Leaders Review Their Values

Group Dynamic is about to do some restructuring. It will be important to share our plans with our clients, and I will likely write more about lessons learned at a later date. But right now, I want to reflect about values. I wrote a series about the origin story of our company values and how … Read more

Core Value: We Exceed Service Expectations

We exceed service expectations. Each of our values needs to make us somehow distinctive, and it needs to have behaviors that we use internally, as well as with clients and partners. I had an internal debate on this one. It seems that quality customer service is a basic expectation. Making it a core value was … Read more

Productive Conflict: Be Open and Honest

We all know that honesty, transparency, and openness builds trust which thereby builds relationships. And in conflict situations, this is still true. For some, being open and honest about their ideas, thoughts, and opinions comes naturally. For others, it’s like trying to uproot a 100-year-old cedar tree. Openness and honesty makes you vulnerable. It’s in … Read more

Leaders Make a Difference Every Day

One of my favorite speakers is Pat Lencioni. I love him as an author, but he’s an even better speaker. Something I don’t think he’s written, but that I’ve heard him say a few times, are these inspiring words, which I’m paraphrasing for you: So many of us want to make a difference in the … Read more

Leaders Follow the Best Advice Lou Holtz Ever Heard

Recently, I had the chance to hear legendary football coach Lou Holtz deliver a keynote address. He’s best known for turning around the Notre Dame football program, and one of my favorite factoids about that process is that he removed player names from the backs of jerseys, to emphasize “team” rather than “individual hero.” As … Read more

Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying (Part 12)

Effective communication avoids misunderstandings. It can also clear up existent misunderstandings. In our quest to be understood, we may accidentally slip into using one of these versions of a potentially manipulative accusation: “You misunderstood me.”“You must have misunderstood me.”“You don’t get it; you’re not listening.”“If you really heard what I said, you’d understand.” Even though … Read more

Leaders Help People see People as People

Let’s start with an example: Aaron was annoyed with his boss, Craig. So annoyed, in fact, that Aaron went over Craig’s head and complained to Craig’s boss, Annette. “Craig’s always breezing in and out. Never listens. Doesn’t have that ‘open door’ policy he brags about. And really tunes me out when I tell him about … Read more

Leaders Champion Inclusion and Diversity

Miriam de Dios offered up a challenge to all of us back at “90 Ideas in 90 Minutes” in September: Champion Inclusion That seems like a no-brainer—anyone who studies organizational effectiveness and community development knows that diversity and inclusion make for stronger teams, organizations, and communities. But Miriam offered a couple angles we hadn’t considered. Oftentimes, … Read more

Leaders Are Nourished By Daily Rituals

In an episode of The Office, Michael (manager) is headed home for the day, and reports this to Jo (owner). He’s clearly uncomfortable that he’s ready to leave, while she is still there working harder and longer. She notices this and tells him, “If your work is done, and you’re proud of it, and you … Read more

Leaders Align Work with Values

Last week, we talked about rubrics in general as a tool to develop vision. This week, let’s take that further to talk about a way to make your passion more obvious to your team. Examine all your own projects, initiatives, to-do items, daily tasks, and responsibilities. Compare each of them to your organizational values. Consider … Read more