Managing in a Blender

Just as a complete breakfast sets you up for the day, starting your work day with a complete plan can set you and your team up to accomplish great things. Ideally, most days you start with a plan.

But when demands are at their peak, people often convince themselves to skip the plan and just dive in.

That got me thinking, what if there was a recipe – a fast and easy to remember checklist – of the leadership ingredients you fundamentally need to best serve your team; a Leadership Smoothie if you will.
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Importance of feedback

Chris helped me see the importance of providing ALL types of feedback to my direct reports on a regular basis. I understand now that people need to hear the good, the bad and the ugly in order to thrive in their positions. And in fact, they want to hear it. He also helped me create a balance between my work and personal life.

I’m a better VP and Mom because of this.

Natalie Green | Vice President | Kirk Integrated Marketing Services

V is for victory and vulnerability

How does an athlete like Maelle Ricker go from coming in 4rth in Turin in 2006, Ricker to grabbing the gold in women’s snowboard cross in 2010?

She didn’t achieve her ultimate career high by pretending she was perfect.

Any athlete, or leader, who wants to push themselves to the next level has to be willing to be honest about their weaknesses.

3 mind blowing facts about weakness in leaders: Continue reading…

Give your people what they want: one-on-one’s

Give your people what they want.

Following on from my last article about one-on-ones, there is a really easy way for you to give your people what they want this holiday, and throughout the year. Ask them.

Now is a great time to connect with your team and talk to them about their futures and where they see themselves headed.

People want to be empowered to good work, and they want to be seen and respected for who they are and the talents they offer. We aren’t that mysterious. Continue reading…

Year end review questions

Share these questions with your team as you review and debrief together, and ask them of yourself too:

  • What went well for you last year?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What did you overcome that you didn’t think you could?
  • What fears did you face?
  • What mistakes did you make?
  • What did you lose that you took for granted?
  • Where did you get stronger?

The biggest mistake managers make

The biggest mistake I see managers make is that they repeatedly bail on one-on-ones with direct reports. They set up the meetings, then a big clients comes in from out of town, or someone from head office calls, or the project is behind schedule and… I’ve heard all the excuses. They don’t fly.

It’s a mistake to ditch one-on-ones because:

1. When you bail on one-on-ones you send a message.You inadvertently tell people that they are unimportant, unseen, and unappreciated. 

Don’t think it’s all that bad? Think about how you feel when your boss sets up a meeting with you to talk about your progress and then pushes it because something else came up. That feeling right there is the same feeling that your team members feel every time you bail on them. 

And if you repeat the mistakes of your managers, your employees will repeat them too. Now we are talking about more than one disappointed employee, we are talking about a corporate culture that disrespects employees and stifles potential. It’s serious. Continue reading…

Guest Blogger: Why I called Chris, and why I’m glad I did

I didn’t exactly embrace the concept of having a management coach. I had so much work, it just seemed like one more thing, and I thought it might be uncomfortable. Sending Chris that first email was pretty unsettling, but here’s why I did. I felt I wasn’t performing to my own expectations. And I believed I could do the job better.

When I started working with Chris, I was new to my management position, I was facing some very challenging issues in the department and I had what seemed to be an overwhelming number of things to do every day. Continue reading…

I was put to the full engagement test

I was invited to participate in an Human Performance Institute 3-day retreat in Florida last month, led by none other than HPI co-founder, CEO and best-selling author Dr. Jim Loehr. (He’s a pretty big Kahuna in my world.)

But let me tell you, it was also a lot of work.

There is nowhere to hide in the HPI compound. You go there to see yourself as you truly are – to get real about how you are currently performing, and to stretch your own limits. Continue reading…

Elicit Feedback

You know that feeling you get in your gut just before you ask for feedback? Everybody gets it.

It is a battle of the wills between the little part of you that’s proud of being “big” enough to ask, and the part that’s scared to death of how you’ll feel after. Who’s winning the battle in your world? Continue reading…


Every major study on employee engagement and satisfaction comes back with one common cry.

Tell us! Tell us what we are doing right and tell us what we are doing wrong. Just tell us!

I can’t stress enough that feedback is positive. What is negative, is when feedback is held back.

People grow when they know. It is a simple premise but my clients prove it over and over again. When people have an elevated awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, they enjoy increased confidence and increased productivity.

Continue reading…