Leadership Checklist

Effective leadership can be mastered, and at the core of that learning should be leadership principles that provide a clear roadmap for navigating though virtually any  leadership moment. Check out the 15 mission-critical leadership principles that top leaders have utilized in the United States and abroad.

  1. Articulate a clear vision.  Formulate a clear and credible vision and communicate it to all members of the enterprise.
  1. Think and act strategically.  Set forth a strategy for achieving that vision both short-and long-term, and make sure it’s widely understood. Anticipate reactions and resistance before they are manifest.
  1. Honor your employees.  Frequently express your support for those who work with you and for you.
  1. Take charge.  Embrace a bias for action, for taking responsibility even if it is not formally delegated, particularly if you are positioned to make a difference.
  1. Act decisively.  Make good and timely decisions, ensuring they are executed.
  1. Communicate influentially.  Communicate in ways people will not forget; always striving to communicate with simplicity and clarity.
  1.  Motivate the troops.  Appreciate the distinctive intentions that people bring, building on individual diverse motives.
  1. Embrace the front-lines. Delegate authority except for strategic decisions, and stay close to those most directly engaged with the company’s work.
  1. Build leadership in others: Develop leadership throughout the organization.
  1. Manage relationships. Build personal ties with those who look to you, and work to embrace the feelings and passions of the workplace.
  1. Identify employee’s personal goals: Help everybody appreciate the impact that the vision and strategy are likely to have on their own work and future with the firm.
  1. Maintain your character:  Ensure that others appreciate that you are a person of integrity through gestures, commentary and accounts.
  1. Minimize over-optimism: Counter the hubris of success by focusing your attention on latent threats and unresolved problems, and protect against the tendency to engage in unwarranted risk.
  1. Build a diverse  team: Recognize that leadership is a team sport  played collectively with those who are capable of resolving key challenges.
  1. Place common interest first. In setting strategy, communicating vision, and reaching decisions, common purpose comes first, personal self-interest last.

Utilizing key leadership principles helps organizations create powerful teams and successful workplaces.  Click here for more information on developing successful leaders in the workplace.

Happy Monday!


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Trends In Leadership Development

A recent study from Bersin & Associates titled High Impact Leadership in the 21st Century, identifies 7 critical trends that drive leadership development and shows organizations how to prepare to address these trends to remain competitive.   What are these 7 leadership development trends?

  1. Organizations must prioritize investments in leadership development.  The study shows lack of leadership development leaves companies open to risk factors.  To mitigate these risks, leadership development is essential to motivate, engage, and develop talent.
  1. Organizations must create and implement both a leadership strategy and a leadership development strategy.  Effective leadership requires the development of strategies, not just the implementation of programs.  Without strong leaders, the best of strategies will fail.  A good leadership strategy outlines the company’s leadership requirements, including the number of leaders, and identifies the levels leaders should operate, as well as define the skills, behaviors and capabilities required.
  1. Leadership Competencies must be renewed. Traditional leadership  competencies are important although they are evolving.  For example, in today’s business world, leadership requires innovative thinkers, agility and flexibility, global competitiveness, people management skills, and diversity.
  1. Leadership Globalization.  Since companies are expanding internationally, they must also move from hierarchical, top-down leadership models to inclusive, participatory global leadership styles.  In essence, global forces require a global perspective, which means embracing diversity and cultural differences.
  1. Being technologically-savvy.  Technology facilitates communication with leaders and employees regardless of the location.
  1. Leadership development targets all leadership audiences.  Research validates that leadership development best-practice should targets leaders at all levels.  Best practice companies are committing to developing their emerging leaders, front-line and midlevel leaders, as well as executive and senior leaders.
  1. Leadership development solutions should evolve as a process, not a one-time event.  The goal of leadership development involves action, not just knowledge.  Leaders must learn from ongoing learning opportunities from their work, rather than taking them away from their work to simply gain knowledge.  Leadership learning experiences must apply to real organizational issues, taking place within small collaborative units.

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Engaging Employees In the Workplace

In a digital world with increasing transparency, employees expect a productive, engaging workplace.  When unforeseen roadblocks get in the way, it may become necessary to provide tools which help employee improve their performance.  Being proactive and addressing concerns and issues can help struggling employee succeed.

Through new approaches such as employee journey mapping  and design thinking many organizations are focusing on understanding and improving the employee experience.  Therefore, organizational culture, engagement, and  employee brand position remain top priorities, and employee experience ranks as major trend.  What steps can organizations take to improve employee experience.

  1. Rather than utilize an annual engagement survey, make employee experience a leadership priority for your leaders.
  1. Assign the creation of employee experience to senior executives.
  1. Develop a culture with integrated company priorities which include management practices, and workplace benefits.
  1. Update tools to engage employees on an ongoing basic to help leaders and teams understand employee expectations and company values.
  1. Identify company disciplines such as performance management, goal setting, diversity, inclusion, wellness, workplace design and leadership into an integrated framework.

Understanding and improving the employee experience is critical for companies operating in a highly competitive global economy. Providing an engaging employee experience will help companies succeed in attracting and retaining skilled employees and drive a strong cultural experience.  Click here for more information on engaging employees in the workplace.

Happy Monday!

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Managing Organizational Agility

Organizations can be multi-layered with many turns, dead ends and choices, and the best way to get somewhere never occurs in a straight line.  There are formal organizations, where the path may look straight and then there are informal organizations where all paths are zigzagged.  Since companies are staffed with people, leaders are constantly challenged to work through complexities while obtaining the company’s goals.  Here a few tips to help leaders work through some of the challenges that may occur in the workplace.

  1. If you are stuck  and not sure why you’re having difficulty?Ask for feedback from at least one person from each group that you work with.  Also, be honest and try to self-assess why you aren’t getting things done efficiently and effectively.
  1. Old approaches aren’t working.  Try things you generally don’t do and look at what others are doing who are more effective than you.
  1. Getting poor responses from others.  Assess your personal style.  In other words, people differ in the impressions they leave.  Those who leave a positive personal impression get more things done versus those who leave a negative impression.
  1. Frustrated?  Consider the nature of the organization.  You may be underestimating the complexity of your organization.  While it’s possible that some organizations are simple, most are not.
  1. Lost in a maze? Assess your processes.  Some people know the necessary steps to get things done, but are too impatient to follow the process.
  1. Getting rattled when what you offer fails or gets rejected?Learn to expect the unexpected.  Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen and determine how you will respond?  Then take the information and develop counter moves.
  1. Don’t understand who the movers and shakers are in an organization? Identify key players and their roles and assess how they get things done.  Who are the major gatekeepers? Who controls the flow of resources? Also,  consider who are the major resisters?

Working through challenges require accepting the complexity of organizations, rather than fighting it…click here for a Free Assessment.

Happy Monday,


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Assessing Company Cultures

Having a great company culture is no longer seen as optional, but is often considered as much a priority as salary and benefits.  Wåhile one culture may not work for all, you can learn a lot from those who are doing it right, and start to map out your own. Take a look at some of the top company cultures listed below:

  1. Zappos; Zappos conducts what it calls a “cultural fit interview” which carries half the weight of a candidate being hired.  If an employee decides within the first week of training that the job is not for them, they are offered $2000 to quit.  All employees are instilled with ten core values, and raises are given to workers who pass skills tests and exhibit increased capabilities.  In  essence, hiring according to cultural fit first, promotes a culture a happy employees, which in turn leads to happy customers.
  2. Warby Parker; Warby Parker has been making and selling prescription glasses since 2010, while the company is dedicated to a promoting a “team culture.”  The company makes sure a positive team culture is always on the forefront by ensuring upcoming events are always on the horizon.  Teams have something to look forward to as they are tasked with coming up with events and programs to promote community.
  3. Southwest Airlines; Southwest Airlines is known for  happy and friendly employees who work hard.  Operating for over 40 years, the company communicates its vision in a way that makes employees feel they are part  of a unified team.   Southwest believes  when employees are convinced of a larger common goal, they are excited to part of a larger purpose.
  4. Twitter; Twitter raves about its rooftop meetings, friendly coworkers, and  team-oriented environment.  Employees of Twitter expect free meals at their San Francisco headquarters, yoga classes and unlimited vacations for some.  Workers rant  about being part of a company that’s doing something in the world, and there is a sense that no one leaves until there work is done.
  5. SquareSpace; This successful startup is regularly voted as one of the best companies to work for in New York.  The company displays a culture that is flat (meaning there is very few levels of management between the staff and executives), open, and creative.  SquareSpace offers 100 percent coverage of health insurance, premiums, flexible vacations, attractive office space, catered meals, stocked kitchens, monthly celebrations, relaxation spaces and periodic guest lecturers. Employees feel their voices can be heard when they aren’t stifled under layers of  management.

The best cultures make employees feel safe, welcomed, and never  excluded.  Need help changing your organizational culture…CLICK HERE FOR A FREE ASSESSMENT.

Happy Monday!


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Assessing Organizational Capacity

Improving communication and understanding within an organization requires leaders to establish cultures,  which responds to changing conditions (internally and externally), by analyzing the companies personnel, systems, structures, policies, and rewards to ensure synergy and maximize internal consistency. The questions below can be used to assess your Organization’s  capacity to produce effective functioning management and teams.

  1. Is there an individual within the company accountable for coordinating Organizational development  activities?
  2. Has the Organization attained a desired culture?  If so, is the culture consistent throughout all departments?
  3. Is there consistent Organizational structure throughout the company?
  4. Is Organizational development a part of the leadership’s  strategic planning process?
  5. Is Organizational development a part of the leadership’s tactical planning process?
  6. Are Organizational changes reviewed with respect to the desired culture and organizational structure?
  7.  Are surveys and analysis conducted with respect to the Organization’s structure and its effectiveness?
  8. Is training provided for managers and supervisors?
  9. Are procedures in place to identify and resolve any conflicts among departments?
  10. Has training been provided in how to prepare for and conduct effective meetings?
  11. Have the frequency and quality of organizational meetings been analyzed?
  12. Is communication within the Organization regularly reviewed to determine its relationship to the desired organizational structure and culture?

Although the questions above  are not all inclusive, they can be utilized to initiate the process of information gathering to assess and optimize your Organization.


Happy Monday,

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Making Leadership Development Work

Why are so many organizations failing to develop effective leaders?  First, many companies assume that people either have leadership ability or they don’t, which can result in the dismissal of those who don’t immediately succeed at challenges – believing there is a lack of leadership ability.

Secondly, results can be achieved in the (relatively) short-term, while development is a longer-term objective. Pressure exists to provide challenging opportunities to those with “proven” success, instead of to those who may get greater benefit from the experience.

Additionally, the cost of experience-based leadership development is more difficult to calculate as compared to tracking the costs associated with  training programs, or other fee-based programs , and therefore the ROI is more difficult to demonstrate for “experiences.”

Ultimately, experience is the key to learning how to become an effective leader.  The problem with leadership development is ensuring potential leaders are provided the right experiences.  Check out the following article to determine what works and what doesn’t  in developing leaders.

Happy Monday,

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Elevating Leaders As a Business Priority

In the complex world of business, there is a greater need for integrated strategies.  What if you had a road map to establish, elevate, and sustain your leadership?

The steps below can help you move your leadership strategy to the top of your  business agenda.

  1. Align Leadership to the Business Strategy
  2. Determine Your Leadership Gaps
  3. Accelerate Leadership Growth
  4. Track Your Progress to Sustain Growth

CLICK HERE to learn more about how we can provide solutions…

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Five Strategies to Attract Millennials

Millennials might be the largest generation in the workforce, but their talents aren’t necessarily distributed evenly throughout corporate America.  This uneven distribution has caused some pressure, as companies compete to attract and retain elite talent.  Here are five tips to help organizations keep up with the evolving landscape in the workplace.

  1. Increase workplace balance; Being perceived as an ’employer of choice’ because of work-life balance policies can provide a competitive edge for attracting and retaining talent. Typically, employees are more responsive to business and customer needs. PwC asked its managers how they would help their team members work the hours that suit them, their culture was transformed by a top-down decision paired with a firmwide contest to submit flexibility plans for a busy season.
  2. Offer more training; Many millennial contemplate leaving their jobs.  According to a 2016 Deloitte survey, two-thirds of millennials expect to have left their current employers by 2020.  Of the employees who desire to leave their jobs within the next two years, more than 70% cite a lack of leadership development as the primary reason.. To keep these employees, chief talent officer Mike Preston has created a “development culture.”  According to Preston, millennials are “not afraid to disrupt themselves to get that growth and development” they need for their careers.   Therefore, organizations must create opportunities.
  3. Increase the pace of annual reviews; many look forward to a review once or twice a year.  For example, until this year IBM employees would set goals in January, check in with supervisors midway through the year, and be assigned a performance score and ranking at the end of the year. However,  working with IBM’s Millennial Corps, a community of young employees from around the firm’s global offices, the company rolled out a new system called Checkpoint.  Now, employees set short-term goals that are supported by quarterly check-ins.  Other companies such as General Electric, Accenture, and Adobe are also transfiguring their performance reviews.
  4. Build purpose beyond the bottom-line; Deloitte surveys have found that six out of ten millennials agree that “ a sense of purpose” was a part of the reason they accepted their current job; almost half have declined work on the job that contradicts their values. Millennials thrive in environments in which their work has clear purpose for both the organization and society at large.  Organizations without an fundamentally inspiring mission can give millennials a sense of control and purpose by increasing transparency and clarifying bureaucracy.


  1. Perks matter; Silicon Valley has raised the bar with its nap rooms, free food, and pet-friendly policies.  While desired perks may vary, appealing to millennials requires companies to focus on building a culture of teamwork, and managerial support and appreciation.

Happy Monday,

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Talent Management Process Flow

People are without a doubt the most important resource of an organization.  The process below regulates the entry and exit of the talent process within an organization. To sustain and stay ahead in business, talent management cannot be ignored. Check out the stages below:

  • Sourcing the Talent:  This is the preparatory stage which plays a crucial state in the overall process, it involves targeting the best talent within the industry.
  • Attracting Talent: If your business is going to attract and retain top talent, your organization must offer a combination of benefits and perks that appeals to this new generation.
  • Recruiting Talent:  This is the stage of the process when people are invited to join your organization.
  • Selecting Talent:  Demonstrates the ability to objectively and accurately identify talent with high leadership.  Candidates who qualify this round are invited to join the organization.
  • Training and Development:  After recruiting the best people, they are trained and developed to provide the desired output. Employees should be involved in determining the knowledge, skills and abilities to be learned.
  • Retention:  Retaining employees is the sole purpose of the talent management process.  Retaining a positive and motivated staff is vital to an organization’s success. High employee turnover increases expenses and also has a negative effect on company morale. Implementing an employee retention program is an effective way of making sure key workers remain employed while maintaining job performance and productivity.
  • Promotion:  Job enrichment is an important part of an organization, as most employees desire to grow and increase their job responsibilities, resulting in increased status within the organization.
  • Competency Mapping:  Competency mapping is a way of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a worker or organization. It’s about identifying a person’s job skills and strengths which allows both the employee and the employer to benefit.
  • Performance Appraisal:  Measuring the actual performance of an employee is necessary to identify his/her true potential allowing managers to evaluate with regards to quality, time, cost and quantity.
  • Succession Planning: Formal succession planning allows an organization’s to examine it’s long range plans and strategies and HR forecasts.  It helps organizations to be well prepared for sudden attrition, and reduces the impact of losing key employees to a great extent.
  • Exit: Exit interviews are often overlooked, but they can be valuable to an organization.  An exit interview can confirm if your company is moving in the right direction and your management is performing favorably, and identify areas that you need to improve.
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