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 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 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

Leaders Stay Receptive During Dialogue

People who are receptive invite and appreciate different points of view. Leaders who are questioning, skeptical, and challenging can be very helpful when in an early phase such as “exploring implications”. When working toward alignment, however, it can stand in the way. When I was a teacher, I had a principal in my early years who … Read more

Leaders Exchange 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 … Read more