5 sure-fire ways to destroy organizational excellence

Building and sustaining organizational excellence requires exceptional people dedicated to the task

5 sure-fire ways to destroy organizational excellenceA blog from a couple of years back by marketing guru and all-round provocative thinker Seth Godin entitled The fruitless search for extraordinary people willing to take ordinary jobs took me back to a boardroom conversation about executive pay. Every company has a ‘compensation philosophy’ that it uses to guide how it sets the pay…

How working from home could be bad for your career

Working from home could enhance your work-life balance, but negatively impact your development and career trajectory

How working from home could be bad for your careerAs we approach three months working in pandemic lockdown, many organizations are toying with the idea of making remote work a more permanent fixture. The potential advantages are obvious: financial savings from reduced office space, reduced commuting time for employees, the ability to hire from outside the region. For many organizations, the experiment with virtual…

Why mission matters now more than ever

Encouraging everyone to look at what they’re doing through a mission lens can help your entire organization

Why mission matters now more than everI often find inspiration for my column from something I’ve read or heard. This month’s column was inspired by a podcast with Tobi Lütke, co-founder and CEO of Shopify. Shopify has been on a tear lately, overtaking even RBC to become Canada’s most valuable company. As a very small shareholder, I couldn’t be happier for…

Finding opportunity in the middle of pandemic

How COVID-19 is allowing us to challenge our assumptions about preparedness, speed of execution and what’s important

Finding opportunity in the middle of pandemicTo quote Albert Einstein, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” As difficult as this pandemic is, it’s also exposing a wealth of opportunities. As businesses, leaders and individuals, we’re being confronted with the opportunity to challenge our assumptions on all fronts. There are some positive lessons to be learned through this COVID-19 crisis, and…

How to keep it together when everything is falling apart

In the face of the coronavirus, keep perspective. Focus on what matters and what you can control. Strive for a sense of well-being. And stay busy

How to keep it together when everything is falling apartI remember writing about personal and leadership resilience during the financial crisis. I guess the good news is, until now, we haven’t had an event so universally significant and impactful to test us. But here we are again. Unlike the financial crisis, where it was (just) about money, this time it will be – at…

How to say ‘yes’ to pro bono work and feel good about it

Calling it ’knowledge philanthropy’ rather than ‘pro bono’ makes me feel like I am giving, rather than giving something away

How to say ‘yes’ to pro bono work and feel good about itAs an entrepreneur I get a lot of requests to give away expertise ‘for a good cause’. Many times I have to say no. However, I have started to intentionally incorporated knowledge philanthropy into my lifestyle portfolio (not my business portfolio). Here are some of the lessons I learned around how I say ‘YES!’ to…

The power of a good question

A really good question is fuel for our reflection, awareness and insight. We like to solve our own problems and good questions invite us to do that

The power of a good questionQuestions are one of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenals as leaders, professionals, parents and humans. One of my favourite stories about the power of a question comes from an interview. My final interview for a job I really wanted was with the CEO of the company. After peppering me with questions,…

Success strategies for working through chronic stress

How do you deal with stress?

Success strategies for working through chronic stress"Every day is a new day." At no time in recent memory has this phrase been more poignant. The situation has gone from one of sudden, unexpected crisis to that of chronic, daily stress. It is emotionally and psychologically exhausting. In the workplace, the pressure to make good decisions and produce good results has never…

Tips to becoming a strategic thinker

The good news is strategic thinking can be nurtured

Tips to becoming a strategic thinkerI once started working with a leader who suddenly found herself on the executive team. A corporate restructuring resulted in skipping a level and now she is sitting around the table asking, ‘am I strategic enough to do this job?’ Her question is not unique. Twenty years of developing leaders has taught me there are…

Tough times require tough bosses

Seven basic management skills to motivate your workers

Tough times require tough bossesFor over two decades we have been training leaders to manage people by empowering them. Leaders who were authoritarian, who behaved like a parent instead of a coach, were seen as dinosaurs at the end of their era. Times change. I remember how a conversation I had with a client, an enlightened and successful leader, unfolded:…

5 questions to ask yourself before accepting that new position

Being offered a promotion or a chance to do something new at work may be your dream come true. But is it?

5 questions to ask yourself before accepting that new positionBeing offered a promotion or a chance to do something new at work may be your dream come true. But is every opportunity a good one? Before you jump and say ‘yes’ ask yourself these five questions. Why me? Organizations re-assign people for a variety of reasons. Brent took two back-to-back ‘Acting’ roles and was…

Five ways you can practice kindness at work

By being kind, we give those around us hope and inspiration

Five ways you can practice kindness at workMindfulness is a hot trend in organizational effectiveness, with employee programs popping up in innovators like Google and stalwarts like General Mills (Why Google, Target, and General Mills Are Investing in Mindfulness, Harvard Business Review). The demonstrated benefits of mindfulness practices, such as meditation, are mounting. As good and important as mindfulness is (I am…

How to behave like a millennial, and like it

At mid-life, as we long to reshape our lives and careers, and do something more meaningful, we could learn a thing or two from millennials

How to behave like a millennial, and like itSeveral years ago, I had the sudden, blessed opportunity to step off my hamster wheel – the success-oriented, fast-paced career where I put my work first and tried to shoehorn in everything else. Balance was a see-saw – when one side went up, the other went down. It was a life of sacrifice and compromise,…

Five steps to improving your life in 2020

By focusing on simple things that improve your life, you'll become a happier person – enabling you to make a broader contribution

Five steps to improving your life in 2020I relish the opportunity to reflect on the year – and give thought to what I want to be different going forward, and how I will accomplish that. I gave up making actual resolutions years ago; like everyone else, my follow-through was short-lived and ended in disappointment. But I like to experiment with new habits…

Why New Year’s resolutions never stick

Change isn't difficult. What is difficult is doing things when you don't really want to

Why New Year’s resolutions never stickSo it's a new year. The pressure to look optimistically and confidently ahead, to resolve to change old ways and embrace the new, is palpable. The media, with tiresome predictability, are chock-full of advice from the experts on how to make and stick to your resolutions. Forget it. Most people really don't want to change,…
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