Why Teams Rarely Rise Beyond the Level of the Leader

iStock_000007283342Small

Leaders: If you’re frustrated at the level of your team or vendor’s performance, then look no further than the mirror.  Only in vary rare cases will a team perform better than the level of their leader.  Why?  Because it’s the leader who sets the boundaries, deadlines, and guidelines. It’s the leader who creates the culture, and sets expectations. As a result, no matter how gifted or creative a team is, if the leader is incompetent, insecure, or inexperienced, the team can only

How to Deal With the Whiners On Your Team

Business People

Most creative teams are going to have at least one member who’s a whiner. Whiner’s focus on the negative, and thrive on complaining – often about the most insignificant things you can imagine. According to the Wall Street Journal, research indicates that productivity can be damaged by working alongside a chronic complainer. Exposure to non-stop negativity can disrupt learning, memory, attention, and judgement. The problem is more widespread than you think, because

Don’t Be Afraid to Say, "I Don’t Know"

Stock Photo

Way too often in modern business, competition makes us feel that we can’t ask for help.  We think it will show weakness, and as a result, we lie.  We try to make everyone think we can handle everything, when the truth is, we have lots of questions.  Here’s my take:  Insecure people are terrified that people around them will think they don’t know what they’re doing.  But people who are secure, have the confidence to ask for help.  As a result, they find answers and move ahead of everyone else.

Want to Be More Productive on Monday? Stop Working Weekends

photo-1414490929659-9a12b7e31907

In trying to write books like “One Big Thing,” speak internationally, and help our great clients, lately I’ve found myself working most weekends.  I do like the quiet, and I can get so much more done without the phone ringing, or having to get ready for a meeting or conference call. But the problem is, I’ve noticed that I’m hating Mondays. Without taking Saturday and Sunday off, work is just a

When Disruption Threatens Your Organization, Which Side Are You On?

photo

When something new and disruptive happens, people within an organization generally fall into two groups:  Those who recognize the future inside the disruption, and those who only see the disruption as negative and fight to keep the status quo. I would have loved to be in the room at Blackberry when the first iPhone was announced. Chances are, one group recognized the threat and hunkered down to keep “Blackberry” a “Blackberry.” Keep the keyboard and software – after all, we can work within an enterprise system, and iPhone’s can’t. No change. Stay the course.  But I’ll bet there were others in the room who saw something different. They may not have

The Power of Moral Courage

iStock_000017422600XSmall

I define the term “moral courage” as a set of personal principles you live by that are unchanging. Some people would call them moral absolutes, but however you choose to name them, they help create a life of moral purpose. Without moral purpose you will never reach your full potential. In another generation, moral courage would be only discussed in religious terms, but today even secular corporations are embracing the concept. I believe it’s because after fifty years of moral drift in this country, we are just beginning to see the damage from the pursuit of unchecked sexual freedom, rampant cheating, and a culture of “me first.” Check out the self-help section of the average bookstore and note how many titles focus on