Leading Admirably, Leading Authentically

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A leadership trait I tend to admire and encourage is authenticity because it seems to be so rare. Most often, it feels easier to hide behind whatever cover we’ve created, although it’s comfortable, it’s not really all that rewarding. If you’re wondering whether or not you agree… ask yourself: Do I value others more for how honest they are or how they appear?

Let me clarify. When I speak of honesty, I’m not suggesting leaders run around like crazy in chaos – no, no, no. That would be a lack of emotional intelligence, which you will never find me recommending. My definition and use of honesty includes these capabilities:

  • A level of directness that’s candid and comfortable.
  • A professional degree of disclosure about things that matter.
  • Feedback that’s meaningful, actionable and thoughtful.
  • The ability to express one’s thoughts, without losing control or being fake.
  • A willingness to discuss uncomfortable topics that are business critical.
  • An altruistic view of others, not a self-focused approach.


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By |May 19th, 2016|Comments Off on Leading Admirably, Leading Authentically

10 Positive, Proactive and Powerful Performance Management Strategies

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Pete is the general manager of a west coast plant for a national company. He has had trouble meeting his revenue and profit numbers for the last year. His District Manager has asked him for a meeting to discuss action plans for performance improvement. Pete’s company is in a highly competitive market and margins are slim. He has been a general manager for several years, and reached company goals, but he never has achieved stellar results. This year has been particularly difficult. A bigger national competitor has purchased smaller local companies, lowered prices and he’s losing accounts. He has lost some employees due to turnover and has fired some of his managers for lack of results. Most of his salespeople are new and new sales have been slow in coming.

WCW, TrueTestPete’s been working long hours and the stress is getting to him. He has wracked his brain with how to improve results quickly. He has already:

  • Threatened his management […]
By |March 29th, 2016|2 Comments

Management Excellence: 4 Powerful Ways to Execute Your Team Plan Successfully

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Let me ask you a question, if a company has “low-cost provider” (or quality or service) as a key corporate strategy, will they do everything they can to execute it well to win, or not? Of course! They will identify tactics throughout the organization to succeed, right?

Why is it that, according to a Fortune survey, 82 percent of CEOs were concerned about their companies’ ability to execute the company plan? Why is it that only 27 percent of the time the workload of employees are considered in making these plans? Why is it that only 5 percent of managers can really articulate their company’s strategy? One company recently bragged it had over 100 initiatives to achieve its customer loyalty strategy. What do you think the odds are that they will make excellent progress? Kotter says 70-75 percent of these change efforts don’t work or meet expectations.

WCW, PerformBetterPrepareBetterThis Catch-22 of grand strategies and failed attempts, plague businesses and managers everywhere. There are […]

By |March 18th, 2016|Comments Off on Management Excellence: 4 Powerful Ways to Execute Your Team Plan Successfully

10 Success Secrets of Great Managers

What’s the difference between a good manager and a poor one? This leadership training video will answer that question by sharing ten success secrets of great managers.

In my research over the last decade, these secrets became apparent. My study involved clients and the latest industry data. Guess what?  Any supervisor, team leader, manager or executive can learn them with a commitment to excellence. But, it requires some changes. I have learned that, if you want your team to be better, you have to be a better leader.

My business partner Doug and I, published these secrets in out book, Superstar Leadership. We created the Superstar Leadership Model as a way to remember and apply the principles.

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10 Success Secrets of Great Managers

  • Clear goals and expectations
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Training
  • Recognition
  • Coaching
  • Leadership flexibility
  • Continuous improvement
  • Hire the best people
  • Promotions and incentives
  • Lead with integrity

WCW, IntegrityLeadershipCharacteristicIntegrity ties all of these together. Without it, managers can’t build trust. Without trust the team won’t excel. With it, the possibilities for breakthrough performance […]

By |March 8th, 2016|Comments Off on 10 Success Secrets of Great Managers

7 Fairy Tales Companies Tell Employees

7 Fairy Tales

In employee engagement surveys, one of the top areas of complaints is communication. The number one skill most CEOs say helped them get to the top is their ability to communicate.That is quite a gap in perception! Here are seven other common ‘fairy tales’, where companies say one thing and often do another, that are detrimental to your future career success.

Employees are our most valuable assets

Worldwide only 13% of employees are engaged. How can employees be the company’s greatest assets when most do not really like what they are doing or where they are doing it? Most companies treat employees as a small cogs in a large wheel. Enough said.

Customers are our #1 priority

I travel frequently and see the best and worst of how companies actually treat their customers. The poor experiences seem to overwhelm the best. For example, these companies below say they are customer oriented, but an ACSI survey proves they are not. Just like thousands of […]

By |March 7th, 2016|Comments Off on 7 Fairy Tales Companies Tell Employees

How to Motivated the “Unmotivated”

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The first time that we met, John walked into the room with a scowl on his face. His eyes glittered with anger. I wondered, how do you motivate this guy? He sat down as if ready to pounce.  I’ve lived with teenagers so I don’t scare easily.  I shook his hand, made small talk and began to ask a few low key questions. Over a series of meetings we developed a rapport and trust. (Early in my career I did educational coaching and training.)

John told me he was considered a “tough guy”. His family had a history of trouble with the law. His older brother created a bad reputation for all of them. John was targeted early on by authorities. They felt he was unmotivated. Teachers cornered him and roughed him up on the first day of high school to warn him about bad behavior.  The local police chased him on the street. In John’s word’s, “I showed them that their worst nightmare about me was true.”  […]

By |February 25th, 2016|Comments Off on How to Motivated the “Unmotivated”

People are More Important than Big Data & Technology

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People are in trouble from Big Data, it’s the forefront of an attack on the importance of people in organizations. See the quotes below:

  • Expert Bernard Marr says, “…everything we do is increasingly leaving a digital trace (or data), which we (and others) can use and analyze. Big Data therefore refers to that data being collected and our ability to make use of it.”
  • “Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.” – Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President, Gartner Research
  • “Data really powers everything that we do.” – Jeff Weiner CEO, LinkedIn
  • “Data are becoming the new raw material of business.” – Craig Mundie, Senior Advisor to the CEO at Microsoft.
  • “I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians. And I’m not kidding.” – Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google
  • “Without big data, you are blind and deaf and in the middle of a freeway.” – Geoffrey Moore, author and consultant.
  • “Data is the new science. Big Data holds the […]
By |February 18th, 2016|Comments Off on People are More Important than Big Data & Technology

The DNA of a New Species of Leaders


Business, if not world leadership, is at a precipice. Will the old guard continue to dominate in their greedy, selfish, unethical manner? Or, will employee and customers alike become even more restless, disengaged and maybe revolutionary in thought or action, and demand a wholesale leadership change?

A new species of leaders is arising. In nature, geneticists call this sympatric speciation. The professional DNA of these leaders is unique. It’s not about profit, promotion or political gain. It’s about the need, and selfless service to […]

By |February 10th, 2016|Comments Off on The DNA of a New Species of Leaders