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Tagged with 'organizational culture'

Letting Go of Our Weaknesses is Really Hard

Two readers recently posted comments voicing the common struggles many people have in letting go of weaknesses when developing leadership effectiveness. One reader responded to Zenger Folkman’s Harvard Business Review blog Three Myths About Your Strengths by naming a fourth myth as focusing on your strengths means you can ignore your weaknesses. He went on […]

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Steve Jobs Showed How Towering Strengths Overshadow Weaknesses

This month’s release of release of “Jobs” the biographical drama film starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs shows our continuing interest in this extraordinary leader. Jobs disrupted and redefined the music, smart phone, computer, and related industries. Jobs’ large legacy resulted from a few outstanding strengths that many called genius. The new film, previous books, […]

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Double Learner Motivation with Revolutionary Strengths-Based Leadership

On March 4, HR.com is hosting my complimentary webinar on Double Learner Motivation with Revolutionary Strengths-Based Leadership. In this fast-paced session I’ll discuss why a huge part of the leadership development gap is caused by traditional needs assessments and gap analysis. This weakness-based approach is ineffective and undermines participant motivation for change. I’ll show pre […]

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Mind the Gap: Are People Bumping their Heads on Your Values Ceiling?

Lead by example is a management cliché. Most executives mouth the words. But many executives don’t appreciate how their behaviors set the upper limits for any core value they’re trying to build their culture around. Too often the espoused values are what the top tells the middle to do for the bottom. Ethics and honesty […]

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Delivering Purposeful Customer Service in a Toxic Environment

June’s issue of The Leader Letter was published last week with a series of my May blogs on customer service (the opening story on Where’s Your Culture on the Customer-Cattle Continuum?, “Want to Improve Customer Service? Treat Your Employees Better“, “American Express Boosts Customer Service with Transformed Leadership and Culture“, and “Delightful Dell Service Shows […]

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Where’s Your Culture on the Customer-Cattle Continuum?

I was just on a flight from Toronto to LaGuardia airport in New York City. Severe thunderstorms caused us to be diverted to nearby Newark, New Jersey. The captain kept us updated along the way. Once we’d landed in Newark he came into the cabin and asked who would like to get off here and […]

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Delightful Dell Service Shows a Real Turnaround

Sometimes it feels like our technology picks the toughest time to test us! I was on the Calgary leg of a road trip to Regina, Calgary, Seattle, and Anchorage a few weeks ago when my computer failed to boot up as I arrived at my hotel room that night. I live on this thing. I […]

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American Express Boosts Customer Service with Transformed Leadership and Culture

Just after writing my last blog on improving customer service by treating your employees better I came across an interview on Jim Bush, EVP of World Service, at American Express. The new leadership approach Jim describes Amex has used since he took charge of this role in 2005 provides powerful data and examples of how […]

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Vision, Values, and Mission: Well Lived Trumps Well Written

In preparation for an offsite executive team retreat, the executive organizing the session sent me a draft of the mission and vision statements “we’ve been struggling with.” She included earlier versions and iterations of each statement. She was especially frustrated and confused by the overlap of the two. She was looking for my help to […]

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We Need Less Generational Nonsense and More Leadership

There’s a lot of mumbo jumbo being sold by “generational experts” that today’s young workers are very different from previous generations and need to be managed differently. Clearly there are differences between groups of people who grew up in different times, circumstances, and cultures. But people are people. And what we’re looking for from our […]

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Career GPS is an Excellent Benchmarking Tool for HR Issues

Toronto-based Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has just released an excellent new “Career GPS” tool. This online assessment is designed to help HR professionals pinpoint and track their professional development goals. But the first six of eight Domains provides a very useful summary and checklist of the critical “soft skills” everyone in a management position […]

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Research on Leadership and Culture Development for Higher Health and Safety

I am continually looking for research linking the “soft skills” of leadership and culture with safety performance. Most safety programs are focused on “hard” or tangible systems and processes like regulations, training, audits, risk assessments, compliance, incident analysis, and the like. Those are critical elements in moving toward zero workplace injuries. The focus of my […]

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Leadership and Culture for Higher Safety Performance

Improving organizational health and safety is like motherhood. Everyone is in favor of it. Vision, values, and mission statements abound with warm words about its importance. Who doesn’t agree with slogans like “everyone going home safe and healthy every day”? Only the most twisted executive or manager wants to hurt anyone. Yet many organizations are […]

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Harnessing the Power of Participation

There’s another excellent article in this month’s Harvard Business Review on harnessing the power of highly engaged people. Professor of leadership, Douglas Ready, and PhD student, Emily Truelove, report on how companies like the beauty retailer Sephora, luxury hotel chain Four Seasons, and French food giant Danone, came through hard times stronger than ever. In […]

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Are You Using All Your Strength?

The cover article in the December issue of Harvard Business Review reminded me of this powerful little story: A scout leader was trying to lift a fallen tree from the path. His pack gathered around to watch him struggle. “Are you using all your strength?” one of the scouts asked. “Yes!” was the exhausted and […]

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Traditions, Culture, and Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss

What? It’s the last month of the year already! What happened to 2011? When I was a kid I’d snicker when I heard adults talk about how fast time goes by. I couldn’t wait until I was taller, could drive a car, get a job, get out on my own…Time dragged at a frustrating crawl. […]

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Shared Secrets from the Cirque

If you’ve never taken in one of the amazing and spectacular shows of the Cirque du Soleil, you really need to treat yourself and see one. Cirque travels extensively to major cities and have permanent shows with elaborate stages and buildings in Las Vegas. One of my favorite shows of all time is their The […]

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Is Your Culture by Default or by Design?

We’re continuing to get feedback, questions, and comments about culture development following my 60 minute webcast on November 4. If you missed the whirlwind “city bus tour,” you can view the archived presentation (my animated slides synchronized with the audio track) at Leading a Peak Performance Culture. One viewer sent me a good question after […]

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Links for Digging Deeper Into Leading a Peak Performance Culture

My last blog post announced that you can now view last Friday’s (November 4) full Leading a Peak Performance Culture webcast with all slides and audio track. You might want to view (or review) the session on your own or share it with your management team and/or improvement professionals concerned with leadership and culture development. […]

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Exponential Engagement: The Power of Three

In today’s economic uncertainty employee engagement is critical. Organizational engagement surveys are showing that employee frustration is accelerating as engagement plummets. They feel trapped. With higher unemployment rates and tight job markets, many people on the frontlines — especially those with less specialized skills — are clinging to jobs they don’t enjoy. Employee engagement is […]

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