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 →

Recently, I was able to check off another item on my bucket list. My wonderful wife, Jen, purchased a ticket for me to attend an NCAA Men’s Basketball Sweet 16 game to watch my beloved West Virginia Mountaineers. Although the outcome was not what I had hoped for, I had an incredible experience. As I watched, I was reminded of the importance of a game plan. Effectiveness and success in most endeavors requires thoughtful preparation and thorough planning. Sometimes success and effectiveness may happen unintentionally or accidentally, but most often success comes to those who have a carefully thought out game plan. A game planRead More →

Most of us will never know what it feels like to win a national championship or a Super Bowl, however – we’ve all been on a team either athletically, professionally, or simply within our family. Our Final Four may have been running a half marathon, giving a big presentation, landing a huge client (and then delivering on that huge client!), starting a family – the list goes on and on. I was a member of an actual championship team – just on a slightly smaller scale than the March Madness going on around us. I was on the Appleton East Softball team and we won theRead 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 →

March Madness is such an amazing time of year. Watching upsets, buzzer beaters, and celebrations sparks our own excitement and emotions. After the recent Duke upset, Coach Krzyzewski wisely said, “At the end of the season I want my guys to either be crying because we’ve lost or crying because we’ve just won”. The heartache and joy is so powerful to see as teams and individuals reflect on all they have done to make it to this point. What I find truly inspiring, are the teams that make it to the Sweet 16. These teams tune out the noise around them, play their style ofRead 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 →

Leaders can often confuse doing based leadership versus being based leadership. What we are doing is not necessarily what we are being. The InitiativeOne process forces a leader to peer within and ask the difficult questions that are a catalyst for emotional maturity and self-awareness. Self-aware and emotionally mature leaders are much more likely to make a positive impact on an organization.  And, being based leaders maintain a distinction between what they do and who they are. Buried inside every leader resides the true self. When leaders peel back the layers of self, they will be able to find that they are much more than whatRead More →