Your Mantra of the Future

One of the fun concepts my co-author Michael Couch and I introduce in our soon to be released book, Strategy Driven Leadership (here is our new cover!) is the idea of using mantras to help people find short cuts that change behavior and are easy to remember. In working with one leader who tended to jump in and problem solve for his team before they even had a chance to finish their presentation, his mantra became “shut-up and listen” that he told himself in meetings. That simple phrase prompted him to pay attention to what others were saying before he gave his opinion. Our intentional use of mantras or rules of thumb builds off the neuroscience that an individual will Read More

The Conspiracy Bias

Ever since Daniel Kahneman came up with the ideas for cognitive biases in 1973, the world has been heading steadily downhill. We used to think that the brain was a clever thinking machine, working 24/7, creating new ideas that advanced the world. Instead, this Nobel Laureate showed us the brain is basically a lazy organ, just trying to get away with as little as it can, and coming up with one cute trick after another to make its life easier. Well, all that is not exactly true, but cognitive biases do serve as short cuts that the brain takes so as to preserve energy for survival. These biases allow us to reach quick decisions without much thought and there are Read More

The Best Ways to Coach Your Employees

One thing that I hear from senior leaders is how much enjoyment they get from coaching and guiding members of their team. They recognize that today’s aspiring leaders want guidance and want to get it in a way that is tasty and digestible. My colleague, Michael Couch and I discuss some of these strategies in our soon to be released book, Strategy Driven Leadership: The Playbook for Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders, which will be out in late November. Here are 3 ways for you to strengthen your coaching skills: 1. Focus on behaviors: People are understandably defensive when you use personality constructs (“you’re too critical”) but they can’t argue with empirical evidence. “When we were talking about project Read More

The Career Success Formula

Last week, when I provide you an update on our new book (co-authored with Michael Couch) Strategy Driven Leadership: The Playbook for Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders, I shared with you our “Career Success Formula.” In short, your career success is made up of all your Key Developmental Experiences (KDE’s), such as rolling out a new product and  where you learned the essential skills or  ]“Key Leadership Competencies” (KLC’s) that were needed to complete the job, such as getting everyone on board and behind the new product. Learning from the experiences is enhanced by regular reflection (Rfn) and feedback (Fdk), where you consider your learning and get information about how you are doing from others. For example, we have our Read More

Sorry, You Can’t Do It All

We think we can do it all. We call it multi-tasking, but it should more properly be called “serial-tasking.” If you don’t believe me try this exercise. Draw 2 parallel lines. On the top line write, “Multi-tasking is a myth.” On the second line write the numbers 1-20 below the line. That task should take you about 20 seconds. Now draw another 2 lines and this time we’re going to shift between tasks. Go ahead and write the letter “M” and then below the second line , write the number “1”. Then go back to the first line and write the letter “u” and go back down to the second line to write the number “2”. Proceed with that task Read More