Information Overload: A Challenge for Leaders

With the family loaded in the car, you’re headed to your child’s friend’s house. While you’ve never been to this house before, you know the general area and have the address on hand. As you get closer to the destination, what do you do? Do you continue chatting away with the family about your plans or do you turn down the radio and ask everyone in the car to be quiet? Like most people, you probably asked for silence as you crawled through the neighborhood looking for your destination. But why? The sound of the radio may not visually impair … Read More

Leadership Lessons from March Madness

Larry Bird on Leadership

It’s Sweet Sixteen time in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament. By now, some favorites have already been sent home, and some underdogs are preparing for the fight of their lives. At this stage in the tournament, the competition is stiff and teams are more evenly matched by their win/loss records. The pressure felt by players and coaches is immeasurable, but out of the stress, 8 elite leaders will rise. Here are a few leadership lessons from March Madness:

Take the Leadership Bracket Challenge

If there is any competitive aspect of leadership, it is usually a competition of one. We are measured by our performance against a goal, not in comparison to other leaders in the organization. If anything, each leader tries to beat their personal best track record or experience. The goal is always to be a better leader today than you were yesterday. And yet, if your plan is to continue moving up the leadership ladder, you are absolutely in direct competition with your peers. And the competition is stiff. There are only so many titles with a C or SVP in … Read More

Collaborating through Conflict

Conflict at work

When I started my career fresh out of grad school, I worked as a recruiter in a highly competitive IT consultant firm. It didn’t take long to realize that, more often than not, if a candidate failed to succeed it wasn’t because he/she lacked the technical skills necessary to complete the work. The key issue was always a soft skills gap. Communication, time management, a positive attitude, problem solving skills, etc. It was always a soft skill deficit that created conflict and resulted in having to back-fill the position. I learned to ask all candidates to “Tell me about a … Read More

Hiring Leaders: Look Inside or Outside?

An opening on the leadership team is more than just an open headcount to fill. It’s a potential tipping point for the organization. Before you post that job req, think through the impact this hire will have on the organization. The decision to promote from within or hire externally should really come down to what the organization needs. When it’s time for a breath of fresh air, hire external. Nothing shakes things up like an external hire.

Reboot Your Leadership with Ctrl + Alt + Del

Every once in a while we all need to hit the reset button. When projects are off schedule, budgets are blown, morale is low, sales are down, and deliverables keep mounting, it can feel like nothing is going right. It’s hard to break the downward spiral and cycle of negative thoughts. As a leader, it’s easy to get stuck in desperation mode and keep wondering “how did we get here?” While reflection is certainly important, at times we just need to STOP and RESET.