You’re Not Alone: Everyone Fakes It Sometimes.

Congratulations!  You got that promotion!! That job you had your eyes on for so long is finally yours.  What a rush!  Your partner/spouse is thrilled!  Your parents are thrilled!  Even the dog seems happier to see you when you come home.  Life. just. couldn’t. get. any. better. So why do you feel so much like a fraud? And why are you worried people will find out you don’t quite know what you’re doing? Answer #1:…

Does Your Leadership Influence Travel at the Speed of Light?

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The James Webb Space Telescope In October 2018, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana.  According to NASA, “JWST will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable…

Take 15 Minutes to Save Your Job

Take 15 minutes, and save your job, your department, and possibly, your company. How? You won’t need your smartphone, laptop, phablet, email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, text messaging, or IBM’s Watson for this. Just your head, a pen, a piece of paper, and 15 minutes. Now, think of the key roles in your team, department, and/or company. Got them? Good. Write them down in a column on the left hand…

Give Them the Gift of Experiences

This past Christmas, my wife and I decided not to give gifts to each other. For previous Christmases, we each had said “no more gifts”, but one of us would ultimately violate the mandate and end up buying the other something. Well this year we each said, “No more gifts”, and we actually kept to it. Instead, we “gave” ourselves several dinners out, just the two of us, during the…

3 Ways Leaders Can Avoid the VUCA Vortex

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Last month we spoke of the VUCA vortex: the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity that are challenging today’s leaders. We also noted several trends in leaders lives, namely: Significantly increased spans of control and responsibility; increased workloads and expectations; and an ever-commuting lifestyle based on mobile technology. Here are 3 things leaders can do to limit the fury of the VUCA vortex. 1) Focus more on the Important, and less…

Why are we leading in the “VUCA” vortex?

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In 2007 and 2008, when the bottom fell out of the economy as well as many people’s jobs and careers, it set in motion a slew of factors that have led to a set of conditions that pundits have recently termed “VUCA” (an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity).  If you haven’t heard about it, no worries; you’ll likely see more references to it in the future.  Strictly speaking,…

Why the Universe Creates “Cry Potentials”

If I dropped a china plate on a tile floor, you’d expect to see it break and shatter into a million pieces. And if I waited for hours, you would never expect the fragments to re-assemble themselves back into the plate. Even if I waited years, you’d never expect that to happen. If you knock over a glass of milk, the milk naturally flows out and disperses. It never flows…

Why successful leaders focus on the 1%, not the 99%

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“Learning is the most celebrated neglected activity in the workplace.” So states Gianpiero Petriglieri in a timeless HBR article. He continues: “Everyone says that learning is essential for companies’ success—and for your own. And yet, on a daily basis, who cares for your learning? No one. People care about what you have learned. They care about your results. Learning is great as long as you do it quietly, in your…

4 Key Behaviors for Frontline Leaders

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McKinsey has recently published research on key leader behaviors (particularly among frontline leaders) based on a global study of 180,000+ people from 81 countries.  Of 20 possible behaviors, 4 emerged as noteworthy, accounting for 89% of the variance between between strong and weak organizations in terms of leadership effectiveness.  The 4 behaviors are (not in rank order): Be supportive Operate with a strong results orientation Seek different perspectives Solve problems effectively. Although McKinsey…

Study: Want to be a CEO one day? Then find your way to an HR role.

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New research from Ellie Filler of Korn Ferry and Dave Ulrich of U. of Michigan concludes that a stint as CHRO is great experience for those that aspire to be CEO. Interestingly, “except for the COO (whose role and responsibilities often overlap with the CEO’s), the executive whose traits were most similar to those of the CEO was the CHRO.” The rising status of HR leaders is not a surprise.…
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