Leadership, Talent Management

Lessons on Mission and Purpose From the NHL Playoffs


The National Hockey League playoffs kicked off this week, and they have me thinking about the way talent and culture is managed in hockey, and, what both employees and employers can learn from it.

In good hockey organizations, talent and culture are a shared responsibility across all layers of the org chart.

  • General manager’s fill locker-rooms with the right talent at the right price against the salary cap. Read more…
Leadership, Talent Management

How to Build & Maintain a Loyal Team in Today’s Workplace

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“I’ll take 50 percent efficiency to get 100 percent loyalty.” — Samuel Goldwyn, American movie mogul.

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, loyalty is as loyalty does.

In recent years, some business leaders have bemoaned the death of old-fashioned employee loyalty, as workers realize that technology has freed them from some workplace restraints.

Many have also decided they can get farther faster by jumping from one company to another, rather than by working their way through the hierarchy of one organization. Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

5 Strategies For Taking a More Positive Leadership Approach

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 Second of two parts

In Like Ringing a Bell: How to Bring Out the Best in Employees, we explored the concept that YOU are Pavlov’s Bell to your employees.

Actually, you are Pavlov’s Bell wherever you go and with all of your relationships, but we focused on how this concept affects your ability to bring out the best in your employees.

The overall take away messages was this: “You are Pavlov’s Bell to the people you manage, for better or for worse.Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

The Three Dumbest Things Leaders Should Never, Ever Say

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“Don’t take this personally.”Don’t bring me a problem unless you bring me an answer.” “We need to talk about that sometime.”

If you’ve ever uttered these comments, reconsider:

“Don’t take this personally.”

How else should you take a comment like that, delivered before a critique of your work? After all, who else did the work but you? Read more…

Culture, Leadership

The Importance of Trust: It Makes Your Culture “Change Ready”

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What is the level of trust in your culture? What do employees think of senior management?

Research says that only 49 percent of employees trust senior management. The scores for CEO’s are even more dismal; 28 percent of surveyed employees felt the CEO was a credible source of information.

Trust promotes creativity, conflict management, empowerment, teamwork, and leadership during times of uncertainty and change. A culture of trust is a valuable asset for any organization that nurtures and develops it. Read more…


One Important and Overlooked Key to Truly Great Leadership

CSLewis humility humble

In our world of “selfies” and social media apps to facilitate telling the world about our every thought and how we spend our time, it’s not shocking that humility is a characteristic often in short supply.

I recently read that the College Board, the organization that administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) taken by millions of high school students each year, shows evidence of an over inflated opinion of ourselves.

On the SAT test there are a number of questions other than Math and English which the students are asked to answer.

For example, they are asked to evaluate their leadership ability, where 70 percent of students rated themselves as above average in leadership, and only 2 percent as below average. When it comes to athletics 60 percent rated themselves as above average while only 6 percent rated below average. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

There’s Something About Harry: Portrait of a Great Leader & Manager


When you’re in a position of power — whether a manager or a parent — you say things and do things that have a huge impact on those with less power.

You can have a huge impact, for better or worse, without knowing it.

That’s because when you’re in a position of power and you have a negative effect on others, you are rarely let in on the secret. Read more…

Culture, Leadership

Building The Big T — Why It’s Critical That You Can Trust Your Team


How do you develop the level of trust in your employees that’s required to inspire productivity and empowerment? I believe it starts with self-awareness.

If your organization suffers from low productivity, don’t automatically blame your employees; take a look at yourself first.

If you don’t trust your people to do their jobs well, ask why. Did you make poor choices when you hired them? Are you still learning how to maximize their skills and abilities? Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

When Saving Face Leads to Poor Decisions and Bad Leadership

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The importance of saving face in Asian cultures has been well documented, and Americans planning to work in Asia are often advised to get familiar with the concept.

But let’s be real. Americans are pretty OK with saving face, too.

A trusted boss early in my career taught me the truth of this, and I’ve been grateful ever since. Leaving people an out is often the right, wise, and humane thing to do. Read more…

Leadership, Training & Development

Want a Competitive Advantage? Get Your Team to Make Faster Decisions

© Stuart Miles - Fotolia.com

Can your team make a decision?

I was recently thinking about a moment in my career that taught me several things about team decision making.

It was many years ago in my staff meeting. I had opened a topic for discussion that I knew the members of my staff disagreed strongly about. Read more…