Wait a Minute, What Did You Say?

One of the most common leadership weaknesses is hearing without listening, to steal a phrase from Simon and Garfunkel’s powerful song Sounds of Silence. As I meet with teams and leaders every week it is interesting how many times I watch people display poor listening skills. I actually find it very helpful to observe others because it helps me improve my own listening skills. Two of the most important times leaders need to practice good listening skills are in team meetings and when meeting one-on-one with team members. So enhancing our listening skills is an area of continuous improvement. Symptoms [...]

By | February 23rd, 2017|Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

Effective Leaders are Not Clowns

I was recently sitting in a very nice car dealership while my car was being serviced. While I was there I could not help but eavesdrop on a number of conversations among a sales manager, salesman, and a few customers. While I thought the sales people and sales manager sounded professional to me, apparently the husband of a female customer did not think so. When they were alone he said to his wife, “I like Barry (the salesman), but that sales manager is a clown. I don’t want to do business with him.” As I was listening I was reminded [...]

By | January 19th, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Investigate This – Theft, Deception, Sex, and Extortion

Unfortunately I have had to deal with dishonest and unscrupulous people over my professional career. And their behaviors - including stealing, sexual harassment, false harassment allegations, theft by deception, and extortion – were so foreign to me that when I first experienced them I was left feeling naïve and dumbfounded. What I have learned and do believe is that the “good” people among us far outnumber the “bad” ones. Over 40 years I have come in contact with thousands of people and employees and my list of dishonest and unethical people is short. However, one responsibility is to properly and [...]

By | November 9th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

The Power of a Kind Word

Ellen and James "Jim" Labrie Last week I went to the memorial service for a friend and fellow Rotarian, James “Jim” Labrie. Over Jim’s lifetime he became a very successful businessman and quiet, community philanthropist. Jim was one of those special people who had a way of making you feel like you were his close friend in the moment he was talking with you, even though you were not. He cared about you as a person. During the memorial service his son, Mike, shared with us how a single act of kindness early in Jim’s life changed him [...]

By | May 19th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

Puerto Rico – Is Leadership Failing the People?

View along northern shore from the fort Castillo de San Cristobal (Photo by the author) Last week for the first time I traveled to Puerto Rico with Patti. I am ashamed to admit how little I knew about Puerto Rico before this trip. I did know that one of my baseball heroes, Roberto Clemente, came from there and the United States got connected to Puerto Rico after the Spanish American War and it is a territory of the United States. But that is pretty much it. So here are four things I have now learned that make me [...]

By | February 17th, 2016|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

New Year’s Resolution – Manage Your Emotions

Are you having trouble coming-up with a New Year’s Resolution? One idea is to work on improving how you manage your emotions. Why? Because as a leader your emotions matter – they impact everyone around you. I think it is healthy for each of us to look at both a situation that went well and one that did not and how our emotions contributed to the outcome. John Maxwell, in his book Developing the Leader Within You, writes about this sign he saw in an office, “If you could kick the person responsible for most of your troubles, you wouldn’t [...]

By | January 7th, 2016|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Why Failures are Good for Leaders

Brené Brown - Fast Company Photo Last week I talked with a leader who was going through a very difficult situation and knew she/he contributed substantially to the problem. Today I know some of you reading this are going through a similar difficult situation – one where you know you messed-up and should have done something differently and it is affecting other people, perhaps even people who look up to you on your team. I can tell you personally this has happened to me many times and every leader I know has been through the same situation. What [...]

By | October 6th, 2015|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Think About How You Can Influence Decisions

You can make a choice right now to read or not read this article. If you choose to read it, I will give you a fun little puzzle to work on at the end. If you do not read it, well, that is your choice. Recently a manager I was working with needed to make a hiring decision. After meeting this one candidate, who appeared to have basic skills, the manager eagerly decided to extend an offer to the person because the candidate was very likeable and the candidate reminded the manager of herself. She was not going to give [...]

By | August 3rd, 2015|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Five Tips to Engage the Bystanders

A few weeks ago a colleague at work, Tiffney, referred adeptly to a situation in our Company as a “Bystander Effect.” Since then I cannot get that term out of my mind.  Until that moment I had not applied the “Bystander Effect” to teams and workplaces, only to when people watch bad things happen out in the community and do nothing. For example, this week when Florida State University quarterback, De'Andre Johnson, punched a woman in a bar and no one stepped in to help out. Behavioral economists, like Richard Thaler, believe the world is made-up of people who do good, [...]

By | July 9th, 2015|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Five Questions from Advent Season

Steve discusses Christian Advent season and it's effect on society during the holidays. He also discusses questions he will use to become a better person inspired by Advent season.

By | December 15th, 2014|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|