Leaders Experiment

One of my favorite leadership experiments happened when I was a band teacher. If you know my origin story, you know there was a time when I was a very negative leader. Part of the turn-around in the late 1990’s involved the revelation of the power of positive feedback. I decided to do a radical … 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

Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying (Part 13)

Some words and phrases give off the wrong vibe, tone, or meaning. We’ve explored several of these over the course of this blog, and today we’re adding one more to the list. How do these conversations hit you? 1. “Hey Marco, what time is the meeting?” “I have no idea.” 2. “Say Abril, how many … Read more

Leaders Say Please and Thank You

In my former profession as a high school band teacher, I attended a professional development session on classroom management. It was called “How to Have Pin-Drop Quiet Classrooms” or something like that. I believe in highly disciplined classroom environments, because that’s when you have the most fun. You can have discipline and positivity at the same … Read more

Leaders Encourage in These Three Ways…

Leaders know that encouragement is important, but it tends to be too rare and fall into just one or two categories: I believe you can do it. (Spurring someone on to meet their potential when they’re discouraged or not measuring up.) You are exceeding expectations. (Praising someone who has gone above and beyond, exceeded standards, … 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