Monday, November 27, 2023

What Was Once Will Soon Be Once Again

The good old days.

How things used to be.

Everything has changed.

We’re moving too fast.

Things were better ‘back in the day’.

Sometimes it feels we’re all chasing something that was good (or at least we’ve chosen to only recall the good parts) instead of embracing the goodness around us right now.

The good news here is that we can bring forward all those good feelings and experiences and blend them into our world today. No, we can’t go back and re-live what was once; however, we can integrate those experiences, memories, and feelings into what we’re doing now.

Encourage the power of growth and change with your teams. We’ve all tried to stop forward momentum at one time or another, particularly when it’s an unclear path ahead. Instead, let’s pull the good parts from our history forward to make tomorrow even better.

Thanks for being here.




Monday, November 20, 2023

The Power of Context

Context may be one of the most powerful leadership tools available. 

Think about it…not only sharing news with your team, but adding significant additional information about what the drivers are, how people reacted, and what forces are at work on a workplace issue can be game-changing. 

Let’s contrast this approach briefly with those who prefer to horde information (and believe, power, over the team). What is their internal brand? 



Zero credibility.

For me, the old-school command and control style of leadership was useless the day it was first used. 

No one will follow that leader.
No one will feel connected to that organization if they are forced to suffer under that manager.
No one will stay.

One of the fastest ways to connect your team to the organization (and you) is to overshare and explain the real reasons behind the ever-changing world of work. 

No one ever complained they were too informed or communicated with too effectively at their job.

No one.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, November 13, 2023

Building Your Leader Brand in a Cancel Culture

Are you concerned about speaking your mind, sharing your opinion, or standing up for what you believe in due to the current external environment? 

There has always been criticism and healthy debate when we disagree, but things have changed. It’s easier than ever to hide behind a computer screen and attack. Seems like a pretty cowardly approach to me.

Real leaders have a take. They share their opinions, particularly on the sensitive and complex issues facing their organizations. The best leaders have a vision and share it…with everyone. 

Here’s the rub. When leaders are bold (read here: requirement of the job) they are immediately open to attack. The play-it-safe crowd who long for yesteryear “when things were much better” feel tremendous pressure to change. 

Playing it safe = stagnation = death.

Too harsh? Uh, no.

Think about the bold visionary leaders you’ve worked for. Imagine if you were now viewed as that person? What could you do to transform your organization? New thinking? New services? New ways to deliver value at a truly world-class level?

Don’t let the cowards hiding behind their screens get you down.

Be bold.

Share your vision.

Execute, despite the noise and naysayers.

You’ve got this.

Thanks for being here.



Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Accessible Leadership

I had a conversation with a colleague recently and we were discussing leadership styles. More specifically, I was sharing what I thought was one of the most important aspects of my journey….making myself accessible.

What does that mean?

As she and I talked I was reminded of an early moment in my career when I was hired to fill a human resources management role that was a backfill due to the promotion of the previous leader to VP. I was going to be his direct report, and he was going to mentor me.

One of his approaches was to attend health system leadership meetings and return to update his team…but with a redacted version of the updates.

I didn’t quite understand why we would hold back general information from our team, so I decided to share everything (except for anything that was expressly identified as confidential.) The team (his former team) loved it. They felt more connected, understood more fully why decisions were made, and had a real sense of where the organization was headed.

A valuable lesson for me early on.

Another approach that has served me well…far more than I ever could have imagined, is rounding. This is certainly not new, yet there’s a reason it has stood the test of time and not become cliche…

…it works.

Getting out of your office (physical or virtual) and intentionally connecting with the team is powerful. Ask questions about their work, their family, their stress, their hobbies, their self-care ideas and strategies.

Engagement means a hell of a lot more than good scores on a survey. Engagement means that you make yourself accessible and human. Engagement means you demonstrate that your team members mean more than productivity metrics and revenue. 

Delivering these messages in a kind way will accelerate you past the stigma of ‘corporate check-ins’ or ‘a leadership drive-by.’ Building kindness into your approach means that you actually believe the leadership hype you’re talking about all the time.

How do you make yourself accessible? There are many more ways to go about it…and I’d love to hear yours.

Thanks for being here.