“Spend time walking with thinkers.” That’s something a mentor of mine used to say, and he was referring to reading. He saw reading as a way to connect with great thinkers and enrich intellect. He was right. When people make the time to read, they become more inspired, engage and empowered. But there’s also a challenge—many people find it hard to make the time commitment. That’s why I’m starting this new newsletter series: “What I’ve [...]
Here’s a question I get asked a lot: “How can I be a better networker?” My answer often comes as a surprise: “Stop networking!” I say that because the stereotypical view of “networking” is ineffective, and it can even be harmful. Instead, people should focus on connecting and building real relationships. Here’s why relationships are important, why stereotypical networking goes off track, and how you can build the kind of relationships that will increase your [...]
Susan is a COO for a rapidly growing company, and she’s been charged with rolling out a customer care initiative. She seemed like the perfect lead, she’s good with technology and she is great at project management. But the project is in trouble, and the CEO is losing confidence. Here’s Susan’s big mistake: She neglected to manage the relationships needed to make the project successful. It’s a very common mistake and there’s a simple tool that can help—relationship mapping.
Several weeks ago, I participated in a panel discussing diversity in the workplace. The title of the panel was “Diversity and Innovation,” but the real topic was “Why are we still having this conversation, and why haven’t we made progress?” It’s an important question for the future of American business, and it’s an area in which I believe many leaders should be taking a more active role. Diversity has been a hot topic for three [...]
Over the years, I’ve seen that certain behaviors support innovative corporate cultures. If leaders build a solid foundation upon those behaviors in the workplace, there’s a better chance that their organizations will be stronger and enduring. These three “pillar” practices create a work environment conducive to generating ideas, encouraging productive behaviors, and sparking imagination.
It’s hard to pick up a business book or magazine without seeing the word “innovation.” I believe that’s a good thing because innovation is the life-blood of any business—it’s how we serve our customers and differentiate ourselves from the competition. However, many business leaders privately tell me how much they struggle with innovation. They find it difficult to generate new ideas, their employees sometimes resist needed change, and the higher the stakes the more [...]
Several weeks ago I received a tremendous honor—I was invited to speak at TEDx Boulder. I’m a huge TED fan, and I believe the TED mission of “spreading ideas worth sharing” is incredibly important for individuals, businesses and our society. So, of course, I expected to invest a lot of time and effort into preparing for my first TED talk. However, what I didn’t realize was how much I would learn during the process—knowledge that [...]
I want to share some very good news. Vision Executive Coaching recently became certified as a B Corporation, or B Corp for short. B Corp certification means that Vision has undergone a rigorous assessment of our ethical, social and environmental business practices, and that we meet the highest standards. I’m extremely proud of this move for a number of reasons. First, it is a way to further stand for values that I believe are important. Second, this is [...]
Recently I caught up with a former colleague, who I’ll call John. Formerly a senior leader with a Fortune 100 company, John has extraordinary skills in his field. He’s also in a career transition right now—in other words, he’s looking for a new job after being laid off. During our chat, I noticed that John was sounding apologetic for his last job, when in fact there was a really good story to tell about his [...]