McKinsey & Company says it’s a myth that continuous improvement is only for manufacturing companies looking to control costs.  Continuous improvement should be part of every company’s strategy.  For example, by communicating a compelling vision and connecting it to each employee’s daily work, one international theatre chain tapped into the power of frontline workers to generate […]

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A study from the University of Exeter in the UK confirms that bosses who put the people who follow them first, boost productivity.  The researchers used 130 independent, previously published studies to test their theories. The result:  the “servant-leader” style of management, which is ethical, trustworthy and shows genuine interest in the wellbeing and development of staff, […]

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Because malicious, unapproved software can bring down an entire IT infrastructure, many companies keep a tight reign on the software employees can use. Yet, the Harvard Business Review warns about the dangerous lag time between customers identifying a real need and IT satisfying it. When all IT decisions are made at the very top, i.e., the […]

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I bet meetings are a big part of your work life.  In his Ted-X-UNC-Charlotte Talk, Steven Rogelberg suggests six ways to make them better.  Invite the smallest number of participants possible.  No spectators or people there just to listen.  Attend only the part of the meeting that’s relevant to you.   Be a good host if you’re the meeting […]

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Amazon is one of the most innovative companies in the world, and their leadership principles are a big driver.  Agility and experimentation are part of their DNA.  Here’s a peak at several of their guiding principles. Customer Obsession. Leaders start with the customer and work backwards.  They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust, and although they pay […]

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There’s much to learn from the philosophy and approach of one of the world’s most innovative companies.  I’m talking about Amazon.  Let’s take a quick look at some of the company’s Leadership Principles – the norms that guide day-to-day behavior. Earn Trust. Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully.  They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so […]

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There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  Going together means delegating to or collaborating with others. But doing so successfully can be challenging.  Executive coach Helen Baxter-Southworth and team dynamics expert Russ Forrester say these five values and behaviors hold the key to working […]

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Often, leaders are extroverts with lots of charisma and energy. But two related studies from Ohio State University reveal that there are limits to how effective that personality trait can be.  The two subject groups included 260 undergraduate students and 337 employees at a large Chinese retail company. The research found that extroverted leaders tended to […]

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If you have an employee who takes up more than their fair share of time, a recent Society of Human Resource Management article says you first need to understand why before you can take appropriate steps. The employee may be insecure or lack the necessary experience to complete the assigned task.  Insecurity can come from low […]

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Harvard Business Review contributors Tony Schwartz and Emily Pines of the Energy Project warn that at all times, we have two selves operating simultaneously.  There’s the self governed by our pre-frontal cortex.  It controls executive brain functions like planning and strategy. It’s calm, measured and rational.  This is the self of which we are most aware.    Our other […]

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At all times, two parts of our brain are governing how we behave.  We’re aware of the rational, deliberate self that is ruled by the prefrontal cortex.  But the threat protector, ruled by the amygdala, reacts beneath the surface causing us to lash out inexplicably.  That self is enabled by the inner lawyer, which rationalizes, deflects and blames.  […]

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Delivering negative feedback or criticism is rarely easy.  Receiving it may be even more difficult.  But researchers at University of Toronto found that how people receive criticism depends greatly on the source.   Through field and lab experiments, they discovered that when negative feedback comes from a boss or a peer, the receiver’s creativity level drops.  The researchers concluded […]

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Olympic gold medalist and World Cup soccer champ Abby Wambach is turning her attention to building women leaders. The author of the new book, “Wolfpack,” says it’s time to update the rules that governs how women approach leadership.   She told the New York Times that she wants women to:   Champion each other.   Power, success and joy are […]

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Intense business demands can lead to highly task-focused leaders whose myopic approach to getting things done can be productive and it can be harmful, especially if they view people-focused activities as inefficient and a waste of time. Because, nothing could be further from the truth. The Harvard Business Review says it’s just as important to focus on […]

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As a leader, it’s okay to admit that you have feelings.  Sometimes it’s even good to share those feelings with your team.  But the Harvard Business Reviewsays there’s a thin line between showing you’re vulnerable and over sharing.  Here are five ways to manage yourself. Figure yourself out.  Learn to recognize the signs that it’s time to hit the emotional […]

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What’s your approach to introducing a new initiative?  Do you plan alone or with just a select few?  Do you make the decisions and tell others?  Do you push for closure, focused primarily on getting the task done? If you answered, “Yes” to the above questions you may find that your good ideas often fail before they’re even […]

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While conflict is inevitable and can be seen as the healthy manifestation of competition, how we engage during conflict is key.  A little self-awareness can go a long way to help us steer away from behavior that serves no one.  Here are a few well-worn ruts to resist. The “I’m right, you’re wrong” mindset.  A hint that you’re […]

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Your schedule is jam packed, but there’s an important team meeting that you want to participate in.  The clock isn’t on your side, but with proper planning, here’s how you can ensure the team hears from you. Let the meeting leader know beforehand that you’re coming but can’t stay. Plan to attend the first 30 or […]

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A recent McKinsey & Company article delved into a report from Deloitte Global, where they interviewed two thousand C-Suite executives in nineteen countries, and found four types of leaders who are successful in this – the early part of Industrial Revolution 4.0. The Super Socials. These leaders have cracked the code of doing well by doing […]

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As the proliferation of automation and AI grows, and our lifespans increase, McKinsey and Company says, companies must look for new ways to keep employees current and engaged.  Episodic, classroom training is becoming obsolete and more attention needs to be placed on how to best prepare the workforces for life-long employability. This means rethinking what we […]

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