Category Archives: Leadership Matters

Rethinking Your Response When an Employee Resigns

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“I quit!” These words strike fear in the hearts of managers everywhere. Resignations represent one of the most emotional, stressful and challenging situations leaders face. They undermine confidence in ourselves, our leadership and our organizations. They threaten the status quo. And they have the potential to compromise team dynamics and business results. Continuum of responses No wonder many managers demonstrate reflexive—and not always constructive—responses to these two emotionally charged words. In fact, leadership responses to resignations frequently fall toward one end of the following continuum or the other. Many managers panic and immediately begin a scramble to turn back the …

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Persist or Pivot? 8 Questions to Determine How to Move Your Plan Forward

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Planning is a cornerstone of leadership and a foundational competency required for success in today’s complex and uncertain business environment. Love it or hate it (and plenty of managers and supervisors do hate it), planning is a non-negotiable priority for anyone responsible for driving results. Yet, this key activity that ensures alignment, appropriate resource allocation, risk mitigation and organizational support is fraught with challenges. Field research over the past two years highlights the most persistent planning problems facing leaders. Propensity for action A natural bias for action on the part of many leaders teamed with a time-starved workplace conspire to …

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Why “Okay” Isn’t Good Enough for Remote Leaders

| Julie Giulioni | 3 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

Guest Post by Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel I’ve been following the work of Kevin Eikenberry for the past six year and consistently find his writing to be high-quality and highly practical. Teaming up with co-author Wayne Turmel, The Long-Distance Leader is no exception. Given today’s highly distributed workforce, leaders are challenged to find ways to connect, build trust, engage, and drive performance across geographies, time zones and cultures. This book delivers actionable, in-the-trenches advice for these leaders, offering everything from 19 Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership to detailed guidance about communicating and coaching. I’d consider this required reading for the …

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The Magic of Making an Effort

| Julie Giulioni | 7 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

Just over a year ago I gave a keynote speech at a conference in Russia. I worked diligently to master a few key phrases. But, between having no natural capacity for foreign languages and not hearing much Russian in my day-to-day life, the result was dreadful. I actually might have insulted their mothers as I greeted the audience; but they smiled and clapped enthusiastically. Throughout the conference, I tried out my slow and very clunky greetings. It was uncomfortable for me and probably sounded like nails on a chalkboard to those with whom I spoke. Yet, even my worst attempts …

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 Diagnosis: Career Path(ology)

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An epidemic is sweeping many organizations. How will you know if yours might be infected? Symptoms include: Increased expectations for roles and moves that may not exist Difficulty engaging disillusioned employees Painful exchanges about promotions that aren’t happening Sore feelings and skepticism Decreased trust Swelling in the number of employees who feel stuck or misrouted The disease is career path(ology) and here’s how it begins. An organization, in an effort to address the needs of individuals to grow and develop, create elegant career paths that outline how one can go from one point on the organization chart to another. These …

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Work-life Balance: It’s Becoming a Blur

| Julie Giulioni | 5 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

First introduced in the UK in the late 1970s, the term “work-life balance” has only become more popular and relevant over time. While the focus has morphed over time to consider the needs of different audiences within the workplace—mothers, the sandwich generation, millennials and more—the basic question has remained constant: How can we find and keep hold of that elusive holy grail—the equilibrium between the two competing elements, work and home? The answers to this question have frequently been either less-than-satisfying platitudes (from “you can have it all” to “you can have it all, just not all at the same time”) or less-than-effective advice about how to better manage one’s time in a way that manufactures the …

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Attenuating Attrition: How Leaders Can Create a Sticky Situation

| Julie Giulioni | 4 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

As I led a recent session with regional executives within a global organization, the conversation turned to retention—or more accurately, attrition. The most senior leaders lamented their powerlessness over the dynamic facing them. They described a talent market that valued a level of progression, compensation and benefits that exceeded what was expected—or accommodated—anywhere else in the world. And they expressed their frustration that global corporate standards for consistency tied their hands when it came to being able to take action locally to retain their high-value employees. It’s a conversation that plays out daily with managers, even at the most senior …

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Now Is The Time for Introverted Leaders

| Julie Giulioni | 1 Comment Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

Guest Post by Jennifer Kahnweiler I could not be more pleased to host this week’s guest post from my friend, Jennifer Kahnweiler. Jennifer was one of the first Berrett-Koehler authors I met after publishing Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go. I have been so grateful for her warmth and her wisdom. As an introvert myself, I’ve frequently bumped up against stereotypes and misconceptions about what leadership looks like. Jennifer’s books illuminate introversion – and how to optimize its quiet power. In this second edition of The Introverted Leader (which I highly recommend!), she updates her bestselling classic and offers new insights …

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Catching Organizational Culture

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Guest Post by Marcella Bremer I’m delighted to host this guest blog from Marcella Bremer, author of Developing a Positive Culture. Marcella’s work focuses on the practical steps that anyone can take to develop a positive culture. She draws on research and field work to offer a range of tools to engage others and contribute to a constructive and productive workplace. Did you ever “catch” organizational culture as it happened? Maybe not consciously, but you did. Just like the deeper layers of values, a culture is represented and sustained in the daily (inter)actions. What do the routine, mundane interactions within …

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Whoa! What are Today’s Most Common Leadership Mistakes?

| Julie Giulioni | 5 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

In today’s highly complex and fast-paced environment, leaders constantly navigate a wide margin of error. Given globalization, heightened competition, and ever-shrinking budgets and cycle times, the potential for leaders to make mistakes is great. Some leaders err by commission—actively undertaking acts that undermine team or organizational success. Others err by omission—failing to do something that’s necessary. But there’s another group of leaders who, with the best of intentions, may do the most damage of all. These are the leaders who err by whoa-mission. (“Whoa,” as in the command riders use to pull a horse back, slow it down, or make …

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