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The Important Roles of Fear in Public Speaking

Why is it, when someone asks us to speak before a group, that the mere thought sends quivers or convulsions through most of us? Suddenly, we lose sight of the fact that we routinely converse intelligently on a daily basis and conjure up strange notions of becoming a babbling fool in front of a crowd. Instantly, we have a severe...

8 Steps to Stronger Organizational Communication

Historically, it’s never been easier to effectively communicate than right now. We are connected on multiple devices, and most of us check them frequently, if not incessantly. We can do business 24/7, enhancing our productivity and overall communication effectiveness. Yet, we still hear the same old refrain to explain organizational challenges . . . “It’s a communication problem.” What? How...

6 Characteristics of a Meaningful Job

Daniel Pink, prolific author and expert on the workplace and motivation, reminds us that money alone is not enough to push us to do our best. Rather, we are driven and inspired to do our best when we believe that we are doing something that benefits or serves others, or something that is important beyond ourselves. In other words, we...

Employee Turnover: The Top Five Myths and How to Handle It

Most leaders do not focus on turnover until it is already a problem. As the economy slowly continues to recover, surveys are telling us that a larger number of employees are likely to seek out a job in a different organization over the next year. More specifically, The Hay Group, a global consulting firm, tells us that turnover will accelerate...

What Many Leaders Misunderstand About Fairness

You probably weren’t in your leadership role for a long period of time before you heard someone on your team say, “That’s not fair.” There is no doubt that that accusation stung because you are ethical, honest, and above all . . . a fair leader. The term “fair” means different things to different people. Usually, being accused of being...

How to Build a Culture Rich in Creativity and Innovation

Many managers are proficient in leading a team that has a solid reputation for maintaining the status quo and producing consistent, high quality results. These managers lead teams that are good at making small incremental improvements. For example, the changes they implement one month will lead to a 3 percent improvement in future productivity. Those improvements are all good, but...

The Key Ingredient of Purposeful Leadership

An executive in a large manufacturing organization shared with me an example where one of his managers was treating his direct reports in a very disrespectful way. This manager yelled and used foul language when speaking to his direct reports on a frequent basis. The executive showed me an email the manager had sent out to the entire management team:...

Six Ways Leaders Can Multiply Great Ideas

In 1982, Michael Keaton and Henry Winkler starred in the movie Night Shift. Henry and Michael played two attendants holding down the night shift at the city morgue. Henry played Chuck; an uptight, reserved, by the book employee, while Michael played Bill; an off-the-wall, self-professed “idea man.” Bill lived Steinbeck’s quote, “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and...

When You’re Not a “Feel-Good” Type of Leader

A C-level executive once told me, “Do I really need to go to charm school and learn to become a cheerleader? I am not a ‘rah-rah’ type of leader.” He went on to add, “My job is to ensure the organization has clear goals, and that we are successful in reaching those goals. Employees need to be self-motivated. If people...

Why your To-Do List is Failing You

When you do a Google search for to-do lists, it’s just as easy to find information supporting the benefits of a to-do list as it is to find information that document why to-do lists are a waste of time. You don’t have to go far to encounter people who are more than willing to share why they refuse to create...

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