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

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 Measure More than the Average

When Mary Coffin of Wells Fargo spoke at September’s 90 Ideas event, she shared this nugget: Measure more than the average. She pointed out that when we take measurements, we do a lot of looking at trends and averages and norms to make decisions. But averages only tell us so much. We also need to … Read more