The Vacation Test

August is a great time to go on vacation. If you’re a owner or a manager, it’s a ready-made test of the team you leave behind. Can they run the place without you? For an hour, a day or maybe a couple of weeks? Will they pass the test of …

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The No Asshole Rule

Originally published in 2007, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert I. Sutton, paints a compelling picture of how hiring and retaining even one asshole undermines the performance of your organization. The decline in performance spans both the departments with an asshole …

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Why Hire a Coach?

The value of coaching is established in most people’s minds. If you’re someone who is skeptical about the value, reading further is unlikely to change your mind. If you’ll allow that coaching has value, why would you want to hire a coach? Our experience highlights three reasons: Learning best practices. …

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A Model for Leaders – Odysseus Archetype Part III

In our last post we looked at how Odysseus, our archetypal leader, made use of a broad range of experiences and mistakes to learn and grow. In this final post we’ll discuss more of the characteristics that leaders of today could employ to their organization’s benefit. Our protagonist understands the …

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A Model for Leaders – The Odysseus Archetype Part II

In Part I of this series we discussed how Homer’s Odysseus, exemplified a leader with high emotional intelligence who was able to think situations though, and make difficult decisions when necessary. We also considered the executive education value of perspective and emotional distance that this classic story provides. One of …

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A Model for Leaders – The Odysseus Archetype Part I

Emotional intelligence has been hailed by many as an important component of a business leader’s skill set these past couple of decades. One of the first, if not the first, character in Western Literature to display and employ emotional intelligence consistently is Odysseus, hero of Homer’s classic Odyssey. Time and …

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The Gordian Knot and Family Business

A Gordian Knot is a complicated problem where bold action achieves an otherwise elusive solution. In family business, the complicate problem is how to setup a succession plan that taps one or more family members (and sometimes a “near” family member–someone who through loyalty and years of service has become …

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Employee Engagement (Including Millennials)

During the past several months, multiple clients and peers have raised the “millennial issue.” This issue can be summarized by the question: how do you engage employees born after 1980 (and before ~2000)? A quick check of Gallup’s Employee Engagement webpage indicates that overall employee engagement is only around 32% …

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Hiring for Emotional Intelligence

We’ve all seen bright and technically competent people fail in managerial/leadership roles because of poor or non-existent people skills. The study of this phenomena finds that success in a leadership role is strongly correlated with above average people skills or what has come to be known as, high emotional intelligence. …

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