The Leader as Authentic Actor

Actors on stage and screen are not genuine. They are fakes. They are playing a part, not themselves. Of course, we expect them to do this and, furthermore, we expect them to do it really well, to convince us that they are the character they are playing. But what about a managers who has to…


Did You Ever Try to Climb a Lattice?

For at least 40 years we have had the idea of “lattice” organization as an alternative design to the traditional hierarchy which assumes employees all want to climb up the ladder. In lattice organizations (and, beyond W.L. Gore & Associates, there weren’t many of them out there back then), you could go in any direction–up,…


Pause to Reload

Busy, busy, busy. Rush, rush, rush. Meet with team–call shipping–update spread sheet–check emails–meet with boss–finalize report–make two more calls–work on client presentation–attend strategy update meeting–write up the minutes–analyze production data–read market trend report–and on and on and on. If you are right now saying to yourself this “this is my life,” you’re not alone. But…


To Flood or Not to Flood–a Test of Leadership

The Premier of Manitoba, Greg Selinger, makes the decision to break the dike near Portage la Prairie and deliberately flood 85 square miles and inundate 150 homes…to prevent an uncontrolled break in the dike that would flood 850 properties occupying 190 square miles along the Assiniboine River. He says it is one of the most…


Fear and Managers’ Fears

You seldom hear the word “fear” in management development workshops. Of course the word is not welcome anywhere in organizations. It’s the “F word” in offices and plants. Odd, isn’t it, since fear is always lurking in our workplaces, especially during the last few years of economic hell?


Trust the Process

Years ago when I was taking courses from University Associates around how to facilitate groups, a wise instructor, Larry Porter, said these three words: trust the process. I have never forgotten them. They have been my anchor at critical times when in a team building session the conversation seems about to get out of hand.…


Who Am I, Boss or Friend?

This is a huge issue, particularly at the supervisory level and especially when someone is pulled out of the work group and promoted to supervisor. It becomes confusing for all concerned, the new boss and the staff. How to act? What to expect from one another? Can we still be friends? How to set new…


It’s the Same Stuff, Even at Google

Google, I’m sure you will agree, is a business built on metrics and analytics. Well, they recently completed an comprehensive, rigorous internal study about what made great managers…at Google. The New York Times article says that Google wanted to build better bosses. Now, that certainly strikes a positive chord for me and boy does it…


The Best Leaders: a Paradox

In his epochal book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins talked about “Level 5” leaders, the ones who generate the very best results, consistently, over time. Most interesting is that they embody seemingly opposite characteristics. On the one hand, they are modest, humble and self-effacing. Yet in the same person dwells a ferocious resolve to…


Traditionals, Boomers, X, and Y Are People Too

There is a debate raging as to whether all this talk about the different generations is evidence-based or mostly media-driven simplistic categorizing. A recent article in People & Strategy Journal reports on a thorough study done of the peer-reviewed literature on generational differences in two areas: Career Management and Organizational Loyalty Work-related Values and Attitudes