Collaborative Leadership Blog

Is Perception Our Reality?

There are things known and there are things unknown,and in between are the doors of perception.    Aldous Huxley At a recent gathering of an Asian-African employee group at a global corporation, we discussed what constitutes “diversity”. An Indian woman suggested that perceptions were an important element of what makes us different. As we explored this distinction, it became clear that …

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Respect & Moral Authority

Respect & Moral Authority Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect. –Stephen Covey We are living in a time when the basic rights of people are being disrespected, not the least of whom are the babies and children torn from the arms of their immigrant mothers and fathers seeking asylum from …

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The New Age of Collaboration

Collaboration is more than a fad or a cliché. It is how some companies are now leading their people. But we are only at the beginning of a New Age of Collaboration. High control leadership still has quite a grip on business culture. Some companies now have competing cultures internally—command and control, as well as transactional and collaborative. It all …

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Beyond the Penalty Box Syndrome

A business leader recently shared an experience they had taking a senior level position at a company he really wanted to work with. He was more than qualified for the position; in fact, he brought more talent to the table than some of the other senior professionals already there. Within a few weeks, he secured a large contract with only …

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Can We Cure Our Ethical Cancer?

Our country is suffering from an ethical cancer—unethical conduct that seems to have metastasized into every part of our societal body. Hundreds, if not thousands of leaders, in almost every sector of our society, including the military, have committed sexual abuse, mostly against women. Mass murder of school children, whether in Sandy Hook or Parkland, or everyday citizens in Chicago …

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Grounded Leadership in Chaotic Times

To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, “It’s hard to keep your head when those around you are losing theirs.” We have moved way beyond times of rapid change. The new normal is chaos and uncertainty. The recent resignation of Gary Cohn, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, an impending global trade war, the threat of nuclear conflict with North Korea, Federal …

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A New Kind of Situational Leadership

I remember working with an IT team at DuPont on an 18-month organizational transformation project, that when we got to the last meeting, I asked this collaborative management team, “Who is going to lead you going forward?” The almost instantaneous response, in unison, was “We are!” I must have had a very puzzled look on my face, because about 4 …

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How to Rebuild Trust

The situation had spiraled out of control. The trust had been broken between Alicia and Harrison for some time. Everyone knew it, but it was only discussed behind closed doors. These two were seriously impacting the work of the Executive Team. Their positions had hardened over time. The politics were ugly. People had taken sides. What would it take for …

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The Ethical Leadership Meltdown

We appear to be in the midst of an epic ethical leadership meltdown. Before our very eyes, there are almost daily revelations of ethical breaches. Whether it is sexual harassment, bribes, offshore tax-evading bank accounts (Paradise Papers), faulty products that kill or injure people, fake credit card accounts set up to accelerate profits, or exorbitant price increases for life-saving drugs, …

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The Ownership Principle: The Key to Successful Change

Change is a constant. It may be the installation of an ERP system, or a disruptive technology that undermines the value of products or services; or a new competition from a cheaper provider overseas. While markets change, however, people do not like to. Instead they resist. Sometimes they have no choice. The pain of not changing is greater than the …

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The Ownership Principle: The Key to Successful Change

Change is a constant. It may be the installation of an ERP system, or a disruptive technology that undermines the value of products or services; or a new competition from a cheaper provider overseas. While markets change, however, people do not like to. Instead they resist. Sometimes they have no choice. The pain of not changing is greater than the …

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Leading With a Moral Compass

“Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.” (Anonymous) Unethical leadership seems to be in the air. What do Uber, Wells Fargo, Mylan, VW, Takata, and GM, have in common? It is a lack of ethical leadership. Each of these companies has found themselves in ethical, legal, regulatory, and financial trouble that has significantly …

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5 Guidelines to Avoid the “Team Trap”

The Senior Vice President was increasingly frustrated with the output and dysfunction of her management team. She had tried everything she knew to get them working well together: new team leadership, training, an outdoor experience, and performance incentives. Nothing seemed to make a difference. Morale was down, as was trust. And there was increasing pressure from her leadership to either …

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Optimism in a Time of Disruptive Change

It’s one thing to blithely say that “the only constant is change”. It’s quite another thing to be on the receiving end of it. Most of us have been. Whether an executive or a manager, organizational changes now regularly redefine our jobs, work relationships; we may even be laid off. It’s really tough to deal with in terms of finances, …

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Millennials & the Work Engagement Gap

According to Gallup, in 2014, 68.5% of all US workers are either not engaged or totally disengaged from their work. Only 31.5% are engaged. How can we compete in a global economy with numbers like these? Gallup defines “engaged employees as those who are involved in, (are) enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” (Gallup, “Majority of U.S. …

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Ethical Leadership in Uncertain Times

We live in uncertain times. There is fear, anxiety, division, chaos, and constant change. The people who work with us bring this fear and uncertainty into the workplace, hoping upon hope that there is some stability, and that they can find meaning in what they do. What port is there for our ship in this storm? I believe that in …

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7 Ways Leaders Can Inspire Their Workforce

In times of great change, even chaos, people look for hope and inspiration from leadership. This is hope and inspiration that reaches to their core, their sense of purpose, their reason for working. On September 11th, 2001, when New York, the country, and much of the world was thrown into deep uncertainty and fear, CEO Ken Chenault of American Express, …

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7 Principles of Ethical Leadership

We are living in an era of great distrust and even despair. Only 18% of the public trusts big business, which is second from the bottom of Gallup’s “Confidence in Institutions” survey in June, 2016. Only Congress has a worse rating at 6%. The military has the highest rating at 73%. What will it take to restore a high level …

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Needed: Leaders Who Inspire

We live in perilous times, where there is a critical need for inspired leadership. In the chaos of the markets, the global competitive challenges that most companies face, and the 24/7 work life that all employees face, we need a steady hand at the helm of their business, and at the first and second levels of leadership. This is more …

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The Blue Angels’ Principle of Accountability

“It’s the other guy’s fault.” How often do we hear people shift responsibility for something they have done to someone else? This is called transference. We have seen transference in spades in the BP oil spill, with each of the companies involved blaming the other for this ecological and human disaster. Transference seems to be an epidemic these days. People …

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