If you visit NASA’s total eclipse website you can discover the answers to important questions about the Total Solar Eclipse that is happening on Monday, August 21. Anyone in North America within the path of totality can view the total eclipse. The website provides good information about how to safely view the eclipse and protect your eyes while viewing this incredible phenomenon. As I read about the eclipse, I was intrigued by the basic storyline. Millions will drop everything and pause to watch the moon cover the sun for a brief period of time because most days there is no eclipse. It’s an awe-inspiring change fromRead More →

Agreement. It’s a popular word when it comes to teamwork. It’s not automatic. Are we pulling in the same direction? Do we collaborate, build consensus? Do we trust each other? Are our relationships healthy? Most teams are accustomed to these types of questions. A vision, a purpose is shared and the team goes to work. What happens when the path toward success becomes a long and winding road? The buzz of creative tension can become distorted. That’s the test of a team. In the heat of battle, team meetings can become fertile soil for misbehaving. Patience wanes, tempers flare, and success gets lost in theRead More →

Faith is a core tenet of leadership. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. If I expect you to follow me, then I am asking you to have faith that I will lead you to a place that is safe, that is good, perhaps even much better than where you are. I’m asking for faith in what is not yet seen. I’m expecting you to take a risk. When the stakes are high, the impersonal aspects of faith tend to move to the periphery. At the heart of the matter, faith is personal. Do youRead More →

Would you intentionally hire a new employee that is not trustworthy? Of course not. That’s an easy question to answer. Here’s a better question. When you hire a new employee, do you have a straightforward conversation about the behaviors that create healthy trust? If not, why not? Clarity is one of the key cultural ingredients that enables leaders to promote healthy trust. Trusting relationships thrive when clear expectations are cultivated and agreed upon on the front end. Most leaders can compile a quick list of the behaviors that destroy trust. Behaviors that create a toxic environment are front of mind.  Bullying, retaliation, dishonesty, hidden agendas,Read More →

People watch what you do. They watch with the sound off. Seth Godin How do you describe leadership? What are the first words that come to mind? Influence Vision Credibility Integrity Agent of Change Stewardship Decisiveness The complexities of leadership are intertwined with trust. Trust is a big deal. As Stephen Covey noted, “It undergirds and affects the quality of every relationship.” Especially, this is true when you speak of trust in the context of leadership. Trust can shape and shade the meaning and impact of the words and actions most commonly associated with leaders. Inspiration can morph into manipulation. Clarity dissolves in the murkyRead More →

Education Leaders Have a Strategic Opportunity. There is a collective sense that education needs to change. Many daunting strategic questions are surfacing and these questions have widespread implications. Do current educational approaches prepare students for the future? Are educational leaders creating the best learning environments for students? What needs to change? Who needs to change? To what extent are educators prepared to adapt approaches to align with the students? These challenges provide unparalleled strategic opportunities. Listen carefully and you will hear an emerging cry for disruptive reform. There is a need for leadership transformation. The comments of Mario Kyllonen, Helsinki’s education manger echo from FinlandRead More →

As millions tune in for tip off, March Madness is in full bloom. These are teams that have practiced together, travelled together, played together and now they will focus their collective energy on the opportunities before them. The NCAA basketball championships are in full view. Surely there are lessons to be learned about great teamwork. As you watch the madness, open your eyes and ears and take note of these sixteen qualities that help teams elevate their performance. How evident are these qualities in your team? Choose one for discussion in your team meetings. Practice Goals Coaching44 Unity Focus Interdependence Sharing Accountability Encouragement Learning HopeRead More →

Leaders do not exist in isolation. Your leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Neither does your organization. You lead with others. You connect with your clients and customers. You engage, communicate and serve with others. Mark Bonchek challenges leaders and organizations to think differently about vision and mission. He believes nailing down your purpose requires some with thinking. “Remember, this is not something you are going to do to them, or for them, but with them. It’s a journey you will be on together, hopefully for a very long time.” Such thoughts may challenge you. Connecting with people can be a messy business. Especially, if you think the journey is goingRead More →

If you are in business, it’s very likely that you’re thinking about the design of your organization. You’re not alone. According to Deloitte, most companies believe organizational redesign is a critical issue. In fact, 92 % of participants in a 2016 global human capital study believe it is important or very important. “Fast-moving global markets and digital disruption have forced companies to innovate rapidly, adapt their products and services, and stay closer than ever to local customers. This has prompted a resurgence of interest in business organization.” Organizational redesign is always well intentioned. The impetus is born out of one of those “we can’t continueRead More →

A guest blog by Nick Metler, InitiativeOne Intern: Negative self-esteem is an aspect of life that can easily dwell in the shadows of our minds, untouched yet controlling every reaction to the interactions of day-to-day life. Brennan Manning writes in The Importance of Being Foolish that this is when, “we select from reality only those aspects that confirm our own dim view of ourselves… Every incident becomes a blanket condemnation of self and a reaffirmation of worthlessness.” It negates your ability to see the good that goes on through a day, week, month, or even year. It blinds you from seeing the joy of anotherRead More →