Leadership is the Sum of Hundreds of Daily Interactions

We love big stories about exciting, game-changing leadership moments. But when you’re asked about the best leader you ever worked with, you probably don’t respond with a story or example of their biggest project or resume-builder. Instead, you talk about the way they made you feel. Years from now, people will forget the little things you … Read more…

Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying (Part 9)

Here’s a common question, but it’s confusing and vague: “Would you mind?” For example, “Would you mind getting the report in a day early?” Seems like a basic question – but how do you handle the answer, “Sure!” Lots of times, it goes like this: “Sure… sure you’ll do it, or sure you’ll mind?” “What?” … Read more…

Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying (Part 8)

There are times in conversations or meetings when you really want to move on, but you don’t want to shut people down. So, you use a generic question that unintentionally telegraphs a lack of openness, rather than a desire to check-in. For example: “Does that make sense?” “Any questions?” “Does everybody get that?” Unfortunately, there’s no … Read more…

The Problem with “Why”

Early in my teaching career, a guidance counselor gave me brilliant advice when exploring the reasons why someone made a decision. It was counter-intuitive: Resist asking “why“. He explained the reasoning by asking me to think about what “why” opens up – the prepared answer, the agenda, the (by definition) inner thoughts and motives that … Read more…

Success Pointers from the Non-Profit World

Non-profits often have the challenge we explored last week: constraints. Constraints include lower budgets, impact of economic downturns on funding and volunteer efforts, and cycles driven by major programs. For these reasons, they come up with creative ways to maintain success and engagement. Even if you don’t lead in a non-profit, many of their ideas … Read more…

Use Micro-Management as a Learning Tool

Micromanagement gets a bad name. Deservedly so – you will alienate your best people if you tell them how to size the columns and what font to use for the Tracking Performance Spreadsheet reports, and really make them feel like children when you stand over them to dictate the angle of the staple when they attach … Read more…