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Made to Solve Problems

We humans are natural problem solvers. We spend a large portion of each day doing it, and, for the most part, we’re pretty good at it. But we're especially good at it when our problems are concrete and easy to define. For example, finding an alternative route to work is easier than thinking of ways to motivate a flagging team. The problems we face in organizations tend to be of the more difficult and abstract variety: they are ambiguous, intermittent, and seldom ... Read more

What Leaders Can Learn from Artists

There is a terrible misconception emanating from self-help books and life coaches. Perhaps you’ve heard it. It goes like this: if only you can just determine what you are really passionate about, success will be yours. Many people seem to think that passion is like a hidden river; once you find it, you simply have to launch your canoe and it will carry you briskly away to a land of achievement and success—no paddling required. But as any successful artist can tell ... Read more

Attack of the Amygdala!

Here is little bit of neuroscience that every leader should know: deep inside your brain resides a very important mass of nuclei called the amygdala. It is this portion of the brain that generates some of your strongest emotional responses, namely fear and anger. When was the last time you were so nervous that your hands got sweaty and your heart began to race? When did you last get so angry you raised your voice and said something that you would later regret? Did ... Read more

Getting Compensation Right

There is no such thing as the perfect employee compensation package, but by keeping a few principles in mind you can get closer to the mark. Compensation should reflect the current value that an employee adds to the organization and also incentivize them to perform to the best of their abilities in the future. (more…) Read more

Why You’re Too Busy to Lead

Far too many leaders of organizations behave like a ship captain who insists on being involved in every task on the vessel--even the small duties like raising and lowering the sails, dropping the anchor, and coiling the ropes. By busying himself with all of the operations necessary to sail the ship the captain puts the entire enterprise at risk for two reasons: (more…) Read more

Checking Out on Your Competitors

The word “competitor” tends to either make a leader’s stomach turn or his blood pressure spike. Competitors, we often think, are mortal enemies to be vigilantly monitored, outwitted, stomped, crushed, and eliminated. Unless total victory is accomplished, the borders will not be safe. This mentality, however, is simplistic and wrong. The leader who thinks of competition in this way is using a mindset better suited for medieval times than the dynamic and complex world of today. In today’s world the more time you ... Read more

A Great Leader and a Quantum Computer

Quantum computers have the potential to solve problems that would take a classical computer longer than the age of the universe. – Professor David Deutsch, Oxford   As you begin to study tinier and tinier parts of the universe, you will eventually reach a point where the regular rules of physics no longer apply. This is the realm of quantum mechanics. It’s a strange place full of paradoxes and mysteries where absurd sounding statements like “something can be in two different places at ... Read more

Transforming Organizational Culture the Sterling Way

An organization’s culture directly impacts its financial performance, effectiveness, and longevity. Dr. Daniel Denison and his team of researchers first explored and validated this concept over the course of two decades. Denison discovered a direct correlation between a company’s corporate culture percentile ranking and its return on investment—the stronger a company’s culture, the greater its profitability. That is why when contracted to implement a cultural transformation Sterling Integrators always begins (more…) Read more

And What if the Problem Is YOU?

It is only natural that when a leader attempts to transform an organization he or she begins by looking at surrounding problems. The leader’s thoughts might turn to “problem” employees, counterproductive policies, poor investments, or unwieldy systems. But, while these are all important aspects of cultural transformation, it is a mistake to begin with them. If you're the leader of your organization, then transformation is a journey that can begin with only one person: you. (more…) Read more

Fighting Entropy

Entropy is the tendency for systems to move from order to disorder. We can see it all around us. Given enough time cars rust, sidewalks crumble, and bridges fall. Imagine an organized deck of cards. If you throw the deck into the air, it will come fluttering back down and land in a random scattering on the floor. It takes much more energy (classifying, ordering, and stacking) for the cards to land stacked in the correct order than it does for them ... Read more
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