Behavior, Credibility, and the Wrong Kinds of Trust

I am often guilty of the wrong kind of trust. When I first saw Covey’s matrix (pictured above), I felt some discomfort. My propensity to trust is rather high, and my faith in humanity is so unconditional that my commitment to analysis is low. So, according to the matrix, my high propensity to trust coupled … Read more

Leaders Invest in Trust

I’ve written a lot about the role of “vulnerability-based trust” in cohesive teams. Patrick Lencioni explored the concept of vulnerability-based trust as a critical foundation for teams. Read more about Lencioni’s model here, here, and here. Trust is multi-faceted. Although I adore Patrick Lencioni’s model, there is another way of looking at trust. The concepts … Read more

The “Rules” We Live By

Last week, I gave one of my couples “homework” to complete by their appointment this week. I handed them a piece of paper with a list of fifty or so open-ended questions, and I said, “Ask each other these questions this week and discuss your answers together.” I gave no other instructions. They came to … Read more

Leaders Know Positive is Different Than Soft

Some people push back when you ask them to take a positive approach in their leadership. They equate positivity with being nice, but being kind is deeper than empty hype like, “Good job” or “Nice work” or “Super!” You can’t be too kind. But, I agree you can be too soft. There’s a difference between … Read more

Be Mindful of Your Feelings; They Betray You.

Star Wars nerds everywhere are scrolling to the bottom of this post to let me know I got the quote wrong. But, if you give me a few minutes, I will explain. Yes, the quote is wrong in the sense that Obi Wan actually said: However, I’d like to make a case that Obi Wan … Read more

Effective Leaders Pick Up the Phone

You will need a piece of paper or a Post-It note for this blog. On that paper, write down an answer to one of these questions: What is your most troubling current issue? What is one task on your list you keep putting off because you are unsure of how to proceed? What is one … Read more

Effective Leaders Pause to Listen

The essence of servant leadership is to meet the needs of your organization and your people. But arrogance creeps in when you assume you’ve got it figured out. Because you’re the leader. You ought to know. Peter Block calls this type of arrogance a paternalistic view of leadership. Block describes this dynamic as “taking care … Read more

Leaders Change Things Up to Keep Them Front of Mind

Typically applied to human biology and exercise, the Adaptation Principle is the body’s way of adjusting to increased or decreased physical demands to remain in homeostasis. Applied to life circumstances and work, the Adaptation Principle says that when human beings get used to how they operate in the world around them, they stop noticing what … Read more

Leaders are Cautious About Self-Reference

I used to espouse this as a general rule: Successful leaders avoid saying “I,” “me,” and “myself” when offering thoughts and assigning tasks. Using team-oriented “we” language keeps the focus on others instead of the leader. However… I’ve revised my general rule over time (see below) even though the original still has merit. Leaders have … Read more

Leaders Talk About How We Do Things Around Here

Jim, the principal at my first teaching job, often said, “Most days, we have fun around here.” He said this to me at my job interview and followed it with “…and you can’t say that about most jobs.” I accepted the job and realized he was right. But that was 30 years ago, and Jim … Read more