Category: Leadership

Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking
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Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking

Proficiency in critical thinking is considered by many authorities to be a major goal of higher education. It’s often taken as an indicator of intelligence. And the practice of critical thinking is emphasized — for good reason — in numerous professions. This link takes you to definitions posted on the website The Critical Thinking Community....

Make A Difference: Optimize Fit
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Make A Difference: Optimize Fit

Let’s take a couple of behaviors that are almost universally seen as negative – beating people up and lying. Can you think of any kinds of roles in which beating people up is actually considered a good behavior that can drive success?

Make A Difference: Coach to Improve Performance
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Make A Difference: Coach to Improve Performance

In business, every day is game day and coaching happens in real time. The best managers are constantly coaching, and there are better and worse ways to go about that coaching. Listen in as Larry Sternberg, Kimberly Shirk and I move in and out of sports and business examples to discuss questions like these:

Make A Difference: Help People Self-Actualize
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Make A Difference: Help People Self-Actualize

Managers who make a difference achieve more than just business results. They make a positive difference in the lives of the people they manage. The pinnacle of managing to make a difference is helping people self-actualize. Self-actualization is self-fulfillment. It looks different for everyone because everyone has a different set of talents, a different configuration...

Make A Difference: Abandon the Follow Shirley Method
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Make A Difference: Abandon the Follow Shirley Method

The Follow Shirley Method? Whenever we talk about this topic, we get quizzical looks at first. Maybe you’ve never heard it called by that name, but you’ve been the victim of this training method at least once in your career. You arrive on the first day of your new job, your supervisor looks a little...

Make A Difference: Embrace the Ebb and Flow of Relationships
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Make A Difference: Embrace the Ebb and Flow of Relationships

Are you still living with the fantasy that relationships should be 50/50? If you want to be a manager who makes a difference, we encourage you to embrace the reality that relationships ebb and flow. Some days relationship investments from the two parties might be 60/40. Other days they might be 30/70. And over time...

Make A Difference: Cultivate A Great Relationship With Your Boss
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Make A Difference: Cultivate A Great Relationship With Your Boss

Managers spend a lot of time focusing on managing “down” – guiding their teams and energizing results that align with organizational goals. A recent study from McKinsey highlights the importance of also managing “sideways” with colleagues and “up” with higher-level leaders. In fact, the combination of managing up and sideways has a 50% higher impact...

Make A Difference: Apologize and Forgive
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Make A Difference: Apologize and Forgive

I come from a family in which forgiveness abounds but apologies are much less common. In fact, my younger brother owns and proudly wears a t-shirt that says “I MAY BE WRONG BUT I DOUBT IT…” (Just for the record, that doesn’t even come close to an apology.)

Make A Difference: Don’t Make Relationship Conflicts Worse
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Make A Difference: Don’t Make Relationship Conflicts Worse

Conflict exists. There’s no getting around that fact. People frequently turn to their manager to referee. In fact, research from The Ken Blanchard Companies suggests 64% of people wish they could talk about problems with colleagues “often” or “all the time” in one-on-one conversations with their managers. When they get asked to mediate conflict, managers...

Make A Difference: Prioritize One-on-One Meetings
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Make A Difference: Prioritize One-on-One Meetings

The most important and powerful meetings are one on one. Nothing can accelerate the quality of a manager’s relationships with team members faster than one-on-one time. Here are a few statistics to consider:  Although 89% of people want to meet with their managers one on one at least once per month, only 73% actually do....