability
by Shaun Murphy, Ph.D. and Bruce Klatt, M.A.

The following six principles form the foundation for negotiating and understanding accountability. Together they form a practical theory of accountability, the transforming effect it can have on an organization, and its essential role in creating significant business results.

The Laddered Approach to Organizational Improvement
by Dave Ross

Every successful organizational improvement initiative begins with a thoughtful analysis of the business landscape. The challenge now is to make certain that leaders at every level in the organization are aligned with this vision and have the competencies they need.

Separation Anxiety - Business Owners Who Smother Their Company’s Success by Not Being Able to Let Go
by Osman Baig

The anxiety that small business owners feel is understandable, since they have had to play many roles to compensate for a lack of resources and to ensure consistency in the deployment of the vision and direction. Knowing when to start letting go is the challenge.

Related Topics: Creative Leadership I | Creative Leadership II

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