Are you listening and learning?

Listening may be one of the most important habits of effective leaders. Much of the advice about listening focuses on eliminating distractions and quieting yourself. Certainly good listeners are not constantly interrupting or critiquing the speaker. But researchers are finding that the best listeners go beyond passively nodding or wrapping up the conversation with a summary of what […]

Leading Through Influence

How do you lead when you are not in charge? Increasingly, managers are finding themselves in positions where they are asked to lead without having direct control. Growing and shifting organizations often mean fewer managers with positional power. Matrixed organizations put managers in multiple leadership and followership roles. Major corporate initiatives like quality, security, diversity, […]

Do you study people?

Many firms nurture corporate cultures through careful hiring practices. For startups and young growing firms, these practices represent a one-time opportunity to start with a clean slate and build a culture. For example, Google screens for “Googliness” – defined as “a mashup of passion and drive that’s hard to define but easy to spot.” Zappos […]

Making prepaid cards better for everyone

The Senate was set to vote recently on legislation to contravene regulations promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to provide more protections and legitimacy to the prepaid card industry. Now, the legislation will not come to a full vote after the CFPB announced it would delay the regulations by six months. This six-month […]

Are you encouraging change?

Let’s face it – every business, to some degree, struggles with being trapped in yesterday. It’s so easy to focus on the rear-view mirror and stop changing. Successful organizations are particularly vulnerable to inertia. Success makes failure all the more difficult. A lack of failure is a tell-tale sign of an organization that fears change. […]

Should Work Friendships be a Management Objective?

Strengthening relationships with friends is a popular New Year’s Resolution. It comes as little surprise – research has documented a strong link between quality friendships and happiness, well-being, and even health. But surprisingly, friendships at work appear to be on the decline. A few hip corporate cultures encourage workers to authentically blend the personal and professional. For example, inside […]

Are effective managers also great leaders?

Organizations large and small thrive under good management. Effective managers bring order to chaos and drive results. They coordinate the work of others and ensure that projects complete on time and within budget. But are effective managers also great leaders? Or, more fundamentally, is there a difference between management and leadership? This question echoes in […]

Engaged Leadership

As with most industries, technology has dramatically changed the way the military operates. From transportation to communication, the Armed Services have adopted new technologies and adapted to new threats. The rapidly evolving landscape of terrorism and cyber-attacks are bringing even more challenges. To rise to those challenges, the military is looking outside of itself, to see the future […]

Culture remix – realizing the best of both worlds

The vast majority of corporate reorganizations take place far away from public gaze. However, reorganizations that are the product of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are often a spectator sport. Investors and pundits enthusiastically urge executives to quickly integrate business processes in order to find elusive synergies that will increase shareholder value. Doug Parker, CEO of American […]

Soaring to New Heights while Maintaining Equilibrium

An auto executive once told me a funny story that I often use to illustrate one of the biggest challenges when implementing strategic initiatives—integration. The firm had introduced a modest set of colors that year for a new vehicle launch. Shortly into the model year, executives noticed that green vehicles were not selling. For some […]