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 →

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 →

What We Do InitiativeOne transforms leaders and their organizations, helping them foster high impact work cultures defined by authenticity, transparency, safe environments and deep respect. InitiativeOne propels companies toward improved results by transforming their leaders and their respective teams. We teach them how to function more effectively in an informed age that demands entirely new ways of inspiring and leading people. In a world that no longer views competence or position as the foundation for effective leadership, leaders must learn how to lead through trust, respectful relationships, authentic behavior and pro-active thinking. Our Leadership Transformation teaches leaders how to make this essential transition within aRead 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 →

  The last week of the year rushes in. It’s year-end and the pressure to wrap things up includes numbers of tasks. As a leader, the way you finish this year can propel you to your best start next year. You won’t find any tax advice here, but you may find a few borrowed accounting terms. During my early days of working in a family business, I have vivid memories of physical inventories at year-end. We had multiple maintenance facilities and a diverse fleet of equipment. The arrival of winter signaled the need for an accurate accounting of parts and supplies. We prayed for goodRead More →

  It’s the time of year when strategic thoughts are heightened. Leaders think about strategy and there’s a pretty good chance if you haven’t had one already there will be a strategic meeting just around the corner. Be honest, when you’re staring at that strategic meeting invite, you’re not all that excited.  Strategic planning meetings do not always create raving fans. Instead of an outburst of exuberance, you are more likely to roll your eyes and yawn. The dismal response is not hard to diagnose. People enter meetings with low expectations. They don’t believe a strategic planning meeting will lead to positive change. They don’tRead More →

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Seuss The seasons change. It’s amazing how quickly focus shifts this time of year from gratitude to shopping. As I track the media coverage of online sales, traffic and the crowds and mayhem at the malls, I infer that there will be millions shopping for the perfect “gifts” to give. Leaders give many gifts. I have a fundamental belief that the best leaders are the best givers. Although leadership can be a very complicated endeavor, it’s helps me simplify by reflecting on a few lessons I have learned from others. Today, I stopped forRead More →

  Leaders don’t always have the answers. Sometimes the answers are difficult to deliver. What do Healthy Leaders say when they don’t know what to say? The truth. “Employees want to be a part of a workplace culture that puts a premium on delivering the truth.”  – Glen Llopis Ah yes, the importance of speaking the truth. Truth matters. That hasn’t changed. I can remember reading The Leadership Challenge decades ago. When James Kouzes and Barry Posner reported the results of a monumental survey of thousands of people, I was intrigued.  People were asked to identify the best qualities of leaders they would willingly followRead More →