Own Your Tough Statements

There are certain words and phrases that can get us on the defensive before we even know what the topic is. One of the big ones is “No offense, but…” And related cushions followed by the word but. Remember that people on tight teams can handle tough talk. It’s okay for you to deliver tough … Read more

Leaders Discover True Intentions—In Themselves.

In the December 29 Business Record, my friend Sarah Noll Wilson shared her thoughts on intentions. I’ve learned this year that sometimes we have sneaky, shadow intentions that may influence our actions and conversations without even knowing. Now when something doesn’t go quite right, I ask myself what my real intention was in this situation. If … Read more

Leaders Know It’s Important to Know

I’ve written a lot on this blog about being others-focused instead of being self-focused. If I asked, I’m sure you could come up with a list of outward behaviors for each of the two categories. On the self-focused list would probably be words like tardiness, frowning, complaining, ignoring others’ needs, and declining to help. Words … Read more

Leaders Help People see People as People

Let’s start with an example: Aaron was annoyed with his boss, Craig. So annoyed, in fact, that Aaron went over Craig’s head and complained to Craig’s boss, Annette. “Craig’s always breezing in and out. Never listens. Doesn’t have that ‘open door’ policy he brags about. And really tunes me out when I tell him about … Read more

Leaders Pay it Forward

At 90 Ideas, Tej Dhawan started off with a key idea: Give first. He was mostly talking about the ethic in the start-up community, how entrepreneurs help each other out as a habit. A great Iowa example is EntreFest, an annual program for entrepreneurs with dozens of sessions led, pro bono, by entrepreneurs who are … Read more

Leaders Champion Inclusion and Diversity

Miriam de Dios offered up a challenge to all of us back at “90 Ideas in 90 Minutes” in September: Champion Inclusion That seems like a no-brainer—anyone who studies organizational effectiveness and community development knows that diversity and inclusion make for stronger teams, organizations, and communities. But Miriam offered a couple angles we hadn’t considered. Oftentimes, … Read more