Best Bosses: A Case of Emotional Economics


Whether it is a passion for people, data, achievement, or status, everyone wants to be satisfied emotionally.  I know it’s a concept that doesn't make for a spellbinding tale, but let’s face it, being a great manager nowadays requires a bit more modesty as it does boldness.

It’s a simple truth that emotion drives our most productive and satisfied employees.  It’s true for teams and departments, and the latest claim is that it can affect the economy of an entire organization.  It’s what stretches us to set and achieve our highest-level goals.  It regulates how hard we … Continue reading

Team Commitment and Accountability

Accountability and Commitment

Accountability has become another catchword – so overused and with so many different interpretations that it has lost much of its meaning. According to Patrick Lencioni, author of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “When it comes to teamwork, accountability means the willingness of members to remind one another when they’re not living up to performance standards and results.” This includes feedback on individual behavior, such as the extent to which members act with integrity, interact in respectful ways, and are aligned with the team’s values.

Teams that Avoid Accountability

The usual source of dysfunction in this area … Continue reading

Two Keys for Achieving Team Commitment

Team Commitment

Great teams understand that they must be able to make timely decisions and commit, even when the outcome is uncertain and not everyone initially agrees.   It’s the desire for consensus and the need for certainty that prevents many teams from achieving commitment and moving forward.

Teams that fail to commit find themselves revisiting discussions and decisions again and again.  They encourage second-guessing which creates ambiguity and lack of confidence about the team’s direction and priorities.  Whether its avoidance of risk, excessive analysis, or fear of failure, a lack of team commitment means delay and lost opportunities. It … Continue reading

Mastering Team Conflict

Team Conflict

Teamwork doesn't always come easy. To be a strong and cohesive team, team members must trust one another and be able to engage in healthy team conflict.  Mastering team conflict is the second key behavior in The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™  model.

Trust is a prerequisite for mastering conflict. Only team members who trust one another are going to feel comfortable engaging in unfiltered, passionate debate around issues and decisions. Otherwise, they are likely to hold back their opinions. That’s not to say that some teams that lack trust don’t argue. It’s just that their arguments are often destructive. … Continue reading

Developing Team Trust

Team Trust

The first and most important behavior for developing a high-functioning, cohesive team is to build trust. According to Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, team trust is all about vulnerability.* Team members who trust one another are comfortable being open to one another regarding their failures, weaknesses, and fears. Vulnerability-based trust is based on the simple idea that people who are willing to admit the truth about themselves are not going to engage in the kind of political behavior that wastes everyone’s time and energy and, more important, makes it difficult to achieve … Continue reading

Five Keys for Building a Cohesive Team

Five Behaviors Model

Those of us who have had the experience of being a member of a high-performing team know firsthand of the benefits. It is seen in the quantity and quality of results the team produces and in the high levels of satisfaction experienced by its members. Others of us have seen the opposite – teams that never got off the ground, swimming in unproductive conflict, lacking direction, avoiding accountability, and whose members are fraught with low morale.

Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, holds that the “single most untapped competitive advantage for … Continue reading

3 Leadership Lessons from the Boston Marathon

Finish Line

More than 36,000 people participated in the 2014 Boston Marathon, making it the second-highest number of runners in the marathon’s history. This year’s race, however, had less to do with winning or competition; it became a “national symbol of resiliency and determination to take back the finish line”, as CNN’s Ashley Fantz phrased it.

Leadership has many faces, times and places. These are the leadership lessons that stand out for me as I reflect upon this year’s marathon.

Leadership Lesson #1: People Need Purpose and Enthusiasm to Reach Their Goals

People rally when … Continue reading

Work Style Assessment Helps Bridge Differences

Work Style Assessment

Partnerships that Work

High levels of communication, cooperation, and teamwork are all by-products of partnerships that work. Relationships are important; we know this. But, have you ever wondered why working with some people is easier for us than with others? With some, we work seamlessly together without a hitch, and it’s mutually productive and satisfying. With others, we try to collaborate but our differences get in the way and set us apart. It’s a drain. How can we bridge our differences and work more effectively with one another—especially when decisions need to be made, when problems need to be solved, … Continue reading

Conquering Procrastination —a critical time management skill


Shorter deadlines, competing priorities, countless meetings, and spur-of-the-moment interruptions are some of the challenges facing leaders today.  Without an internal drive for accomplishment, some of us are especially pressed to get things done.  For many, the culprit is procrastination!  It afflicts us all.  More projects go unfinished and more time is squandered by procrastination than by any other single factor.  Let’s face it, it is a harmful and costly habit.  It’s doing less important tasks or activities rather than higher priority ones.  Its straightening our desk when we should be working on that report; watching TV when we should … Continue reading

Self Leadership: Is It Time To Renew?

photo 2

Over time leaders can lose their effectiveness if they don't renew and enhance their skills.  What we did and how we did things in the past may have yielded good results then, but maintaining the same flight plan won't necessarily get us to where we need to go in the future. Leaders have to be continuous learners to an unprecedented degree.  We must have a high commitment to self-improvement and engage in an ongoing process of expanding and fine-tuning our capabilities.  When we focus on our personal development, treating mistakes and shortcomings as opportunities for improvement, we create environments where … Continue reading