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December Leadership Development Carnival

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

leadership-carnival-5-300x134There are times when we all need advice, encouragement and/or validation. We look for better ways to do things and new approaches to old problems.

The advantages of a blog carnival is that it provides, in one handy place, a curated list of links to some of the best bloggers in cyberspace offering creative, useable approaches in leadership, management, culture and “other practical Insights.”

It’s provided in its entirety below for current situations and to bookmark as a reference for future needs.

December Leadership Development Carnival

Leadership Skills

Many of this month’s featured posts focus on specific leadership skills we all need to develop.

For example, in “Seven Ways to Sell Your Ideas to Management,” Joel Garfinkle of the Career Advancement Blog shares how to present your ideas in order to get them implemented – a skill you need to master if you want to be an influential leader in your company.

Need a little tongue-in-cheek advice? In “7 Habits of Highly Inept Leaders,” Karin Hurt of the Lead Change Group provides basic yet insightful tips about things NOT to do as a leader, thus encouraging leaders to behave differently in order to most effectively lead their teams.

Dana Theus shared this helpful reminder on the InPower Blog: the job you want may not need what you do best right now. The higher you go in leadership, the more this is true. To learn more about how to develop the skills you will need in your next leadership role, check out “Sidestepping the Peter Principle for Career Success.”

Do you understand the two faces of leadership? Jesse Lyn Stone of the Jesse Lyn Stoner Blog explains that one face of leadership looks forward to the future, while the other face looks back at your followers. Learn more about this important leadership approach in “The Two Faces of Leadership.”

Neal Burgis, Ph.D. wrote about another leadership approach on the Practical Solutions blog. Neal writes, “Creativity is often described as the catalyst to innovation, and creativity does not need to be left up to chance.” Learn more about cultivating this mindset in “Creative Innovation as a Leadership Mindset.”

Are You Living Your Leadership Life to the Fullest? Mark Deterding of Triune Leadership Services explains where servant leaders focus their energy to lead a life of significant impact.

Character of a Leader

Our featured bloggers also submitted great advice on developing essential character strengths and qualities.

Mary Jo Asmus reminds us that a willingness to open up and be vulnerable can create deeper work relationships in her post “The V Word” on the Mary Jo Asmus blog.

As leaders, we can be hard on people, but when we’re quick to judge, we need to take a step back and think about the second chances we were given. Read more on this topic in “Be Grateful for Second Chances,” submitted by Jon Mertz of the Thin Difference blog.

Inspirational leadership is the catalyst that gets people to go the extra mile, and Dr. Anne Perschel of the Germane Insights blog has been writing a series of five posts to help you be a more inspirational leader. Don’t miss 5 Attributes of Inspirational Leadership: #3 Determination.

In “The Power of a Kind Leader,” Jeff Harmon shares that giving attention creates an engaged state in the brains of team members and employees that can result in an increase in creativity, more collaboration and greater accuracy. Check out Jeff’s blog on the Brilliance Within website.

Miki Saxon of MAPping Company Success shares “Traits of a Good Boss,” which highlights four important leadership traits as exemplified by Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO.

With competing priorities, where should a leader’s focus truly be? As John Hunter shares on his Curious Cat Management Comments blog, Alibaba founder Jack Ma takes this approach: “We believe customer number one, employee number two, shareholder number three…” Learn more in “Managing the Organization as a System with Many Stakeholders.”

There are no shortcuts to developing high-trust relationships. In “4 Timeless Principles About Building Trustful Relationships,” published on the Leading with Trust blog, Randy Conley shares four principles you should keep in mind about the role time plays in building trust.

Lisa Kohn of Chatsworth Consulting Group shares “Four Ways We Sabotage Our Own Leadership” on The Thoughtful Leaders™ Blog. In this post, Lisa discusses why making sure you’re credible, trustworthy, consistent, and real will help you be the leader you want to be and make people want to follow you.

Management Issues

Need advice on a management issue? These experts may just offer the answers you need.

Well-orchestrated talent management practices can make the difference for your organization and position it to thrive, grow and weather change on the strength of its current and future leaders to face the challenges of doing business in 2015 head-on. Evan Sinar, Ph.D., DDI Chief Scientist and Director, Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research (CABER), shares Strong Bench Readiness May be Rare, but It’s Not an Accident on DDI’s Talent Management intelligence blog.

Beth Armknecht Miller of Executive Velocity Inc. tackles the question “How Valuable Are Employee Self-Assessments When it Comes to Tracking Employee Performance?” Integrating an employee’s self-assessment into the performance feedback process can uncover gaps between your perception and an employee’s perception of his or her performance before the actual review, providing you with a direction for feedback and enhancing your conversation.

Employee engagement is always an important management issue. Engagement begets more engagement…so how do you get the cycle started? Julie Winkle Giulioni shares advice in “The Engagement Ring.” Read more of her advice at www.juliewinklegiulioni.com.

Adam Harkness of The Productivity Blog shares this post on implementing analytics for HR, “Talking Predictive Analytics with a VP of Talent Management.” Similar to predicting the weather, attempting to predict performance is as much a science as it is an art; the field has evolved over the years and companies are now leveraging predictive analytics in the HR space to better understand their workforces.

Company Culture

From explaining the company vision to making culture “sticky,” company culture is something all leaders should be intentional about.

Do your employees “get” the company vision? Jennifer V. Miller of The People Equation offers up five ways to know in Don’t Wait Around for the Company CEO to Explain the Vision.

Chris Edmonds of Driving Results Through Culture shares “Is Your Culture ‘Sticky’?” – a post/cast that provides steps to follow to ensure that a high performing, values-aligned culture remains and thrives after the culture champion moves on.

Other Practical Insights

Not sure how to navigate your upcoming office holiday celebration? Or struggling with the balance between empathy and enforcing performance expectations? Look no further than these helpful posts.

Managers need to figure out how to navigate the tricky waters of office holiday celebrations. Read Dan McCarthy’s post over at About.com Management and Leadership: A Manager’s Guide for the Holiday Season for some common sense tips.

Leaders who are overwhelmed may not admit it, but their staff bear the brunt. Jill Malleck shares “Herculean Efforts Not Always Heroic” on the Epiphanies at Work blog.

When should you lower your expectations bar for the sake of empathy?  This post from Mary Ila Ward at The Point helps leaders think through balancing empathy and expectations with three simple questions. Read “3 Questions for Balancing Empathy and Expectations as a Leader.”

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership writes that planning can help you succeed, but only if you review and modify your plan. Read more on approaching planning with the right mindset in “Plan, Review, Adjust, Repeat.”

Our world is rapidly changing as a result of globalization, technology and the steady emergence of economically hungry developing countries, further amplifying the need for strong leadership at both the political and corporate levels. Learn more about “Leading in a Time of Rapidly Shifting Tectonic Plates” with this post from Jim Taggart on his blog, ChangingWinds.

And finally, I recently wrote about a helpful tool for addressing leadership gaps in your organization. Learn more about “Closing the Leadership Gap” here on my blog.

Image credit: Great Leadership

Cope or Control (That is the Question)

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013


Stress is bad, right?

Bad for your health, bad for your relationships, bad for your life.

Or is it?

Actually stress can be a positive motivator.

So perhaps it’s not stress, but how we handle it.

The article may be looking at kids, but kids grow up to be adults and genetic traits come along for the ride.

One particular gene, referred to as the COMT gene, could to a large degree explain why one child is more prone to be a worrier, while another may be unflappable, or in the memorable phrasing of David Goldman, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health, more of a warrior.

Granted, the researchers were looking at short-term, i.e., competitive stress, but the solution was still the same as it is for stress that lasts longer. (The COMT gene also has a major impact on interviewing.)

They found a way to cope.

For many people stress is the result of losing control.

But if there is anything experience should have taught you by a very early age is that you can’t control your world; not even a tiny part of it.

I learned that lesson as a child of five when my father died and nothing ever happened after that to change my mind.

If you put your energy into controlling stuff to avoid stress you are bound to fail.

Energy spent on control is energy wasted.

Energy focused on coping provides exceptional ROI.

Flickr image credit: Eamon Curry

Ducks in a Row: Give Thanks

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010


Thanksgiving is about excess. Excessive food, excessive drink and excessive appreciation.

We give loud and exuberant thanks for all sorts of things at work and at home—people, actions, happenings, things, stuff—a lot of which we take for granted the rest of the year.

Why not take a different path this year and give your loud and exuberant thanks every day starting Thursday (or today if you are ready).

Offer thanks for the little things as well as those that loom large and make sure the thanks are sincere.

Appreciate the good stuff and the not so good, since our best personal growth often springs from how we handle the negatives.

Reach out, instead of waiting to be approached.

Give the people in your world the benefit of the doubt as well as the benefit of your experience.

Give others the spotlight and be thankful when they rise to the occasion—even if it takes some prodding.

Put away your thoughts of quid pro quo and what’s in it for me.

Do it for the next 365 days and I guarantee that your 2011 Thanksgiving will be the most amazing one of your life.

Flickr image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zedbee/103147140/

Derek Sivers @ TED

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Saturday I recommended spending some of your valuable time on TED, so I thought I’d offer a sample of it that I really liked.

Derek Sivers received a standing ovation for his 3 minute talk on leadership using the video below.

Too often people over focus on the moving pictures, so be sure to pay full attention to what Sivers is saying in conjunction with what is happening in the video.

Because the words are so important you can read a transcript at Siver’s site (along with other good stuff). I hope you take a moment to do so.

I’m not backing down on my contention that leadership is for all, but I completely agree that everyone can’t be leaders simultaneously and that following is just as important, if not more so.

Leadership is over-glorified.

Yes it started with the shirtless guy, and he’ll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened:
It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader.
There is no movement without the first follower.
We’re told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.
The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.
When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.

Image credit: dereksivers on YouTube

How to Kill Initiative 1

Friday, February 12th, 2010

questions“What’s more important to you, being right or winning?”

That is what I asked a caller today.

“Frank” has been sequestered on jury duty for several weeks and when he returned to work he found that right after he left his team was assigned a new project and they were just finishing.

Frank said that the project had gone well, was on time and in budget, but he was upset that they had used a different approach from the one he preferred.

That’s when I asked, “What’s more important to you, being right or winning?”

You’d think that was an easy answer, but I was met first with silence and then with multiple reasons proving his approach was better.

He agreed that on time/in budget was a win, but still felt they should have done it his way.

So I ask you, “What’s more important, being right or winning?”

Image credit: immrchris on sxc.hu

Feel younger, Have More Time

Monday, December 28th, 2009

thunder-boltDo you get a lot of spam? Mine is well filtered, but I still have to glance through the junk file to be sure that nothing important was inadvertently caught.

If spam is any guide it seems that Americans sex and meds dominate the American psyche.

Recently I noticed this subject line: Feel 10 years younger in bed today. I’m sure you can guess what product was being hyped.

However, that’s not what hit me and I’ll bet most of you will agree with my reaction—I’d much rather feel 10 years younger out of bed.

Around this time of year I hear from a lot of people looking for answers to the question: How do I keep going? And I’ve heard variations year in and year out, whether the economy is up or down.

Most of the people who ask aren’t down or depressed; rather they are in jobs they like, in line for, or just gotten, a promotion, have kids they are proud of, spouses they love, but still they ask.

They ask because they are tired, not exhausted, but tired, mentally and physically.

So much to do in too few hours; so many balls to keep in the air.

So a pill that made people feel 10 years younger would be worth billions.

There is no pill, but there is something that helps—declutter.

Not your home, but your world.

Prioritize. Decide what truly matters to you and how that fits with others in your world.

Once you have your list start eliminating everything that’s not a true priority.

I’m usually told that they’ve done all that, but it turns out they still Twitter, spend a couple of hours on Facebook and follow hundreds of blogs,

When I hear this I tell them to start again at the beginning and use the thunderbolt screening method. That means looking at each item and deciding if you’ll be struck by a thunderbolt if you stop doing whatever.

For example, you are more likely to be hit with one if you miss your daughter’s soccor game than if you read your email a couple of hours later or don’t update your Facebook wall.

I’m not being fatuous, I’ve seen folks who had them reversed.

If you have trouble with ruthlessness give me a call at 866. 265.7267 or email miki@rampupsolutions.com and I’ll be happy to help.

Tomorrow is my last post and the end of Leadership Turn, so if you enjoy my views and writing don’t forget to bookmark MAPping Company Success or subscribe via RSS or EMAIL.

Image credit: idarknight on flickr

Ducks In A Row: Noticing the Obvious

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

ducks_in_a_rowMany times the solutions we seek are waltzing around in full sight, but we don’t see them.  Let me give you a personal example.

I started RampUp Solutions in 1997, but finding a simple way to describe what we did took several years.

In the show Gypsy there’s a song that says, “Ya gotta have a gimmick” to succeed and I doubt that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

I wanted one clear, concise term that gave insight to RampUp’s coaching approach, not a couple of paragraphs—no matter how well written.

When the light finally went on I had to laugh. The term I settled on was MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy™) and the humor comes from the fact that I’ve been talking about mindset, attitude and philosophy my whole life—even using those terms.

But formalizing it never crossed my mind, which just goes to show how blind we can be.

There’s a reason ‘you can’t see the forest for the trees’ achieved the status of an adage more than a century ago.

Some people are focused on trees, while others have the opposite problem and focus strictly on the forest—neither offers optimal performance.

In my case it didn’t matter that much, sure, it would have been easier to create the company’s marketing messages, but it didn’t cripple us.

However, if your forests are made of people then it’s critical that you see them both.

It’s only by seeing your people as both individuals and collectively as a team that you can recognize the obvious solutions you miss when you focus on just one view.

Since Leadership Turn is ending December 29 I’ve been encouraging you to click over and follow me at MAPping Company Success.

Ducks in a Row will continue every Tuesday; check out Why ‘Cracked Pots’ are Good For Your Team and you’ll know why you should subscribe via RSS or EMAIL.

Your comments—priceless

Image credit:  ZedBee|Zoë Power on flickr

Quotable Quotes: Change

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

changeAs you probably know by now there is change afoot at Leadership Turn. Specifically it’s ending, as all good things end, and that means change for me and you.

But that’s good.

As Harold Wilson said, “He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.”

Edwards Deming said it more simply, “It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.”

Well, I plan to survive and we sure aren’t dead, so change it is.

When change hits have you noticed how much energy people expend looking for reasons not to change? John Kenneth Galbraith said it best, “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

I don’t mind big changes, such as moving from California to Washington, but I hate changing little stuff, especially personnel changes in the companies with which I frequently deal.

When that resistance kicks in I remind myself of something I read years ago—if nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. Good thought—change as metamorphosis.

Pauline R. Kezer said, “Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”

Kurt Lewin opines, “If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.” Boy, is that true.

But it is John Lilly who really understands what change means, “Our only security is our ability to change.”

Change should be embraced, even when you’re not sure what it will bring.

Since b5 notified me the Leadership Turn was ending I’ve wondered what the change would mean to me. Will you migrate to MAPping Company Success and continue inspiring me to explore articles I read and share my off-the-wall ideas? Will you read a blog that doesn’t have ‘leadership’ in the name?  What will I do with the extra time?

What kind of butterflies will this change bring?

You can answer some of these questions by subscribing today via RSS or EMAIL.

Your comments—priceless

Image credit: David Reece on flickr

What Do You Choose?

Friday, December 18th, 2009

feed-the-animalsLife is about choices; we make choices every day that affect not only the immediate subject, but also those around us and our future.

Sometimes we don’t even notice the choices we make, but that doesn’t change the size of their effect.

The following is a teaching fable that has been around in various forms for years.

An old man told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “The battle is between the two animals that live inside us all.

One is Evil—it is made of anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good—it is joy, peace, love, authenticity, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, and compassion.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked, “Which wins the battle?”

The old man replied, “The one you feed.”

It is with your choices, not just the conscious ones, but all of them, that you feed the beasts.

You can never rid yourself of all the traits that comprise either the evil or the good beast, but you can control their size, frequency and intensity.

It’s your choice.

Leadership Turn is ending; its last day is December 29. I’ve enjoyed writing it and our interaction since August 16, 2007 and I hope we can continue at my other blog.

If you enjoy my views and writing, please join me at MAPping Company Success or subscribe via RSS or EMAIL.

Your comments—priceless

Image credit: Joe Shlabotnik on flickr

Quotable Quotes: Universal Russian Proverbs

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

RussiaToday was a super cool day for me. I met my Russian business partner Nick Mikhailovsky, CEO of NTR Lab, for the first time, although we’ve worked together for a decade.

So when I started thinking about today’s quotes Russia was on my mind. And when I think of Russia I think of proverbs.

I find proverbs to be fascinating proof that no matter the color, culture or time there really is only one race on this planet—human.

The basic concepts of human action and interaction span the globe. In fact, I’ll bet that your culture has a saying that embodies the same concepts as these do.

War has been around as long as the human race as has the desire for peace, which only proves the truth of this proverb, “Eternal peace lasts only until the next war.”

Common sense underlies this proverb, “as long as the sun shines one does not ask for the moon,” but people rarely follow it.

Real Estate people are fond of saying that the there are only three things that matter, location, location, location, but I’ll bet that this proverb predates that by decades, if not longer. “Don’t buy the house, buy the neighborhood.”

It is well know that age is no guarantee of wisdom, knowledge or smarts, but “long whiskers cannot take the place of brains” is a more elegant way of saying it.

My next offering is one that has always been true, but has been proven in spades over the last couple of decades. “With lies you may go ahead in the world – but you can never go back.” Bernie Madoff has decades to think that one over.

“There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.” This is one that all of us need to take to heart. We need to find out about our politicians, financial managers, corporate chieftains, religious leaders and any others we choose to trust.

Speaking of politicians, we should never forget that “when money speaks, the truth is silent” and we have condoned a culture of political silence.

There is a universal applicability and truth in this proverb, “When you meet a man, you judge him by his clothes; when you leave, you judge him by his heart.”

Maybe the reason for the universality of these thoughts is found in my final offering, “Proverbs are the people’s wisdom.”

Your comments—priceless

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Image credit: Ed Yourdon on flickr

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