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Damning the Damned: 4 Reasons Why It Never Works

Like many states, Arizona has a public agency, Child Protective Services (CPS), charged with the safety of children under the age of 18.  Also, like many states, it is one of the most maligned of organizations, with multiple horror stories of child abuse and the endless political diatribe that follows.  When I began my career,…

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What To Do When 1 + 1 = 37: 6 Possibilities

Sometime ago, a prospective CEO client contacted me because of her “organizational chaos” and a situation that was becoming “out of control.”  When I asked her how long this chaos had been in effect she responded with “the past week.”  That might seem odd to some, but when most of us are in the midst…

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Getting The Results You Deserve

A CEO whose company was experiencing significant underperformance, recently came to me for help.  Actual revenue was far below projections, morale was falling, and his HR Director was questioning his management of an employee. The CEO admitted that he had been riding one of his managers too hard, but it was clear to me and most of his…

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The Good, The Bad, And The Wise: 4 Aspirations

Terry is the COO of a client in the Midwest, and he recently shared one of his favorite books, Good Boss, Bad Boss by Robert Sutton. As we well know, good bosses can build successful companies, wise bosses can help build exceptional organizations for shareholders and employees, and bad bosses can help destroy companies faster than they…

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The Speed Of Listening: 3 Skill Enhancers

One of the least developed skills of executive leaders is listening. In my experience great leaders are often great listeners, but most expect others will listen while they orchestrate. This is compounded by the fact that most of us speak at a rate of 125 words per minute while we have the capacity to understand…

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If Your Meet Your Mentor On The Road Kill Him

A similar Zen saying inspired Sheldon Kopp’s classic book on psychotherapy, If You Meet Buddha on the Road Kill Him and it has nothing to do with violence. In fact, quite the opposite. The “killing” is letting go of concepts like perfection and control, while living fully as you and courageously embracing the uncertainty of life. Recently, I attended…

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Good Teaching Forever: 8 Great Outcomes

Sister Charlene was my speech and debate coach in high school. She was demanding, inspiring, relentless, and dedicated to our success. Forty plus years later I can hear her voice and I think of her often when I make public presentations. She was a fantastic teacher. Recently, researchers at Columbia and Harvard completed a massive…

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What Would Happen If It All Went Away?

With Brian Pfingstl Imagine this scenario: The faltering safety net of Medicare and Medicaid is significantly reduced and is only available to the most impoverished of our citizens. Many severely disabled Americans are without care that had existed for decades and are confused about their options. Health care industries that had been largely dependent on public…

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5 Ways To Encourage Necessary Change

One of the biggest, hair-pulling challenges for a leader is how to encourage necessary change. The organization’s revenue may be declining, top talent migrating to a competitor, or the marketplace getting rocked by the big waves. Often the CEO can sense the need, but lacks the execution expertise to move forward. Here are some methods…

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Great Leaders Manage Contradiction: 4 Lessons

It was F. Scott Fitzgerald who wrote that “the true test of a great mind is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time.”  The same applies in the executive context – the ability to manage the inevitable human contradictions and imperfection in a manner that is compassionate and enlightening for others.…

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