Leadership in Turbulent Times

Picture a fast flowing, deep river winding through a steep bank in a forest. There are many twists and turns. The water is raging and churning, yet it stays within the confines of the river banks. How do you get the water to flow where you want it to go? Think about the behavioral dynamics … Read moreLeadership in Turbulent Times

Don’t Give Feedback Until You Read This

It’s time for a difficult conversation with a colleague or employee. A project just finished and didn’t go as anyone had hoped. You are dreading raising it directly. You are worried about how he or she will respond.  So you are procrastinating and reading this article. Good timing. I estimate that at least 80% of … Read moreDon’t Give Feedback Until You Read This

What Teamwork is Not

Teamwork does not mean doing everything together. Think of your favorite team sport. Mine is soccer. I call it Real Football. Great teamwork is beautiful to watch on a football field. It is the balance between great interplay, and moments of individual brilliance. For the football fanatics, here are two short clips from the same … Read moreWhat Teamwork is Not

I Am Not Busy

Conversation #1 “How are things?” “Good. Busy.” ********************** Conversation #2 “How are things?” “I am not especially busy. I have time to <talk or listen or play or laugh or help or sleep or exercise or learn or think or create>.” ******************** Roughly how often do you have the first conversation versus the second conversation? … Read moreI Am Not Busy

Three Steps for a Feedback Culture

Many things stand in the way of creating a culture conducive to giving and receiving feedback. Sometimes, these challenges seem so insurmountable that we stop trying. We simply opt not to take the psychological and relational risk involved with these difficult conversations. We just say nothing. Or, even worse, we default to destructive, passive-aggressive communication. … Read moreThree Steps for a Feedback Culture

Finding Meaning and Motivation in Work

Consider the following story of a meeting with interns led by a senior partner at a large accounting firm. Does it ring true for you? “The partner concluded the meeting by recounting the parable of three bricklayers who were rebuilding a church after it had been damaged by fire: The construction architect observed the three workers … Read moreFinding Meaning and Motivation in Work

The Simplest Explanation of Positive Leadership

“It is hard to be that nice all the time” complained a friend as we discussed the pros and cons of positive leadership. “And besides, people don’t want things sugar-coated. Sometimes they need tough love.” Quite a few people I meet have the same concerns about positive leadership, even if they do not say them … Read moreThe Simplest Explanation of Positive Leadership

Positive Organizing in Tough Times

Having a positive organizational culture is most important when things are not going according to plan. This is somewhat paradoxical. Many people expect that those workplaces with strong, positive cultures somehow have things go perfectly well all the time. Or if things do go wrong, that the situations get glossed over or diminished in importance. … Read morePositive Organizing in Tough Times

4 Efficient Steps To a Positive Culture

Creating organizational culture change can be hard. We may not initially have the skills we need. We have to sustain our energy and commitment to the change process, while continuing to fulfill our other job responsibilities well. We have to persist even through skepticism and resistance along the way. Oftentimes, we believe such change efforts … Read more4 Efficient Steps To a Positive Culture