So, what’s your take on Mondays? Maybe you show up humming, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” If you’re too young to know the tune, you might want to check it out. Although we live in a 24/7 world and leadership does wait on a signal from a calendar, Monday remains the moniker for the symbolic beginning of the workweek. As such, it’s a great time for a leadership self-check. How’s your attitude? Did you begin the week with energy or dread? Is the vision forecast clear, partly cloudy or are you straining to see through a dense fog? A little variety inRead More →

Is it possible to lead in “Real Time” today? How often during the day do you deal with the unexpected? Suddenly, your day takes a turn. You feel emotionally hijacked by a sudden interruption that requires your attention. Immediately, you begin to feel the pressure to provide an answer. Recognizing and cultivating a sense of urgency is one of your prize virtues. The gnawing pressure to answer comes from a gut level belief that if you were a really good leader you would be able to respond in Real Time. But what does Real Time mean? Most definitions of Real Time begin with a connectionRead More →

“Culture Change” is one of those nebulous phrases often tossed around today.  The challenge is getting one’s arms around it quickly and succinctly. When we discuss culture, we are referring to the overall environment that directly influences the performance and results of the organization.   The corporate culture of any organization is the byproduct of the behaviors, attitudes, and values exhibited by key leaders toward others over time.  Culture directly impacts the morale, trust, engagement and confidence in the leadership by those at the “grassroots” level, It can be a company’s most powerful asset or it can be its greatest weakness. Leaders often make the mistakeRead More →

On a recent plane trip I was seated with a couple and their twin toddlers. Although most people would dread this seating arrangement, my family has caused our fair share of travel drama in the past, so I believe I have a responsibility to help new parents in any way that I can, even if it is through simple reassurance and encouragement.   During the course of our flight, the mother, whom I will call Clara, shared that both she and her husband were entrepreneurs. The two of them had been quite successful as a team and had postponed the opportunity to have children untilRead More →

In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, the Phantom who has hid himself, his disfigurement and his true talents in the depths of a Paris opera house, desires the love of the beautiful leading lady Christine. He uses tricks and fear to manipulate Christine and others in an attempt to obtain this. But instead, he is hunted down and captured. Only when his mask is removed and his true self is shown with all his flaws, does he get his true desire: a heart-felt kiss from the beautiful Christine. This story has many parallels to stories of leaders charged with creating change within theirRead More →

Dr. Fred talks about leading change after organizational crisis: Following an organizational crisis, company leaders often struggle with how to move past the emotional disorder and begin steering employees in the right direction again. “How a leader addresses the inevitable emotional consequences after a crisis is critical in limiting the damage to morale and shortening the adjustment period that team members will need to move forward or fully re-engage. Here are Dr. Fred’s top five C’s for leading after a crisis: 1. Compassion. People within the company will experience a range of emotions from anger to disillusionment. A leader who can genuinely express sympathy andRead More →

For the past several months I have had the joy of working with the Grand Valley State University Advanced Leadership Excellence (ALE) program.  Initiative One has partnered with GVSU to create and deliver the content of this groundbreaking program.  Although we are at a university campus, there are several aspects of ALE that make it far different from the usual college experience.  First, it is an experiential program, not a didactic one.  Next, we are focusing on emerging leaders.  Finally, the outcomes we are looking to change as a result of this program are bottom line business metrics.   Experiential Program Initiative One’s Leadership Excellence programRead More →

At InitiativeOne, we know that moving an organization to increased performance requires a deep and deliberate look at itself.  Creating a new “desired reality” can be determined only after understanding the root cause of the current results and determining key “leverage points” within the organization.  Increasing results is more than people “trying harder”.  It is about creating focus, challenging “status quo” and leading the organization to new results – and this starts by understanding the current organization. The following questions are designed for your own “self climate survey” to see if you might be ready to step up the momentum for yourself, your team orRead More →