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Change Conversations Dialogue Leadership Reflection

Old School

What do you do with milk that has expired? 

What do you do with clothes that are no longer in fashion? 

What do you do with beliefs that no longer fit in modern times?

Recently I heard the term ‘old school’ again from two different sources within two days.

It had been a while since I heard the term, so it triggered a reaction. … Read the rest

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Change Choices Leadership Mindset Vision

Causing pain

Sometimes you must create deliberate pain to get something you want to do in motion.

I remember vividly a conversation with my mentor Joyce who often talked about CEOs having to create organizational pain once in a while to shake things up.

When things are becoming complacent, and they often do, you need to create pain.… Read the rest

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Change Communication Kindness Leadership Purpose

The world deserves better leaders

The world deserves better leaders.

That’s why I do what I do.

I help leaders and teams grow and be the best they can be for themselves and the people they work with.

Doing what I do will help improve our collective human experience, one leader, one conversation at a time.

Ambitious.… Read the rest

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Change Communication Culture Leadership Self awareness

Fishy smell

“A fish stinks from the head.”

Rumi

Rumi, a Turkish poet who lived towards the end of the 13th century, wrote “The Third Book of Masnavi,” where the phrase appears as follows: “Fish begins to stink at the head, not the tail.”

We often hear this quote in a business environment.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and it basically means that when problems arise in a business, it makes sense to look at the top of the company first.… Read the rest

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Culture Freedom Human Resources Leadership Vision

One size fits all; part II

For visionary leaders, one size fits all is over.

These leaders understand that people are different, with different needs, different contexts, and different aspirations for the future.

You can’t lead these people as if they’re all the same.

Erikjan Lantink

Last Tuesday, I wrote to you about my regret for not pursuing opportunities to exploit this model.… Read the rest

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Culture Freedom Human Resources Leadership

One size fits all; part I

My biggest regret is something I did not do nearly fifteen years ago.

I was working in food retail and was part of a group of talents asked to define the organization’s future work strategy.

We did brilliant work.

I had that feeling then, but now fifteen years later, I’m sure.… Read the rest

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Authenticity Leadership Social Media Values

Sanna in Suomi

By the time you read this story, the topic of my story is probably old news. 

For most of the news outlets, that is. I hope.

For us rational human beings, it should never be old news. And we should continue to ‘fight’ our blind spots forever.

I write my stories approximately a week ahead.… Read the rest

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Choices Courage Leadership Vision

No! Simple.

I’ve said ‘Yes’ way too many times in my life.

For the record, I’m not talking here about getting married multiple times.

I mean saying Yes to projects, jobs, activities, fun suggestions, and things others thought I should be doing.

Initiatives that sounded good, were proposed by well-intended people and would undoubtedly create some good experiences and learning.… Read the rest

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Asking Questions Communication Conversations Culture Leadership

The Heart of your Business

Last week I conducted my training called “Growing Leaders and Culture.”

Its principles are based on effective dialogue.

Why?

Because dialogue is what makes people grow and deliver on their dreams.

You’ve done half the work if you understand that running a successful business is an accumulation of constructive, forward-looking, and growth-focused dialogues.… Read the rest

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Change Culture Leadership Mindset

Let’s talk about work a little (more)

Or let’s debate about work a lot (less).

Wow. 

If you’re a curious person like I am and interested in the future of work, these are FANTASTIC times.

They’re so so so good that it’s worth adding them to my portfolio of services. I’m just unsure how to call the service and what the tagline would be.… Read the rest

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Change Culture Leadership Purpose

Motivation! How hard is it?

How do you motivate people?

I’m asking because I recently had a conversation about a hybrid work environment that turned into a conversation about motivation.

My opinion about a hybrid work environment is well documented, for example, in this post.

But if you dig a little deeper, we get to the topic of motivation. … Read the rest

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Asking Questions Growth Leadership Purpose Self awareness

Three surprising questions to figure out what you want

What pisses you off?

I’ll make sure to clarify first at the start of this insight. I’m just asking this question about the work you do.

I’m not asking you about things in your personal life that piss you off. So if your spouse never cleans out the dishwasher, sorry for you, but that’s not the stuff I’m interested in.… Read the rest

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Leadership Qualities Team effectiveness Vision

Qualities of Visionaries

Recently I spent a few hours in one room with a highly visionary entrepreneur.

Frequently, I seek the company of visionary leaders because they’re a breath of fresh air in a world where target-driven managers dominate.

A visionary’s biggest asset is the belief that the world can be manufactured. Visionaries often see a new reality right before them like it’s already there.
Read the rest
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Change Culture Leadership Trust

Why the great resignation starts with you!

People leave managers, not companies.

Read that again.

People leave managers, not companies.

NB. The quote does not say: people leave leaders, not companies.

Leaders vs. Managers. A subtle difference with significant consequences.

People don’t leave true leaders.

This week, I was personally confronted with a few stories of people leaving companies because of their managers.… Read the rest

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Care Leadership Values

We’re all people. Here’s why that matters.

Allow me to share a few quotes to kick off the conversation this week.

To set the tone here’s the first quote by Simon Sinek:

“100% of employees are people. 100% of customers are people. 100% of investors are people. If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.”

Simon Sinek

Makes sense, right?… Read the rest

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Culture Leadership Trust

Leaders vs Managers

Why it always boils down to trust

There are days I start writing, and twenty minutes later, my insight is nearly ready. I do a grammar check, then leave the text for a few days.

A few days later, I reread the text, make some corrections, and then schedule it for distribution to my readers.… Read the rest

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Diversity of Thought Leadership Team effectiveness

What you need to know about agreement and alignment

I miss my Greek friends.

I thought about this when I was deliberating the content for my story about alignment, growth cue #6 in my playbook.

From 2011 until 2014, I worked in Bulgaria and was part of an international leadership team, including a few Greek colleagues.

The leader of it all was Kostas, one of the most inspirational, direct, and warm leaders I’ve met in my life.
Read the rest
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Culture Leadership Vision

Smile? Nerve? Or Pissed off?

When was the last time you made time to daydream a little and imagine something you would like to create?

What was it like to pause? How did it make you feel? What were you imagining?

Or perhaps, you didn’t do any of that and the last weeks (or maybe even months) went by in a blur.… Read the rest

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COVID-19 Human Resources Leadership Reflection

Pause! Especially now.

When I started writing this story, conversations of (partial) lockdowns were just starting to heat up again.

As I finish this story (I left it brewing for a few days), it looks like it’s going to be a winter full of lockdowns and working from home (again).

For many a blessing, for others a curse.
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Leadership Learning Purpose Retail Team effectiveness

How I thought through my next move

Did you ever wake up after you had a bit too much to drink and promised yourself that you would never drink a drop of alcohol again?

Only to find yourself zipping from a glass of wine ten hours later.

Or you promised yourself never to be speeding again after a hefty speeding ticket, only to find yourself doing it again the next time you were in a rush.… Read the rest