The Problem With Being the Expert

Ken has a problem. Ken’s a finance control manager within a global finance organization. Like of the leaders I coach, Ken’s very smart. In fact, when it comes to his business specialty, he’s a subject matter expert. Ken knows the work of his team inside and out. So what’s Ken’s achilles heel? Communicating clearly. He … Read more

Three Keys to Creating Candor

I work with a lot of leaders who want to be better at managing conflict. Frankly, that’s not their real issue. What they really need to do is get better at dealing with the absence of conflict. Far more teams suffer from the disease of pseudo-harmony than overt disputes. Personal attacks are quite rare. If … Read more

An Essential Step to Leading Smarter

Leadership is a process of influencing others to willingly work towards a shared purpose.  Part of that job is communicating what that purpose is.  Too many leaders go about this the wrong way. Consider Fernando.  A senior finance director for a large multinational based in Mexico City, Fernando has always been in leadership roles for more … Read more

3 Easy Ways to Say “I’m Unprofessional”

Do you care what people think about you? Of course you do.We live in an age of easy access to information.  This access gives your customers a multitude of choices as to where to get their needs met.What separates you from your competitor?It’s not the quality or cost of your product or service.  It’s the … Read more

What Really Intelligent People Need To Perform At Their Best

Jane has been recently promoted to Senior Manager at a technology firm. When I met Jane, she told me her most pressing problem: I have some really smart people on my team.  While that seems great, they’re really challenging to lead.  What should I do?  Leading highly intelligent people is a double-edged sword. The (obvious) … Read more

The Crucial Difference Between Leading Big and Leading Small

Dave is a smart guy– when it comes to most things. A Managing Director at a professional services firm, Dave knows his clients, industry, and the business inside and out.  He’s also passionate about wanting to grow the consulting skills of the Junior members of the firm. However, when it comes to leading a group … Read more

The Painful Price to Pay for Constant Urgency

When you’re asked, “How’s your week going?”, is your gut response to say: Crazy Busy? If so, you’re not alone.Crazy Busy – constant urgency – has become the new normal.Only there’s one problem.  If everything is urgent, then nothing is urgent.There are things in life that demand urgency.  A heart attack. A house on fire. … Read more

3 Reasons Leaders Should Never Fix Their People

Daniel leads a team of twenty research scientist/leaders.In preparing to work with the team at their annual leadership conference, I spoke to Joanne, one of Daniel’s direct reports.  Joanne brought me up to speed with the team, their group dynamics, and the work that they do. One of the things Joanne shared was: One thing you … Read more

How To Avoid Missed Understanding With These Three Simple Keys

The Miss Florence Diner, in Florence, Massachusetts is an American landmark. Literally. It’s been open since 1941, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. My family’s been going to Miss Flo’s for years.  We have a family ritual where we go there for breakfast on Election Day, MLK Day, President’s Day and … Read more

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