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In the topic 'Zenger Folkman'


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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

One of my favorite bedtime stories as a kid was the story of Chicken Little. It’s a very old folk tale about a little chick who was hit on the head by a falling acorn. The chick believed the world was coming to an end, and set out to warn the King. “Despair springs eternal,” […]

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Are You Focused on What’s Wrong to Make Things Right?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A young girl’s elementary teacher hears little Sophia sing at school and recognizes what a beautiful voice she has. The teacher encourages the girl to nurture her gift and has her sing a solo at a school concert. Sophia’s pure, clear voice and passion for music enchants everyone […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm from… “The Hope Circuit”

As a long-time follower of Martin Seligman’s applied research on optimism, happiness, strength building, and positive psychology I devoured his new memoir, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism. When he began his psychology career in the 1960s, the field focused on lessening misery. Thanks to his groundbreaking research and innovative leadership […]

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Lessons from “The Hope Circuit”: Reducing What’s Wrong Doesn’t Increase Effectiveness

How can the absence of ill-being equal the presence of well-being? Does lessening unhappiness increase happiness? Does getting what is good in life require more than eliminating what is bad? These are among the key questions researcher and professor, Martin Seligman, tackles in his inspiring and insightful new memoir, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey […]

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Positive Psychology Conference Insights and Themes

Last month I participated in the Canadian Positive Psychology Association’s 4th conference at the University of Toronto with 400 researchers, counselors, facilitators, coaches, and psychologists (visit our Positive Psychology resources section or Flourish for background on this new field). I was especially struck by three key themes at the conference: Building strengths is key to […]

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Coaching Head Check: Do You See Eagles or Turkeys?

A leader’s coaching skills are vital today. Millennials especially want direct feedback and supportive guidance. Leaders aspiring to build coaching skills need to do a “check up from the neck up.” Am I in a growth or fixed mindset about the people I am coaching? Ineffective managers ask, “How am I expected to soar with […]

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Succession Planning: From Piecemeal Programs to Integrated Strategy

Studies show a growing sense of urgency for succession planning. One survey found 92% of respondents felt it was risky not to have a succession plan for key employees but only 25% of companies feel they’ve identified adequate successor candidates and less than half have a process for developing candidates. Other research shows 70% of […]

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New Studies Show “Soft Skills” Are Now a Critical Priority

“The whole human side is now more important than skills or IQ. Everything we hear from clients is about the human aspects of leadership,” reports Rajeev Vasudeva, CEO of the Egon Zehnder executive recruiting firm. In a feature article on today’s “ultra-tight job market,” Fortune magazine concludes, “across industries, employers are prizing people skills, the […]

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Positive Psychology and Well-Being – 4th Canadian Conference

Work is a four-letter cuss word for too many people. Monday morning is often the toughest time of their week. Too many people are mumbling, “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go” as they trudge off to check into their “day prison.” In other workplaces people are leaping out of bed in […]

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Webinar: 6 Key Ingredients for Inspirational Leadership – Discover Your Personal Recipe!

What does it take to be an inspiring leader? Positive and perky? Pep talks? High fives? I was invited by a hall of fame NFL quarterback to give a leadership presentation to his senior management team in their offices. He was building a very successful national company on a high growth trajectory. As we toured […]

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Webinar: 5 Factors in Effective Competency Models

Competency models can provide a central framework for defining the skills and behaviors essential to an organization’s success. A well-built competency model provides a strong support structure for leadership development, talent, and performance management. A robust competency model outlines the behaviors needed to create the organization’s desired culture. But how effective is your competency model? […]

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5 Questions to Cut Through the Coaching Clutter

In the past four years the number of books on coaching available at Amazon has grown by 50% — from just under 30,000 to over 45,000. This reflects the growing understanding that effective coaching has a huge impact on individual, team, and organization performance. But this also shows there’s an overwhelming assortment of coaching theories, […]

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How to Strengthen the Weak Link in Leadership Development

“Corporate leadership development programs aren’t working. Less than a quarter of executives at the organizations that have them think they’re effective.” These conclusions are from a report published in the November-December issue of Harvard Business Review. The authors trace the main source of these dismal results to using unproven and ineffective leadership development approaches. The […]

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Webinar: Tricks and Treats to Make Feedback Less Spooky

Aesop, the ancient Greek story teller, tells of an old legend that we were all born into this world with two bags hanging around our necks. A bag in front is filled with what we see in others.  The other bag behind our back is filled with what others see in us. That’s why it’s […]

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Archived Webinar Now Available: “Ground Breaking New Approaches to Leadership and Coaching Development”

Would you like to: Increase employee engagement by up to 8 times? Double/triple leader’s motivation to implement a personal development plan? Build coaching and leadership skills around natural strengths? Make performance appraisals an inspiring event people look forward to? Double rates of improvement from 360 feedback? Sounds farfetched, I know. It might even sound like […]

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Review of “Strengths-Based Coaching in Organizations” by Doug MacKie

Positive Psychology’s focus on identifying and developing strengths aligns strongly with executive development and leadership coaching. Once leaders understand the logic and power of strengths-based approaches the reaction is often “but of course.” However, taking for granted what’s right is hard and looking for what’s wrong is wired deep in our primordial brain. Organizational psychologist […]

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Good Question: Following Up our Essential Elements Webinar

Last month I delivered a 45 minute webinar on Essential Elements of Leadership, Coaching, and Culture Development (click the link to review the archived session). This was followed by 15 minutes of audience Q & A. Here a few more good questions I wasn’t able to get to in our brief time together: Q: Is […]

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Focusing on Strengths Webinar: What Extraordinary Leaders Do Differently

Peter Drucker first advised building strengths in the 1960s and it became a constant theme throughout his work. In 1990 psychology researcher and professor, Martin Seligman, published his book, Learned Optimism, and launched the positive psychology movement. In 2001, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. I read, reread, and cited […]

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Inspiring “Yes, I Can” Video Redefines Disability and Pushes the Limits

What’s a disability? Merriam-Webster defines it as “a condition (such as an illness or an injury) that damages or limits a person’s physical or mental abilities.” But just where are those limits and who defines them? The more we learn about the boundaries of human performance the more we understand how our perceptions shape our […]

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Webinar: Using Leadership Levers to Build Critical Strengths

Archimedes was an ancient Greek mathematician and engineer. He was the first to apply mathematics to physical phenomena. His understanding of the lever provided a foundation for pulley systems, engineering, and a variety of machines. He famously illustrated leverage by stating “give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth.” Many […]

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