Building a Leadership Value Proposition

Photo of Value Proposition

Developing a value proposition is one of the most important exercises one can do in a sales or marketing role. Clearly defining the value one can offer to the intended customer base and the ways in which they are superior to competitors’ offerings is the foundation for all messaging and outreach. Similarly, HR teams also develop an Employee Value Proposition to articulate the benefits of joining the organization and is used to attract and retain talent. For both the organizational and employee version of the value proposition, it really boils down to defining the essence of the organization and what … Read More

Setting the Stage for Yes

Sign reading "yes"

In our last blog post, we focused on the value of saying ‘no’ as a technique for self-preservation, boundary-setting, and focused engagement. And while we firmly believe the word ‘no’ should be an acceptable, respected response to requests, it’s also important to acknowledge the need to gain acceptance. In matrix-environments and other collaborative organizational designs, there aren’t always clear lines of authority and power. As a result, having the ability to gain buy-in and influence without power is a critical competency for all leaders. Of all the business books I’ve ever read on this topic, none hold a candle to … Read More

When a Leader Says No

Sign reading "no"

‘No’ is a word that holds incredible power. The word itself is short, strong, and impossible to ignore. However, as social individuals who are inclined to find opportunities to please and support one another, wielding such a powerful word is both difficult and rare. Saying the word ‘no’ makes many people uncomfortable. The fear of disappointing or angering another individual often forces individuals to say yes to things that they don’t want to do. In the end, we say yes to far too much and become bitter and burnt out due to that one word. It’s a problem that must … Read More

Seven Signs Your A-Player Has an Exit Plan

Photo of A-Players

Without a moment of thinking, you should be able to name the A-players on your team. He/she is a shining star who requires very little of your energy, willingly takes on the biggest challenges, outperforms their colleagues, has a positive attitude, is reliable, supports the team, and makes everyone around them a better employee. A-players are incapable of failure. They rise to the top because success is in their DNA. Famously, Steve Jobs once said that the A-players he recruited to Apple could outperform an average employee at a rate of 50 or 100 to 1. Given that A-Players are … Read More

Corporate Learning: Are You Still There?

Watching TV

“Are you still there?” That phrase always makes me laugh when it pops up on my TV as I binge watch a season of Netflix shows in one sitting. I always think, “I’m not sure…am I still here? Is it still light outside? How many episodes have I even watched?” Sure, I’m breathing and have a pulse, but I’ve been sitting in one spot for so many hours that my Fitbit thinks I’m sleeping. Netflix has popularized binge-watching so pervasively that we associate this kind of extreme passive digital consumption with the entertainment platform. Perhaps that’s why it’s so disturbing … Read More

Workplace Gardening: Leading Marigolds, Weeds, and Walnut Trees

Talent management experts often compare companies to complex, living organisms. Green thumb or not, most individuals can understand that in order to grow, a seed must find a home in solid soil, be watered regularly, and be nurtured. They must adapt and weather storms and defend themselves against predators. With enough care and devotion, those plants will flourish and become an important part of a colorful, diverse garden. Continuing with the garden metaphor, I find the Marigold Effect is a powerful way to illustrate the impact each individual has on the organization’s culture.