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When you’re the boss, questions are better than orders

Questions are an especially great management tool when I think someone isn’t doing what I would hope they would, or when I think something isn’t going in the direction I want it to go.

Prime Your Team for Creative Thinking

Innovative thinking is fueled when a wide range of talents, skills, and traits come together. If you want to enhance the creative potential of your team, develop the diversity of their skills. Here are a few ways to get started:

The truth about success

The truth about success

The truth about success

Solving Complex Problems with the 11 Laws of Systems Thinking

Solving Complex Problems with the 11 Laws of Systems Thinking

Systems thinking is the key to solving complex problems and achieving simplicity. Furthermore, by applying systems thinking to different situations, we also start to recognize the existence of universal patterns of behavior in business and in life. In so doing, we develop good judgment, prudence, patience, sense of opportunity, and a whole array of other virtues and strength that are critical to success.

4 Strategies for Women Navigating Office Politics

4 Strategies for Women Navigating Office Politics

The politics of office life seldom fail to flummox and frustrate the top female executives my partners and I coach and train. In 2013, we conducted a number of interviews and surveyed 270 female managers in Fortune 500 organizations to determine what they liked and disliked about business meetings. Politics was one of the things that repeatedly fell into the dislike column. In fact, both men and women said that women are more likely to become nervous and uncomfortable in meetings when interpersonal conflicts and other political challenges arise.

Leadership Scorecard

The Mistake Most Managers Make with Cross-Cultural Training

The Mistake Most Managers Make with Cross-Cultural Training

Mark is an HR director looking to improve his company’s cross-cultural skills, especially in Germany where his company is doing an increasing amount of business. After considerable research, Mark hires a firm to deliver a training solution that seems like just what the doctor ordered. It’s a tool that enables employees to discover their “cultural profile” and then compare that profile to those from a range of other cultures.

5 Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help

5 Ways to Get Better at Asking for Help

It seems like leaders are always lamenting the lack of cooperation and collaboration in their organizations. But more often than not, the culprit isn’t their employees’ unwillingness to give others a hand — it’s the fact that most people simply don’t, or won’t, ask for help.

Measuring the Return on Character

When we hear about unethical executives whose careers and companies have gone down in flames, it’s sadly unsurprising. Hubris and greed have a way of catching up with people, who then lose the power and wealth they’ve so fervently pursued. But is the opposite also true? Do highly principled leaders and their organizations perform especially well?

Research: We’re Not Very Self-Aware, Especially at Work

Research: We’re Not Very Self-Aware, Especially at Work

If you’ve participated in a training or development program in the past two decades, chances are you took an assessment designed to increase self-awareness. While you may have discovered your “type,” “profile,” or “style,” it probably did little to make you a more effective leader or team member.

How to Ask for Feedback That Will Actually Help You

How to Ask for Feedback That Will Actually Help You

A lot has been written about how to give feedback but not much about how to get useful feedback from others. It can be hard to draw out the truth from the people around you — people who may be too nice to share the full picture or too intimidated to be honest.

Why Generation X Has the Leaders We Need Now

William Strauss and Neil Howe, coauthors of Generations, posit that each generation makes a unique bequest to those that follow and generally seeks to correct the excesses of the previous generation. They argue that the Boomer excess is ideology and that the Generation X reaction to that excess involves an emphasis on pragmatism and effectiveness.

The Authenticity Paradox

The Authenticity Paradox

To grow as a leader you must dive into projects and activities, interact with different kinds of people, experiment with new ways of getting things done – and try out various leadership styles. Most learning involves some form of imitation (and understanding that nothing is “original”). So stop viewing authenticity as an intrinsic state. 

Research: What CEOs Really Want from Coaching

Research: What CEOs Really Want from Coaching

Two-thirds of CEOs don’t receive any outside advice on their leadership skills, and yet almost all would be receptive to suggestions from a coach. These stats are from a Stanford University/The Miles Group survey released this month, which asked 200 CEOs, board directors, and other senior executives questions about how they receive and view leadership advice. 

You Might Be the Reason Your Employees Aren’t Changing

You Might Be the Reason Your Employees Aren’t Changing

We all need a coach. Research we conducted at VitalSmarts shows that 97% of employees readily admit to having a “career-limiting habit” — some behavior that will forever hold them back, unless they can learn to change it.

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