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Tagged with 'The Leader Letter'

Nature’s Mighty Law is Change

“I hate all this change. Why can’t things just stay the same?” Dirk shouted angrily at the TV news anchor. He threw a pillow at the TV screen and clicked it off with a snort. Suddenly a hissing noise arose from the corner of the room and green, shimmering mist filled the air. Dirk stood […]

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Building Strengths is Authentic, Increases Happiness, and Leverages Leadership Skills

As I reflect on attending the Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference and Zenger Folkman’s Leadership Summit over the past two months, Jonathon’s Haidt’s advice from The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Jonathan Haidt rings true; “Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses… if it is a weakness you choose to work on, […]

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Leaders Need to Address the One Bad Apple That Can Rot the Team

Terence Mitchell, professor of management, organization, and psychology at the University of Washington Business School, along with doctoral student William Felps “analyzed about two dozen published studies that focused on how teams and groups of employees interact, and specifically how having bad teammates can destroy a good team.” They concluded: “A single ‘toxic’ or negative […]

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Don’t Lock the Door and Get Trapped in Old Thinking

The evening before a speaking engagement in Vancouver, I was in a hotel room on the 37th floor overlooking Stanley Park, English Bay, and The Lion’s Gate Bridge. After a pleasant dinner with a friend, I returned to my room. The sun was setting on a beautiful, warm spring evening. Wanting to enjoy the view, […]

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Learning @ the Speed of Change

In his 1973 book Reflections on the Human Condition, social philosopher, Eric Hoffer wrote, “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” How true that’s proven to be over the past few decades. If […]

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Reflecting, Renewing, and Refocusing Through Evolutionary Change

One reason organizational change efforts have failure rates as high as 70% is because too many newly appointed leaders take over a team or organization with overpowering messages of revolutionary change. Often the new leader implies that everything the team or organization did before they arrived on his or her white horse to save this […]

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Striving to be Handier with Words than with a Hammer

Some people like to build things with their hands. As my wife, Heather, can attest, I didn’t inherit the handyman gene. My farmer father and my cabinetmaker brother kept that gene to themselves. My passion is building with words. My grandmother was a published poet so it’s likely her set of genes that made me […]

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Double Your Resolution Success by Building Strengths

A University of Scranton study on New Year’s resolutions reports that 2/3 of Americans make one. 47% of these are “self-improvement or education related.” The study found that only 8% are successful in achieving their resolution! Many New Year’s resolutions are aimed at correcting our deficiencies or shortcomings. So is it any wonder that 92% […]

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Rebuilt Website for Better Access to Our Large Resource Library

Since putting our website online in 1996 it’s grown to 1,900 pages of book excerpts, columns, blogs, articles, videos, webinars, and information about The CLEMMER Group’s programs and services. All of these resources became increasingly difficult to navigate, which was further complicated by a clunky website platform that allowed few options to make navigation easier. […]

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Turning Your Organization Upside Down

After listening to an angry customer vent his dissatisfaction with the organization’s service, a supervisor replied, “If it’s any consolation to you, we treat our employees worse than we treat our customers.” You’ve heard it said that no one can serve two masters. In too many organizations with their traditional top down hierarchy, that means […]

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Thoughts on Leadership Reflecting the Legacy of Warren Bennis

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Warren Bennis. Over the past 30 years my views and practices on leadership have been profoundly influenced by his research and writing. After reading his personally revealing and deeply thoughtful memoirs a few years ago (“Review of Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership“) […]

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Reality Check: Which Glasses Are You Wearing?

A reader sent me this e-mail: “Your recent blog, “A Dose of Reality: Our World is Dramatically Better“, is excellent. Your information supports what I had already believed but did not have data to support. As I was reading your blog, I happened to have on my desk a copy of the book “The Trouble […]

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Wasting Time on Weaknesses

Fixing weaknesses is so deeply ingrained in our practices and beliefs. When coaching or having performance discussions with a team member, most leaders will quickly gloss over strengths to address “improvement areas.” After reading How to Be Exceptional: Drive Leadership Success by Magnifying Your Strengths, Janet Pierce, Vice President of Education for Certified General Accountants […]

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Slimming Down my Blog Posts

Tomorrow we publish my November blogs in our December issue of The Leader Letter. The lead article is my blog on “Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on … Reading and Leading.” As much as the evidence shows that extraordinary leaders are often avid readers, today’s hectic pace makes it especially challenging for many leaders […]

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Avid Readers are Stronger Leaders

As an avid reader and author I was delighted to come across recent research on the impact of reading on leadership effectiveness. In a series of five experiments conducted by social scientists at the New School for Social Research in New York City, they found that readers of literary fiction scored higher in empathy and […]

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Back to Learning and Leading

September heralds “Back to School” for many students and parents. This is also a great time of year for leaders and leadership teams to refocus on learning and development. Exceptional leaders are lifelong learners on a journey of continuous personal development. Extraordinary leaders see learning as a way of life not a phase of life. […]

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Preview of Tomorrow’s “Leader Letter”

Just after publishing my blog post on “3 Keys to Developing Extraordinary Leadership” Bob Boulton, Leadership Coach — the Human Side of Leadership, cornerlight.net, sent me this e-mail: “Jim, I have followed your work and have always been impressed by the rare combination you display of refreshing yet solid thinking and practical implementable (if that […]

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Shifting Trends in the Leadership Development Industry

The American Society for Training and Development recently asked 10 “of the biggest names in the industry” to weigh in on the past, present, and future of the profession. ASTD’s conclusion from this input was “the need for skills development, the importance of learning and development, and the link between employee performance and organizational success […]

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10th Anniversary of Publishing “The Leader Letter”

One of the most celebrated anniversaries is birthdays. This month is the 10th birthday of my monthly newsletter The Leader Letter.I published The Leader Letter in April 2003 to coincide with and announce the publication of my fifth book, The Leader’s Digest: Timeless Principles for Team and Organization Success. I signed thousands of pre-ordered books […]

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Are You Stimulating or Stunting Growth?

Are your houseplants stunted? Are you limiting their growth by keeping them in a small pot? BBC Nature reports a fascinating story entitled, “‘Stunted’ Pot Plants Cannot Reach Their Full Potential” from the Society for Experimental Biology’s annual meeting in Salzburg, Austria. Researcher Hendrik Poorter with the Julich Research Centre in Germany found that houseplants […]

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