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 →

It is what gives us the strength to step over the ledge, to take a leap into the unknown despite the possibility that we may fall flat on our faces. Thomas Foster writes about our battle with this saying, “As thrilled as we are by the prospect of flying, we are also frightened at the prospect of falling.” Does our fear of falling outweigh our yearning to be able to spread our wings and fly? Faith is not about having enough data or knowledge to step out and make a decision. In fact, it seems to be the opposite. When we take a step ofRead More →

As leaders, we are constantly faced with tough decisions. Some of these decisions are life altering, (like moving, marriage, kids, new job, investing, selling, layoffs, etc), while others are simple, (what should I eat, clothes to wear, etc). However, the main point within all these decisions is the purpose behind the decision. Were your actions based on unguided ambitions or on a focused vision and sound values? In an era, where financial growth and social perception determine a company or individual’s success; many leaders are tempted and encouraged to violate their values. This violation of ethics, can and will destroy trust, create a feeling ofRead 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 →

As parents, people, leaders, etc we are constantly striving to live a purposeful life. We aim to have a vision, create a plan and then get into action; however, how many of us have a vision and a plan for our daily interactions with our children? As parents, we are given the greatest gift that anyone can receive and with that, we have been entrusted with the greatest responsibility of shaping their souls. For many of us, we recognize this responsibility but are so busy with our own daily grind that we simply wing it. We go through each day without an end in mind,Read More →

The NFL Draft is an exciting time of year for everyone. Fans are following the draft to see who’s coming in to “their team”, or what kind of tricks does their secretive GM have up his sleeve this year? There are others scouting for their fantasy football roster. Schools and communities also rally around local players who are hoping to get a call. It’s a great week for sports. But what about the players?  What are they thinking and feeling during Draft Day? Ahman Green, all-time leading rusher for the Green Bay Packers and InitiativeOne Transformation Leader, provided insight as to what Draft Day meantRead More →

In an ever changing, connected and competitive world we seek trust more than ever. We want to trust our politicians, our boss, our spouse, and our kids; we want people to trust us. Now, to obtain trust or to be trustworthy, we, as leaders, have to take responsibility and make sure we are walking the talk! In order, for us to gain trust, we must make sure we are practicing and or having the following; Character: Are you a person of sound moral and ethical character? How many businesses, families and friendships are ruined daily, because someone acted on poor moral judgement? Competence: 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 →