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Your Saboteur

“You’re going to fail.” “You’re out of your depth.” “Don’t take that risk.” “You’re going to screw this up—just like the last time.” “You’re not smart enough.” “You don’t deserve this.”   These are the words of our saboteurs—the voices that rise up out of our subconscious and breed false doubts and fears in our minds. But not all doubts and fears are bad. Sometimes they cause us to keep our impulses in check and anticipate consequences. Humans survived for eons due to healthy fears that guided us to ... Read more

Leadership Biases and Blind Spots

Soon Steve Ballmer will cease to be the CEO of Microsoft. Under his decade of leadership Microsoft went nowhere and even lost a significant amount of its market value. Meanwhile, its competitors Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon experienced rapid growth. Microsoft failed to anticipate and capitalize on consumer trends such as mobile computing, portable music, tablets, and search engines. Most of the blame for Microsoft’s lethargy has rightly been laid at the feet of Steve Ballmer. While he did grow the revenue of ... Read more

Surviving the Desert of Doubt

If you’re a leader, then there’s a good chance you’ll spend some time in the Desert of Doubt – a vast lonely place with few landmarks or signs of hope. You’ll know that you are there when you begin asking yourself: Am I on the right track? Am I cut out for this? Will I fail? Can I trust my team? Although there are no shortcuts, doubts and fears can be managed just like anything else. Here are a few of the survival principles I have gleaned ... Read more

How to Lead Like Tesla

Tesla Motors just beat analysts’ earnings expectations for the second quarter in a row. Its stock has more than quadrupled in the past year and Consumer Reports has said that, “it’s the best car we’ve ever reviewed.”   How did Tesla Motors achieve this? I believe that the single most important factor contributing to Tesla’s success has been superb leadership. Here’s how it began… (more…) Read more

Driving Change in Individuals

One of the greatest and most challenging characteristics of humanity is that we are all different.   What is easy for one person may be difficult for another. What one person loves another can’t stand. What motivates one person may be the very thing that discourages someone else.   We can harness our unique strengths and passions to positively change each other and ourselves. If I didn’t believe that people could change and grow, I wouldn’t be an executive coach. While it is not my job to ... Read more

6 Ways to Build a Sticky Team

It’s a shame to lose good people. But if your team isn't "sticky" enough, it’s bound to happen again and again. As an executive coach, I love helping leaders build teams and create environments that their employees love to work in.    Here are 6 ways you can start building a sticky team today:     1. Go somewhere interesting. (more…) Read more

Build Teams that Stick – Here’s Why

Losing an employee because they were unhappy, frustrated, or angry should never be taken lightly. If it happens frequently, you probably haven’t built a “sticky” enough organization. This week’s post will show you why the concept is important and next week we will talk about how to get it done. Here’s why you need to focus on building teams that stick: (more…) Read more

So, What’s Your Story?

  Humans are constantly telling each other stories – around campfires, in lines at the grocery store, in novels, and in movies.   Stories help us to see order in a chaotic world and find meaning in our lives.   Stories connect us to the past so that we can understand how we fit into a larger experience and community.   Stories help us imagine what the future could be like.   The way that humans are inherently inspired and united by stories makes storytelling a very powerful tool. In ... Read more

What Star Trek and Failure Can Teach Us About Leadership

How do you respond to a no-win situation? As any Star Trek nerd will tell you, The Kobayashi Maru was a simulation used by Starfleet to train its future leaders how to deal with a no-win situation.  The scenario begins when the Starship Enterprise receives a distress signal from a civilian ship called the Kobayashi Maru, which is stranded in Klingon territory. The Starfleet cadet leading the crew must decide whether to attempt a rescue of the helpless ship and risk infuriating ... Read more

Build a Culture, Not a Cult

When was the last time an employee told you something he or she knew you didn’t want to hear?   When was the last time a person on your management team expressed disagreement with everyone else--and stood by their conviction?   The fact is it’s easier for people to go with the flow rather than rock the boat and it’s more common to think that things will stay the same than change. That is how Groupthink takes root. Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs ... Read more
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