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 →

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 →

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 →

Mention the word accountability and most leaders immediately envision a punitive system to address failed commitments and broken promises. At InitiativeOne, we understand that developing a culture of positive accountability requires much more than a scorecard involving measurement, review, and punitive consequences. A culture of positive accountability is the result of an intentional process to create a healthy leadership culture. We have helped many leaders understand and practice five powerful building blocks that transform accountability into a positive experience. First, a culture of positive accountability always requires Impeccable Communication. Aside from the obvious fact that honesty consistently ranks as a non-negotiable trait of effective leadership,Read More →

John Mertz drew inspiration from a grove of aspen trees in the Rockies. In Activate Leadership, Mertz shares about a snowshoe journey into the mountains and powerful revelation by his guide. The guide explained how the aspens grow in community. They do not grow alone. Rather, the aspens are bound together by an incredible root system. Those nuggets of wisdom and the elaboration found in Activate Leadership are a fitting reminder. Leaders are not so different from aspens. They grow better in community. Research and writing about the burgeoning numbers of millennials in the workplace has given rise to an affirmation of the importance of community. IRead More →

There is something contagious about a culture with highly engaged employees. Energy and a positive expectation about the future seem to permeate the atmosphere. What leader does not want that kind of environment? It’s not easy to get there. Most recipes for this kind of culture include a sizable measure of empowerment. Employees thrive when they are able to flex their leadership capacity. In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek describes the “power” of empowerment for companies that want to raise the bar. According to Sinek, “the strength and endurance of a company does not come from products or services but from how well their peopleRead More →

“A healthy soul, therefore, must do two things for us. First, it must put some fire in our veins, keep us energized, vibrant, living with zest, and full of hope as we sense that life is, ultimately beautiful and worth living. Second, a healthy soul has to keep us fixed together. It has to continually give us a sense of who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and what sense there is in all of this.” Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing What is true for individuals is also true in organizations. Every organization needs a combination of two elements. Healthy organizationsRead More →

Rosabeth Moss Kanter describes leadership integrity with compelling imagery. Leaders are “the laureates of the true and beautiful.” My mental picture of a laureate takes me back to the image of a victorious competitor being crowned with a laurel wreath. The recipient of the laurel wreath is recognized after training, competing and winning. So, in my mind, the wreath is a testament of significant investments before and during the race. It is evidence of preparation, self-control and successful execution in accordance with the rules of the game. Kanter’s language offers a virtuous picture and provides a safeguard against a narrow view of leadership. Leadership mustRead More →