Productive Conflict: Bring in a Neutral Perspective

We don’t know what we don’t know. That sounds obvious, right? But when tensions are high and conflict ensues, our view gets more narrow, and we don’t realize that we don’t know what we don’t know. People who seek counsel tend to consult with trusted advisors to help evaluate risks and possible outcomes. We’ll start with a real-life … Read more

Productive Conflict: Listen to Differing Perspectives

People who exchange perspectives tend to encourage dialogue around new ideas and information. In a dysfunctional situation, a leader may do the opposite; present information without room for discussion. I was part of a team once that had to select chaperones for an international youth trip. The chairman explained exactly how the selection had been made four years earlier. … Read more

Leaders Know People Need to Feel Heard

Ricardo was the president of the Band Parents for a time while I was a band director. He ran pretty good meetings. His corporate background and command of deliverables worked very well, especially when another officer, Don, ran off at the mouth. Most of Don’s ramblings were trivial, and sometimes they were negative. But Ricardo … Read more

Leaders Influence Outcomes

I heard Tim Kight speak at the Iowa SHRM conference, and he had an elegant way of boiling down the role our choices make in determining outcomes. Event + response = outcome Essentially, if we don’t have influence over events, yet we want to control outcomes, then we need to focus on our responses to … Read more

Leaders Make a Difference Every Day

One of my favorite speakers is Pat Lencioni. I love him as an author, but he’s an even better speaker. Something I don’t think he’s written, but that I’ve heard him say a few times, are these inspiring words, which I’m paraphrasing for you: So many of us want to make a difference in the … Read more

Watch for Signs of Previous Bad Leadership

Recently, I chaperoned a large group trip for a bunch of teenagers—over 300 of them. I had to keep track of about 35 of them myself, and punctuality was the most pressing issue of the trip. If any one person was late for the bus or the meeting point, it held up all 300. While … Read more