Small Companies Need Clear Values


Springtime reminds me of fruit trees and the power of values-driven companies – or more accurately – the cost of NOT being one.

Small companies often think they don’t need to bother with things like mission and values – that those are things for large companies. Big mistake.

It’s why our tree service company lost our business.

They were very nice people, dependable and a good price. But they did not communicate guiding values to their employees, and one of them endangered my son’s health. That was a show-stopper.

Here’s what happened.

One lovely spring afternoon, one of the technicians stopped by unexpectedly to spray our fruit trees. The contact allowed them to come without calling first, which normally would not be a . . . → Read More: Small Companies Need Clear Values

Collaboration Does Not Require Consensus: Team Decision-Making is Situational



There are six ways teams can make decisions. Some people believe that in a collaborative environment, consensus is the best. But that’s a big mistake.

Pushing for consensus when it’s not needed actually makes collaboration more difficult. The best collaborative environments are situational in their approach to team decision-making.

You make countless decisions every day. Knowing when and how you need to involve others, and the best team decision-making method for each situation, will help you make the right decisions, will make implementation easier and will save time in the long run.

The Six Types of Team Decisions

Individual. The individual who is responsible for the outcome makes the decision. If your office is running low on pens, the office manager can decide . . . → Read More: Situational Team Decision-Making: Collaboration Does Not Require Consensus

Why Nobody Noticed You Changed and 5 Things You Can Do To Make Change Stick

Personal transformatio

Did you ever get feedback that your behavior was having a negative impact on others? Perhaps you were told you’re too critical… or don’t listen enough… or are micro-managing your team… or even the other end – that you’re not involved enough?

Have you ever worked hard to change that behavior, perhaps even worked with a coach, but then got feedback that they still saw you as a frog… not the prince or princess you thought you had become?

If so, you’ve not alone. One of the most common reasons people revert to old behavior patterns is because of lack of appreciation of their efforts, lack of acknowledgement they’ve changed, and lack of support to continue acting differently.

No wonder “change doesn’t stick.”

Why . . . → Read More: Why Nobody Noticed You Changed and 5 Things You Can Do To Make Change Stick

Vision and Execution Are Not Sequential


One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is moving from vision to execution as though it’s a linear process. The widely held assumption is they are two ends of a spectrum: Vision is about planning. Execution is about action.

The truth is: Vision requires action to be clarified and refined, and execution requires reflection to be effective.


Most leadership experts subscribe to some variation of these five steps. The model is logical. But in reality, most of us don’t live our lives that way, and most leaders are not rigorous about it, because life doesn’t wait while you are planning. No wonder so many leaders have little patience with the first steps.


When you think of these steps as . . . → Read More: Vision and Execution Are Not Sequential

To Be a Better Leader You Must Kill Your Darlings


According to Faulkner, Ginsberg and many great writers, if you are particularly proud of a piece of writing, chances are it’s self-indulgent, stands out, and does not serve the greater good of your work.

The saying goes: “you must kill your darlings” – delete them. The overall intent of your work is more important than a particular piece that doesn’t fit, no matter how special you think it is.

So what does that have to do with business?

In today’s world, leaders are under great pressure to find new opportunities for growth. Ventures into new territories, product, channels of distribution, etc. are typically evaluated by short-term profitability and not strategic alignment.

These “darlings” become the focal point, rather than a coherent organizational vision, . . . → Read More: To Be a Better Leader You Must Kill Your Darlings

Think You Can Lead Without a Vision? Think Again


Think you can lead without a vision? Think again. Leadership is about going somewhere. How do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a vision?

Vision makes work meaningful. Vision helps us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. A shared vision helps us feel connected with others because we trust we share the same goals and values.

An organization without a clear vision is like a river without banks—it stagnates and goes nowhere.

A leader without a vision to serve is in danger of becoming self-serving.

The Power of an Emergent Network


Last week several of us launched a social media driven fundraiser for our friend and colleague Jamie Showkeir who is courageously facing ALS.

In just one week we sailed past our goal and raised over $60,000!

I am thrilled for my friend, and it has reaffirmed my belief that the natural movement of humanity is toward goodness.

I had hoped an emergent network would arise, but in my wildest dreams I never expected it would be this strong.

That’s the thing about emergent networks -they are unpredictable.

What is an emergent network and why is it so powerful?

An emergent network is a type of community that arises in response to an issue, and once the goal has been achieved, naturally dissolves. They ebb . . . → Read More: The Power of an Emergent Network

Join Our Emergent Network and Keep Jamie at Home


Last spring my good friend and fellow Berrett-Koehler author Jamie Showkeir received the nightmare diagnosis of ALS.

By summer, he needed the support of a cane. By fall his legs no longer supported him. Today he has only 20% use of his arms, cannot feed himself, and needs total assistance getting in and out of his wheelchair and with other tasks of daily living.

Throughout all this, Jamie remains a bright, loving, generous man, who is mentally sound and engaged in life. He is teaching us about the true meaning of authenticity and courage.

If you’d like to know more about Jamie, read this excellent article in the Arizona Central: When the reality of ALS hits you harder than a bucket of ice water.

Jamie . . . → Read More: Join Our Emergent Network and Keep Jamie at Home