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Lessons In Leading Transformation

I’ve been a student of leadership for a long time. I’ve spent the past couple decades studying what the top scholars in the space have to say, even meeting and working with some.

What’s Missing in the Great Feedback Debate

Feedback is having a bit of a moment in the leadership press lately.   Marcus Buckingham’s latest HBR piece argued that most of it is so harmful as to be worthless.  According to Buckingham and Goodall, the basic problem is that you are too trapped in your own...

The Inconvenient Truth About Leadership

The leadership industry is obsessed with adjectives: authentic, agile, transparent, humble, strategic, results-focused, purpose-driven… If we all got together, we could make a list a mile long. On the one hand, we could just write it off as marketing. Everybody wants...

Change (part 3/3)- Four Roles for Transformational Leadership

I recently wrote about the limitations of classic change management advice and the fundamentally different assumptions underlying transformational change work. It’s not too hard to make the case that a different set of assumptions should lead to a different approach. But what would that approach look like?

Change (part 2/3)- Bad Assumptions = Bad Change Advice

In my last piece, we talked about the assumptions behind classic change management advice. OD and leadership folks, like me, love to dig down to core assumptions and plumb the depths of the managerial psyche. While it’s fascinating, it’s also more than just idle...

Change (part 1/3)- Challenge Your Assumptions About Change

Academics have been studying and writing about organizational change since the late 1940’s. There are a lot of different theories. Lewin had his unfreezing and freezing stuff. People tried to apply ideas from the psychology of grief. John Kotter came out with a famous...

Your Salespeople are Killing Your Sales

27 years ago Alec Baldwin delivered a three-word movie line that will live in sales infamy…”ABC, Always Be Closing”. His verbally abusive speech was meant to motivate and inspire a group of salespeople to get clients to “sign on the line which is dotted”, dangling the...

Building a Problem-Solving Culture (part 2 of 2)

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the challenge of building a problem-solving culture. We pointed out that It’s important to remember that corporate culture is not determined by the posters you put on the wall, or the values statement some SWAT team wordsmithed...

Building a Problem-Solving Culture (part 1 of 2)

It feels like many organizations today have become allergic to problems. The effects on the health of their businesses can be devastating.  Like a physical allergy, it’s not the problems themselves that are necessarily deadly. It’s the way leaders and organizations...

To Lead Change, Focus on What You Can’t Control

Leading Thoughts We’ve all heard the advice so many times: focus on what you can control.  Right now, you can go on the internet and find any number of “inspirational memes” reinforcing that message.  You’ve probably also seen a Venn diagram that looks something like...