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Good Team Leaders Checklist

Good Team Leaders Checklist

HIGH-PERFORMING teams have six characteristics: leadership, organization, communication, knowledge, experience, and discipline, says former Air Force F-115 pilot James Murphy. But among these, leadership comes first. Bad leadership will doom a team.

Leaders hold themselves accountable for the team’s performance. And great teams support each other.

In Courage to Execute he writes, “Leaders of high-performing teams encourage their people to ask these two questions: First, is there someone on my team that needs my help in achieving our objectives? Second, do I need help from someone on my team to achieve our objectives?

Murphy offers a Good Team Leaders Checklist to ensure you are creating a positive team environment on a daily basis:

○ Take responsibility: A team owns success; a leader owns failure.
○ Enforce accountability for themselves and their team members.
○ Model an Appropriate example.
○ Reinforce standards and processes.
○ Cultivate situational awareness.
○ Listen actively.
○ Facilitate collaboration.
○ Delegate, trust, and develop leadership in others.
○ Orchestrate mutual support.
○ Thank and reward team members.

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Courage to Execute 4 Characteristics of Great Teams

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Generation Why: How Boomers Can Lead and Learn from Millennials and Gen Z

Generation Why

MUCH has been written about how the Millennial and Z generations are different, their likes and dislikes, and idiosyncrasies. In Generation Why: How Boomers Can Lead and Learn from Millennials and Gen Z, McGill University professor Karl Moore asks why. He goes behind the observable behaviors and looks at the events that shaped their worldview to better understand why they are the way they are.

Every generation has experienced pivotal events and cultural forces that have shaped their lives and how they react to life. Depression-era kids move differently in the world as they grow older than those that grew up in more prosperous times. Their worldviews are different, so they see the world through different values, expectations, and motivations. I am a Boomer, so my view regarding trust, authority, and truth, for example, is different than those generations that came after me.

The Millennial and Z generations have a Postmodern worldview states Moore. Our education has a huge impact on how we believe the world does and should work. Moore writes:

What university students are taught during pivotal years of their schooling very much influences their behaviour at work and their view of how they want to be led. Though, given their worldview, led may be too strong a word – even manage may be too strong. Perhaps it would be better to say, worked with.

To better understand the Millennial and Z generations, I believe it is helpful to look at their education and the underlying ideas that the education system taught them – that is, their Postmodern worldview. Rather than cover the whole of Postmodern thought, this book focuses on the aspects of their worldview that impact their perception of leadership and work.

The world has changed, and what many of us have been taught is no longer relevant in today’s world. The chart below illustrates some of this change.

Generation Why

The Millennial and Z outlook involves contemporary perspectives on four important leadership issues, which Moore examines in this book:

  • knowledge and truth – who has them and who controls them
  • hierarchy and its considerable decline
  • the way people relate to one another
  • the role of emotions in the workplace

Moore interestingly observes, “The knowledge of younger generations, to them, feels (most often, rightfully) more relevant and valuable than the “dated” understanding of the older generation. To a considerable degree, we older people are just not as valuable as older people were thirty years ago when we were starting out.”

After a fascinating look at where these new generations’ worldviews came from, Moore then offers tips on how to work more effectively with Postmoderns, such as:

Privilege all voices. Slow down and listen. “Millennials/Zers firmly believe that their story, or their personal and subjective truth, is as good as anyone else’s, regardless of their shortcomings in experience, age, or educational achievement. However, I argue that, contrary to popular belief, Millennials are not acting entitled, they are simply misunderstood. This is part of a larger characteristic of the Millennial/Z generations, which can be described as the death of meta-narratives and the rise of micro-narratives.”

Be authentic. This is a complex area that Moore explains well, incorporating a look at both constructive authenticity and existential authenticity. “It appears that “being comfortable with oneself ” and “knowing who one is” are the most relevant attributes of Postmodern authenticity.”

In the age of social media, authenticity for Millennials/Zers is characterized by the consistency and continuity between their online personas and their lives. The more congruence there is between the two, the more authentic a person will appear to be to their peers.

Create purposeful organizations and align personal and professional purpose. Nearly everyone wants to find meaning in their work. What is unique to Millennials and Gen Zers is that they were “found to be seeking purpose and meaning at such an early stage in their careers.” Millennials and Gen Zers tend to be loyal to roles or identities rather than to specific companies or organizations and thus want to feel a sense of control over their careers.

Mentor (and reverse mentoring). Millennials and Zers often crave one-to-one relationships in the form of mentors. They are “hungry for great mentors who are willing to put in the time, accept multiple mentees, and be reverse mentored.” Because of the coaching and feedback received throughout their formative years, Millennials/Zers likely view their mentors as parental figures or teachers, rather than in the traditional role of employer or boss. Millennials/Zers surround themselves with a network of coaches; many Millennials/Zers have several advisors they turn to throughout their careers, for issues both major and minor.” Be open to reverse mentoring too. “Reverse mentoring, done well, can result in better-aligned strategies with a turbulent world and more implementable strategies for the whole organization.”

Give feedback. Millennials and Zers need feedback. They depend on it. Moore explains why. Managers can use the SKS framework both to provide effective feedback: What should I stop doing? What should I keep doing? What should I start doing?

Generation Why will help you to understand not only the Millennial and Z generations but also your own. These understandings will help any leader to form a basis for mutual respect and a productive and healthy work environment.

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Tim Elmore Generation iY Generational Divide

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3 Telltale Signs It’s Time to Rethink Your Executive Team

Rethink Your Executive Team

WHEN A CEO first assumes their position or joins a new company, they’re often quick to make changes to the executive team, creating a group of trusted advisors who will drive their strategic agenda. But once the CEO has been in place for a few years, this dynamic changes. Replacing these hand-picked team members becomes a highly unpleasant process, one that CEOs avoid at all costs—despite clear signs it’s necessary.

Our research on CEOs and their senior leadership teams reveals that regularly reevaluating and adjusting the leadership team is crucial for optimizing a company’s performance over time. To decide if “now is the time” for a change, CEOs must watch for three telltale signs.

Sign 1: A change in the business environment

The most obvious signal that it’s time for a change is a large-scale shift in the business environment.

In recent years, many industries have been disrupted by technological change. These changes have necessitated new capabilities and forced even the most established players to make radical departures from their business models.

Take, for instance, the automotive industry. The electrification of vehicles and increasing reliance on computer software, rather than mechanical parts, have upended the knowledge and capabilities needed in the industry. Simultaneously, the traditional automotive business model—built around individual car ownership—may soon be replaced by fleets of autonomous vehicles owned by service providers rather than individual people.

Companies are also facing heightened expectations about their role in society. Stakeholders and shareholders alike expect businesses to make a positive impact on the big challenges our planet faces, such as climate change, redistribution of wealth, and more equitable ways of operating and performing.

Adding to the already increased complexity of the business landscape, recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have forced companies to fundamentally rethink where and how they operate and how they can build resilience to change.

When an organization faces fundamental shifts like these, simply adding a chief digital officer or chief sustainability officer to the leadership team is no longer sufficient. Instead, leaders must reassess their leadership teams, from redefining existing roles to creating new roles to altering how different roles interact.

This was the challenge Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, faced when she took over as CEO. Barra found an organization that not only had fallen behind the competition but was also largely unresponsive to the market. To initiate the changes that would make GM relevant once again, Barra overhauled the leadership team’s composition, culture, norms, and way of operating, converting the team from a group of disconnected individuals into an integrated group empowered to deliver on GM’s goals.

Sign 2: A new CEO mandate

After accomplishing their initial objectives, successful CEOs often face a new challenge: defining a mandate around a new set of goals. Doing so requires CEOs to not only reinvent themselves and their organizations but also to rethink their executive teams.

Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech, a Swiss-American computer peripherals and software manufacturer, faced this very challenge.

Initially, Darrell granted the Logitech leadership team a high degree of independence, treating the company’s various businesses as individual startups. However, following several acquisitions in 2018 and 2019 and rapid growth during the pandemic, he defined a new set of goals that required a higher degree of coordination and centralization in his team.

As Darrell explained:

I am planning to centralize a few things. This will change the dynamic. When decisions need to be made centrally it will mean that you cannot weigh how it affects every individual business as heavily. You have to put the company ahead of each business. So you have to rethink the team.

CEOs must assess whether leadership team members can transition to meet new mandates or if they need to be replaced.

Sign 3: Stagnation or deterioration of individuals or the team

While changes in the business environment or a new mandate are hard to ignore, the third sign is more easily overlooked. In many organizations, individual team members—or the entire executive team—may stagnate in their development and gradually deteriorate in their performance. Some senior leaders stop developing and, therefore, over time will be more and more out of touch with the organization’s needs.

As one anonymous Fortune 500 CEO shared:

My CFO started well. Over the first two years, he accomplished a lot to put the company on a stronger financial footing. But he was really not interested in learning about our business, and after the initial results, he simply was not able to take the organization to the next level.

Similarly, leadership team performance may deteriorate when members become too comfortable with and stop challenging one another or when healthy competition devolves into politicking and backstabbing.

Take, for instance, the leadership team of a European multinational corporation we’ll call Frontal. The Frontal team had been working together for over 10 years, and the roles of every member in the organization had become very set.

As the CEO said in a conversation in confidence: “With every topic, I can almost foretell what each member is going to say. Everybody is trying to be nice, and no one wants to step on the others’ toes.”

When individual team members or the entire executive team begins to stagnate, it may be necessary to refresh the team by replacing at least some of its members to infuse new ideas and keep sufficient creative tension.

Taking Action

Upon recognizing these signs, CEOs must spur into action. They should approach the situation as if they were new to the organization. Does the executive team reflect the CEO’s goals, mandate, and vision for the future? Should the CEO clean house? Or should new sets of team roles and responsibilities be defined?

Although this process may be uncomfortable, regularly reassessing and refreshing the leadership team is one of the most effective routes to long-term success.

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Leading Forum
Thomas Keil is a partner at The Next Advisors and a professor at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where he teaches strategy and international management. His new book (co-authored with Marianna Zangrillo) is The Next Leadership Team: How to Select, Build, and Optimize Your Top Team. Learn more at

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Seven CEO Tests CEO Excellence

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Leading Thoughts for June 1, 2023

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:


T.D. Jakes on disruptive thinking:

“Every period of chaos brings with it a gift—an opportunity to disrupt the chaos by providing a solution rather than joining the debate. Disruptive thinking isn’t about picking a side in the argument; it’s about stepping past the argument toward a solution.”

Source: Disruptive Thinking: A Daring Strategy to Change How We Live, Lead, and Love


Retired Navy SEAL commander Rich Diviney on dynamic subordination:

“In a high-performance team, leadership shifts to wherever, and whomever, the leader needs to be at any given moment. Those teams understand that information, challenges, and obstacles can come from any angle at any time. And they’re effective because the teammate closest to the problem is able to step up and lead, while the rest of the group defers to that temporary leader.”

Source: The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

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First Look: Leadership Books for June 2023

First Look Books

HERE'S A LOOK at some of the best leadership books to be released in June 2023 curated just for you. Be sure to check out the other great titles being offered this month.

9788886450484Leading with Significance: How to Create a Magnetic, People-First Culture by Joey Havens

Can a magnetic culture elevate you to unparalleled performance? Absolutely! And your journey to a magnetic culture starts by recognizing that good culture simply isn't enough to drive top performance. With uncertainty swirling around every corner in the world today, team members are reevaluating their workplaces and walking out as they look past hollow promises and perks that are a mere temporary bandage. People are searching for teams with purpose, a compelling vision, and a sense of belonging where they can pursue their full potential and live their lives to the fullest. In Leading with Significance, Joey Havens breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and shows, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring, and magnetic.

9780593542699The Experience Mindset: Changing the Way You Think About Growth by Tiffani Bova

In the war for customer acquisition, businesses invest millions of dollars to improve customer experience. They deliver packages faster, churn out new products, and endlessly revamp their UI, often putting greater strain on employees for diminishing returns. According to Tiffani Bova, this siloed focus on customer experience – without considering the impact on your staff – actually hinders growth in the long run. The most successful companies adopt an Experience Mindset that strengthens both employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) at the same time.

9781774582886Positive Chaos: Transform Crisis into Clarity and Advantage by Dan Thurmon

In Positive Chaos, Dan Thurmon helps you better understand the true nature of chaos, including the positive aspects that you can harness to learn, grow, and excel. Using illuminating findings from a first-of-its-kind study, 2022 State of Chaos in the Workplace, Thurmon reveals the current impact of chaos experienced by the workforce and shares effective strategies and leadership attributes for succeeding in chaotic times. From discovering how credibility stems from vulnerability, to why being honest about what you don’t yet know can empower others to feel more confident and capable of contributing, you will learn how to improve yourself while becoming a better leader. Chaos does not have to be confusing or debilitating. Positive Chaos will help you to learn to understand and embrace chaos, rise above the noise, and be truly proactive, helpful, and fulfilled.

9780306830273The Choice Point: The Scientifically Proven Method to Push Past Mental Walls and Achieve Your Goals by Joanna Grover and Jonathan Rhodes

When we choose to go to the gym at 6am, keep running that marathon, or stay up late to study, we are making conscious, value-based decisions that help us fulfill our goals. But even though we know that daily good choices add up to healthy routines and strong results, these days it’s just too easy to surrender to negative thoughts and old habits. How can we not? Enter Functional Imagery Training (FIT). Grounded in science, FIT helps us lengthen our Choice Point: that moment when we say to ourselves, “Am I going to make the healthy decision, or am I going to choose to take an action that I know will undermine my success?” Merging mindfulness, motivational interviewing, and cognitive behavioral therapy into a user-friendly model—the first non-academic book of its kind—The Choice Point grants us control of the decisions that define us.

9781394207114Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI by Eric Lamarre, Kate Smaje and Rodney Zemmel

In Rewired, the world’s most influential management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, delivers a road-tested, how-to manual their own consultants use to help companies build the capabilities to outcompete in the age of digital and AI. Many companies are stuck with digital transformations that are not moving the needle. There are no quick fixes but there is a playbook. The answer is in rewiring your business so hundreds, thousands, of teams can harness technology to continuously create great customer experiences, lower unit costs, and generate value. It’s the capabilities of the organization that win the race.

9781774582657How to Work with (Almost) Anyone: Five Questions for Building the Best Possible Relationships by Michael Bungay Stanier

Have you ever had the experience of working with someone and they just didn't “get” you? They do all the things that wind you up, put you off and drive you nuts. And have you ever worked with someone and you just didn't “get” them? You couldn't figure out what made them tick, and you know you were underwhelming as a manager and leader for them. Of course, you have. We all have. Why do those experiences keep happening? Particularly when we’ve also experienced the opposite: great working relationships that soar. In How To Work with (Almost) Anyone, Michael Bungay Stanier shares a tested process that sets up working relationships for the best possible success. It shows you how to communicate about who you are and what brings out the best and the worst in you. It gives you the tools to talk with your colleagues about how you operate, and to set a social contract for how you’ll work together (not just what you’ll be working on). It teaches you how to keep relationships strong and healthy, clear and clean.

More Titles

9781119757351 9781639090105 9781657351241 9781639080328

For bulk orders call 1-626-441-2024

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“... a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
— George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

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Whats New in Leadership Books Best Books of 2022

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LeadershipNow 140: May 2023 Compilation

LeadershipNow Twitter

twitter Here are a selection of tweets from May 2023 that you will want to check out:

See more on twitter Twitter.

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Real-Time Leadership An Ordinary Man

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Thriving When You Are Out of Your Comfort Zone

Thriving When You Are Out of Your Comfort Zone

IN MY thirty-plus years as a business coach, I have seen thousands of brilliant, charismatic, and driven thinkers make it to their dream positions in high leadership and thrive there. While they all had wildly different career paths, they all agreed on one thing: The road to success leads out of your comfort zone.

At one point in their career, all the top-level executives I have coached had to take a risk and accept an assignment, team, or job they didn’t feel entirely comfortable with. Their career risk paid off – but it doesn’t always. So, when you take your own leap of faith, how can you make sure you stick the landing? Here’s what I have learned.

Imagined Inadequacy: Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

As you move out of your comfort zone and into a position where you lead a larger group of people with a variety of skills and responsibilities, you won’t be able to solve every problem with your technical expertise alone. And when you’re out of your depth, it’s easy to feel like an imposter at times.

Imposter syndrome means feeling inadequate and unqualified, and simply not good enough. It’s often paired with a sense of irrational dread and the constant worry that everyone will one day find out that you are a phony and really not as competent as you pretend to be. This feeling can stifle your potential as a leader, impair your ability to see a problem objectively, and lead to stress at work – and yet, it’s a common issue: Between 70 and 90 percent of adults experience imposter syndrome when they push themselves out of their comfort zone.

What can be done to combat it? First, recognize that the feeling is normal. If you don’t feel a little bit insecure from time to time, you might be getting overly confident or even arrogant – and that’s a much more dangerous path to be going down.

Secondly, make use of the resources around you to gather more expertise. Ask yourself: “Who do I know who has a piece of the information I need?” Take advice from peers whose expertise you can trust and adjust your own perspective accordingly. While you should never dismiss your own experience and gut feelings, don’t be afraid to bring someone on board who might know more than you about a specific topic.

Pinpointing Contributions: Your Unique Value-Add

There is a third, even more powerful antidote to imposter syndrome which involves understanding what you uniquely bring to the table. Once you know your primary value-add, you can worry less about what you don’t know and focus more on what you do know.

Even when you are doing something completely new, you’re never starting completely from scratch. Some of your knowledge and experience will be applicable and transferrable to this new domain.

And no one expects you to know it all. There are many other ways of adding value: Think about people you have worked for in the past whose leadership you admired. Consider the way they influenced you – the words they said that you found inspiring and motivating, the time they took to hear you out, the ways in which they gave you advice and coached you. What made you appreciate them?

Great leaders that span across multiple functions and areas are not hired to be an expert in every single field. They are valued for their ability to see the big picture, to connect across domains, and to inspire others to get their best work done. Your job is not to know everything, your job is to enable everyone to make their best contribution.

Nurturing Networks: The Power of Relationships

Your ability to tap people in your network and beyond, to inspire them and to entice them to join you are the essential components of how you’re going to manage the risk you have taken on. To succeed you will need to have the right kind of conversations with many different people.

You’ve probably heard this piece of advice in the past, but it’s the hardest one to get right. There’s a reason why it’s called the art of leading people and not the science.

Why are people following you now that your content knowledge is no longer your defining quality? It could be that they will want to interact with you because they sense you believe in what you are doing. They may follow you because they like you. They may respect you as a person and appreciate how you treat people. And they may follow you because they are excited about the team that you’ve brought together and look forward to working within this group of people.

In addition, people will want to work with you because they’re confident about their own ability to help articulate the future, define the problem, come up with the solutions, and chart the course. That lets you off the hook from having to know all the answers. Your skill now is in bringing that group of people together, encouraging them to have ownership, and finding the best in each of them.

Inspiring Climates: Taking Your Team to the Top

In your new position, you still own the decision about direction. You still own the outcome. But that doesn’t mean you will succeed by dictating the steps to get there. Your ability to bring people together will come from your understanding of each person on your team and how their individual goals and strengths align with the interests of the company.

What do the people on your team care about? What are they individually motivated by? Where are they at their best? Where are they at their worst? You will bring your team members to a new level by creating the conditions that let them realize their aspirations and allow them to be their best.

Entering a New Comfort Zone

When you move out of your comfort zone, you enter an uncharted territory full of possibility, but also full of unfamiliar roadblocks. In order to once again feel comfortable and thrive in your position, you’ll need to combat your own feelings of insecurity and understand the new kind of value you bring to the table. In addition, your success will be dependent on how well you can bring people together who are excited to discover the path to a better future with you.

That’s the secret to getting out of your comfort zone.

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Leading Forum
Dr. Wanda T. Wallace, managing partner of Leadership Forum, coaches, facilitates, and speaks on improving leadership through better conversations. She hosts the weekly radio show and podcast “Out of the Comfort Zone” and is the author of You Can’t Know It All: Leading in the Age of Deep Expertise. Learn more at,,

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Outside Our Comfort Zone Imposter Syndrome

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Leading Thoughts for May 25, 2023

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:


Schoolteacher Alice Moore Hubbard, on how to teach:

“Teaching is successful only as it causes people to think for themselves. What the teacher thinks matters little; what he makes the child think matters much.”

Source: Life Lessons: Truths Concerning People Who Have Lived


Ray Bradbury on the lost art of contemplation and real connection:

“Across the street and down the way the other houses stood with their flat fronts. What was it Clarisse had said one afternoon? ‘No front porches. My uncle says there used to be front porches. And people sat there sometimes at night, talking when they wanted to talk, rocking, and not talking when they didn’t want to talk. Sometimes they just sat there and thought about things, turning things over. My uncle says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn't look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn't want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong kind of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think. So they ran off with the porches. And the gardens, too. Not many gardens any more to sit around in. And look at the furniture. No rocking chairs anymore. They're too comfortable. Get people up and running around.’”

Source: Fahrenheit 451

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

Posted by Michael McKinney at 01:22 PM
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Books to Read

Best Books of 2022


Leadership Books
How to Do Your Start-Up Right

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Leadership Books
Grow Your Leadership Skills

Leadership Minute
Leadership Minute

Leadership Classics
Classic Leadership Books

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