Tag Archives | coaching

Leadership Failure. . . And What Can Be Done About It

In his masterful study, Leadership BS: Fixing workplaces and careers one truth at a time, Jeff Pfeffer forces his readers to deal with the actual realities of leadership. The picture is not pretty. His description is both highly analytical and comprehensive, dealing with both leadership practice and thinking. Acknowledging the truth of his description will be painful for […]

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Big Data: The IT Fumble

If you read my blog, True data about big data, in which I proposed that Zero Dark Thirty’s lead character, Maya was a near perfect example of a data scientist, you’ll understand today’s blog title. The unstated subtext of that blog was that it’s unwise to turn big data over to the IT group. Sure, you’ll […]

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Four Reasons Why Managing Data Scientists Is Different. . . Even Unique

Managing smart professionals can be difficult, but managing data science professionals can be even more difficult. Cultural differences–understanding how a culture thinks–are rarely clear to most business people, other than when they surface in difficulties. So understanding these differences early on limits the potential for friction and conflict. MIT’s Roger Stein lays out a number […]

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How High Is Your Listening Quotient

Listening is one of those behaviors that most people take for granted. Until, that is, they miss something very important that impacts their job and career. So when interviewing for a developmental client, I inevitably ask about my client’s listening skills. Nearly always the first response is that the client is a “good listener.” Then […]

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No, You Can’t Become a Better Listener by Listening Harder

Listening is far more difficult, more fatiguing and often more frustrating than talking. But no, you can’t become a better listener by listening harder. And furthermore, even the best listeners have to bite their tongues to stop from reacting, interrupting or verbally identifying with the person talking. But there are a few simple ways to make […]

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Why How We Fight Matters Most

Analysis of business conversations inevitably reveals that they are chock full of misunderstanding, differences of opinion and inherent disagreement. Yet, it has been more than a dozen years since anything significant on managing conflict has been created. But in a recent and highly awarded study UVA’s Kristin Behfar and her colleagues have provided a new, […]

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The Four Competencies of Leadership

It’s wonderful—perhaps because it’s so rare—to reread something that you started using thirty years ago and discover that it’s still highly relevant. Desktops were just beginning to show up and technology organizations were starting to use organizational networks. Organizations began to flatten and the need for leading started to surface. The talk was all about […]

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Gen-Y, Gen-Why?, and Gen-WTF?!

As a result of interacting with a number of Gen-yers over the past few years, I’ve developed a sense of when their input can be trusted and when it can’t. MIT’s Josh Hartshorne and Harvard’s Laura Germine recently validated my hunches, providing a great deal of clarity. Two areas are very significant, one of little surprise […]

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Five Keys to Interpersonal Sensitivity

In a fascinating study, Rod Hart and Don Burks studied the relationship between “expressive” communication and “instrumental” or “rhetorical communication.” Expressive communication is very attractive in business because it involves frankness, honesty, openheartedness and non-manipulative intentions. As attractive as it is, it rarely provides people with effective means for creating and managing relationships—very important tools […]

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Sometimes the Best Is Actually the Least Worst

Sometimes there are no good options. An executive looks around and sees three managers who are no more than ordinary. But he has a high profile project. And so he selects the least worst employee for the project. It happens in business, in non-profits, in communities, in churches and in government far more than most want to […]

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