Leadership Lessons

//Leadership Lessons

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|

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|

What Were You Thinking?

Maybe it's just me, but lately I’ve been baffled by some decisions people make. Quite often I say to myself, “What Were You Thinking?” Dogs making bad decisions, like getting a head stuck in a cat door, now that’s understandable. But managers and leaders have something dogs don’t have, the “ability to reason.” At least that’s what I learned in biology class. A few weeks ago I watched Jamie Dimon’s interview on C-SPAN after Joe Leddy recommended it to me. Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase and is a great example of a competent leader. Given how most [...]

By |2019-01-24T14:38:36-05:00January 24th, 2019|Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

Holiday Wonder – Ugly Sweater or Food?

Why is it we can order an ugly holiday sweater on-line and have it delivered tomorrow, and at the same time throw away 40 percent of our food while 40 million Americans don’t have enough to eat? This is one question I am curious about this holiday season. Ultimately the food problem is a distribution challenge in need of leadership and there is one leadership story on the food front I’ll share in a moment. Package Delivery Innovation. This week I happened to spot this 1931 picture of a New York City post office flooded with packages at Christmas. Since [...]

By |2018-12-20T09:02:07-05:00December 19th, 2018|Change Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Job Quitting is a Symptom of Low Resiliency

One of the problems with low-unemployment is that young workers find it too easy to quit and find another job. What they do not understand is that quality employers recognize this pattern as a symptom of low resiliency and often pass on hiring them. Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder At least that used to be the case. Many employers are getting so desperate today they ignore this symptom and hire candidates knowing they might be short-term solutions. And, of course, all this does is enable the low-resiliency job jumpers unless you add resiliency-building to your work culture. What Can [...]

By |2018-11-30T11:12:24-05:00November 30th, 2018|Human Behavior, Leadership Lessons, Learning Styles & Skills|

Honestly, Are You Trustworthy?

It seems like no one trusts anyone today. Have you recently asked yourself if you are trustworthy? This week on Halloween, my colleague, Marcia, told me how she was listening to the radio and the DJs were focused on how we should start “tricking” little kids. They recommended we suck out the peanut butter in Reese’s peanut butter cups and replace it with spicy, hot sauce. While funny to older teenagers and 20-year-olds, I’m sure, this will not build trust in little kids. Today trustworthiness seems to be a fading attribute even as everything we read about leadership and teams [...]

By |2018-11-01T16:59:08-05:00November 1st, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Do You Have These Four Leadership Traits?

Photo by Tommy Lisbin Just this week I have been thinking about our Company’s future. We are almost 36 years old and have wonderful leaders at every level of our company. Even so, we are trying to develop even more leadership capacity because we know we need to change – and only effective leaders can lead change. As we look to build leadership capacity, I wonder what traits we should look for in people who have the “potential” to be our change leaders? Four Traits that Predict Success. In the December issue of Harvard Business Review I read [...]

By |2018-02-22T14:06:17-05:00February 22nd, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Four Tips for Becoming a Learning Leader in 2018

It is a new year and I wonder if you want to grow this year? By “grow” I mean learn new things or do old things better. Photo by Patricia Maxwell Wood Successful people and leaders resist the inertia to just keep doing the same thing. They seek opportunities to learn even when it requires them to become a novice again and embrace the failure that may accompany new learning. In a moment I will share four attributes researchers have connected to this group of successful learners. Patti Wood, Bird Photographer. My wife, Patti, is a Registered Dietician [...]

By |2018-01-04T14:55:33-05:00January 4th, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|