Are Senior Leaders the Worst Leaders?

Today we’re going to look at leadership, how it can fail, and how it can succeed. When we look at the leaders at the top of the organizational chart, we usually don’t think of them as the worst leadership examples in the organization. However, recent data has shown that to be the case.

The research, taken from a meta-analysis of DDI’s assessment data from close to 4,000 leaders worldwide, finds most front-line leaders lack the fundamental interaction skills and behaviors required to be effective leaders. And senior leaders are even worse… Indeed, the research shows, 90 percent of executives act...


Can Problem Solving Skills Be Taught?

Are Problem Solving Skills Innate or Learned?

Sounds like the old leadership question doesn’t it? Are leaders born or taught? I believe the answer is both and that the same holds true for problem solving skills. I also believe that problem solving skills are an ability we should recruit for, encourage and teach when they are lacking. Let me explain how.
Good Problem Solving Start With Understanding the Problem
This seems simple enough yet I would venture a guess that many employees do not really understand why a problem is in fact, a problem. In my corporate...


Open For Business on Thanksgiving

For the past six years, my Thanksgiving Day routine has gone something like this: get coffee at Starbucks, grab breakfast at McDonalds for the kids, fill the tank at the Shell gas station, buy a pack of Trident and hit the road to spend a perfect day with family. These businesses had real live people working there. I am curious as to why we are so mad when retailers decide to start their “Black Friday” sales on Thanksgiving evening.  With so many other industries open on this day, why are we mad at retail? While your company may give you the...


Executive Book Club - November 2013

If you're like most employees and managers, you dread the annual performance review. It's outdated and frozen in time. It's a relic of the way business used to work and doesn't capitalize on the way business works today. Can it be saved?

Today's most successful companies are transforming their predictable "one-way" review processes into dynamic, collaborative systems that apply the latest social technologies. Instead of a one-time annual evaluation of performance, managers and employees receive collective feedback from everyone across their company. It's all achieved through crowdsourcing, and...


Dr.Shirley Davis Sheppard on Why Diversity and Inclusion are Good for Business

In leading organizations, managing diversity is no longer limited to increasing representation of a certain identity group and building equality. Rather, both the definition and the focus have expanded to include not only the workplace, but also the workforce, the marketplace, the community and suppliers. An increasing number of organizations are adopting diversity and inclusion strategies, not only for ethical and legal reasons, but also because it positions them to be more competitive. Among the most important of these benefits are attracting and retaining the best talent, improved corporate image and reputation, increased employee engagement and productivity, greater innovation and...


#Nextchat: Are We Really That Disengaged?

Gallup recently reported that 70 percent of American workers are disengaged. In a recent Forbes article, leadership development experts Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman claim that this data is wrong. They “question the accuracy of this number” and “are particularly concerned about the impact this message has on the executives of organizations.”

Gallup measures absenteeism, or lack there-of, as an engagement metric. Really?  Talk about rewarding people for just showing up. There is no such thing as being absent from work. We are working all the time. The problem is that certain organizations are choosing to measure engagement by...


Fire those managers who don’t fit

It is no brainer that employees who fit your organization’s culture stay longer and hiring the right match assures continued success.

Organizational culture is civilization in the workplace. – Alan Adler

I read this interesting article on, "Culture is a social control system." Here the focus is on the role of culture in promoting and reinforcing "right’ thinking and behaving, and sanctioning ‘wrong’ thinking and behaving."

That is true, and sometimes the whole business model can be your culture. For example, the friendly and open culture in organizations like Disney, ...


Kindness at Work is Natural

Kindness, real kindness, fosters trust. Kindness is not about saying the right things or being polite, it is about showing through your actions genuine caring and respect. – Lori Ada Kilty 

November 13th is World Kindness Day, recognized around the world as a day for people to be kind. In 1998, the World Kindness Movement initiated this day of celebration to encourage everyone to make a little extra effort to be kind to one another.

In Book II of “Rhetoric”, Aristotle defines kindness as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the...