To Be or Not to Be: How to Verify Your Talent with Confidence

“I believe every artist had someone who told them they were dirt and someone who told them that they were the second coming of the baby Jesus, and they believed ‘em both”. – Bruce Springsteen BBC Radio 4 Springsteen’s observation got me thinking… Is this paradox limited to artists? I don’t think so. Here’s why…

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How To Make The BIG LEAP From Good To Great

Do you work for a great company? If so, what makes it great? If no, what prevents it from being so? Do its other stakeholders feel the same as you (employees, customers, suppliers)? As an independent contractor, I get to choose the organizations I work for.  In theory, at least. The truth is, I’ve worked…

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How to Ask Powerful Questions that Lead to the Right Results

Want to show your superiors that you’re a STRATEGIC THINKER? Want to motivate your direct reports to bring their BEST PERFORMANCE? When speaking to a key customer, want to get the RIGHT INFORMATION? If you answered yes to any of these, you need to start asking the right questions.  Not just any questions.  Powerful questions…

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The Cult of Productivity: Why Self-Improvement Is a Slippery Slope (& What NOT TO DO About It!)

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” – Robert Levine Do you ever feel like time is slipping out of your control? And as a result, you have to make the best possible use of your limited time? Or that working more efficiently is the only way to tackle…

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How to Convince Someone: Currency of the Modern Age [Guest Post]

Knowing how to convince someone — of anything, really — seems like a major deal in the modern world. About 50 percent of the Internet-connected global population uses some form of social media, which is a giant echo chamber where your views get reinforced consistently. In such a context, it’s hard for people to become comfortable…

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New Challenge in New Landscape: How to Lead in 2017 & Beyond

Terra Incognita “…they also will, like consultants, encounter situations where they will not know what to do.” In Humble Consulting (2016) Edgar Schein points out that leaders and managers at all levels need to adopt the role of Humble Consultant. That is, someone who approaches the complex and messy situations of their people and organizations with…

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Why You Should Make Simple Rules (& How to Do It!)

After 22 years as a professional (internal employee, external consultant, everything in between), I have a developed a theory: LESS IS MORE. So you can imagine my joy when I came across Goffee and Jones’s 6th key attribute in Why Should Anyone Work Here?: What It Takes to Create an Authentic Organization. If you missed them, here…

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The Cult of Happiness: 10 Simple Ideas to Stop the Circus and Redirect the Love

“The floggings will continue until morale improves.” Can companies turn happiness into a management tool to be measured or a skill to be improved? As the joke illustrates, I don’t think so. In “Against Happiness”, the economist Schumpeter shines a light on the “happy-clappy progressive management theory” that is taking root in many companies across…

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S.M.A.R.T. Communication: 5 Powerful Strategies to Make Change Stick

Do you recognize this picture? No matter how high-performing your team or how agile your organization, you probably recognize The Vicious Change Loop. If the WHAT, WHY, HOW & WHEN for a new Change are not clearly communicated, people will fill in the gaps. If critical questions and concerns go unaddressed, rumors will fly. Here…

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3 Characteristics to Ensure Your Team Has Teeth

Anyone with internet access and a company job in 2016 is aware of at least 2 of these 3 things: 40 is the new 30. Nerd is the new cool. Cross-functional teams are the new organization. Teams are nothing new. As Schumpeter points out in “Team Spirit”, even Jesus had 12 teammates. 2000 years later,…

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How to Grow the Driving Force & Reduce the Restraining One

Message from organization: “You have to change.” Reaction 1: “What if I fail? Will I be exposed?” Reaction 2: “What if I don’t change? Will I be left behind?” According to former MIT Professor Edgar Schein, the brain reacts to such messages in two ways. The first reaction is called “learning anxiety”, the second “survival…

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7 Paradoxes Every Leader Must Master (part 2)

As discussed in part 1, modern leadership is full of paradoxes. To be an effective leader and people manager circa 2016 you have to be aware of the big ones. However, your biggies will look differently than mine. Nevertheless, if you lead with the Paradoxical Theory of Change you will be just fine (can’t make others become what…

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