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Leadership Development

Steering High Performers

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I get a decent number of emails every week tied to a friend or client asking my point of view on something. Sometimes I have a quick answer. Other times, I ponder it for a bit, research a little, and then fashion a reply. In most cases I end with […]

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The Art of Contextualization

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I needed a simple cotter pin. You know, the pin that holds your bike rack or boat trailer securely to the hitch of your car. My wife and I were all set to head out on our local bike trail, but as I loaded the rack I realized the cotter […]

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Both/And Decision Making

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Often, the most difficult decisions are not between black and white but between two shades of gray. A CEO friend who owns a family business is pondering firing his unethical sister. Another buddy is weighing a second chance for an underperforming best-friend employee who is dragging the company down. Or […]

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Crisis Management 101

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Is it just me or does the idea of “crisis” dominate contemporary media? Seemingly every time you turn on the TV, pick up the newspaper, or check your phone updates, you’re greeted by an announcement of the latest harbinger of death or impending collapse of social order. The Financial Crisis. […]

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Transactional vs. Relational Leadership

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Any frequent flier knows there’s a spectrum of airplane problems that can occur. On one end is “No peanuts.” That one is mildly disappointing but certainly livable. On the other end is the plane crash. In between is everything from the airline magazine with the Sudoku already filled in to […]

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Turning 60

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Are you turning 60 soon? You might feel a bit like this person—the economist Milton Friedman said, “Now that I’m 60, every day I wake up, look in the mirror and say, ‘I don’t know who you are, but I’m going to shave you anyway.’ ” At 60, what once […]

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Walk Toward the Barking Dog

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My next-door neighbor has been building a pool. Now, I like my neighbor and this is certainly not a National Lampoon’s sort of neighbor situation. But the building of the pool is an absolute mess. I live in a residential neighborhood, the first house on the right once you hit […]

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Habits—The Good, The Bad and the Swap

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“Seriously? I drive there all the time, and I’ve never seen it.” I heard this statement from a friend recently. We were headed to lunch together, and I suggested a new place. That is, new to him. It wasn’t new to town, and it wasn’t new to me. But, he’d […]

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Three Benefits to Delegation

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Delegation can be tough. It’s gut-wrenching to give up decisions or projects you care strongly about, and then it’s doubly gut-wrenching when it goes wrong. See what happens when one city manager delegates the task of selecting a new city slogan. In reality, of course, delegation is a necessity if […]

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Are You a Lifelong Learner?

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Even now, I’m still learning from my mom. She was in town visiting with us over the Christmas holiday. One morning, we were sitting together and she told me a story. It was one of those stories that was so good I asked her to repeat it that night to […]

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