Leaders Leave Jobs with Respect, Dignity, and Gratitude

Leaving a good job isn’t easy. You’ve built relationships, learned valuable lessons about yourself and others, and developed new skills. Your job becomes part of your life story, whether you were there for one year or for ten years. Therefore, when it’s time, leave your job with respect, dignity, and gratitude. As I reflect on … Read more

Questions for Times of Change

Recently, I worked with a CEO and his immediate team in a very fast environment. We spent time processing thoughts and feelings the whole enterprise was experiencing during current major changes. This is a relatively small business, and the group I worked with comprised of 80% of the company. So, we had a very good … Read more

Productive Conflict: Own Your Contributions

Have you ever heard the saying, “Nobody’s perfect?” Have you ever used that saying? How often do you use it? It’s probably one of the most popular things we say and/or think, because it’s true. But what does it mean to not be perfect? It means that we make mistakes. We fail at the tasks … Read more

Productive Conflict: Separate Emotion from Fact

I’m going to start with a story from my assistant DeAnne’s family: We enjoy having family nights on Friday nights. Sometimes those are movie nights and sometimes they are game nights. On this particular evening, it was game night, and we were playing a card game, Skip-Bo. We try to pick games that even the … Read more

Leaders Influence Outcomes

I heard Tim Kight speak at the Iowa SHRM conference, and he had an elegant way of boiling down the role our choices make in determining outcomes. Event + response = outcome Essentially, if we don’t have influence over events, yet we want to control outcomes, then we need to focus on our responses to … Read more

Leaders Understand the Role of Symbolism

We all work and breathe in four organizational frames. These frames are Political, Structural, Human Resources, and Symbolic. Political—power, conflict, coalitions Structural—organizational charts, policies, procedures Human Resources—meeting individual needs, teamwork, leadership, people problems Symbolic—culture, ritual, stories, traditions In times of change, the first two—political and structural—are usually where the change originates from. The bottom two—human … Read more

Leaders are Aware of Heightened Stress During Times of Change

Based on the book by Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, there are five dysfunctions in a team that create tension, conflict, and stress. These dysfunctions are heightened in times of change. Each dysfunction builds on the one below, and they are all built upon the foundation of trust. Dysfunction 1 – Absence … Read more

Leaders Embrace Relationship Power

How are your communication habits? Would others agree with your assessment? Do they change during times of stress? Change and stress complicate situations and relationships. It’s when we need more communication with each other, but what generally happens is just the opposite. Communication, transparency, empathy, and authenticity build relationships, and good relationships are good for … Read more

Leaders Avoid Withholding During Times of Change

We have a habit of withholding in times of stress and change. But what we need to do is get back to the basics of communication and embrace the power of SMaC. Too often we find ourselves in only one circle or one overlap, when we need to be aiming at all three—Be Specific, Be Methodical, and … Read more

Leaders Accept Personality Differences During Change

In times of change, we tend to avoid adapting to others’ personality styles. Our reduced capacity to adapt can cause us to revert to unhealthy habits, especially in conflict situations. If you don’t know your DiSC personality style, use this simple chart to identify where you are. It’s also a good tool to use to identify … Read more