main ATOM feed Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0700 Leading a Manipulator Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 All of us have known someone like this:  The Curse of Certainty Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 Ever said this kind of thing to yourself at work? Know what L.O.V.E. Spells? Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 ‚Äč Follow the Leader? Not Always. Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 OK, leaders. Listen up. You’re doing some stuff that runs counter to your goals and interests. You’re confusing people, because what you say differs from what you do. For example: Culture: Simplicity and Clarity Rule Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 Oy. So much bureaucracy, so little effectiveness. I suppose if you’re just trying to teach team members how to be involved in groups, this approach is fine. But if you’re really trying to build a culture, simplicity and clarity rule the day.  Stress Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700   Resistance is Exhausting. Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 So many irritants, so little time. Cowardly colleagues, pitiful partners, mediocre managers. I could go on and on, but you know what I’m talking about. You’ve either said this or heard it more than once: “This guy is the WORST. His behavior is unacceptable. I can’t stand him.” "I Will Help You." Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 The weirdness started when I was headed home from a speaking gig. Riding from my hotel to the airport, Don the cab driver mentioned that he supports a presidential candidate that I don't. This could have been a nightmarish trip, but it wasn’t. We spent the whole 45 minute ride talking and listening to each other. We were both questioning, searching, wondering how to make our country better. When we reached the airport, I searched for my eyeglasses so I could sign my receipt; when I couldn't find them, Don lent me his. We thanked each other for the good discussion and said goodbye. How Much Does Your Money Cost? Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 We’ve all had this thought: if only I were making more money, I could buy ______________, or feel ______________, or be _______________. We hardly ever think about the cost of making more money. I think we should. What is Your Story? Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 When I coach professionals, the most important thing we do together is to find out what story they are telling themselves. Until we become aware of and understand that, we can’t solve much of anything.  Close the Gap Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 Everyone has trouble with someone at work. Even you. Maybe it’s a less experienced team member. Maybe it’s a peer. Maybe it’s your boss. Whoever it is, you feel a distance, a wariness setting in toward this Other. Things used to be alright, but for whatever reason, they aren’t anymore. You don’t like the situation.  Turn Down the Turmoil on Tough Conversations Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 You know how it feels: your gut is tight, your heart rate is up, your hands are sweaty. This is often what happens when you have to engage in a tough conversation with a team member. The hell of it is, you called the meeting, because you’re the leader.  Leading with Empathy: L.O.V.E. at Work Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 Four components comprise L.O.V.E. at work: loyalty, openness, vulnerability, and empathy. Of these, empathy may be the most vital for leaders of professional services firms.  Leading With Vulnerability: L.O.V.E. at Work Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 As a leader, you carry unique burdens. But you can lighten the load and become better at your job by adding vulnerability to your skill set. Yes. You read that right. Civility as a Tactic Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 Diving into a conversation that simply dumps your needs onto someone else may not be your most effective approach. Without some kind of softener like Hi, how are things going? or Is now a good time?,  you  are omitting an essential part of the equation: whether the listener wants to be engaged with you in that moment. Acknowledging what the other person wants or needs is a pretty good definition of both powerful communication and civility. Leading with Openness: L.O.V.E. at Work Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 CPA and law firms can feel like secret societies. Executive Committees meet behind closed doors. Partners have their own exclusive retreats. The real requirements for becoming a partner are mysterious and undocumented. Somebody gets fired, everybody gets an email, and nobody ever discusses what happened. Leading with Loyalty: LOVE at Work Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 Love at work is possible, practical, and productive. I’m beginning to understand, though, that it is not simply a goal — a plug ’n play entry into your current mission statement. If love is to be made real at work, it must be an outcome of specific thoughts and behaviors. Love is the result of Loyalty, Openness, Vulnerability, and Empathy. I know: these are not words you hear a lot in firms. But we have to start somewhere if we want to build strong cultures on something other than profit. Love is a great place to begin. Soft Skills. Oy. Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700   When and How to Evaluate Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 When I ask managing partners about their biggest operational challenge, the answer is often how to evaluate the performance of younger team members. They tell me that the young ones don’t know how to take criticism, which leads to uncomfortable conversations. My CPA: A Love Story Wed, 31 Dec 1969 17:00:00 -0700 People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care became a cliche because it’s true.