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%

“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…

If You’ve Recently Failed at Something, Here’s Why You Should Cheer Up

If you’re human, you’re going to fail at something at some point.  Hopefully it won’t be a big mess, and hopefully it won’t be too public.  But safe to say, if you push yourself to succeed and push to achieve the famous “stretch” goals, at some point, the wheels will come of the track, and it gets ugly. But no worries.  Life could be worse. How? First, you’re only one person.…

4 Key Behaviors for Frontline Leaders

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…

Canada Aggressively Recruits Skilled Talent

Oh, Canada! Canada recently announced its Express Entry program with the goal of attracting skilled talent from around the world.  Successful applicants would be provided an expedited path to permanent (not temporary) residency, with their application being processed in 6 months or less.  Candidates would be ranked according to various criteria, including language proficiency, education and work experience.  According to the government, each is a leading indicator of one’s likelihood of integrating…

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

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.…

Do You See What You Need to See?

Take a look at the following image: Would you believe me if I told you that Square A is the same shade as Square B? Probably not. If I told you that you can’t trust what you see, and that indeed the squares are the same shade, would you believe me then? Still, probably not. If I showed you the following proof (the two parallel strips are the same uniform shade…

Why Your Executive Coach is Overrated

I recently Googled the term “executive coaching” and received nearly 1.5 million hits. Frankly, I was a bit surprised. I was expecting more, because it seems like everyone and their uncle and aunt is a coach these days. (Full disclosure: Count me in; I too have worked with numerous executives and managers, one-on-one, for periods ranging from several months to over a year.) The array of coaches is a bit…

You and I May Not Know We’re Incompetent

She was completely paralyzed on her left side. And yet if you asked her if she could move her left arm, she would say that she could. Even more interesting, if you pointed to her left arm and asked her whose arm it was, she would tell you it belonged to her mother. If you then asked her, well where was her mother, she’d say her mother was hiding under the table.…

David Moyes Now Truly Goes It Alone

David Moyes Earlier this month, I wrote about David Moyes, the embattled coach of the UK soccer team Manchester United.  Moyes had inherited the most successful team in the British Premier League from one of the most successful coaches, Sir Alex Ferguson.  In fact, Sir Alex had handpicked Moyes to succeed him. Last year, Manchester United won the championship under Sir Alex, but this year Man U is currently 7th, with…
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