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 Make a Brain Light Up Like Las Vegas: The Ass-Kicking Power of a Good Story

Love him or hate him, US president number 44 was very different from the one that came before him.  And I’m not talking about the color of his skin. Something happened at the beginning of his first term that prompted President Obama to publicly apologize.  It was then that I realized this guy was not…

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How to Move from Imitation to Greatness

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. – Charles Caleb Colton Say what you will about Mr. Colton’s oft-used quote, but he was definitely on to something. When Bob Dylan was starting out on the Greenwich Village coffee house circuit in the early 60’s, some critics dismissed him as a pale imitation of Woody Guthrie. As…

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Good End, Bad Means: 3 Powerful Lessons Via Hollywood

Ray Donovan is a fixer. When one of Hollywood’s rich and stupid makes a mess, he cleans it up. We’re not talking about dirty dishes. Ray’s in a bind. His ex-con father owes big money to the Armenian mob. And Mrs. Minassian and her boys are losing patience fast. Incidentally, Ray hates his father. However,…

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This Is Why It’s the Most Effective Intervention for Human Performance

“Coaching done well may by the most effective intervention designed for human performance.” – Atul Gawande MD Writing for The New Yorker in 2011, Dr. Gawande makes a strong case for coaching as the best way for any professional to achieve peak performance. Can you imagine an athlete winning Olympic gold without one?  Why should…

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How to Make Better Decisions: 3 Big Pitfalls to Avoid

How did I get this wrong? I looked over the facts and figures that were available to me. I even took the time to consult with two of my most trusted colleagues. I made an objective decision…or did I? Has this ever happened to you? Because you’re human, I’m guessing it has. Let’s rewind… After…

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This Is Why You Should Keep Wasting Your Time

Je ne parle pas anglais – the short bark I got every time I asked a train attendant for help.  I’d flown into Paris a week earlier and even managed to find my way into the city center, despite a city-wide transport strike.  But this was a whole new animal.  One which required help.  Looking to secure…

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HOW TO MOTIVATE PEOPLE WITHOUT THE JEDI MIND SHIT

“The key to getting your employees to give high performance is to understand what motivates them.” – Chris Roebuck, author Lead to Succeed.   FACT OR ALTERNATIVE FACT?   Is this one man’s opinion or is it the truth? Consider these 3 observable facts on motivation and decide for yourself – There’s a strong and clear link…

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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 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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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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