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 →

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 →

  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 →

  Most of us have had the dreaded experience. It’s a cold dreary night. You open the car door, sit down and put the key in the ignition. It’s a mindless exercise. Without thinking, you turn the key or push the ignition button. Your unconscious expectation is interrupted by silence. You expect to hear the engine start. Instead, nothing happens. The battery is dead. There is a momentary pause as you grip the steering wheel, drop your head and roll your eyes. After the initial wave of frustration, you click through your mental checklist. Did I leave my lights on? Was the door ajar? WhatRead More →

  Recently, I was traveling through Arizona with my family and took a few moments to admire the beauty of Oak Creek Canyon. One trail took us underneath a bridge. From the top of the bridge, travelers were provided spectacular views of the red rocks and canyons. My vantage from underneath the bridge provided a different perspective. It’s impossible to see under a bridge while you are crossing it. But those who were crossing the canyon had sufficient trust in the construction to complete the span form one side to the other. Think of today as a bridge that stretches from yesterday to tomorrow. DoRead More →

“Choosing to remain on The Shore of Status Quo consistently yields a life of quiet misery. It represents those areas you find unsatisfying, unfulfilling, and yet you’ve chosen to settle there. In the shadow of the trees near the shore lies a private cemetery—a place dreams are buried and hope is laid to rest. You don’t want to visit it often, but you know it’s there.” The Reality of Change by Fred Johnson and Paul Metler Two people wake up on January 1. To Liz, it’s not just another day. It’s the crisp dawn of New Year’s Day. She makes her way through the kitchenRead More →

There is a predictable, observable pattern that accompanies the undertaking of any significant change. –The Reality of Change by Fred Johnson & Paul Metler A few years ago we made a change in our home. We exchanged our carpet for hardwood. For us, it was a positive change. Our response to the change was very pleasant. We loved the change. However, we are not alone. We share our home with a Maltese named Vanilla. Her response to the change was immediate and decisive. She hated the hardwood. To this day, she refuses to walk on the hardwood. She leaps from rug to rug attempting toRead More →

You have talked about change. You have acknowledged the need for change. You feel sure you are ready for change. You haven’t made the change. You are not alone. This is a frustrating cycle. It can lead to anger. It can lead to despair. It can lead to more talk about change. It’s a crowded space. But, it doesn’t lead to positive change. When you’re stuck in a repetitive cycle that fails to yield results, the energy drain is significant. The feelings that accompany resignation in the status quo are not healthy. So what’s the answer? Do you need to call in an icebreaker toRead More →

Change will come, there’s no escaping it. Remaining stuck in status quo mode, fearing and avoiding change like the plague, only ensures you won’t be ready for the inevitable. Mastering positive change, however, is key to extraordinary leadership and optimal business outcomes. So what can you do to harness the power of change as both an individual and a leader of a high-performing team? Mastering positive change involves navigating emotional shallow water and relational collisions: resistance from within and without, blame, victimhood, false barriers, and other change-busters. The Reality of Change takes a unique approach to change leadership: anticipate and overcome the inner and outerRead More →