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 →

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 →

Standing in front of a group of C-Suite leaders at InitiativeOne in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin, Fred Johnson primed the group for a lively discussion. Johnson asserted that we have experienced a significant transformation in how companies are making decisions. His opening comments opened the door for an engaging conversation about leadership and the shift toward collaborative decision making. Every transformation gives rise to serious implications, implications that affect outcomes, results and quality. A shift in decision making is no different. Traditionally, companies have made decisions with an emphasis on swift planning coupled with an expectation for resplendent execution and profitable results. The demand forRead More →

Open and not Closed A leader who is open is poised for opportunity. When you are open, you can embrace learning in the present and lift your eyes toward the horizon with hope and optimism. Openness is a sign you have lived, experienced some pain along the way, and emerged better rather than bitter. It is a testimony that you are eager to learn again. Openness is not a superficial ruse to gain short term advantage.  Leaders embody openness when difficulty becomes transformative. Painful experiences can become the greatest threat to openness or a catalyst for learning. Personal failure can give rise to fear orRead More →