A leader’s main job is to manage chaos

A leader provides his team with vision, values and guidelines critical to helping people make the best possible decisions for the company

A leader’s main job is to manage chaosA leader I met with once said something that has stuck with me. "Most people are trying to do what they believe is in the best interest of the organization. The trouble is they may not have the same point of view on what that is. And that leads to chaos." As an example, take the…

Six mistakes people make when they start a new job

25 per cent of people who move into a new job will fail. Paying attention to these six common mistakes will help make sure you are not one of them

Six mistakes people make when they start a new jobWhat happens when leaders take on new roles or responsibilities in their company? 'Onboarding' – the process of acquiring, accommodating, assimilating and accelerating new team members, whether they come from outside or inside the company – has focused almost exclusively on employees who join from the outside. But there is usually a lot more internal…

Banish the dreaded performance review in 3 easy steps

You don't engage your employees by handing them a report card like they are grade-school students, but by helping them paint a picture of their future

Banish the dreaded performance review in 3 easy stepsThe dreaded performance review is quite possibly the most detested human resources program ever invented. It doesn’t matter what process, form or technology is in place to accomplish this task, it is always bad. And it doesn’t work – ever. The reason I know this is because I spent a year thumbing through job descriptions…

Your guide to unsticking your team’s potential

How to deal with three team-member dysfunctions that can get in the way of team effectiveness

Your guide to unsticking your team’s potentialThe 'team' is probably the most complex and irritating relationship in an organization. As individuals, we seem to be able to work with most people one-on-one, perhaps in groups of threes, and also as an entity of hundreds and even thousands. Where we struggle most is when there is a medium-sized group of us clustered…

Understanding what causes stress and how to handle it

Ask yourself (and maybe someone close to you) the following questions to get a better understanding of what causes it and how to handle it

Understanding what causes stress and how to handle itStress afflicts us all and is a common precursor to mental distress. While there is plenty of good advice about how to manage stress, I don’t think we spend enough time talking about how to anticipate, and avoid, it. It starts with self-awareness. What is your stress profile? How each of us responds to stress…

Talent management lessons from the playing field

Lessons learned on the playing field have shaped many a business leader

Talent management lessons from the playing fieldProfessional sports teams are in a unique position - their sole purpose for being is to win championship cups and their only significant advantage is people. How does that affect how teams manage their human resources? What if companies approached human resource planning and management in the same way? Business, and society, would think about…

Being a good leader means being a good listener

Here’s what you're missing if you don't listen well – and how you can improve your listening skills

Being a good leader means being a good listenerLast week, my friend was lamenting the fact she was away for her 16-year-old son’s first day of school and wouldn’t be there to pick him up. Obviously, her son doesn’t need his mom there. But driving him home lets her listen to him vent. It gives her insight into what he’s thinking, how he’s…

Why you should stop outsourcing leadership development

Start focusing on helping employees develop critical skills and capabilities as they work

Why you should stop outsourcing leadership development  If you ask a successful leader to recall his or her most impactful development experience, chances are it happened while engaged in real work. This was once reinforced during a project designed to help organizations transfer and retain the business-critical knowledge of retiring baby boomers. Interviews with more than 40 successful, long-tenured leaders confirmed the best…

Why you should take a vacation

Breaking away from work in a meaningful way, for a significant period, is critical to our health and well-being – as humans and as workers

Why you should take a vacationI just returned from a two-week road trip in Newfoundland with my sister, a trip I highly recommend. Being away, really off the grid, gave me time to reflect on all the reasons it’s important to take annual leave. That’s how vacation used to happen – annual leave where you left the office, packed up…

How managing your impulses will make you more successful

Self-regulation puts us firmly in the driver’s seat of our own life. But it isn’t easy

How managing your impulses will make you more successfulRecently, I was admiring a burst of tulips in the back garden. I commented on how striking they were. My husband commented on how they were ill-placed. Irritated by his lack of appreciation for the riot of colour, I grabbed a pair of scissors, snipped them off and announced he would no longer need to…

The talent gap is still a problem

A lack of talent is affecting all organizations. Here are a couple of suggestions to solve the problem

The talent gap is still a problemI am often asked the same questions: "What are you seeing out there? What are the key issues organizations are grappling with?" I don't claim to be an expert on all things organizational, but in my work I am seeing a clear trend: a lack of talent. This isn't new, but to solve the problem…

5 sure-fire ways to improve employee engagement

Stop focusing on measuring it and just do something about it

5 sure-fire ways to improve employee engagementQuick, on a scale of one to five, how excited are you by your job, your boss, and the organization you work for? If the pollsters are right, chances are you answered a three or less. According to a swath of recent surveys, employee engagement is at an all-time low. The culprits of old –…

Wrestling with your “Dark Side” and winning

Having shortcomings is not the problem – as humans we all have them. The problem is not knowing what they are

Wrestling with your “Dark Side” and winningThere is no question that we need to align people with jobs and situations that play to their strengths. There is nothing more powerful than leveraging what people do well: it builds engagement, accelerates projects and initiatives, and significantly increases the likelihood of personal and organizational success. Besides, who wants to spend their life working at…

Are you listening to the wrong people? 

How to reduce the chances of making a decision you’ll regret somewhere down the road

Are you listening to the wrong people? A recent column of mine was inspired by the political maelstrom created by the SNC-Lavalin affair. A month has passed, the storm continues to swirl, and I’m inspired again to draw on this situation as a leadership learning opportunity. There have been no shortage of ‘What were they thinking?’ moments as this scandal has unfolded,…
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