stevewood

/Steve Wood
Steve Wood

About Steve Wood

Steve Wood is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Work Opportunities Unlimited Inc. In addition, Steve provides strategic planning and organizational development consulting services to clients. Prior to joining the company, Steve spent 17 years in the banking industry where he was promoted to Senior Vice President and Senior Commercial Loan Officer. He consulted with entrepreneurs and managers in the areas of strategic planning and organizational development at a range of businesses throughout New England. Steve has been a member of the adjunct faculty team at Southern New Hampshire University since 1994 (SNHU). He teaches Leadership and Managing Organizational Change regularly at both the graduate and undergraduate level and periodically teaches Strategic Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship, and other management courses. He also served on the University’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

Two Sides of Your Responsibility Coin

We have many roles in our lives and each role brings with it different responsibilities. This week when I was talking with someone about leadership roles I found myself using the two sides of a coin as a metaphor for the discussion. On the “heads” side of the responsibility coin are those leadership responsibilities you have because of your “positional” leadership role. Examples of these types of roles might be as a Team Leader, Manager, Chairperson, or President. With these roles come responsibilities unique to each organization. On the “tails” side of the responsibility coin are those leadership responsibilities that [...]

By |2019-11-07T15:25:23-05:00November 7th, 2019|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership, Uncategorized|

Leaders Decide Challenging People Grow or Go

Photo by Anthony Tran One of the most stressful parts of life is dealing with people that have high-conflict personalities. And, if you have to manage one, your life just got worse. It is a leader’s job to manage and decide whether these types of team members can grow or have to go. In a moment, I’ll share a few simple steps for making “grow or go” decisions. Upcoming Webinar. Last year in my article One Narcissist You Want Off Your Team I described one of the worst types of personalities you might encounter as described by Bill [...]

By |2019-11-07T15:11:57-05:00October 24th, 2019|Bullies & Misbehavior, Human Behavior|

How Is Your Moral Compass Working These Days?

Photo by AbsolutVision One of the problems with a compass is that it can be temporarily thrown off by surrounding electrical and magnetic forces. As a young Boy Scout I learned to orienteer using a compass and map. When you do this in the woods knowing which way is north is critical. I remember as a kid playing with my compass and putting it near objects to see what kinds of things would shift the needle away from magnetic north. I think the same thing can happen with each of our moral compasses – our true moral north [...]

By |2019-10-10T15:37:39-05:00October 10th, 2019|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership|

Is Work-Life Balance Baloney?

I wonder if this young woman we saw working at a museum has a work-life balance – she doesn’t look very happy. More about her in a moment. Let me say this right up front - I have never really understood the work-life balance mantra that we employers are supposed to embrace as we try to recruit Millennials. To me it is like achieving Nirvana, that Buddhist transcendent state of mind when an individual has no suffering, no desires, no sense of self, and you are released from the “effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth.” I [...]

By |2019-09-27T08:36:04-05:00September 26th, 2019|Team Leadership / Teamwork, Teams & Culture, Uncategorized|

Credible Leaders Repel Parasites

It is rather odd how leadership lessons bump into me. Just last week when I was helping with a mussel restoration project at our lake, two leadership lessons converged in my mind. More about those lessons in a moment. Mussel Restoration Project. Our lake, which my family has been on since the late 1800’s, is located in western New Hampshire. By all measures our lake is one of the cleanest in the state. However, in recent years we have noticed a modest reduction in clarity and an increase in algae growth. And, until last week, we had no freshwater mussels. [...]

By |2019-08-16T10:32:17-05:00August 15th, 2019|Leadership, Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

Is Work Culture Just a Plumage Word Used to Recruit?

We live in a world where each of us creates our own subjective reality. In doing this we are susceptible to believing misinformation that fits our reality. My daughter, Alie, gave me this cute Father’s Day card last month, which reminded me of how we fathers might be the worst offenders of spreading misinformation. Last week at the end of an interview with a young management candidate, she asked, “How would you describe your culture?” Several of us answered her, and, understanding that “culture” is really a myth and perhaps an example of misinformation, I said something like, “Our culture [...]

By |2019-08-01T20:54:00-05:00July 31st, 2019|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Moon Landing – Lesson in Why Manual Skills Matter

Even if you are not interested in Space exploration, I trust you are enjoying some of the reflections this week about the first Moon landing 50 years ago this Saturday. I have been fascinated with not just the wonderful reflections, but in learning more about the skillful, manual maneuvering by the astronauts, especially Neal Armstrong, in those days when automation and computer glitches failed them and created messy situations. I’ll come back to a few lessons about manual skills in messy situations in a moment. If you are over 55, where did you watch the moon landing? Over the summer [...]

By |2019-07-18T11:21:41-05:00July 18th, 2019|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

July 4th – A Leadership Holiday

Every year on the 4th of July I think about leadership. This year as I look around at all the leadership chaos around us, I am even more amazed at what happened on that Thursday 243 years ago. Two books help me understand the leadership lessons of 1776:  Revolutionary Summer by Joseph Ellis and Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow. Here are three leadership lessons that stand out: Senior leaders who set a clear overarching goal and stay focused on it will achieve great things. Smart and tactical leadership, in this case political, helps inspire the formation of front-line troops [...]

By |2019-07-01T09:09:48-05:00July 1st, 2019|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership|

Entitled Leaders May Help Homo Sapiens Go Extinct

Photo of Referee Scott Foster by Isaiah J. Downing It has always bothered me how the very leaders who refer to government programs as “entitlements” behave entitled themselves. By entitled I mean they act as if the laws, rules, and ethics they talk about apply to everyone else, not them. And entitled people hate referees, but more about that in a moment. What concerns me today is how our younger generation is being impacted by the increasingly visible entitlement behavior displayed by their parents, politicians, celebrities, wealthy business leaders, and professional athletes. I ask myself, “If we do [...]

By |2019-05-30T12:06:02-05:00May 30th, 2019|Bullies & Misbehavior, Human Behavior, Uncategorized|

Yes, a Feedback Face Slap is Bad, Try This

(Photo by Andrew Le) One of my colleagues told me that not long ago she saw a woman CEO of a large company slap her Vice President of Human Resources in the face in front of others because she didn’t like what she said. Yes, that is a bad feedback method and the worst kind of leadership. And, of course, we know that. What I didn’t know is that many of the feedback methods I have been using, and I suspect many of you, too, may not be helpful in helping our people excel. The Feedback Fallacy. In [...]

By |2019-05-09T09:43:29-05:00May 9th, 2019|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|