Leader Blog

Risk Taking Versus Risk Management

“Many managers and executives fail to see the difference between risk-taking and risk management. Quite often seasoned managers and executives tell me, ‘Risk management prevents risk-taking.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. You will be a smarter...

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President Bush, High Road Leader

HRI Honors President George H. W. Bush The world has lost a high road leader! President Bush was a man committed to finding the good in people. His often-quoted speech that extolled “1,000 points of light” reminds us that everyone has value and gifts to...

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Santa is a Leadership Guru

A few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation about leadership with a person I did not perceive as a leader: Santa Claus. I had a few minutes to talk with a professional Santa, and when he heard that I was a leadership coach, his eyes lit up and he...

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The Lone Wolf Can Never Lead!

  You will likely be placed in charge of a project, engagement, or team. If you act like a lone wolf instead of a true team leader, you will fail! Loren’s Complaint After a presentation, I was approached by a shy technologist. Loren had been recently...

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The Unwanted Stuff (part 1)

Forcing yourself to do unwanted stuff is a high friction enterprise. You may feel like it makes you noble but it doesn’t. It just makes you numb.”   Thomas J. Leonard     The trick is figuring out what is “unwanted stuff.”    Busy, Busy, Busy  Our workdays...

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The Leadership Tree

  Mark LeBlanc, who assists entrepreneurs in growing their business, recently told an audience that building a business can be viewed as a fir tree decorated for Christmas. He explained that the trunk of the tree represents the core activities, which...

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Team Culture

Teams Don’t Work! (Unless You Cultivate Them with Directed Autonomy) The company was days away from bankruptcy. It looked like nothing could save it... except for a cash infusion of a half million, which was not going to happen. Yet, six months later the...

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10 Ways to Show Employees You Care

As I travel around the country conducting leadership training, I get asked interesting questions. Allow me to share one of those questions with you. “I recently took over as CEO for a manufacturing company. Their culture is very toxic. The former...

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The High Cost of Employee Turnover

Employee turnover can be a benefit and a problem. Is turnover the Cost of Doing Business? All organizations contend with some amount of turnover. In many industries, high turnover may be accepted as simply the “cost of doing business,” although this cost...

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How to Recognize an Ineffective Leader

It is overly simplistic to say that a poor leader is the opposite of a great leader. Here are 18 signs that a leader is inadequate. A poor leader: Leads others in the wrong direction Makes the right decision for the wrong reason Is egocentric Does not care Is selfish...

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Success in Spite of Ignorance

“Why do some companies succeed when they fail to employ the best practices of successful companies?” When the sun is out and the wind is calm, every boat stays afloat. When the storms come only the good boats stay afloat. A company can be successful without employing...

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From Budget to Potential

Does your company’s budget do the following? -          Allow you to see risks as mere molehills. -          Enforce decision-makers to use resources only to further their strategic goals. -          Change as your clients or market does. If you answered all 3 with...

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Must-Have Tools for Employee Engagement

Communicate, Then Ask For a Response One of the best CEOs I know sends out a company-wide email every Monday about an issue, concern, or opportunity. It is a short message that expresses his concern regarding the topic. He invites employees to respond via email with...

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What CEOs Want

I have researched, advised, and interviewed CEOs for over 30 years. I can summarize what the CEO wants from you and offer suggestions about what to do with this insight. CEOs want their accountant to speak their language. Therefore, ask yourself: What does the CEO...

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Professionally Educated

A primary service of the High Road® Institute is providing continuing professional education to business executives. I have been teaching these classes for over 35 years, and over the last decade, my classes have been transitioning from live, face-to-face sessions...

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Great Expectations

Issue: No one on the team wants to take responsibility. When people on your team defer taking on responsibility, it is a clear indication that you have failed to set expectations. Accountability only exists when the leader defines what behaviors are acceptable and...

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Stick to the Plan

Wild Landing of Flight 1549 There is an outstanding story that held the attention of people for nearly a year, back in 2009. The story I am referring to is Flight 1549, the US Air jet that landed safely in the Hudson River. The February 23, 2009 issue of Newsweek...

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A Concern for All Good Leaders: The End of Why

“I didn’t know how to fix the door lock so I found a video on YouTube and discovered how” my friend Jon reported to me recently. When my son-in-law and daughter decided to paint the interior of their house—something neither had ever done before—I expected them to call...

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An Employee Who Won’t Lead

You can never assume that a person knows how or when to lead. Most reluctant leaders do not own the obligation or see the need to stand up and say, “I’ll do it.” If you want employees to serve as a change agents, influencers, or leaders, you must start by asking if...

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The Leadership Tree

          Mark LeBlanc, who assists entrepreneurs in growing their business, recently told an audience that building a business can be viewed as a fir tree decorated for Christmas. He explained that the trunk of the tree represents the core...

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Do Not Make a New Year’s Resolution until You Read This!

  What are your thoughts regarding New Year resolutions? Do you make them at the beginning of each year? Do you feel guilty if you don’t make them? Do you make them and then feel bad for not keeping them? Do you believe making them is a waste of time? Allow me to...

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Commit to Christmas Every Day

What would your world be like if every day was Christmas? As you can imagine, we would all experience more -        Sharing -        Cooperation -        Peace -        Courtesy and kindness -        Smiles and laughter -        Joy, and (something everyone craves)...

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Summertime Blues

Do you or your coworkers suffer from ‘Vacation Deficit Disorder’?  According to a recent Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey, this problem is faced by employees who feel that they have too much work and cannot take a vacation.  Companies will languish when...

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Lack of Accountability

  “Why do employees believe they can get away with murder?! Why aren’t they taking responsibility?” These are questions I receive all the time. It’s a condition that negatively impacts many organizations, and this condition grows worse each day. If the culture of...

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Feedback Engages Employees

How often should we evaluate an employee’s performance? Two novice leaders recently asked me this question after a speech. They had just been promoted as department heads and (obvious to me) not been given much guidance. I responded, “every week.”  This clearly...

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The Unwanted Stuff

“Forcing yourself to do unwanted stuff is a high friction enterprise. You may feel like it makes you noble but it doesn’t. It just makes you numb.” Thomas J. Leonard The trick is figuring out what is “unwanted stuff.” Busy, Busy, Busy Our workdays are filled with...

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