Productive Conflict: Pause & Reflect

Because conflict involves strong emotions, it has the power to overwhelm people. That looks different for everyone. For example, overwhelmed people with the C style and S styles may shut down, whereas those with the i style and D styles may keeping pushing their point. Regardless, conflict affects everyone. We all need to pause and reflect, … Read more

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

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

Leaders Pay it Forward

At 90 Ideas, Tej Dhawan started off with a key idea: Give first. He was mostly talking about the ethic in the start-up community, how entrepreneurs help each other out as a habit. A great Iowa example is EntreFest, an annual program for entrepreneurs with dozens of sessions led, pro bono, by entrepreneurs who are … 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 have Fun

I have a tradition—the Tuesday before Thanksgiving my friend Matt Pries  and I engage in the Annual Night of Gluttony. Click here to view a presentation I did on the tradition. We want to grow old staying young, and maintain our connection with each other in the midst of our busyness.  This tradition helps. The … Read more