Tag Archive - Communication

Cultivating the Team Everyone Wants

What are you cultivating?

Do you want a “me first” team? Do you want a team filled with politics and positioning? Do you want a team that does the minimum necessary? Few of us want a work culture like this.

The word culture is derived from the middle English word cultivation. When I work with teams, I see the results of a leader’s cultivation efforts. The good and the bad cultures are a direct result of the efforts or lack of effort from the leader. Continue Reading…

Confident Leaders Invite Arguments

Will you listen?

“Argue with me.” He said it, AND he meant it. As I watched this leader invite his team to tear down his idea, I was astonished, inspired and humbled.

  • Astonished: Because I had never seen a leader so readily open to criticism from the people he led.
  • Inspired: Because I watched his team argue passionately for and against the leader’s point of view.
  • Humbled: Because I realized I am not always confident enough to have my ideas torn down by others.

Continue Reading…

Imagine Leaders Who Speak With Clarity

Crystal Clear

“If you ever find yourself trying to read me, stop it.  I am not intentionally being vague.  I am just being a bad communicator at that moment.”  This statement became part of my introduction to people joining my team.

Most people reacted to that statement in two ways. Some seemed relieved.  Some were confused.  Whether it was relief or confusion, both reactions were the result of working on teams where they spent too much time trying to figure out their boss. Continue Reading…

Indifference – The Scariest Attitude of All

Indifference is scary

I get tired of people with bad attitudes very quickly. The griping, the moaning, the focus on every negative or potential negative wears me out and makes me want to run away.

There was a saying when I was in the Army that stated, “If the soldiers aren’t complaining, they aren’t happy.” But here is a scary thought – What if the complaining finally stopped?

Have things gotten better or have the people just become indifferent? If a team is indifferent, that is the scariest attitude of them all. Continue Reading…

Why I Fired My Entire Team

Speak Up!  Please!

It was one of those meetings. Every time I brought up an issue or an idea, all I got was blank stares or nodding heads. Every time I tried to illicit feedback from my team, I felt as if I were pulling teeth. All I heard was crickets.

When I finally had enough, I looked at my high performing team and said, “You’re all fired!” There was a nervous laugh until they saw my face. I had a stone cold look I learned when I was in the Army.  The laughing stopped. Continue Reading…

I Know Your Motives!

I Know Your Motives!

I know why you said what you said!  I know why you did what you did!  I am able to diagnose your motives.  Because I believe I know your motives, I am sure you are the problem and not something else–like me!

These are all lies.  But, they are lies that we easily fall into.  I’ve done it.  I have been sure of someone’s motives.  Have I ever been right?  Maybe.  Continue Reading…

New Leaders On New Teams: 5 Key Steps

New Leader, New Team

I started my first team from scratch and it took us over two years to hit our stride.  My second team had a mix of experienced and novice members on it.  We took about a year to begin to fire on all cylindars.  The next team was pieced together from other teams.  The individuals were all tenured and successful but most had not worked together before. We hit our stride quickly.

The way a leader launches into leadership with a new team can often determine that team’s trajectory for years to come. Continue Reading…

How Leaders Create Email Hell

Email Hell

It’s like a sad Dilbert cartoon. A leader sitting in his office shooting email after email off to people he can see through the glass window of his office. It’s sadder when he has set up a culture on his team that he expects an immediate response to his emails.

Is this a Dilbert cartoon on leadership? Unfortunately it’s not. Over the last few years training and developing frontline leaders from multiple companies and industries, I hear tales about this form of leadership. But it is not really leadership. It is management. Continue Reading…

Teamwork: Rookies Versus Veterans

Rookies Vs. Veterans

“That’s not going to work.”  Every time my most experienced people said this, I cringed.  I had a team with eight veterans and four rookies.  I soon realized that our team’s experience was killing innovation.

Each time a veteran spoke, it hurt us or helped us.  Experience kept us from moving forward into new territory.   At times, experience helped us make wise decisions and other times it kept us from growing. Continue Reading…

When Is It Right To Quit The Fight

Why am I still fighting?

It was a good old knock down, drag out fight.  We had chosen our sides and were all vehemently sure of our positions.

In Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, he expends 20% of his thesis on the need for healthy conflict on a team.  He says, and I believe, that without conflict it is highly unlikely a team is making the best decisions for an organization.

If this is true then by Lencioni’s scorecard, this was going to be a FANTASTIC decision!  But, in the midst of it all, I quietly raised my hand and gave in.  It was right to give up this fight. Continue Reading…

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