Is Chaotic Leadership really “a thing”? The

The headlines are full of judgments against our current Commander-in-Chief as running a chaotic administration, leading by instinct, and other unflattering terms to describe his management style. Mr. Trump’s response is that, aside from everything being “fine”, he likes being unpredictable, thinks conflict is good, and that he “gets a lot of things done”.

But the White House is not the only workplace where chaos reigns supreme. Leaders from every sector of the economy, from corporations to small churches, fall prey to this management style that, no matter who you are, has similar results. Continue reading “Is Chaotic Leadership really “a thing”? The”

Be Specific! How to see REAL Performance Improvement

Misunderstanding Quotes

Up your game, Tone it down, Chill out, Be more supportive, Adjust your attitude, Come to work on time, Stop abusing time and leave, Be more creative, Be a team player…

These are all common, legitimate feedback given to staff who need to improve their performance in  managerial and interactive skills. The feedback is also equally vague and generic and by themselves do nothing to give managers the results they actually need.

The more specific you can be, the clearer a picture you can paint that your employee will understand, the greater the chances of the “aha!” moment that creates the turnaround you’ve been looking for.

Continue reading “Be Specific! How to see REAL Performance Improvement”

Want to be Great? Let your team members soar

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Sid Daniels is an assistant Vice President for a company that employs 7,000 people nationwide. He has two veteran deputies below him who have proved their competence over a decade of service, providing IT solutions to local businesses as well as internally. Yet Sid, while using his deputies to cover for him in explaining technical information at board meetings, fails to promote either of them, whether by raise or by public affirmation. Continue reading “Want to be Great? Let your team members soar”

Power: Gollum couldn’t handle it; can you?

One of my most popular posts; good enough to share with you again!

Linda Johnson . Leadership

Lessons from the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) Trilogypower4 The enduring popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fable trilogy, the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) is owed to brilliant writing combined with themes everyone can relate to, from camaraderie to courage to romance to the abuse of power. The basic plot was the attempt by an alliance for Frodo the Hobbit to forever destroy an all-powerful ring that would allow its wearer to dominate the world; a ring the evil “ringwraiths” sought after.

One helpful definition of power is influence plus enforcement

Power is the greatest benefit as well as the greatest danger for the executive on the ascent. There are many lessons from LOTR that can help give it perspective.

The ring was both a symbol of power and a source of power Having a title that starts with “chief”, or “executive” or “commissioner, etc., is itself both a symbol and a…

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Facing off with your Passive-Aggressive Managers

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You might be a C-Suite level boss with many managers below you. Many in your management pool may carry over their personal dysfunctions into their work life. Truly, “Who you are is how you lead”. Continue reading “Facing off with your Passive-Aggressive Managers”

Reverse-Engineering Your Worst Management Disasters

reverseReverse engineering is taking apart an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object.  – WhatIs.com

Reverse engineering our disasters means really examining them, rather than sweeping them under the rug in embarrassment.We may be leaders. We may be managers, even at a high level. But being human, we will blow it sometimes. Sometimes BIG TIME. Part of recovering from our failures is to determine to grow from them. Continue reading “Reverse-Engineering Your Worst Management Disasters”

Emotions at work: A great servant but a TERRIBLE master

Don't let your emotions rule youScenario: You wind up in the COO’s office for the umpteenth time for “the talk”. You are once again upbraided for your reactiveness at a recent team meeting. You know they’re right, but begin your defense with, “I know I shouldn’t have said that, but he just made me sooo (fill in the blank here)! Worse yet (the deign of every professional) we may even cry.

Emotions – our gut reactions to internal or external stimuli – keep the world, and life interesting. Unemotional bosses usually have unhappy staff who have checked out, having given up on getting a rise of any kind out of their fearless leader. Passionless leaders cease to be leading at all after a while. For many of us, however, our passions regularly, spontaneously spill out in ways that may make our colleagues and employees feel discomfort, confusion and even contempt.

Change your mindset, change your world

Alfred Adler, a neo-Freudian psychotherapist, stated, “I am convinced that a person’s behavior springs from his ideas.” Stoic philosopher Epictetus said, “Men [People] are disturbed not by things, but the view which they take of them”. Continue reading “Emotions at work: A great servant but a TERRIBLE master”

Prop or Drop? 7 Last- chance Fixes for Poor Performers



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Some employees do such poor work, have such miserable ethics and are so obviously misaligned with the values of a company that they are relatively easy to fire. There is no second guessing by HR or your management peers. The subordinate’s colleagues are saying, “What took you so long?!”

Most often, however, giving a series of poor evaluations presents another dilemma; while they may deserve to be fired it seems to final, too fast. You wonder if this would be a big mistake.

Here are 7 interim solutions: Mix and match and buy yourself time both to re-evaluate your position and give the employee a chance to make a turnaround. Continue reading “Prop or Drop? 7 Last- chance Fixes for Poor Performers”

Gratitude – Humility that makes you Great

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I received an unexpected blessing today when a young woman cashier at a bakery called me “mom” and said, “And you are mom because you paved the way for young (African-American) women like me. Thank you.” I was blown away and humbled by her lovely sentiment, the graciousness and self-awareness she displayed and the simple, yet profound gratitude she showed to a complete stranger.

I am reminded of another young man (ok , young to me) who told me he got where he is because of the elderly folks on the job who showed him “where the sand traps were”; how to network before he even had a title, who to befriend and when to suck it up.

Looking at political races and business mega-giants today you’d think true gratitude went out of style. Everyone claims to be “self-made”.  All I had to start with was the 10 million my daddy left me….

But I don’t believe you ever become truly great without it. Continue reading “Gratitude – Humility that makes you Great”