Tag Archive - Culture

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…

What Is A New Leader’s Reward?

Ready To Sacrifice?

The reward for leadership is the opportunity to make more sacrifices. I see many talented people become disillusioned leaders because they are not prepared for this fact.

I attended the National Council On Culture and Leadership Annual Summit (NCCL Website) last week and heard a fellow West Point graduate Steve Ingalls describe the sacrifices we all must make when we become leaders. Continue Reading…

Becoming An Uncommon Leader

Be Uncommon

Early in my leadership career in Corporate America, I followed the pack.  I did what others did.  I remember watching my sales manager lead a certain way, and I emulated what he had done.  Unfortunately by following what was commonly done, my teams consistently had very common results.

Like many people, being common was never one of my goals growing up.  I came to the realization that I needed to change.  If I wanted to be an uncommon leader, I needed to do things that the pack was not doing.  Continue Reading…

Culture Is The Leader’s Job

A Leader's Job

Politics.  Gossip.  Back stabbing.  Whining.  Distrust. Selfishness.  Bad Attitudes.  Work environments characterized by one or more of these traits are miserable places to work.

I often run into leaders that know they are leading teams that have these issues.  Unfortunately some of these leaders fail to realize that the cultures of their teams are the results of their leadership.  Or more accurately, their lack of leadership.

Continue Reading…

What Is A Low Maintenance Team?

Tools

There are High Maintenance People and there are Low Maintenance People.  The High Maintenance People wear me out.  I like Low Maintenance People!

I believe you can have teams that are High Maintenance and teams that are Low Maintenance.  I have led both types of teams.  Again, I like Low Maintenance Teams!  

What does a Low Maintenance Team look like?  Why is a Low Maintenance Team the best team to lead? Continue Reading…

Leaders: Get Out Of The Way

Get Out Of The Way

Lead, Follow AND Get Out of The Way!  The famous bumper sticker actually reads Lead, Follow OR Get Out of The Way.  But, for leaders the proper statement needs the AND instead of the OR.

For most people placed into leadership the call to lead is obvious.  This is a no-brainer.  A teacher’s job is to teach.  A saleperson’s job is to sell.  Also no-brainers.

But, what about following or even more confusing…getting out of the way?  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…

Contracts Versus Covenants – In Business, In Life

Covenants Depend On Me Alone

“If you do this, then I will do that.”  This is the basic language in most contracts. The problem with contracts is that if one party does not comply, then the other party is not obligated to comply either.

I call this a problem because a lot of people consider all their relationships contractual ones.  “If you do this, then I will do that.”  This type of arrangement rarely makes for strong or lasting business or personal relationships.

A covenant on the other hand states, “I will do this.”  Period.  End of story.  Regardless of what you do.   What if we treated our business relationships and our personal relationships as covenants instead of contracts?  Continue Reading…

A Mentor Attitude

Mentoring Attitude

Looking back, the eye rolling was inevitable.  Everyone on the leadership team knew the idea was unlikely to work.

Our boss had sparked the doubts. “We need to initiate a mentoring program.  The Human Resources department can work on developing a program we can roll out in the fourth quarter.”

We were all thinking one thing:  “Oh no. Another program.” Continue Reading…

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