Leaders Know that True Kindness Beats Niceness

I live in Iowa, and a term that gets floated a lot is “Iowa Nice.” As time goes on, though, it gets used ironically as much as it gets used sincerely. I think that’s because “Nice” doesn’t always equal “Kind.” Some leaders need to be reminded that giving positive you’re-on-the-right-track feedback is important and motivating. … Read more

Leaders Value Human Interaction

One of my favorite management experts, Mark Horstman of Manager Tools, likes to say, “Email is for the convenience of the sender.” In The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni advocates “cascading communication.” The idea is simple. Members of the executive team agree on a common and consistent set of messages that they will in turn communicate to … Read more

Leaders Watch Out for Doubt and Fear

Angela Franklin, the President of Des Moines University, spoke at 90 Ideas back in September, and urged leaders to acknowledge the power that doubt and fear can have over a team. The techniques she recommends are based in part on “The Butler Way.” The Butler Way is the idea that selflessness and commitment to the … Read more

Leaders Ask “Does it Need to be Said?”

I’ve heard a few versions of “Ask yourself if it needs to be said” before speaking out loud. When I heard Kristi Knous speak recently at the 90 Ideas event, I appreciated her 3 questions for leaders before speaking. I wrote Kristi, as I wanted to get her words just right, and she graciously emailed … Read more

Leaders Address Sabotage During Conflict

Can you empathize with this mindset? He never puts stuff away and never gets caught. I’ll just put this extension cord on the floor in the waiting room after hours – he’ll finally get blamed. I know I’m framing him. But, it’s justified because he does it all the time and never gets caught. I’m … Read more

Leaders Address Stonewalling During Conflict

When we stonewall, we make it clear to others that communication is not welcome. We let people know that their behavior or ideas are so unacceptable that we are unwilling to compromise or discuss a resolution. I was in a planning meeting for a musical event once that got heated – there was no easy answer to … Read more