Are You Mature? Test Yourself.08/11/14
Back in the day (about 5th grade, as I recall, yet heading forward towards high school), we spent a lot of time putting other people down. Sometimes it was public. Most times it was when you were walking to school, from a game, or milling […]
Bosses Forget They Have Permanent Megaphones
My friend Miss Take – the professor of the school of lessons-from-experience — taught me a good one again this week. It was a “dad mistake,” but reminiscent of “boss mistakes” I’ve seen and boss mistakes I’ve made. In short, I forgot that central...
How to Purify Your Power for Good Leadership
In 1985 When Ron Heifetz taught me about “systems thinking,” I realized that leaders have a scary power to inadvertently use group power to ignore, blame or even punish victims, and marginalize the most outspoken for raising difficult issues — issues...
Managing Big Egos – 2 Big Secrets Because One is not Enough
I have never enjoyed reading the work of people who write like they know everything. I have always resisted following people who acted like they were superior. Because I don’t trust people with big egos. I suspect you’re similar and share two secrets...
Am I Nuts – I Don’t Think So
“Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage. To be vulnerable, to let ourselves be seen [is] incredibly, incredibly difficult.” – Brene Brown* I share with you today what for me is a grand, wonderful and scary-as-all-get-out experiment. I...
The Two Most Important Words for Leaders
Someone once told me: The two most important words in the English language are “after you.” Can we reconcile this lovely thought with our rigid notion of “the leader,” a word and concept, which quite literally describes the one in front? Yes! Because...
Everyday Leader on Vaca
I’m giving myself a two week vacation. I hope at some point(s) this summer you will also be a leader on vacation. I briefly reflect today on what that might mean, as I prepare myself for vaca (and then take next Monday off RFL entirely)! […]
What Would you do if This Was Your First Day on the Job?
Many of my students are crossing the most significant life threshold beyond kindergarten. They are starting real jobs. One asked me to write about leadership for “new job jitters.” Initially, I thought the topic too narrow and my readership too old...
Look Out Because the Buck Might Stop With You
The buck just might stop with you. So, don’t pass it!!! A faulty ignition switch on a number of General Motors vehicles led to the deaths of at least 13 people. The buck now sits with GM’s new CEO Mary Barra. (The celebratory cakes honoring […]
4 Simple Steps to a Way Better Week
I tell students that my class should be the best class they take at Berkeley. I know. Sounds arrogant. But I quickly explain the two reasons why. First, “the topic is YOU,” I tell them – “your leadership – and what’s more interesting than YOU?” […]
Yesterday We Remembered – Today Let’s Lead
Yesterday we remembered all those who “made the ultimate sacrifice” in service to country. Especially since 911, we get all gushy. We should. We are blessed to live in this great country and blessed by those who have had to fight when the country...
You SHOULD Lead but Why?
UsuallyReading for Leading comes surprisingly easy to me. I write a list of ideas that seem alive and then one just seems to recommend itself. This time, a list of five came easily enough. But none were worthy. None had mystery. None had zing. It […]
Who’s the Leader – Your Mom or Your Dad
I was just talking to a good friend and his 9th grade son, and I asked the youngster: “Who’s the leader in your house — your mom or your dad?” His mom who’s been largely stay-at-home is now re-entering the work force. His dad is […]
Data on What Should You Be Coaching Your People About
This marks the final column, and to me, the most interesting data fromour mini-research inquiry on managerial coaching. While the first two were about how frequently people would like to be coached, today’s data is about the what – On what do we like...
Formal Coaching for Extraordinary Performance
Last week I shared the research on the huge gap that lies between the frequency of ideal and typical coaching. What yourfeedback on my survey showed was thatmost of us would like informal feedback once a week or at least every other week, while the […]
When the Data on Coaching Whacks You Upside the Head
Thanks to almost 200 of you who responded to last week’s survey, we have some pretty interesting data to look at over the next couple weeks. Today’s data — as my title suggests — gives us all a whack in terms of the contrast in […]
Best Practice Coaching – How Often You Ask?
Shouldn’t every college graduate take a course in managing and coaching people? I know my wife and I with our fancy-shmancy bachelors AND graduate degrees never received formal training. Instead, we learned like so many people, on the job. Most of...
How Bosses Have the Wrong Idea About Coaching Their Peeps
Last week I was teaching the principles and practice of “coaching” at an “executive boot camp” and these women and men were good. I asked for volunteers to give me feedback and the two who took turns were s-m-o-o-o-t-h. They complimented me first and...
How a Great Leader Brought Change to His Own Behavior
I got a call a while back from a founding CEO of a growing company. He asked if I would coach him. I liked him from the beginning. He said, “I’ve been an individual performer. But I need to learn to be a leader.” My […]
How to Avoid the One-Two Punch that Kills Creativity and Initiative
There’s an absolutely deadly, yet little-known combo that can destroy the prospect of creativity and initiative, on the part of so-called followers. Here’s the math that I shared about — and with – my students, as I began a class on risk-taking on...
- Lansing, MI