What are the traits of high performing leaders? Because of my line of my work I am fortunate to spend time with many successful people and study and research the topic even more. One theme that runs through of my experience/research is that financial success (while important) is not the primary driver of an individual […]
If you employ people, the reality is that employees will come and go. It is extremely rare that someone will take the entire business journey with you (or that you should want them to). A good company still experiences 10-15% turnover each year. One of my old bosses once told me that “The only certainty he had was that he was there at the beginning and would be there until he sells out or hands off the reigns to someone. More than likely, just about everyone else will come and go at some point. All you can do is strive to maximize the mutual benefit of the employer-employee relationship while they are here. You want to create an environment where good people want to stay, but accept the fact they will eventually leave, often for reasons beyond your control.” At the time I thought this was a bit cynical, but I see his wisdom more clearly many years later (Note: I left).
By Glen Calderon In January 2014, McKinsey & Company conducted a study that examines the 4 main reasons why leadership development programs fail: 1. Not allowing for context. Simply, leadership development training is unique. One size does not fit all regardless of a homogenous company, management or culture. An organization should ask why do we […]
Leadership isn’t easy or everyone could do it. Some talented people make it look easy, but we often don’t see all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make it look this way. Most leaders struggle at some point and have to learn some difficult lessons along the way. Experience can be the best teacher if you are open to learning. I’ve observed the following 25 ways (in no particular order) that leaders tend to get themselves in trouble:
Sometimes a leader sticks around too long. I am a big fan of Arsenal Football Club and this has become a much more difficult chore than it used to be. The club that used to be known for its innovative offensive play-making and rock solid defense has become sadly predictable to defend and quite easy […]
I often observe many leaders who think they are the exception to the rule. Maybe in some regards they are, but not across the board. Moreover, not all exceptions are created equal or warrant consideration. There are some obvious rules of personal and business behavior that we should all respect or at least take heed […]
Employee engagement doesn’t mean coddling or succumbing to every employee need or whim. Employers, you still and will always have more leverage in the relationship. Lately, I’ve watched as many of you have allowed your power dynamic to shift upside down. Given the purported dearth of talent and supply of qualified candidates, you are slowly […]
I remember my mom telling me early on that “words matter.” Once you say something it cannot be unsaid. Even if you apologize and/or make excuses, the imprint on another person’s brain is still there. And, sometimes the repercussions can last for years or even a lifetime. There are many situations where I wish I […]
Sadly, it seems rare these days when I see something that a professional athlete does that I feel sets a good example for my children and even inspires me. One could argue that the physical abilities of athletes has grown considerably since I was young. Their exploits on the field seem to continually set a […]
If leading was easy, then everyone could do it. I’ve had a number of conversations lately with clients and colleagues who are complaining about how hard they have to work. More often than not, the average age of these people is under 45. I try my best to be understanding and empathetic while also trying […]
There are a lot of excuses being bandied about regarding the words of Donald Trump and that once he gets elected he will modify his rhetoric and become more presidential. Sadly, this energy is only growing. I hear many apologists state that It was just the rigors of the political campaign season and he’s doing […]
Anyone can manipulate words and stretch the facts to suit their short term objective. However, it is difficult long-term to fake behavior and eventually your words will catch up with you.
I have the good fortune to spend a significant amount of time with CEOs and business owners. I may be one of the few people who will spend a full day with them on a regular basis. It’s always fascinating to watch how they cope with a long meeting. For some of them, it is […]
The right technology can make a big difference but it needs to be put in the proper perspective.. I remember when cell phones were a bit of a novelty but then became a regular everyday tool. It was almost as if the world couldn’t have existed without them (but it did). Many technology tools have […]
Mistakes are a part of life. As the saying goes, “sometimes we are our own worst enemy.” I’ve seen many a good leader go down a “rat trap” of their own making. Often this is done with the best of intentions, but the results usually have nothing to with the original intention behind them. The […]
Leadership is an interesting topic. We all seem to think we know what it is and can identify when it’s lacking, but often have different definitions of what it means. It gets even more challenging when you have different sides with competing agendas/world views clashing with one another. Recent events in Baltimore have put a […]
Too many people really aren’t fully listening. As part of my work, I am in a lot of meetings and conference calls. It’s amazing and somewhat disheartening at times to see how the quality of these interactions can vary. There are moments where it feels like everyone is “dialed-in” and paying rapt attention, but these […]
Leadership is about embracing personal responsibility and putting in the hard work to be successful. Recently I have been having a lot of conversations with my clients about work-life balance and the need for boundaries. I am always sympathetic to their need to live a more full life. I also try to remind them that […]
Just about every week I meet with a client who bemoans the lack of accountability in their work environment. My first response is always, “we are what we tolerate.” However, I then walk them through the four reasons (in my experience) why things don’t get done: There is a lack of clarity about what needs to […]
The biggest mistake leaders make is to think it is all about them. They believe that success or failure is a direct result of their own personal behavior rather than a team effort. Show me a successful leader and I will show you a person surrounded by good people who each do their own jobs exceedingly well. While it is common practice in this country to celebrate the individual, no one builds a high performing organization by themselves. This doesn’t mean that the leader isn’t an essential ingredient; however, he/she needs other ingredients to complete the recipe.
Over the years I’ve noticed that it is inexperienced or mediocre leaders who feel like they have to dominate all conversations. It’s almost as if what anyone else has to say has limited or no value and it is only their opinion that counts. We’ve all been in meetings where there is that one person who simply will not be quiet and yield the floor to others. They are also often prone to interrupting their colleagues before they can finish their thoughts and using obvious body language when the center of attention isn’t focused on them. This is bad enough when it is a peer but even worse when it is the actual leader of the group. Nobody likes a “know it all.”