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Why Great Leaders Invest in Themselves

I just returned from five days at the National Speakers Association conference in Denver, Colorado, where I had the opportunity to learn from the best speakers in the world on how they grow their businesses and stay relevant for their clients. These sessions were invaluable—hearing what worked, what didn’t, and the different approaches speakers take in working with clients and making an impact. I took copious notes which sparked many ideas I hadn’t thought of…

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Are You Networking Effectively?

Effective networking is a key component in professional development.  It applies to every industry at every level and can be utilized in many ways – to grow your business, to sign new clients, to create referrals, to find employee candidates, or to discover a new mentor. Often, networking can be viewed as a task to check off the list, as opposed to an opportunity to build ongoing, meaningful relationships.  But networking makes a significant difference…

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How to Manage Your Emotional Hot Buttons

I had just returned from a rare weekend away with friends when I walked into my house to find a mess–clothes all over the floor, living room pillows scattered everywhere, papers littering the table and floor, and about fifty tiny staples stuck in the carpet. I felt my frustration rising as my calm, relaxing weekend faded away by the minute. This is a familiar scene in my house, since I have three kids, ages eight…

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5 Books to Help Elevate Your Culture This Year

Most organizations are average—they are stuck and not growing. Average organizations have average leaders. It is still standard practice for many organizations to promote employees for their technical skills, rather than their ability to lead and inspire other people. This practice perpetuates mediocre cultures. I believe there are three main reasons organizations are average: Employees are promoted for technical proficiency, and not leadership proficiency The leaders are conflict avoidant Cultural health is not a strategic…

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Five Signs You Have a Mediocre Culture

A lot has changed over the past thirty years–we can jump on Amazon and have anything delivered to our door in a day, we have hundreds of channels at our fingertips, and we can Google the answer to any question in a matter of seconds. But there is one thing that has not changed much over the years—mediocre leadership. While the world has moved at a fast pace, mediocre leaders and mediocre cultures are the…

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Stop Telling Girls that Bossy is Leadership

Stop Telling Girls that Bossy is Leadership

It was a week before Christmas, and my three kids were reenacting The Nutcracker in our living room when a fight broke out. My seven-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Olivia, started yelling at her younger brother because he didn’t announce her performance the way she wanted him to. She screamed at him to turn off the lights and start over, and Luca left the room in tears. As I attempted to intervene and bring some peace to the…

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Instilling Accountability in Your Team

I believe most employees want to do a good job. They want clarity on how to be successful and what is expected so they can deliver results. Yet many leaders don’t communicate in a way that brings out the best performance in their employees. There are often little things we do and don’t do as leaders that get in the way of effective communication and results. In many organizations, accountability has a negative connotation. Many…

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Are You a Modern Leader?

Forty years ago, there was little talk in business about engaging employees, coaching and developing direct reports, or cultivating the company culture.  Many people stayed at the same organization for most of their career. Traditional managers, who were task-oriented and provided a lot of direction but very little inspiration, were tolerated. The command and control style of leadership prevailed. The landscape of the work environment has changed. Employees have more choices, and will leave an…

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The One Question Netflix Uses to Ensure an Exceptional Culture

You may know Netflix as a top media entertainment provider with shows like, Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things, but behind this media giant is a high-performance company culture that seeks to attract and retain “stunning colleagues.” Netflix believes in people over process, and promotes freedom, independence, and collaboration. Like many organizations, they have company values that sound great, but the difference is, they actually live by them. Almost a decade ago, some…

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How to Know When to Fire Someone

How to Know When to Fire Someone

I once worked for a credit union where employees dreaded calling the accounting department. There was an accounting specialist who was not friendly and often snapped at you if she felt you should know the answer to a question. She had been working there for over 20 years and had a reputation of not working well with people. But nothing was ever done about it. When she decided to retire, it was like the organization…

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