What happens after a big win? For all the focus (and press) directed at planning and executing, what comes next?

Whether your team has achieved a significant goal or is looking to get back on track after a shake-up, here are some basic ways to get everyone back on course.

Continue Reading…

Just about all of us are Monday morning quarterbacks when it comes to leadership. Everyone has an opinion. But how grounded are those opinions, especially if we’ve never been there before?

Here’s the thing: if you wait until you receive a leadership role to get a leadership education, you may not last long. We all need a leadership development plan that includes work experiences, formal training, networking and self-study. But don’t overlook the easiest, cheapest and most accessible one of all: observation.

Here are eight observations to make of the leaders around you.

Pay Attention Sign Continue Reading…

I don’t know what last year brought your way, but as the saying goes: all new beginnings are hopeful. I believe that’s true when it comes to leadership effectiveness as well. Wouldn’t this be a great year for some meaningful strides? If you haven’t thought much about it, I’d like to share some of my leadership themes for the new year.

Reaching for Idea

Continue Reading…

Top 10 Posts from 2015

December 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

2015 has been the 4th year for the Everyday Leadership site. We’ve enjoyed the largest traffic year to date. Thanks for making it another great year!

Below I’ve compiled the top 10 posts of 2015. You can also view the Top 10 list from past years here. And don’t forget to download my ebook Trusted Leadership Advisor for free if you’re looking for a good place to start.

Top 10

Continue Reading…

I didn’t start thinking much about leadership until I was a senior in college. But it’s crazy how many lessons I can draw from my younger years. Incidentally, one of them was my “gang activity.” I joined a gang when I was younger. Actually I sort of started one. Now before you get too surprised, I should mention that I was probably about 10 years old and the gang consisted of about 3 or 4 neighborhood friends. And it essentially existed in theory only – and only until my dad told us we couldn’t call it a gang and had to call it a club instead. (As a homeschool kid, the association with drugs and crime was still over my head at that point). Nevertheless, here are several things my oblivious self could have done differently from a leadership standpoint.

People Silhouette

Continue Reading…

When was the last time someone came to you with a problem? Did you solve it for them? If so, you may have missed out on a development opportunity – both for that person and yourself.

If you’re looking for problems to solve, you’ll find them everywhere. New managers want to pick up the slack. Department leaders can find it easier deal with problems themselves than let others handle them. By the time an executive assignment comes around, leaders can sometimes be addicted to addressing smaller issues – at expense of their own effectiveness with a staff trained to consistently feed their problems up the chain.

I’d like to share a simple conversational model that can change the entire way you approach the problems that come your way. Whether you’re an executive coach or a frontline manager (or have an hour to invest or five minutes), it will allow you to develop the problem-solving skills of the people you lead rather than addressing each issue yourself. Here’s how works.

Plant Growing Continue Reading…

Becoming Excellent

November 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

Excellence is a blessing and a curse. It’s always a noble pursuit. But it can be intimidating as well. With so much information and many high profile examples of what excellence looks like, how can we contribute in a significant way?

Regardless of what you aspire to do, excellence is a worthy goal. But it probably won’t be your starting point. So how do you get there? Try this.

Continue Reading…

After repeat appearances, the Kansas City Royals have accomplished something they haven’t done in 30 years: win the World Series. Baseball experts point to a wide variety of factors for the team’s success: an emphasis on putting the ball in play vs. hitting home runs, aggressive base running, a dominant bullpen and a flair for dramatic victories. But people close to the team highlight an additional factor: the organizational culture carefully crafted by General Manager Dayton Moore upon joining the team back in 2006. When Moore came on board the team had lost 100+ games in three of the previous four seasons. It certainly wasn’t an easy ride – it took eight whole years before the team achieved a winning record. Now, the results speak for themselves. But what about the behind-the-scenes elements?

You may not work in the front office of a professional sports team. (Neither do I). But shaping your organization’s culture is always a top leadership responsibility. Here are just a few things the Royals did to build a championship culture.

Continue Reading…

A recent Bersin study reported that U.S. companies invest over $2,000 in leadership development initiatives per company leader. That’s great news. But is it worth the investment? Just because an organization has a leadership development program doesn’t mean it’s successful, does it?

I’ve been privileged to help develop several leadership development programs (LDPs) in my career and I can tell you no two are identical for the simple fact that people and organizations are inherently unique – different cultures, different missions, different situations. While I don’t believe there is a perfect approach to building an LDP, there are definitely pitfalls. If your organization has one – or is thinking of investing in one – don’t fall short for one of the following reasons.

Arrows Missing Dartboard

Continue Reading…

2015 was a big year for Millenials. According to Pew Research Center, Millenials became the largest generation in the U.S. workforce in 2015. I recently shared my thoughts on Eric Jacobson’s leadership website about how managers can engage their Millenial employees. What I’d like to do next is share how Millenials themselves can thrive in the workplace.

Here’s a start.

Millennials at Work

Continue Reading…

Put Fear in its Place

September 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

Fear is an intensely human experience. We’ve all felt it. We probably learn to live with most of it. But the emotion often translates into crazy, irrational behavior. For an individual, that’s one thing. But what happens when a team or an organization hangs in the balance?

I’ve become convinced that fear is the single factor most capable of derailing a leader’s effectiveness. Responsibilities, pressure, visibility – all of these factors tend of “pile on” over time. Sooner or later we all need to come to grips with the fears inherent with the position.

Fear is a given. Our response to fear determines the outcome. It takes courage to lead.

Below are a sample of common fears leaders face – along with some common reactions and opportunities for response.

Burying head in sand

Continue Reading…

How do you lead when you’re not the boss? It’s hard enough to lead when you are in charge. What are the other options?

If you’ve wondered this, I’ve got good news for you. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. And you can get started today. Here’s a game plan for you.

Lighting Matches

Continue Reading…