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24
Jun

Animals herd. Cattle, geese, bees, birds, fish, wolves, and people. We herd, flock, swarm, migrate, school, pack, gather, and crowd. All of this herding breeds groupthink. People tend to follow the behaviors, actions, and beliefs of those in their herd to avoid the herd’s rejection. Here’s how it works. The herd starts circling around the same idea until […]

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17
Jun

Lower your expectations. I first heard this advice at RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa held the last week of July. When my friends and I arrived at camp to start the adventure, the head of our outfitter, Pork Belly Ventures, welcomed us with the following, “This is going to be a great week. But here’s the […]

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10
Jun

If you want to influence anyone, trust is imperative. People only follow people they trust, regardless of titles. When you have the privilege of leading or mentoring others, trust is your bedrock to success. If you attempt to lead or mentor without it, you breed micromanagement, resentment, dis-involvement, and even active disruption. Here are 7 […]

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03
Jun

Employee engagement is like the war on terror. We’re not sure exactly what it means; we can’t exactly describe it; we don’t know what to do about it; we never really know if we are making any progress; and we will never know if we have won. According to the Gallop Organization, only 29% of […]

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11
Sep

“Ann! I’m so sorry I haven’t reached out. I have been so busy!” My stepdaughter texted me these words while I was on my latest cycling adventure. I could only laugh. She is 12. She was on summer break. She has no job, no schoolwork, no chores, and her only obligation was going to the […]

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04
Aug

Would your people protest for you?   Forget going to war for you. Would your people protest for you? Would they demand you be reinstated if you were fired, risking their jobs and pensions for you?   What kind of leader would you have to be to attract no less than 4 major rallies in […]

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10
Jul

Imagine my delight! I’ve been on a soapbox for years begging leaders to replace WIIFM with WSIC. Then I discovered that the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published recently a paper that affirms my rant!   What’s WIIFM? What’s In It For Me. With WIIFM people expect something in exchange for their efforts. […]

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02
Jun

“There is a culture of complacency among the agency’s middle management,” said Rep. Jeffrey Miller (R-Fla.), chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee (HVAC). “These mid-level managers are evidently willing to just wait out those of us who are trying to change things.” Not only is that statement riddled with assumptions, it’s laden with its […]

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09
May

I have trained Lulu to expect a gift every time I visit. And she never forgets, regardless of how many months pass between my visits. My niece is a precocious 5-year-old. When I visited in January, two weeks after my Christmas gifts arrived, I negligently handed her a gift to share with her brother. And […]

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03
Apr

I admit it. I have a leader crush on Arkadi Kuhlmann, the founder of ING Direct. I have gushed about Arkadi previously when he was interviewed for Corner Office in the NY Times. I became a fan then. But now I’m reading about him in Mavericks at Work and I am an evangelist. Here are […]

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