Leading Blog


Leadership BS

Leadership BS
Leadership BS by Jeffrey Pfeffer, is a very important book. It actually builds on the ideas and thinking presented in his classic book written with Bob Sutton, The Knowing Doing Gap over a decade ago.

Pfeffer wants to know why, in spite of the thousands of leadership books, blogs and seminars are there so many leadership failures? Pfeffer believes that the answer is to be found in the systemic processes that produce leaders who often behave differently from what most people might like or expect.

He’s right.

As a society we produce and reward leaders that think short-term and this is at odds with what it takes to get the leaders we think we want.

As we look around there are disconnects between:

• what leaders say and do,
• what the leadership industry says leaders should be doing and what they actually do,
• reality and the simplistic fixes we try to apply to it,
• what the leadership industry thinks it is achieving and what is actually happening or rather not happening,
• what we say we want and what we actually reward.

It’s not surprising that students of leadership often become disillusioned upon entering the workplace. Life rarely adheres to the good leader formula of success they have come to know.

Leadership BS is a compendium of human nature. It describes well the hypocrisy in all of us. We don’t always meet our own standards. We don’t always reward what we say we value. The real world doesn’t behave as it should. These are life issues as much as they are leadership issues. Consider the following comments from Leadership BS:
Once people believe they are better leaders—possibly because they have given talks or written about positive leadership, have attended lots of leadership trainings, or because they were once acknowledged for their good leadership—they are less likely to be as vigilant about their subsequent behavior, having already demonstrated their leadership credentials.

Although modesty may be valued in the leadership literature, self-promotion and assertiveness seem to produce better career results in the real world.

We seem to have a preference for immodest, grandiose, and narcissistic leaders. Narcissism and self-aggrandizement and the behaviors associated with these constructs reliably and consistently predict the selection of leaders, the evaluations made after interviews, and the selection of emergent leadership.
And finally, this would seem to be a fairly typical experience. Pfeffer was asking a woman who was being outmaneuvered by a peer how she responded to the whole thing:
She said that she responded by using her learning and ideas from a leadership course on personal dynamics, colloquially referred to as “touchy-feely,” to attempt to repair the relationship with her peer. “Why?” Pfeffer asks. “Because I have been taught to build relationships of authenticity and trust at work.” But it didn’t work because the peer was not interested in “repairing a relationship” or behaving with trust and authenticity; he was interested in taking over her team for his own advantage. Pfeffer comments: People not only have problems in their current positions, but they also lose out on attractive job opportunities by believing in the prescriptions so frequently proffered for how leaders should behave.
The leadership values aren’t the problem. It really becomes a “why” problem for each individual. Why do I believe what I believe? What kind of person do I want to be and why? How important is it to me to be this kind of person and why?

The fact is, you are going out into a world that doesn’t work the way it “should.” People are not always trustworthy, authentic, honest, supportive, generous, or any number of other highly regarded values. If you want to adhere to them you need to understand that the playing field isn't level. Not all organizations encourage virtuous behaviors.

Frequently, people do what works for them in the moment to get what they think they want now. It’s short-term thinking, but for many it seems to work. Leadership BS reads a bit like the book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon illuminated some of the same issues almost 3000 years ago. He noted that, “When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.” (I wonder if Pfeffer peruses Ecclesiastes in the quiet moments.) Organizations that tolerate less than virtuous behavior will get less than virtuous behavior.

Machiavellian values would not still be circulating almost 500 years after they were first published, if they did not “work” in the real world. They do and quite spectacularly at times. So I have to ask myself, “What is most important to me?” knowing that I may not get some of the things I want out of life if I stick to my values. It is a commitment issue. Values are personal and they stand up to whatever is happening around you. If they don’t they’re not values they’re strategies. Strategies change when conditions change. Some people will argue that “I’ll temporarily trade my values in on a bigger prize and then I’ll go back to them after I get what I want”—the corner office for instance. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. Either way there’s always a price.

It’s a question of character. It is the same problem faced by schoolchildren every day: Do I compromise my values to get along, to be accepted, or to be promoted to the head of the line?

Narcissistic people often get the spotlight as Pfeffer noted. This can be confusing if a person doesn’t have the support structure to navigate human nature. We need to get better at building character from day one. Leadership begins in the home.

Pfeffer chides the leadership industry for focusing too much on inspiration and not enough on the reality of the world in which we live. And he is right. Inspiration is important as people need a vision, but there needs to be accountability along the way.
The leadership industry is so obsessively focused on the normative—what leaders should be doing and how things ought to be—that it has largely ignored asking the fundamental question of what actually is true and going on and why. Unless and until leaders are measured for what they really do and for actual workplace conditions, and until these leaders are held accountable for improving both their own behavior and, as a consequence, workplace outcomes, nothing will change.
He’s talking about creating accountability for what we say we value. Character is a long-term, life-long issue. Do you always stick to your beliefs even when you might lose in the moment for doing so? Fred Kiel demonstrates there is a long-term payoff for doing the right thing in his book Return on Character. The problem we all face in the short-term is that not everyone is playing by the same rules.

This isn’t a problem that is ever going to go away. We are all human and will continue to be human. We do need to work on ourselves but it is also an organizational problem. As Pfeffer and Sutton write in The Knowing-Doing Gap: “Some organizations are consistently able to turn knowledge into action, and do so even as they grow and absorb new people and even other organizations.” The difference between organizations that do and organizations that don’t comes “more from their management systems and practices than from differences in the quality of their people.”

The leadership industry certainly could do more. Knowing without doing leads nowhere.
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Of Related Interest:
  Return on Character
  Leadership Begins at Home

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:49 PM
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A Framework of Organizational Tensions

TENSIONS are objectives that seem to be in conflict. They are values that seem to be in opposition. We often treat them as either/or choices when they should be treated as both/and dynamics. Each value or characteristic supports and even makes possible the competing value.

Robert Quinn has produced a valuable tool for understanding this concept in his book The Positive Organization. What makes it especially valuable is that it illustrates the options we have to the single values we hold so dear—there are possibilities and equally effective “right” solutions we can use to move us forward.

We tend to focus on the value that resonates most with us or the ones we are most familiar with. This often causes us to get stuck or to jump from one ditch to the other never realizing the true potential of our organization. (This dynamic plays out in our personal lives as well.)

Tensions Framework

You will notice that each of the positive values in the inner circle is associated with a negative value on the outer circle. If we champion one value over another we put our organizations at risk for the negative outcomes associated with each of the 20 values on the diagram. Every positive value without its contrasting value can become a negative in much the same way the overuse of a strength becomes a weakness.

For example, we need some predictability and control in any organization, but too much leads to rigidity. We also need some spontaneity and self-organization for people to flourish, but again too much can lead to organizational and personal chaos. We also miss the larger picture and usually misinterpret issues.

Tensions Sample
A person who seeks a predictable, smooth running organization often focuses on disruptions and disruptive influences; the natural inclination is to fix those disruptive problems. When we focus on a problem, we are not seeing the whole system. We are paying attention to something within the system. Likewise, when we focus on a single person, we are not focusing on the culture of which that person is a part.
When we have an agenda we tend not to see the whole picture. As leaders we need to see the broader context of every situation.

It’s not about finding balance. It’s about emphasis—where to place the emphasis and when.
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Of Related Interest:
  Lift: How to Be a Positive Force in Any Situation

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 04:45 PM
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What Gear Are You In Right Now?

“Wherever you are, be all there!” Jim Elliot’s advice offers a difficult challenge. “You’re here but your mind is somewhere else” is a common refrain.

5 Gears
Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram, authors of 5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time, write “Every day, millions of people are negatively impacted by the inability of a person to connect appropriately and to be present.” So much drama is created when we don’t know how to shift gears and become present.

5 Gears offers an extremely valuable metaphor for identifying which gear you are in and finding the right gear at the right time in order to connect fully with others. The model is a relationship-driven approach. It is values-driven and helps to counteract self-absorption.
The majority of people are not aware of their social awkwardness and give little time to thinking about what gear the other person is in while they are talking.

When a person’s agenda is the driving force of their life, then they are going to run over people most of the time unless they learn to use their brakes and downshift.
What I like most about the 5 Gears model is first, it gives you language to communicate which gear you are in to yourself and others, and to understand where others are at so that you can be more fully present. Second, it helps you plan what gear you need to be in as you move through your day. And third, it helps to be more self-aware and other-aware.

5 gears

Like shifting gears in a car, there is a right order and a right time for each gear. Life goes more smoothly when you are shifting through the gears at the right time—and avoiding getting stuck in any one gear.

Here are the 5 Gears:

5th Gear5th Gear: Learn to Get "In the Zone"

5th Gear is focus mode that allows us to “get in the zone” without interruption. It takes discipline to shut the door, turn off your email, and let people know that you are shifting into 5th gear, but it makes it possible to cruise at a sustained speed for a period of time. The caution is that when you get stuck in 5th gear you miss out on relationships, opportunities to add value, and events in life that matter in the long term.

4th Gear4th Gear: Leading in a Task World

4th Gear is the task gear that allows us to work hard while also multitasking. Most of the time we operate in 4th Gear so we need to learn to use it well. Waking up in 4th Gear is not the best strategy for your life. Our tasks can begin to control our lives. (Do you normally check your e-mail when you first wake up?) We need to learn how to shift into it and how to shift out of it. They relate the observation of Elizabeth Paul as an example. How many of us are like this:
The personal story for me was realizing that as a woman I have “work” 4th and 5th gear and “domestic” 4th and 5th gear. I thought that because I was being disciplined about putting my devices away during the golden family window of 5 to 8 P.M. I wasn’t in 4th or 5th gear, when in reality I was just putting on a different task hat. When my eyes were opened to that, I realized that I actually have little to no 3rd or 1st gear in my life at all. That was shocking.
In other words, the other gears are not just another 4th Gear task. Each Gear requires a different mindset or approach to your time. If we learn to implement the other gears in our life we will find that our everyday, multitasking 4th gear will become more productive.

3rd Gear3rd Gear: Why Being Social Matters

3rd Gear is the social gear. 3rd gear is a mindset. It is the space between task-driven, hyper focused work and the no-work, relational connection of being with your family, spouse, or close friend. Type-As need to remember that business happens in 3rd gear—in relationships. If you are too important for small talk, you might want to study the chapter on 3rd Gear. Of course you can get stuck in 3rd gear and overdo it. At the same time if you try to control social space it actually becomes a 4th Gear activity for you.

2nd Gear2nd Gear: Connecting Deeply

2nd Gear represents connecting with family, friends, or colleagues. Whether work colleagues, family, or friends, it is time geared toward relationship building without an agenda or pressure to be productive. Some of us have never really learned how to connect. It can’t be forced. It requires making time and learning to truly give of yourself to others.

2nd Gear is a difficult gear to be in because we live in a 4th Gear world. Kubicek writes that while writing this book consumed a lot of time, energy and mental thought, “it is still my responsibility to be the leader worth following in my home. Even with the pressure of a deadline, I still have to practice shifting.” He has found that being present in 2nd Gear leads to healthy relationships that bring peace to your mind and heart, fruitful growth between people, better conversations, likeability and trust, reestablished priorities, less drama and more security, social awareness and emotional intelligence.

1st Gear1st Gear: Learn How To Recharge

1st Gear represents being fully recharged. Do you know how to recharge? “If you figure out what 1st Gear feels like for you and discipline yourself to spend more time there, more power will flow through you. If you live and lead out of 20 percent battery life then you will never experience what you hope to experience.” The recharging gear if different for all of us. What works for one may not work for another. But we need to find what works for us. Think about this statement: “Working from your rest, not rest from your work, is the goal.” Note to self: “Crashing is not resting; it is actually just crashing.” It is simply stalling out. Truly healthy rest restores you.

Reverse GearReverse: Learn How to Apologize

Reverse is the responsive gear. It is used when we need to back up and start again or apologize. Too many people operate without a reverse gear.
There are two types of people—responsive and resistant. You hire responsive ones and fire the resistant. Responsive people are self-aware and have a consciousness that is not steeped in victim mentality, but rather responsibility. They understand that they are responsible for their actions and will make amends when they have clearly overstepped their bounds. Responsive people are the best employees, and spouses, and children.

Resistant people, on the other hand, are exhausting. Resistance is basically pride. Resistance will fight rather than resolve, blame rather than admit, and run away rather than run toward reconciliation.
Are there any relationships you need to restore?

Making the 5 Gears Work For You

After explaining the 5 gears, Kubicek and Cockram ask us to find our go-to gear. Where do we like to spend most of our time and what gear is the hardest for us to be in? Learning how to improve on your hardest gears hold the keys to improving your influence in the lives of others.

Next you need to find the right time for each gear as you go through your day. There is a natural time for gears. Your mornings should not start in 4th Gear. Really! When we are in the wrong gear at the wrong time we create disconnects. Shifting well is both an art and a science. 5 Gears offers some practical examples of leading your life intentionally and in the right gear at the right time.

I know this post is getting long, but let me leave you with an example of integrating the 5 Gears into your daily schedule:
6A.M.—Wake Time: 1st Gear
7A.M.—Drive Time: 1st or 4th Gear
8A.M.—Work Time: 4th or 5th Gear
12 Noon—Lunchtime: 3rd or 1st Gear
1P.M.—Work Time: 4th or 5th Gear
5P.M.—Drive Time: 4th or 1st Gear
6P.M.—Dinner Time: 2nd or 3rd Gear
8P.M.—Social Time: 3rd or 2nd or 1st Gear
10P.M.—Bedtime: 1st Gear

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:28 AM
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5 Leadership Lessons: Leading Above the Line

5 Leadership Lessons

URBAN MEYER is an elite college football coach and currently the head football coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. In Above the Line Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season he presents the lessons he has learned over his career.

Meyer says, “A leader is someone who earns trust, sets a clear standard, and then equips and inspires people to meet that standard.”

Using ideas he received from Tim Kight of Focus3, he set a standard of Above the Line behavior to coaching. Above the Line behavior is conscious and thoughtful. Below the Line behavior is impulsive and reactionary.
Above the Line

“The performance of a team rises or falls on behavior,” Meyer’s writes. “The simple truth is that getting and staying above the line is the foundation of success in anything you do—work, school, football, and life. Every day is a battle for whether we choose to live Above the Line or Below the Line. The choice we make determines how we treat the people we love, how we interact with colleagues at work, how we do our job, how we learn and grow, how we deal with adversity and disappointment, and ultimately what we achieve.”

1  Ironically, some coaches are so preoccupied with pushing for results that they fail to build a culture that sustains the behavior that produces results. But winning behavior will not thrive in a culture that does not support it.

2  If your habits don’t reflect your dreams and goals, you can either change your habits or change your dreams and goals.

3  Do whatever you can to reinforce someone’s confidence by helping him to achieve small victories. So much of leadership comes down to knowing the people you are leading and providing them with what they need to succeed. It is also about making them confident to take risks and make changes.

4  When things aren’t going right, the most important thing you can do is slow down, go deep, and figure out why. It is very easy in the world we live in to get so caught up in the tyranny of the urgent that we don’t make time to think. There are many distractions that pull leaders away from investing the time necessary to reflect on the issues and challenges facing their organizations.

5  Leadership is more about trust you have earned than the authority you have been granted. You must earn the right for people to follow you. It is about equipping people with the tools necessary to get and stay Above the Line. It’s about maximizing their talent and their lives. You are stretching people, helping then change and grow. You are taking people to places they never thought they would reach. You are helping them live better lives. Remember, you can’t lead people to a place that you are not going to as well. If it isn’t happening in you, it won’t happen through you.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:37 PM
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First Look: Leadership Books for November 2015

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in November.

  Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes—But Some Do by Matthew Syed
  Why Should Anyone Work Here? What It Takes to Create an Authentic Organization by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones
  It's My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture by Dee Ann Turner
  Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization that Thrives by Anese Cavanaugh
  Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results by Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams

Black Box Thinking Why Should Anyone Work Here Its My Pleasure Contagious Culture Mastering Leadership

For bulk orders call 1-800-423-8273

discounted books

Build your leadership library with these specials on over 100 titles. All titles are at least 40% off the list price and are available only in limited quantities.

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“What is reading but silent conversation?”
— Walter Savage Landor

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:34 AM
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LeadershipNow 140: October 2015 Compilation


twitter Here are a selection of tweets from October 2015 that you might have missed:
See more on twitter Twitter.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:11 PM
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Leading Teams Toward Success Using People, Products, and Profits

Leading Forum
This is a post by Ken Goldstein, author of Endless Encores: Repeating Success Through People, Products, and Profits

I've written the words People, Products, Profits (In That Order!) so many times over the years it would be easy to think of them as simply a slogan I use, a catchphrase meant to pique your interest. I assure you this is no more the case than Apple using the words Think Different as a clever tagline. Like the words Think Different, People-Products-Profits is part management philosophy, part rallying cry, and in an aspirational context, part religion. When I invoke these words to set the table for embarking on the outrageous, it is with the full knowledge that I could sound silly, fail miserably, fall on my face, or possibly convince you that relentless pursuit of the extraordinary is within your grasp. That's a lot to bite off in a very few words. It's meant to be.

In my new book, Endless Encores, a veteran CEO named Daphne spends an evening talking with an up-and-coming executive named Paul, helping him come to terms with the potential first failure he could be facing following a huge initial success. They are stuck in an airport, passing the hours. She is a leader and he is leader, only at the moment he is too obsessed with his own personal exposure to realize that he is failing to be a leader by trying to duck out-of-the-way of his own mishap. By worrying more about what he has done than what he has learned, he has shifted the weight of his problem from marginal to endemic. In truth, the failure he might be facing is not so much a setback as it is an opportunity. By the end of the story, he has embraced that and reset his sights on the long game.

Save for the guidance from Daphne, Paul might have missed the boat. And the plane. And all that might have been ahead of him in the form of material reward, passionate accomplishment, intellectual richness, and emotional fulfillment. It's a close call, but he makes it over the coals. You can, too, if either you have a Daphne in your corner and you're willing to listen, or if you otherwise come to acknowledge your role as a leader is more about the long-term example you set than the specific offering you at the moment champion. One is permanent and tangible, the other fleeting and beyond your control. Where would you prefer to focus?

Leading through People, Products, and Profits means committing to the idea that talent is a priori to all success. This has much less to do with your own talent than the talent you assemble, empower, and inspire. World class products and services don't create themselves. They are created by human beings, most often high performance teams, and the time you devote to building and bolstering those teams is a direct reflection of your values.

When your team identifies a product concept that is worth pursuing, leadership becomes the championing of execution over the touting of an idea. We can all dream up big ideas, but few of us can bring them to market. Those who can almost invariably need some form of stewardship to hold the team together through unending punch lists of details. If that's not challenge enough, you can have the best team in the world and the best product in the world, but if your business model is not sensible and doesn't sustain the enterprise, it really doesn't matter what you set out to accomplish. A business has to create value, usually measured in the form of profit, and if you can't lead a team to do that more often than not, you're not likely to get many chances to stand in the center ring.

The point of the rallying cry is to set a tone of priority, balance, and perspective. Everyone likely wants a business that is profitable, but leaping straight to the outcome ignores the most valuable element in the mix: your customers. An exceptional team that has been well-directed puts the customer in first position, in essence their supreme boss, with the primary hope that if a customer's expectations are exceeded, that customer can become a customer for life. When we talk about the notion of lifetime value, we are talking about just that: Have we surprised and delighted a customer in such a way that they ascribe emotion to the brand we represent? Will they come back for more with cost-effective prompting, and will they tell their influence circles about the breadth and depth of their fine experience? That's why a business leader is accountable first to customers, because they hold all the cards, and that's why when they pursue a business opportunity, they place investment in talent first, product innovation second, and business model third. You need all three, but put them in the wrong order and you are left extracting value from a customer rather than bonding a customer who becomes a partner in creating value.

Yes, you have to juggle three balls at once in sequence if you want to repeat success, and you have to do it over and over. It's not easy and it's not supposed to be easy, because if it were, you wouldn't be worthy of praise or wealth because anyone could do it. Likewise, leadership is a choice. It's not for everyone. The rewards are far often more intrinsic than measurable, and falling on your face in a public forum is never going to be fun. You will fail. We all fail. If you learn when you fail you will also win. You have to decide if leadership is really something you're ready to shoulder. If you are, choose your words and the order of those words carefully. The talent around you will only become cynical if you're insincere and don't stand for something more than winning right now.

Repeating success is about the journey. Leading is about tone and substance. Projects are always short. Careers can be short or long. The choice is always yours. Your values always matter. If you're deliberate in determining how you build a culture of shared values, the best around you will always be listening. Stay authentic and their results will surprise you. Those are likely to be extremely pleasant surprises.

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Ken Goldstein has served as Chairman & CEO of Shop.com, Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Disney Online, and VP / Executive Publisher of Entertainment & Education for Broderbund Software. He currently advises start-ups and established companies on brands, creative talent, e-commerce, and digital media strategy. Ken is on the boards of Thrift Books LLC and Good Men Media, Inc. He publishes the business blog CorporateIntel.us and his first book, This Is Rage: A Novel of Silicon Valley and Other Madness, was published in 2013 by The Story Plant. For more information please visit his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:44 AM
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Triggers: Do You Underestimate the World You Live In?

NO MATTER HOW HARD WE TRY, our environment affects us in powerful, insidious, and mysterious ways. Our environment triggers behaviors or responses in us.

Marshall Goldsmith explains in Triggers the kinds of things in our environment that derail us from becoming the kind of leader, co-worker, parent, or spouse that we want to be. He illuminates an aspect of self-awareness that is so vital to a leader’s success.

We can’t control our environment, but we can control our responses. We always have a choice.

When it comes to interpersonal behavior we can’t rely on habits to help us. “We must be adaptable, not habitual—because the stakes are so much higher.” We need something more to help us deal with the uncertainty of our day.

When it comes to triggers, it’s not the big triggers that usually do us in, it is the little moments in life that trigger our most outsized and unproductive responses. They trigger some of our basest impulses. Especially with the people we know and love the most. “We can say and do anything with these folks. They know us. They’ll forgive us. We don’t have to edit ourselves. We can be true to our impulses. That’s how our closes relationships often become trigger festivals with consequences that we rarely see in any other part of our lives—the fuming and shouting, the fights and slammed doors, the angry departures and refusals to talk to each other for months, years, decades.”

So where the problem is most vivid is in the small, minor moments of the day, when we are not thinking about our environment or our behavior. That’s when we need to be most vigilant.

Sometimes the best strategy is to avoid the trigger altogether. Stop flirting with those things that tempt you. Goldsmith says that one of the most common behavioral issues among leaders is “succumbing to the temptation to exercise power when they would be better off showing restraint.” And that behavior is very hard to eliminate because those who engage in it because they no doubt enjoy doing it.

But we can’t always walk away.


The solution then isn’t trying to fix the environment or the behavior of others, the solution is to change our behavior. When we are triggered we need to adjust.

Goldsmith has found that asking yourself some active questions works magic. Active questions get to personal responsibility—something you have control over. Goldsmith suggests six engaging questions anyone should be asking themselves each day to build engagement:

Did I do my best to set clear goals today?
Did I do my best to make progress toward my goals today?
Did I do my best to find meaning today?
Did I do my best to be happy today?
Did I do my best to build positive relationships today?
Did I do my best to be fully engaged today?

In addition, Goldsmith has a number of other Daily Questions he asks himself to gauge whether he had taken responsibility for his own life. Our own questions would reflect those things that we want to work on—will success on these items help me become the person I want to be?

Did I do my best to have a healthy diet?
Did I do my best to be a good spouse?
Did I do my best to add value to ______?
Did I do my best to learn something new?
Did I do my best to get a good night’s sleep?
Did I do my best to not prove how right I am when it’s not really worth it?

You score yourself on a scale from 1 to 10 to track your progress or the lack of it. “One of the underappreciated benefits of the Daily Questions is that they force us to quantify an unfamiliar data point: Our level of trying. We rarely do that.”

Daily Questions remind us that success is the result of small efforts repeated consistently over time. Daily Questions can be a game changer because they reinforce our commitment, they ignite our motivation where we need it and not where we don’t, and they shrink our goals into manageable increments.


The Daily Questions provide structure in our lives. Simply put, Goldsmith says: “We do not get better without structure.” Like rules, structure pushes us in the right direction when our first impulse is to go the other way.

Goldsmith has work with Alan Mulally and finds that “no idea looms bigger in Alan’s mind than the importance of structure in turning around and organization and its people.” Goldsmith explains how Mulally integrated the Daily Questions process in his weekly Business Plan Review meetings with his sixteen top executives. And repetition was key. “In the same way that Daily Questions drive us to measure our effort every day and then face the reality of our own behavior, the executives would be announcing how they graded themselves every Thursday—without deviation.” And in the group setting the idea was: How can we help one another more?

Structure “limits our options so that we’re not thrown off course by externalities….Imposing structure on parts of our day is how we seize control of our otherwise unruly environment.”

Goldsmith points out that after a hard, decision-filled day we become depleted. Our discipline and decisiveness fade at the end of the day to the point where we want to do nothing or fill our time with mindless activities.

Deletion isn’t something that we are always aware of but we should anticipate it and create structure where we can. “If we provide ourselves with enough structure, we don’t need discipline. The structure provides it for us. We can’t structure everything obviously—no environment is that cooperative.” But the more structure we have the less we have to worry about.


When you know you are headed into a pointless meeting, imagine that you are going to be tested on your behavior:

Did I do my best to be happy?
Did I do my best to find meaning?
Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
Did I do my best to be fully engaged?

Sometimes we think we have to show everyone how we feel but that’s ego talking. “Why waste that hour being disengaged and cynical?” asks Goldsmith.

It’s in the moment that we shape ourselves into a better person. Sometimes hourly questions might help. When we face an event were not up for or a person that usually throws us off our game, why not try setting our Smartphone to ask us a question like, “Am I doing my best to…?”


What I like best about Triggers is that by creating an awareness of our environment and identifying our own triggers we can be a force for adding value in other people’s lives by triggering something good in others. It requires our imagination and clarity about what we want to become.
When we dive all the way into adult behavioral change—with 100 percent focus and energy—we become an irresistible force rather than the proverbial immovable object. We begin to change our environment rather than be hanged by it. The people around us sense this. We have become the trigger.

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Of Related Interest:
  Goldsmith's Gold: You Are Under the Microscope

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When to Cooperate and When to Compete

Friend and Foe
As we navigate through life, we must be able to cooperate and compete. Knowing what to do when is very important to getting where you want to go and to where you want to go next time.

In Friend and Foe, authors Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer, state that all of our relationships are both cooperative and competitive and we get more out of life when we learn to find the right balance between acting as a friend and acting as a foe.

Drawing on interdisciplinary studies, they show how to manage social comparisons (We crave comparisons because we like to know how we’re doing compared to the people around us.), get and keep power, how to get others to put their trust in you and what to do when you lose it, the art of seeking another perspective, negotiating, when it’s best to go last and when it’s best to go first, and finishing every interaction well.

When it comes to power, it’s not so much how powerful we are, but how powerful we feel that determines how think and act. Whether you have it or feel it, power makes us more focused on our own vantage point and oblivious to the perspective of others. The key to keeping our power is being able to see the world through the perspectives of others.

There is an acceptable range of power that you can display relative to your actual power. Exceed it and you will be ostracized. You also need to find the right balance between being confident and deferential. It’s usually a lack of deference rather than excess of confidence that get powerful people into trouble.

Interestingly, they say we crave hierarchy because it helps to manage the tension between cooperation and in competition.

Hierarchy provides a means for solving the question of how we distribute scarce resources. It also facilitates coordination. Studies demonstrate that co-leadership usually doesn’t work. “Co-leadership can kill both ideas and people, because it creates uncertainty over who is really in charge. Of course, co-led teams are not always ineffective and dangerous. But when there is not clear division of labor among these leaders, coordination becomes difficult, patterns of deference can disappear, and conflict can erupt.”

Hierarchy is less useful the more human the task or the more cognitively complex—more thought than any one person can attend to. Why? “Because to make the best complex decisions, we need to tap ideas from all the rungs of the hierarchical ladder and learn from everyone who has relevant knowledge to share.” Steve Jobs said, “You have to run by ideas, not hierarchy.”

But here is an interesting find. When over 30,000 Himalayan mountain climbers were analyzed, they found that members of expeditions from more hierarchical countries were more likely to die on the expedition because in countries and cultures that are hierarchical, decision-making tends to be a top-down process. These expedition members are less likely to speak up and less likely to alert leaders to changing conditions and impending problems.

They say that asking for advice does more than turn adversaries into advocates. “It can also help you supercharge your advocates and lead them to help you climb up the corporate ladder.” And when you don’t take their advice you need to explain that even though you didn’t take their advice it gave you a unique perspective and insight that lead to your success. Always follow up with your advice givers.

Friend and Foe is a very interesting read and full of useful advice and insights to help you get along and get ahead. It will go a long way to developing the awareness that is essential to leadership.

No matter what happens, it your interaction ends well people will tend to remember it well. More importantly, it sets the stage for anything that comes next.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:42 AM
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Collaboration Begins with You

In Collaboration Begins with You, Ken Blanchard, Jane Ripley and Eunice Carew weave the tale of Dave Oakton, the head of a cross-departmental project that fails due to self-serving silos. What’s more, the company offers “no incentives that encourage people to work together toward organizational goals. Managers get promotions and bonuses based on their own individual success and the success of their siloed groups—regardless of the success of the projects they work on or the company as a while.”

Oakton, with the help of his sister-in-law Beattie, turns the tide and the culture changes. Along the way he learns that giving up his own ego first is a prerequisite to others giving up theirs. Beattie shows him a model for a collaborative culture: Heart, Head, and Hands. She explains that heart comes first because collaboration is an inside-out mindset. If your heart isn’t right, you’ll never be a place where you can make collaboration with others work. You have to get you right first. “When your heart is right, you want to bring out the best in others.”

The UNITE acronym helps to remember the components necessary for the implementation of the Heart, Head, and Hands model.


To team members, they advise that they are the one’s responsible for ensuring their opinion is heard. “If collaboration begins with me, it’s up to me to make my intention clear that I want to contribute more.”

Organizationally, if collaboration begins with each individual, “the only people who should be promoted to leadership positions are those who allow others to contribute.”

Empowerment too begins with the individual. “In a culture of collaboration, individual contributors see themselves as self leaders. Leaders empower these individuals by building trust and coaching competence in their job roles and networking skills. And individuals also empower and inspire each other when they share ideas and deliver on their allotted tasks or goals.

A collaborative leader is a coach supporting people in their work and removing roadblocks.

Collaboration Begins with You also contains a self-assessment to help you find out just how collaborative you are.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:54 PM
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20 Habits to Build Your Leadership On

Extreme Ownership
H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick is the result of experience and a lot of reflection. And we would be foolish not to benefit from it.

When he reflected on the habits that propelled him forward he came up with twenty and organized them around 3 important questions every influencer must ask:

HUMBLE: Who am I?
HUNGRY: Where do I want to go?
HUSTLE: How will I get there?

The answers to these questions help you to become a change agent. And the habits associated with each of these questions create the playbook for your leadership journey. Lomenick says that your leadership success if built upon habitual work. “It is worked out every day in the tasks we complete, the ways we approach our work, and the rhythms we nurture in our lives. It hangs on the hooks of the patterns we create, not just the success we may stumble upon.”

Most of the actions we take during the day are habits. So we must be intentional about what habits we develop and why.

In brief, here are the twenty habits with Lomenick’s comments:


Self-Discovery: Know who you are
“Developing a habit of self-discovery means creating intentional rhythms whereby one observes who he is, listens to his life, and strives to define himself apart from his professional assignments. This habit helps a leader connect to an organization without being consumed by it.”

Openness: Share the real you with others
“People would rather follow a leader who is always real versus a leader who is always right.”

Meekness: Remember it’s not about you
“Meekness is not weakness. It’s power under control. It’s ambition grounded with humility and lived out in confidence, not arrogance.”

Conviction: Stick to your principles
“Your private life determines your public legacy.” And consider this: “Most leaders assume they know what their most closely held convictions are, a false assumption that keeps them from ever naming them.”

Faith: Prioritize your day so God is first
“A habit of faith is that one thing you can’t afford to not have on the journey. It reminds you that there is a bigger story of which yours is only a part.”

Assignment: Live out your calling
“There is a marked difference between a calling and an assignment, and failing to recognize it is a one-way ticket to the frustration station.


Ambition: Develop an appetite for what’s next
“Never satisfied, but always content is the posture of a properly ambitious leader.

Curiosity: Keep learning
“If you’re not learning, you’re not leading to your full potential.” He recommends: “Find people who are so different they make you uncomfortable, and then spend more time with them than you’d prefer to.”

Passion: Love what you do
“If you do not nurture enthusiasm, it will naturally diminish over time. Leaders can’t inspire others unless and until they are inspired themselves. Your team feeds off your energy, for better or worse. Leaders are organizational health risks or assets.”

Innovation: Stay current, creative, and engaged
“The first step to developing this habit is realizing that innovation in part has nothing to do with you; rather, it is determined by those you have around you.”

Inspiration: Nurture a vision for a better tomorrow
“A habit of inspiration is nurtured in the casting, not just the crafting of vision.”

Bravery: Take calculated risks
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”


Excellence: Set standards that scare you
“The goal is to set a standard that scares you to death and then continue trying to raise that standard. Excellence is ultimately about effort. Excellence requires always being one step ahead.”

Stick-with-it-ness: Take the long view
“My friend Robert Madu says it this way: In a culture where quitting is normal, be crazy enough to stay committed, foolish enough to be faithful, and stupid enough to stick with it!”

Execution: Commit to completion
“Some of us need to put down the megaphone and just grab a shovel. Little less talk, and a lot more action.”

Team Building: Create an environment that attacks and retains the best and brightest
“If you combine a positive work environment with regular delightful experiences, you’ll take a giant step toward raising up a dream team.”

Partnership: Collaborate with colleagues and competitors
“A habit of partnership means that as a leader you are willing to come to the end of your organizational self and see a bigger vision and picture beyond just what you’re working on. Be willing to sacrifice for someone else’s benefit. True collaboration involves giving as much as getting.”

Margin: Nurture healthier rhythms
“The goal of my reordering was not just to create a better schedule, but to create margin. The more margin in your life, the more room you have to let your rhythms run. Margin is a powerful habit. It creates opportunities.”

Generosity: Leave the world a better place
“Whatever you possess—the classic formulation is ‘time, treasure, talent’—should be given away liberally and not hoarded. This is what a habit of generosity looks like, and it is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll leave the world a better place than you found it. For me it always begins and ends around the issue of stewardship, which describes the act of watching over someone else’s things. It helps remind me that I am not he owner, but only the manager of all I have.”

Succession: Find power in passing the baton
“Too many leaders grab their jobs with an unrelenting death grip. But part of every influencer’s responsibility is to boldly build something magnificent and then humbly hand it off to others. The best way to shore up your legacy is to effectively hand it off to your successors.”

Great material to go back to again and again.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:03 AM
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Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership
Extreme Ownership by Navy SEAL officers Jocko Willink and Leif Babin is about leadership as personal responsibility. “Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.”

Willink and Babin bring up some of the critical problems that result from not taking responsibility. Too often we as leaders intend to do the right things, want the organization to do the right things, but do not take the steps necessary to make sure that learning happens and standards of conduct are enforced.

When thing do not go as expected a leader must stop and do a “stern self-assessment of how you lead and what you can do better” if you want outcome to be different next time. Too often we skip this step, especially when the incident blows by with little or no consequence.

When it comes to what we want from our leaders throughout the organization, “it’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate. When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written, if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable—if there are no consequences—the poor performance becomes the new standard.” This is why we see little change in leadership and organizational culture.

“Leadership isn’t one person leading a team. It’s a group of leaders working together, up and down the chain of command, to lead.” It’s critical that everyone is on the same page. Everyone must believe in the mission. If you don’t understand the mission, it is your responsibility to ask questions until you understand how and why the decisions being made are made.

Ego is always in the background ready to disrupt anything. “Most of the disruptive issues that arise within any team can be attributed directly to a problem with ego.” What is interesting is when we don’t want to take any responsibility—when preserving our rightness is most important to us—we block others from seeing their responsibility. Instead of a learning experience we create a clash of egos. They write, “If you approached it as he did something wrong, and he needs to fix something, and he is at fault, it becomes a clash of egos and you two will be at odds. That’s human nature. But, if you put your own ego in check, meaning you take the blame, that will allow him to actually see the problem without his vision clouded by ego.” By asserting our rightness we block others from being able to see their responsibility.

Willink and Babin provide combat examples and apply them to business situations. “Combat is reflective of life, only amplified and intensified.” They cover four critical concepts that enable a team to perform at the highest level: Cover and Move (to move as one), Simple (keep plans and communications simple), Prioritize and Execute (avoid target fixation on a single issue), and Decentralized Command (leaders at all levels must be empowered to make decisions).

Finally they cover Sustaining Victory. Here are some thoughts from that section:
One of the most important jobs of any leader is to support your own boss—you immediate leadership. Leaders in any chain of command will not always agree. But at the end of the day, one the debate on a particular course of action is over and the boss has made a decision—even if that decision is one you argued against—you must execute the plan as if it were your own.

The major factors to be aware of when leading up and down the chain of command are these:
  • Take responsibility for leading everyone in your world, subordinates and superiors alike.
  • If someone isn’t doing what you need them to do, look in the mirror first and determine what you can do to better enable this.
  • Don’t ask your leader what you should do, tell them what you are going to do.

There is no 100 percent right solution. The picture is never complete. Leaders mus be comfortable with this and be able to make decisions promptly, then be ready to adjust those decisions quickly based on evolving situations and new information.
And this key point:
A leader must lead but also be ready to follow.
Extreme Ownership is inspiring in many ways but more importantly, it tackles accountability for one’s own actions that is not stressed enough in leadership. We all know but we don’t always do. And when we don’t we need to look at our own contribution.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:19 PM
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First Look: Leadership Books for October 2015

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in October.

  Entitlement Cure: Finding Success In Doing Hard Things the Right Way by John Townsend
  Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia
  Collaboration Begins with You: Be a Silo Buster by Ken Blanchard, Jane Ripley and Eunice Parisi-Carew
  Lead More, Control Less: 8 Advanced Leadership Skills That Overturn Convention by Marvin R. Weisbord and Sandra Janoff
  Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Entitlement Cure Everybody Matters Collaboration Lead More Extreme Ownership

For bulk orders call 1-800-423-8273

discounted books

Build your leadership library with these specials on over 100 titles. All titles are at least 40% off the list price and are available only in limited quantities.

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“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries.”
— Descartes

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:09 AM
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LeadershipNow 140: September 2015 Compilation


twitter Here are a selection of tweets from September 2015 that you might have missed:
See more on twitter Twitter.

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Keeping People Front and Center

Keeping People Front and Center

AT SOME POINT we all come to see that people are the most important part of any initiative. We get caught up in the tasks, but it’s the people that leaders need to focus on.

Dominic Barton, global managing director of consulting firm McKinsey & Company, reminds us of this in an interview with The Wharton School. Talking to CEOs reflecting on their tenure he found that they all said that they would have “moved faster on people … taken people out faster, moved them up faster and spent more time on people…. I’ve not heard a single leader not say this [among] those that are toward the end of their career.”

This is made easier of you are able to compartmentalize your work. If you can isolate and focus on issues separately for short periods of time, you are better able to keep that big picture in mind—keep an eye on what’s really important. He added: “You get so many issues coming at you, and some of them can paralyze you.” He related a story from a Liberty Mutual CEO who told him, “‘In my first three weeks of my job, I would have kicked you out of my office.'” The CEO explained that at that time, he had been told by his general counsel that the company was being sued for $6 billion, and that everywhere he looked, all he could see was $6 billion. “Now, he said, ‘I’m talking to you, and I have six of those [issues going on right now], but I’m focused on you.'”
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:51 PM
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5 Leadership Lessons from Herb Greenburg

5 Leadership Lessons
Herb Greenberg, who lost his sight at age 10, developed a test to help companies assess potential employees’ abilities. He leveraged that into the global management-consulting firm, Caliper, in 1961. From What You Aren't Seeing: The Inspiring Story of Herb Greenberg we have the following lessons:

1  Leading starts with being clear about what you are willing to accept and what you need to fight for.

2  When you pull those around you into a cause that is noble and just, their collective spirit can transcend what they are capable of individually. That is when true leadership inspires. By tapping into our aspirations. We are all seeking meaning—and to be meaningful. We want to be part of something that is larger than ourselves. When a leader creates a clear sense of purpose, we respond because it helps to clarify our identity—why we are here, what we, ultimately, stand for. And when we stand for something together, feeling a strong sense of belonging, we get a glimpse into new possibilities—for ourselves and for others.

3  What are the personality attributes needed to succeed as a manager? You need to be bright enough to be able to think on your feet. You also need to be assertive enough to be able to push an agenda forward. Of course, you need to be persuasive, so you can bring others around and create consensus. In Addition, you need to be resilient enough to rebound from difficult situations that might arise. You also need to be self-motivated, as well as have what we call external structure, or the ability to organize thoughts, work and, people. And last, but not least, you need to have a high sense of urgency, or a need to get things done—now, rather than later.

4  Leadership is not something you can designate or anoint. Leadership is about the willingness of individuals to step up, take responsibility, become accountable, accept risk, and move forward. When you see someone who has those qualities and the drive to continuously improve, then, with recognition, mentoring, training, and experience, they might evolve from managing to leading. But there is no simple formula.

5  Leading is about being able to inspire others and succeeding through them, as you help them succeed.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:41 PM
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Why You Want to Change TO Something

When we encounter something that needs changing we tend to view it as a “freedom from” problem. In other words, what can I do to get rid of the obstacles or constraints that are impeding progress?

When thinking about change we should look at “freedom to” solutions. Both approaches lead to freedom but “freedom from” is a negative freedom and can lead to new problems. It’s like replacing a negative with nothing. "Freedom to" is a positive freedom.

Freedom to Change
Michael Fullan writes in Freedom to Change that most people think that is all their obstacles to change were removed they’d be better off. But evidence suggests that you would have new and more difficult challenges to face like anxiety, isolation, and doubt. “Freedom From” does not consider the changes that liberation requires for success. For instance what do I do with my new found freedoms?

Fullan says that goal is not to be free and alone but to be free with others. It is the difference between being reactive and proactive. To do that he suggests four factors for maximizing freedom to change that integrate and manage the tensions inherent in individual and group dynamics:

Autonomy and Cooperation: “Being our own person and being connected,” says Fullan, “is the core tension and challenge of living meaningfully.” We need both autonomy and cooperation. It’s not a choice. Organizations can give more autonomy in exchange for commitments to cooperate.

Feedback: Between acceptance of others and learning choose learning. “Within strong collaborative cultures, an enormous amount of feedback occurs naturally through daily focused interactions.” Feedback can be a powerful tool for positive “freedom to” change if seen properly. Fullan advises to be a learner under all circumstances.

Accountability: External accountability schemes do not work because they tell us that the system is not performing, but not how to fix the situation. Dislodging top-down accountability is extremely difficult but by building widespread internal accountability, it actually furthers the organizational goals. “The more internal accountability thrives, the greater the responsiveness to external requirements, and the less the external body has to do—there’s less need to resort to carrots and sticks to incite the system to act responsibly.” In the “freedom to” world you need to connect with others—especially peers. “It is in your own self-interest to promote a greater accountability with those around you.”

Diffusion (by interacting more widely): Lead from the middle. “Work with peers to strengthen the middle, get more done, and become better partners upwards and downwards.” Loosen up hierarchical structure so that they are more amenable to individual and small-group initiative.

Developing the “freedom to” capacity to take advantage of the new possibilities will be the hardest art. It’s always comparatively easier to get rid of old shackles than it is to take advantage of new freedoms.”

Fullan writes, “Genuine independence can only be achieved by the connected individual.”

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:59 PM
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Missing Ingredients: Finding the Right Team Recipe

Leading Forum
In my 25 years of professional endeavors, the lessons I apply the most often…the tools I use to achieve success . . . the skills I call on every day . . . all of these things I experienced and developed to one degree or another through sports. And when the discussion is about team sports, coaching, leadership, chemistry, relationships, role players, and all-stars become a natural part of the conversation. I find that the same is true in my business experiences and my work with civic organizations, where the natural question is why some teams perform better than others, and how to improve the performance of those that are struggling. There are a number of ways to look at this challenge, but to me, it usually comes down to three important things:

1. Same Page of the Playbook: There are many reasons why a team may be struggling, but the first place to look is the source of any activity: everyone has to agree on the foundation before you put up the house. This is true in business, true in civics, and true in life. In my new book Xbox Revisited, I chronicle the challenges we faced during the formation of the Xbox business. The cold, hard truth is that we failed to establish a strategic foundation for the business, and as a result the team was dysfunctional, our execution was inconsistent, and the business lost north of $5 billion over 4 years. We subsequently backfilled that mistake with a 3 page document that defined the Purpose, Principles, and Priorities for our second product, Xbox 360. This 3P Framework strategy process is chronicled in Xbox Revisited, and I now use it in my consulting, board work, and civic engagements. It forced the Xbox team to define a single Purpose, a joint set of operating Principles, and a focused list of Priorities that we used consistently to drive the business to market share leadership and substantial profitability for Microsoft.

2. Managers, Coaches, and Captains: Even with the greatest strategy, teams can still flounder without the right leadership. In fact, many of our early struggles on Xbox were a function of my leadership as Chief Xbox Officer – although I had many of the right instincts, I was simply too inexperienced to deal with the type and level of issues we faced on Xbox. Great leaders have to be self-aware of their own strengths (what I call super-powers) and weaknesses (kryptonite) and build a team around them that fills in identified gaps. The next level of leadership has to understand their roles and responsibilities well and translate that down through the team, consistent with the strategy framework that is driving the business. Just as with any sports team, there is no "correct" structure for a group – but everyone must know, accept, and perform their roles effectively if the team hopes to be successful. Great leaders identify weak team members or those that have not bought into the strategy/their role and either help them improve quickly or replace them. This is difficult work – both because it takes great judgement to know when to "hold 'em" and when to "fold 'em", and because the process of firing and replacing someone is emotionally challenging if you are a caring manager. And yet, the fact remains that there is quite often "addition by subtraction" and no team is much better than its weakest link.

3. Executing the Game Plan: A strong strategy framework with good team leadership is enough to get you to the starting line – but game-time performance is entirely a different matter. There are many teams that look good on paper but can't actually perform to expectations. Great communication is certainly a central element in establishing an operating rhythm that drives day-to-day excellence, because once the game begins, modifications and adjustments are a constant requirement. This is the football equivalent of an audible called by the quarterback at the line of scrimmage. If everyone on the field doesn't hear that the play has changed, the whole effort falls apart. Great execution is also about efficient and effective decision-making up and down the ladder of the team. If decisions can be pushed down into the organization where people closest to the issues can make the quickest and best decisions, the team has a much higher likelihood of success. In contrast, if everything must flow up the chain and back down again, as it often did in our early Xbox days, the likely result is either poor, uninformed choices or decision constipation. Finally, winning on the field is about continuous improvement. Teams that struggle at first can ultimately be successful if they keep making mid-course adjustments – changes in people, process, decisions, etc. Most projects are marathons not sprints and the secret to success is finishing strong and fast.

This sporting analogy and the discussion of teams applies across a broad cross section of organizations. The dynamics and culture of a business are certainly different than what you might find in a government agency, a community organization, or a non-profit. But the elements that make a great team and create an environment for success are similar in all of these cases. So whether your goal is renewing your business or joining me as a Civic Engineer trying to improve our local, state, and national civic organizations, building the right team is a critical element to success.

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Xbox Revisited
Robbie Bach, author of Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civil Renewal, joined Microsoft in 1988 and over the next twenty-two years worked in various marketing, general management, and business leadership roles, including working on the successful launch and expansion of Microsoft Office. As Chief Xbox Officer, he led the creation and development of the Xbox business, including the launch of the Xbox and the highly popular successor product, Xbox 360. He retired from Microsoft in 2010 as the President of the Entertainment and Devices Division. For more information please visit robbiebach.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 04:44 PM
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First Look: Leadership Books for September 2015

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in September.

  5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram
  Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time by Jeffrey Pfeffer
  What You Really Need to Lead: The Power of Thinking and Acting Like an Owner by Robert Steven Kaplan
  H3 Leadership: Stay Hungry. Be Humble. Always Hustle. by Brad Lomenick
  The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age by Joseph Burgo

5 Gears Leadership BS Really Need to Lead H3 Leadership Narcissist You Know

For bulk orders call 1-800-423-8273

discounted books

Build your leadership library with these specials on over 100 titles. All titles are at least 40% off the list price and are available only in limited quantities.

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“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”
— Edmund Burke

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:01 AM
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LeadershipNow 140: August 2015 Compilation


twitter Here are a selection of tweets from August 2015 that you might have missed:
See more on twitter Twitter.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:34 AM
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