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Leadership and Diversity: Making the Most of the Mix

April 24, 2015

Most people know that diversity in their organizations is important. That is, most people have a vague sense that more diversity on their teams would lead to more innovation, higher creativity, stronger engagement, etc. But did you also know that more diversity leads to increased revenue, EBITA, Return on Equity, and a host of other standard business performance metrics? Diversity is good. Our challenge is not in the knowing. Our challenge is in the knowing…

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The Rhythm of Productivity – Reprise

January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

As the holidays wrap up this week, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead.

A cycle of annual and quarterly planning sets the strategy that you execute with a weekly and daily rhythm. You think ‘big picture’ and chart your course broadly at the beginning of the year. Then, on a quarterly basis, you make more specific plans that help you reach those ‘big picture’ goals.

Next, every week you lay out specific activities that you are going to work on, and finally, every day you identify tasks that must be done.

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How To Create A Stronger LinkedIn Profile

December 26, 2013

Recently I made the case for updating your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis. LinkedIn is so much more than a resume — an up-to-date profile leads to better meetings, better connections and better introductions.

But what should you actually do when updating and writing content for your profile? Every entry in your resume or LinkedIn profile should contain three key pieces of information: What you did in that role, what you learned, and what you were ready for. Most people stop at listing what they have done. You are stopping yourself short.

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How To Take Stock And Plan For A Breakout Quarter

December 11, 2013

I love to hike. There is something deeply satisfying in loading a few provisions into a backpack and heading off into the hills. I have had the good fortune of hiking in the Colorado Rockies as well as the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.

Hiking is both an exhausting and exhilarating activity. The pack is heavy and rarely comfortable. The trail is often steep, the terrain rocky. There are times when each step is a slog. You make progress by keeping your head down and putting one foot in front of the other again and again. You find your stride.

Eventually, it’s time for a break. You reach a vista where you loosen your pack and refresh yourself with water. And then you look up. The view is amazing. Looking back, it’s hard to believe how far you’ve traveled. Looking ahead, you see the path clearly in front of you. You catch your breath, revel in your progress, affirm your course, and don the pack for another march.

The rhythm of productivity follows a similar path.

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The Truth About Influencing Change: People Only Hear What They Understand

December 5, 2013

Change is hard. Influencing change is even harder. Sometimes — when we are trying to lead, or coach, or influence, or help someone grow — it can be baffling to see people stuck, unclear on what to do or unwilling to move ahead.

We may explain every way from Sunday and still they don’t get it.

The reality is, something is clear to us because we understand it. For someone who doesn’t understand, they can’t even hear what we are saying. The german writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, a person only hears what they understand. He was right.

So, how can you help others to understand the need for change?

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Is it True? Do extraverts make better networkers?

November 28, 2013

There’s a myth out there that extraverts make better networkers. (In fact, there’s a lot of myths out there about introverts and extraverts but lo, I digress.) The ‘extraverts-make-better-networkers’ myth takes on various forms, including one of my favorites: ‘to be a better networker, just be more extraverted.’

Networking skills and a preference for introversion or extraversion are independent concepts. One does not imply the other. Networking skills are social skills, and social skills are learned.

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The Evolution of a (Hiring) Decision

November 6, 2013

Many people misunderstand the nuances of the decision-making process. This is especially true when we are faced with influencing a hiring manager to make the decision to offer us a position. Yet understanding this process is crucial when trying to convince someone to make a decision in your favor. The key is to move yourself along the process one step at a time.

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Do your employees dread Monday mornings? How to get your team to look forward to the work week.

October 2, 2013

Disengaged employees outnumber engaged employes by more than 2:1. To put this in perspective, imagine you have ten people rowing in a boat:

  • Three would be rowing in the right direction.
  • Five would not be rowing at all.
  • Two would be rowing in the opposite direction!

This is crazy. There is no need for the modern workplace to be so dysfunctional. No wonder Dilbert remains popular after almost 25 years in publication.

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Ethos • Logos • Pathos

September 5, 2013

I am reading Jennifer Kahnweiler’s great book Quiet Influence. In the chapter on writing, she reminds us of Aristotle’s insights on how to be persuasive. Ethos: Appeal to authority and credibility. People listen to you because of who you are, your character, your reputation. Logos: Appeal to logic. Pathos: Appeal to emotion. Connect with people deeply. Metaphors are helpful here, as are a visible display of passion and conviction. ‘Pathos’ is the root of the word ’empathy.’ …

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Growth comes in two ways …

July 10, 2013

Growth comes in two ways: from discovering something new … or rediscovering something that is essential and elemental that we have forgotten.

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