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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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Announcing the Thinking, Fast and Slow Book Club

August 15, 2014

Beginning the week September 01, a number of smart, curious, and ambitious subscribers to the email list are digging in to read Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow. You can join too!

Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist and behavioral economist who studies the psychology of decision making. He shared the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002.

Thinking, Fast and Slow first came to my attention last fall when Tom Peters tweeted,

I believe unequivocally that Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow is the most important book of the last 25 years for EVERY professional.

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Are You High Potential?

January 14, 2014

The January issue of Talent Management Magazine is out with an intriguing report of a survey of over 1,300 talent management professionals. Of interest are the competencies that talent development professionals use to identify high-potential employees.

  • Strategic thinking / insight
  • Drive for results
  • Collaborative leadership
  • Ability to build effective teams

How do you fare? Other factors that are important in identifying high-potential employees are:

  • Future performance potential
  • Current / sustained performance
  • Culture fit
  • Commitment

 It’s important to note that “high potential” is a two dimensional designation. As ambitious, driven individuals, we always think of ourselves as high potential. But our abilities and characteristic are only half of the story.

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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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Why You Should Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Up To Date

December 17, 2013

The year is winding down. Many of us will spend refreshing time away from work over the next few weeks. This is a great time to refresh your LinkedIn profile as well. A current and complete profile makes it easy for friends and network connections remember where you’ve been and what you’re working on.

Without a doubt, LinkedIn has become the database of record for our careers. It has become the one place on the internet in which we make our professional declaration of who we are and what we do. As such, it is extremely useful in building and maintaining a rich network of professional connections.

But, you ask, “If I update my LinkedIn profile, won’t my boss think I am looking for a job?” Au contraire. LinkedIn is much more that a place to attract job inquiries.Not only is LinkedIn important to you, your profile is also important to the people in your network. Read on for a few of the other uses I find for LinkedIn.

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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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Be Who You Are

December 8, 2013

A great ad from Pantene about the ways in which the same behaviors are interpreted differently when carried out by men vs. women. Watch the video.

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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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