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The Necessity Of Fools

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

https://www.flickr.com/photos/francescaromanacorreale/8162774877/

Yesterday’s Golden Oldie provided links to a variety of fools, most of which you can do without.

That said, there is one variety of fool that every company should have — and that is the wise fool, as described in King Lear.

Cloaked in the form of discourteous comments or unfiltered remarks, King Lear’s fool was able to express the thoughts that others were reluctant to express. Through the mask of comedy, he would remind the monarch of his own folly and humanity. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “every despot must have one disloyal subject to keep him sane.

Look around; does your company have at least one fool? Or, better yet, one fool in each department?

As Manfred Kets De Vries, the Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development & Organizational Change at INSEAD, points out.

All in all, fools are honest and loyal protectors, who allow society to reflect on and laugh at its own complex power relations. They can act as our “conscience” by helping us question our perceptions of wisdom and truth and their relationship to everyday experience. Through humor and frank communication, the “fool” and the “king” or “queen” engage in a form of deep play that deals with fundamental issues of human nature, such as control, rivalry, passivity, and action.

As such, fools contribute to group cohesion and an atmosphere of trust by providing an opportunity to humorously and critically review our values and judgments as the powerful socio-cultural structures of power pull, push, and shape our identity.

And, beyond all that, fools are a repository of wisdom — based on strong critical thinking coupled with extensive experience — which makes them excellent role models and a great source from which to learn.

Finally, whether a boss can hire, let alone keep, a fool is an accurate reflection of their MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy™) and a good indicator of the prevailing culture.

Flickr image credit: Francesca Romana Correale

John Wooden On Stars

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Wooden

In spite of being severely overloaded, KG still finds time to send me stuff he finds interesting and/or inspirational.

Over the years, we’ve had many discussions about culture and its importance in hiring.

He recently mentioned a quote from basketball player and Coach John Wooden.

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”

KG: In any high performing organization, there are lots of systems and processes that make the organization successful.

When you look at people considered stars, they are almost never part of second or third rate teams; they are almost always in organizations performing at the highest levels.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t truly high performing people in lesser teams, it’s just that they are not defined as stars in general (sometimes they may be local stars, but generally don’t get the full recognition).

So a star, per definition, is a member of an organization that performs at the top.

Me: So true. I’d add that in most cases people become stars as a result of the culture and their manager, or so I’ve found.

KG: Exactly. Look at all the people who leave Goldman Sachs or Google who were stars there (e.g. Marissa Meyer) but are unable to maintain their level of performance outside the culture & systems of that environment.

That’s why it’s always dangerous to hire stars — more than anything else they are a product of their environment.

Me: Absolutely, and the poster child is GE’s Bob Nardelli!

(Click for more Wooden wisdom. For more information about stars and Nardelli use use the tags below.)

Image credit: Wikipedia

Golden Oldies: Bullies And Performance

Monday, February 6th, 2017

https://twitter.com/goldenoldiesbnnIt’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

I hate bullies. The biggest changes in the decade since I wrote this post are that there are more bullies, many using the anonymity of the internet to morph into trolls, more hand-wringing, that accomplishes nothing, and a rising tide less willing to be bullied that responds loudly and displays its disgust actively with its wit and its feet. Hopefully that tide will turn into a tsunami.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

Does your newspaper carry The Born Loser by Chip Sansom? Actually, I don’t find Brutus, the main character, to be a loser—just a slightly naive guy who works for an arrogant bully who constantly belittles him.

In the July 26 panel the dialog is as follows:

Boss: I am looking for a unique spin to put on our new ad campaign—do you have any ideas?

Brutus: Gee, Chief, I’m not sure—are there any ideas you think I should think of?

Boss: Brutus Thornapple, master of thinking inside the box.

It reminded me of managers I’ve known, who, no matter what happened or what feedback they received, never could understand that it was their MAP and their actions, not their people’s, that was the root cause of their under-performing groups.

After all, if you

  • ask for input and ridicule those who offer it, why be surprised when you stop receiving input;
  • claim that you want to solve problems while they’re still molehills, yet kill the messengers who bring the news, you should expect to grapple with mountainous problems requiring substantially more resources;
  • tell people their ideas are stupid, whether directly or circumspectly, or, worse, that they are for thinking of them, why should they offer themselves up for another smack with the verbal two-by-four?

So, before you start ranting or whining about your group’s lack of initiative and innovation, try really listening to yourself and the feedback you get and then look in the mirror—chances are the real culprit will be looking straight back at you.

If the Shoe Fits: Answer 5 Questions To Boost Your Management Skills

Friday, January 20th, 2017

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here.

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mDid you start this year with a promise to yourself to be a better boss?

If you didn’t you should have , because no matter how good you are you can always improve — but that’s true for everything.

In December I gave you 56 words that would change your life and at the start of the year three steps to being a better boss.

Today I’m providing five questions to ask yourself.

  1. How well do you delegate, AKA letting go/loss of control.
  2. Is your self esteem tied to your Klout score or your team’s accomplishments?
  3. Are you so tied to your vision that you’re blind to your market’s response?
  4. Do you practice culture by design or by accident?
  5. Do you want to get things done or just done your way.

Next, query five trusted colleagues for objective, outside input.

Compare the responses.

Depending on you’re your goals, adjust your attitudes and actions accordingly.

Image credit: HikingArtist

Role Models: Yuchun Lee

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Two old adages, “don’t waste time reinventing the wheel” and “profit from the mistakes of others, you don’t have time to make them all yourself” gave rise to a new series for 2017. Role Models is my effort to help you adhere to both, always remembering to tweak their ideas to fit your MAP.  

Yuchun LeeYuchun Lee was a member of the famous MIT blackjack team (the basis for the movie 21) and a serial entrepreneur since childhood. Unica, his first “real” startup, which went public in 2005 and sold for around $500 million to IBM in 2010 . He is currently co-founder/CEO of sales training startup Allego.

Lee learned early on that telling, let alone ordering, people to do whatever didn’t work and radically changed his approach.

But then you very soon realize that human beings have free will and you’ve got to persuade them.

He runs his company based on three core philosophies.

The first is the ability of the company to know what is true, what is not true, and what’s real and what’s not real. (…) The foundation is all about truth.

The second is how you behave as a team to solve problems. (…) Everybody’s trying to figure out how to look smart in front of the C.E.O. (…)  it’s actually O.K. if you sit there. If you’ve got nothing to say, don’t say it.

The third is about mistakes. We tell people you’ve got to love your mistake. If you go through a whole day without making a mistake, you just wasted a whole day because you probably haven’t pushed yourself. (…) You need to see mistakes as opportunities to improve.

Image credit: Allego

Golden Oldies: Deck the halls with honest feedback

Monday, December 19th, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over nearly a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

It’s that time of year again and and my best advice hasn’t changed since 1977 or as I wrote it in 2007. The only difference is that now it’s the same advice you can find in dozens of places. Done right (as described below) reviews are the greatest gift you can give your people. So give it to them, even if you don’t get the same from your boss. After all, it is said that it’s better to give than receive and, as I tell clients, you can control the former, not the latter.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

performance-review-1I’ve written on and off about the importance of, and how to do, performance reviews and it’s that time of year again.So in yet another effort to convince you doubters out there that honesty is the best policy and your people really don’t want to hear feel-good fudging, prevarications or outright lies, especially around Christmas.

Social psychologist William B. Swann in a new study published in the Academy of Management Journal… People don’t like to be treated positively if they know it is not heartfelt. If people are coming across as inauthentic and forcing you to come across as inauthentic in return, that can be enormously stressful… His work has centered on an idea known as self-verification theory. All people carry around an image of themselves that tells them who they are, whether they are good-looking or average-looking, for example, or clever at math, or kind and thoughtful or largely self-centered. Inasmuch as people want to be recognized for the things they are good at, Swann’s work suggests many people also want honest acknowledgments of their flaws, and that when these flaws are minimized or wished away, people end up feeling worse rather than better.

Just remember, honest and authentic don’t mean abusive or destructive. Offering recognition of what the person does well and being candid about areas that need improvement are two hallmarks of a good review.

The third is no surprises, which means that you’ve been giving candid feedback throughout the year.

What kind of reviews do you give? Receive?

Golden Oldies: Vested Self-interest In Action

Monday, December 12th, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written. Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

To truly understand this post, you need to click the link and read the original explanation of VSI. VSI isn’t particularly original, but it is rarely called that — people prefer nicer or more professional sounding euphemisms. And that’s OK; I just prefer to opt for clarity and simplicity — which is why I’m considered too blunt.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

vsi-successTuesday I shared my version of VSI, the main ingredient in motivational sauce, and today I want to tell you a story about how it works.

Earlier this year I was working with a client, Jim, on various management approaches, such as offering good feedback and open sharing of all information, i.e., not dribbling it out over multiple requests, that he wanted to integrate into the company culture. During the conversation he asked me “What can I do to open the minds of some of my managers?”

Unfortunately, there is really nothing you can do to force a person to change the way they think, but there is much you can do to encourage it. I honestly believe that the fastest, as well as the most potent, way to encourage change is good old VSI.

I used to believe that people had to perceive the need for change before they could change, but based on experience I’ve found that if they see benefits to themselves from doing things differently they will start moving in that direction and the results can be almost surreal.

Jim had a manager who was known for making his people come to him constantly to get the information necessary to do the work they were assigned. His attitude/actions resulted in higher-than-normal turnover in his group, but he insisted that he wasn’t doing anything and people could get the information at any time, so there was no correlation.

Using VSI, Jim and I worked out a two-prong approach to change his behavior.

  • 20% of his annual bonus was tied to reducing his group’s turnover by 30% (which would bring it in line with the company as a whole); and
  • Jim started doing to the manager as he did to his group by forcing him to come and ask and then dribbling out the information he needed to meet his targets.

Part of the manager’s reaction was straightforward—he grumbled a bit about the retention bonus. But the surreal part was in his reaction to the information plug—nothing, not a word or an action to acknowledge what was going on.

However, he must have noticed, because within days of it starting he was giving more complete information to his people.

Not all at once and not very graciously, but he loosened his hold on the information flow, so did Jim. If the manager backtracked Jim tightened up and the manager learned that to get he had to give.

At first, his people were cautious, not really trusting the new openness, but after about a month the results started and after six weeks they took off like a rocket—productivity and retention zoomed north, while grumbling and discontent headed south and on into oblivion.

But the surreal part is that, in spite of his people commenting publicly on how differently he was handling assignments, meetings, etc., to this day the manager claims that nothing changed and certainly not him.

Image credit: Street Sign Generator

Golden Oldies: Mr. Welch, I respectfully disagree…

Monday, November 28th, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

I’ve changed a lot since I wrote this in 2006, as has the world. For one thing, if I was writing it today I wouldn’t say “respectfully.” I don’t respect Welch or consider him a sterling example of either management or leadership. Under his watch, GE profits soared — generated by the financial engineering employed by GE Financial.

Welch instigated a review system based on forced rankings resulting in a culture of fear and mistrust, which spread through major corporations like the flu, damaging moral and trashing talent. And he believes that careers take precedence over family, marriage and life in general. If you are a boss in the 21st Century he is definitely not a role model.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

Today I take my (professional) life in my hands and disagree with an icon. Jack and Suzy Welch write a column in Business Week called, “Ideas The Welch Way” that I’ve been ambivalent about since its inception. Jack Welch is one of the gods of the business Parthenon and for a “nobody” to publicly disagree with him—well, fools rush in and all that.

The July 17 column is about what HR is and should be. My disagreement is that they seem to feel that HR should orchestrate, and even do, line management’s job. In the second paragraph they say, “Look, HR should be every company’s killer app. What could possibly be more important than who gets hired, developed, promoted, or moved out the door?”

Agreed, nothing is more important; those four actions are critical, but there is no way that the most brilliant HR person can make the call on any of them. They are neither close enough to the day-to-day actions of each department or knowledgeable enough of the work and its technical requirements to determine

  • what skills should be strengthened or what skills-hole needs to be plugged most urgently based on upcoming projects;
  • the subtle competence, latent leadership or intuitive flashes of brilliance that would bloom with effort—or what efforts would produce the best growth;
  • the level and quality of leadership and interpersonal skills in action;
  • whether/when to terminate (unless the company uses some variety of forced ranking, a practice I really detest!)

These are not only the responsibility and decisions of line managers—it’s what they’re paid for!

I’m not saying that top flight HR can’t play a real role in a company’s success. I am saying that it can’t substitute for excellent managers and that the smaller the company the less need for HR talent or, in many cases, any HR beyond benefits administration.

Look, without people there is no such entity as a company (Welch and I agree on that). In my headhunting years I saw stars at all levels change companies and dim under different management; by the same token, I’ve seen people who were terminated for poor performance become internally (and externally) recognized stars under different management.

It’s great line managers at all levels that attract and retain talent.

Managers are the reason that

  • within the same company (or division) one department has high turnover while another doesn’t;
  • within a department one manager promotes from within and fills her openings while another doesn’t.

It’s managers that raise productivity, promote innovation, and set the company on the road to success.

And it’s the CEO, supported by his senior staff, which, as Welch says, should include HR, that is the font of the culture that allows and encourages all this to happen.

Golden Oldies: Management is Like Coffee

Monday, November 14th, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back over more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

There’s not a lot to add to this post. The cited research is still accurate, as is the results comparison. That said, many managers are still providing too much, too little or, worse, none at all. But their complaints haven’t diminished, nor their solution to shift the responsibility to their people, instead of recognizing that they are the ones who need to change.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25187937@N05/5525163305How much management/coaching is too much?

I hear that question a lot.

Most managers want to do a good job and are looking for ways to improve.

But, as one commented recently, if you do everything recommended by the experts you would use so much of each person’s time that productivity would tumble and even the best coaching would have a negative impact.

Which is why I say that management and coffee are similar.

In the right amount coffee is good for your brain and may help you live longer.

The right amount of management/coaching is good for the brain in that it provides challenges that foster growth; it also lowers frustration and stress, which enhances mental and physical health.

According to the research, the “right” amount of coffee is around 20 ounces a day, i.e., one venti-size Starbucks.

That equates to the most effective management/coaching, which provides all the information needed to do the job at one time (not more nor less) and then gets out of the way while staying accessible if needed.

Many of the coffee-fueled are more likely to drink three to five ventis a day, which is detrimental to health and longevity.

A comparable amount of management/coaching is detrimental to health, productivity and retention.

Flickr image credit: Kurtis Garbutt

November Leadership Development Carnival

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Here we are; a third of the way through the fourth quarter and two great things are happening today.

  1. We can all celebrate: no more political ads. Hooray!
  2. I’m sharing some great information from some of the best thinkers on all the subjects it takes to be a great boss/leader/manager these days.

So dig in, enjoy, and learn.

leadership-carnival-5-300x134Anne Perschel of Germane Coaching and Consulting submitted How Real Leaders Apologize and Mean It. Anne summarizes, “Real leaders don’t apologize AS IF they mean it. They actually mean it because they are empathetic. Empathy is the first of four elements in a genuine apology.” Follow Anne on Twitter at @bizshrink.

Beth Beutler of H.O.P.E. Unlimited provided How to Get Along with the Colleague Who is Faster Than You. Beth recaps, “Do you sometimes have to work with a colleague whose pace is faster than yours? Beth Beutler gives some techniques for navigating swift waters in business relationships.” Find Beth on Twitter at @bethbeutler.

Chris Edmonds of the Purposeful Culture Group contributed Culture Leadership Charge: Be Present. In this post, Chris charges leaders with the importance of being fully present, so they don’t send a message of “you’re not that important.” Follow Chris on Twitter at @scedmonds.

Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership provided Leaders Should Define More Than the Mountain Top, but Less Than the Whole Plan. Dan recaps, “When it comes to defining their vision, leaders tend to fall into two camps. Camp one can clearly articulate a mountain top they want to reach, but create zero clarity on how they’re going to get to that mountain top. Camp two has their mountain top defined and they also have a step-by-step guide to get from where they are today (base camp) to their mountain top. Both camps fail to create sustained motivation in their people. Guest author Hamish Knox explains why.” Locate Dan on Twitter at @greatleadership.

Dana Theus of InPower Coaching contributed Dear Dana Workplace Advice: New To the Team And Dealing With Workplace Bullying By A Colleague. Dana writes, “Dear Dana, I recently joined a new team and one of my colleagues is treating me like the hired help! I’m not sure what to do since I am new on the team and don’t want to get a reputation early on for being difficult or refusing to do work. Help! — Signed, Between a rock and a hard place in Iowa.” Find Dana on Twitter at @DanaTheus.

David Dye of Trailblaze submitted How to Lead When It Looks Impossible. David summarizes, “Every leader faces challenges that look impossible. David offers encouragement and practical next steps based on a recent mountain he and Karin Hurt climbed.” Follow David on Twitter at @davidmdye.

David Grossman of The Grossman Group shared 7 Requirements of a Strategic Messaging Methodology. David writes, “What is a Strategic Messaging Methodology, and what can it do for you, your leaders, and your organization? Simply put, it’s a process that helps you think strategically about how you develop your story, drive alignment, and tell it powerfully—whether it’s a large organizational story or whether you want to communicate change inside your organization. ” Discover David on Twitter at @thoughtpartner.

Evan Sinar of Development Dimensions International (DDI) provided LeaderPulse: The 5 Most Valuable Gifts Most Leaders Aren’t Getting. Evan recaps, “If you missed Boss’s Day last month, it’s never too late for employees to recognize their life-changing leaders. We looked to our research to come up with five less common, but more valuable gifts.” Find Evan on Twitter at @evansinar.

Jill Malleck of Epiphany at Work contributed They Told You What They Think of You, Now What?. Jill shares, “Getting 360 degree feedback anonymously can be overwhelming and cause anxiety. Jill explains how you can pluck out the meaningful messages and take positive action.” Find Jill on Twitter at @epiphanyatwork.

Jesse Lyn Stoner of the Seapoint Center shared  7 Fail-Safe Steps to Increase Responsibility and Develop Your Team . Jesse Lyn recaps, “If you’re not offering your people the opportunity to grow – to increase their responsibility and learn new skills – you are going to lose them. But increasing responsibility without also delegating authority is a recipe for disaster. And simply delegating is not always the answer either.” Follow Jesse Lyn on Twitter at @JesseLynStoner.

Jim Taggart of Changing Winds provided Samsung’s Failed Executive Leadership. Jim shares, “Being the top leader of an organization, whether in the public or private sphere, is no easy task. What’s more appropriately called executive managerial leadership (as opposed to the overused, feel good term “leadership”), those at the helm of companies or government agencies have huge responsibilities.” Find Jim on Twitter at @72keys.

Joel Garfinkle of the Career Advancement Blog submitted 5-Step Plan to Developing Your Personal Brand. Joel recaps: “Have you developed your personal brand? No? Then it’s no surprise that you’re not moving up in your career. Implement this 5-step plan for career advancement.” Discover Joel on Twitter at @JoelGarfinkle.

John Hunter of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog shared Bell Labs Designing a New Phone System Using Idealized Design. John summarizes, “The basic idea of idealized design is to create a new design for a product, service or the organization based on what is feasible today (but without being limited by the constraints of the existing state). Then, use that ideal to guide you as you figure out a plan to move from the existing state to that idealized design.” Find John on Twitter at @curiouscat_com.

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference contributed Discontentment: A Great Leadership Challenge. Jon shares, “Discontentment seems to be reaching epidemic proportions. What can we do as leaders to begin to unravel it? ” Follow Jon on Twitter at @thindifference.

Jon Verbeck of JonVerbeck.com provided The Dashboard May be the Most Important Part of Your Company Vehicle. In this post, Virtual CFO Jon Verbeck explains the important parts of a financial dashboard for your company. Find Jon on Twitter at @jonverbeck1.

Julie Winkle-Giulioni of Julie Winkle-Giulioni provided Whoa! What are today’s most common leadership mistakes? Julie recaps, “As counterintuitive as it may seem, well-meaning leaders undermine staff development – and ultimately results – not because they are doing too little but because they are doing too much.” Find Julie on Twitter at @julie_wg.

Karin Hurt of Let’s Grow Leaders contributed 7 Things Your High-Performance Employees Long to Hear You Say. Karin recaps, “Your high-performing employees never seem like the MIT (Most Important Thing), but the truth is, when I meet with them and ask what they need, I hear about things they long for from their boss.” Follow Karin on Twitter at @letsgrowleaders.

Lisa Kohn of Thoughtful Leaders contributed Four Key Steps to Being, and Getting More Done. Lisa shares why we need to spend at least as much time “being” as “doing,” and how to do this in our too-busy world. Follow Lisa on Twitter at @thoughtfulldrs.

Marcella Bremer of Leadership and Change Magazine provided The Power of Less: Get More Done. Marcella recaps, “I love Leo Babauta’s message from The Power Of Less. It sounds so simple, but it’s easier said than done: Identify the essential and eliminate the rest. If you spread yourself too thin; it dilutes your power and effectiveness. Do you do little of too many things? Or do you focus on just one big goal?” Find Marcella on Twitter at @marcellabremer.

Mary Jo Asmus of Aspire Collaborative Services LLC submitted Do Less and Be More of a Leader. Mary Jo summarizes, “Being a people leader requires you to shift your mindset into knowing who you are and developing yourself within that framework.” Follow Mary Jo on Twitter at @mjasmus.

Mary Ila Ward of Horizon Point Consulting contributed Leaders and Runners, Don’t Run the Race Alone. She recaps, “In ‘Leaders and Runners, Don’t Run the Race Alone,’ Mary Ila encourages leaders to arm themselves with a wingman or wingwoman and provides tips on how leaders can gain ‘wing strength,’ emphasizing that ‘All runners, and leaders, especially those out for the long haul, need a wingman.’” Discover Mary Ila on Twitter at @maryilaward.

Michael Lee Stallard of Michael Lee Stallard submitted Finish 2016 Strong: Refocus, Reconnect, Reenergize . Michael shares, “With 2016 rapidly drawing to a close, now is the time to establish your plan to finish the year strong. Michael Stallard shares advice for leaders on meeting year-end goals.” Follow Michael on Twitter at @michaelstallard.

Miki Saxon of MAPping Company Success contributed Golden Oldie: Customer Service Week 2016. Miki writes, “There is much talk, and even some action, about “enhancing customer experience,” but, when you’re a line manager, who exactly are your customers?” Discover Miki on Twitter at @optionsanity.

Neal Burgis of Burgis Successful Solutions submitted Leaders, Start Viewing Setbacks as Opportunities. Neal recaps, “Too many leaders get flustered when a business setback occurs. You need to take a step back and look at what happened and take action to move forward.” Find Neal on Twitter at @exec_solutions.

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader contributed How To Lead With A Sandbox Culture. Paul summarizes, “Striking a balance between cultural and operational parameters that allows your employees room to innovate is always a challenge. Thinking of it as a sandbox in a playground will help that balance.” Follow Paul on Twitter at @paul_larue.

Randy Conley of Leading With Trust shared 10 Ways Leaders Can Easily Build Trust with Their New Teams. Randy writes, “Trust doesn’t ‘just happen’ by accident. It takes intentional effort and leaders need to have a specific game plan to establish and nurture trust in relationships. Randy Conley offers advice from the trenches in this post.” Find Randy on Twitter at @randyconley.

Shelley Row of Shelley Row submitted Pushing a Wheel Chair: Lessons in Servant Leadership. In this piece, Shelley shared lessons learned about servant leadership as she took on caregiving responsibilities for her husband.” Discover Shelley on Twitter at @shelleyrow.

Susan Mazza of Random Acts of Leadership provided I Choose to Honor You. Susan explains, “If we truly want to be constructive participants and collaborators in our democracy, we need to bring a better spirit to our conversations with each other. We need to start talking with one another about the things that are hard to talk about, to engage in conversations with people who do not look or think like us, so we can learn. We need to be far more curious and much more discerning about what we believe and what we think we know, and seek truth rather than assume we are being told the truth.” Follow Susan on Twitter at @susanmazza.

Tanveer Naseer of Tanveer Naseer submitted Why Expressing Gratitude Through Our Leadership Matters. Tanveer explains the post is, “A look at how expressing gratitude can help leaders bring out the best in those they lead and drive their organizations to succeed.” Discover Tanveer on Twitter at @tanveernaseer.

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership submitted Thoughts on Retirement and Purpose. Wally recaps, “People need a purpose. Without purpose, there’s not much reason to get up in the morning.” Find Wally on Twitter at @wallybock.

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