Are You a Leader Who Nourishes or Depletes During Tough Conversations?

At the recent Professional Development Conference for the Central Iowa Chapter of the Association for Talent Development, Sarah Noll Wilson served as the opening keynote speaker, and I’d like to share my favorite takeaway from that speech, because it fits so well with previous themes. Bottom Line Up Front: In every conversation, we are on … Read more

Leaders Avoid This Double Standard

The following is an example of a common scene in my sessions with leaders. Me: Raise your hand if you’ve ever said or thought something like this: “If someone has an issue with me or my work, tell me to my face. Don’t hold back or talk about it behind my back; give it to … Read more

Leadership Takeaways From the Guru

Recently, The Leader Campus released a video interview with Jim Kouzes of The Leadership Challenge. I encourage you to watch the whole thing. But here are some of my main takeaways, in case you don’t want to make time to watch it now. One big point from the latest research: While the context for leadership keeps changing, … Read more

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 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