Leaning Into Conflict

Businessmen in conflict

The word conflict implicitly carries a negative connotation. When we think of conflict, we often have a physical as well as emotional response. Heart rate, breathing, and perspiration increase while our fight or flight response engages. Certainly, approaching conflict as an all-or-none equation by either reacting aggressively (fight) or avoiding the conflict entirely (flight) results in a net-negative. There is value, however, in embracing conflict. Through conflict, we challenge assumptions, establish priorities, identify weaknesses, and generate ideas. We should be open to conflict that can create better business outcomes. This doesn’t mean we hand out a set of boxing gloves … Read More

Investing with a Guaranteed Return

Fourth quarter is well underway and as you prepare for annual reviews, budget setting, and forecasts, it’s also time to reflect on where you spent time this year. How much of your time did you spend putting out fires and chasing solutions to problems? How much time did you spend making strategic moves that will pay dividends for years to come? How often did you devote time to mindfulness and reflection? Lastly, how much of your time did you spend building new skills? Training and coaching for leaders is often overlooked when most of a company’s development budget is spent … Read More

The Five Team Members You Need the Most

Image of diverse team

As today’s workplace becomes more complex, the challenges we experience are more demanding and novel than ever before. To overcome these unique circumstances, it is now critically important that leaders make diversity a number one priority when creating teams. Diversity comes in all shapes and forms from age, race, culture, and gender identification to experience and skill level. But the one form of diversity that is often overlooked is psychological diversity. A team that thinks, behaves, and acts the same will march in the same direction. While there will be little conflict, there will also be little innovation and many … Read More

Silence is Golden

Silence Image

This week, Jeff Bezos shared an interesting technique he uses to make sure team members don’t go off-topic during a meeting. He uses silence as a tool. At the beginning of each executive meeting, they all gather together and sit quietly to read the latest memo. That silence is likely jarring for many new employees who are used to a rushed workday. Silence is a funny thing. Some people crave silence while others find silence uncomfortable if not distracting.  Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, there are many strategic uses for silence in the workplace. Anyone in sales knows silence … Read More

How to Thrive as a Default Leader

Leading by default

This month marks the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Every year, Americans find themselves re-living the emotions and imagery of that day through social media and news reports. Naturally, on the anniversary, many people use social media to share their memories from that day including what they were doing, where they were, and how it changed their lives. As time passes, and I add more people to my network of friends and colleagues, I realize that every year I hear new stories of heroism from average people on that day.

Always Start with a Frog

What kept you awake last night? Was there one thing mentally nagging you that kept you from a restful night’s sleep? That one thing that wouldn’t let you take control of your thoughts last night will continue dominating your mental energy today — unless you do one thing: Eat the frog. Mark Twain popularized a way to procrastinate less and get more done. “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” If you start your day by doing your least favorite thing, then you’ve already accomplished the worst task you … Read More