Sylvain01

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Is Execution Where Good Strategies Go to Die?

Execution is an odd word. On the one hand, it means “the carrying out of a plan or course of action.” On the other, it means, “the carrying out of a death sentence.” When leaders “execute a strategy,” they usually mean the former — putting an idea into action. But those efforts all too often end up …

Management

The Personality Traits of Good Negotiators

Although there are hundreds of books about how to negotiate more effectively, the advice they offer is often difficult to apply, for three reasons. First, there are just too many contextual specificities underpinning each negotiation, such that one size does not fit all. Second, the effectiveness …

Psychology

4 Ways Managers Can Be More Inclusive

Management teams and organizations that prioritize inclusion attract better talent and perform better. Dozens of studies have demonstrated that more-diverse teams make better decisions than less-diverse teams.<p>Many leaders know this but still struggle with making day-to-day work more inclusive.<p>By …

How to Become a More Well-Rounded Leader

For years, when I spoke with CEOs or senior leaders, it was because they were interested in how my consulting firm could help their employees become more engaged, or innovative, or sustainably high-performing. During the past year – and especially the past six months – I’ve been hearing a different …

Leadership

To Lead Across Cultures, Focus on Hierarchy and Decision Making

Cultural differences in leadership styles often create unexpected misunderstandings. Americans, for example, are used to thinking of the Japanese as hierarchical while considering themselves egalitarian. Yet the Japanese find Americans confusing to deal with. Although American bosses are outwardly …

Management

When Leaders Are Hired for Talent but Fired for Not Fitting In

Over and over again, organizations are unable to appoint the right leaders. According to academic estimates, the baseline for effective corporate leadership is merely 30%, while in politics, approval ratings oscillate between 25% and 40%. In America, 75% of employees report that their direct line …

Leadership

To Change Your Strategy, First Change How You Think

It seems that everyone these days is looking for a disruptive business model. But a business model is only one part of the equation. Equally important is the <i>mental</i> model behind the business model, as well as a <i>measurement</i> model for both. It’s the combination of mental, business, and measurement …

Innovation

If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists?

The research is clear: when we choose humble, unassuming people as our leaders, the world around us becomes a better place.<p>Humble leaders improve the performance of a company in the long run because they create more collaborative environments. They have a balanced view of themselves – both their …

Leadership

A 4-Step Process to Help Senior Teams Prioritize Decisions

Leaders and their teams often pride themselves on their ability to deal with an onslaught of decisions. But the reality is they often end up making rapid-fire calls on issues big and small and wasting their time. They and their organizations would be better served by an approach that treats …

Management

Why the Millions We Spend on Employee Engagement Buy Us So Little

Organizations are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on employee engagement programs, yet their scores on engagement surveys remain abysmally low. How is that possible? Because most initiatives amount to an adrenaline shot. A perk is introduced to boost scores, but over time the effect wears …

Employee Engagement

The 3 Simple Rules of Managing Top Talent

The general view in business is that top-end talent is highly sensitive to and motivated by compensation and that big monetary rewards are key to their management. There is a grain of truth to this — but only a grain. In my 36-year career, I haven’t met a single person truly at the top end of the …

Management

A Little Competition Could Improve Your HR, IT, and Legal Departments

I think we can all agree that corporate functions tend to be a locus of frustration for pretty much all employees — except, of course, the ones from the function that is the object of the frustration in question. If you have ever thought to yourself “Doesn’t legal understand that we are going to …

Management

Being Engaged at Work Is Not the Same as Being Productive

The holy grail of today’s workplace is high employee engagement. According to Gallup’s oft-cited research on the topic, just about one-third of U.S. employees are engaged on the job. That number drops to 13% worldwide, and has held steady for years. Many companies are investing heavily to identify …

Employee Engagement

In a Difficult Conversation, Listen More Than You Talk

When Jared walked into a meeting to discuss a new marketing approach for a product, the conversation didn’t play out well. Five minutes into the dialogue, the product manager, Françoise, started interrupting him with questions he was planning to address later in the pitch. As the conversation ran …

Leadership

How Aligned Is Your Organization?

Most executives today know their enterprises should be aligned. They know their strategies, organizational capabilities, resources, and management systems should all be arranged to support the enterprise’s purpose. The challenge is that executives tend to focus on one of these areas to the …

Management

Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance

When the theory of emotional intelligence at work began to receive widespread attention, we frequently heard executives say—in the same breath, mind you—“That’s incredible,” and, “Well, I’ve known that all along.” They were responding to our research that showed an incontrovertible link between an …

Emotional Intelligence

Good Bosses Switch Between Two Leadership Styles

Think back to the last team project you participated in at work. How did the person running the project lead the group? Did they lead by presenting a plan and using their authority to insist that others follow along? Or did the person instead lead by explaining why a particular course of action …

Leadership

How to Overcome Executive Isolation

The loneliness that often comes with being a CEO may seem like a small price to pay for the rewards, recognition, and power that come with the job. As the old joke goes, “It might be lonely at the top, but the view is terrific.”<p>But being isolated at the top can compromise your decision making and …

HR’s Vital Role in How Employees Spend Their Time, Talent, and Energy

HR’s value and efficacy is a favorite topic of debate in business. Complaints about HR include things from weak, reactive business partnering to poor talent recruitment and development, from time-wasting processes to incomprehensible communications. I don’t intend to defend HR or provide guidance …

Human Resources

Great Teams Are About Personalities, Not Just Skills

At the start of 2016 Google announced that it had discovered the secret ingredients for the perfect team. After years of analyzing interviews and data from more than 100 teams, it found that the drivers of effective team performance are the group’s average level of emotional intelligence and a high …

Management

True Leaders Believe Dissent Is an Obligation

These are head-spinning times for those of us who think about the best ways to lead and the most effective ways to compete. What defines acceptable personal behavior (let alone behavior worth emulating) among public officials? Why would executives at so many iconic organizations — Volkswagen, Wells …

Leadership

Why You Need to Invest in a Leadership Development Program

4 min read<p>Opinions expressed by <i>Entrepreneur</i> contributors are their own.<p>The most appealing companies to work for across all business sectors are those that have a strong "promote-from-within" culture. The ability to rise within the ranks of a business is tremendously motivating to your existing team …

Leadership

If Employees Don’t Trust You, It’s Up to You to Fix It

Three years ago, 37% of CEOs were concerned about a lack of trust in businesses, according to the PwC Annual Global CEO survey. Across industries, that number has climbed to 55%.<p>A high level of trust between managers and employees defines the best workplaces and drives overall company performance …

The Workplace

Lean Strategy

Strategy and entrepreneurship are often viewed as polar opposites. Strategy is seen as the pursuit of a clearly defined path—one systematically identified in advance—through a carefully chosen set of activities. Entrepreneurship is seen as the epitome of opportunism—requiring ventures to pivot in …

Management

What Great Managers Do Daily

So much depends upon managers. For example, a Gallup study found that at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores is driven by who the boss is. This is disconcerting because the same research found that about 70% of people in management roles are not well equipped for the job. This …

Employee Engagement

Pygmalion in Management

Most parents are aware that teachers’ expectations about individual children become self-fulfilling prophecies: If a teacher believes a child is slow, the child will come to believe that, too, and will indeed learn slowly. The lucky child who strikes a teacher as bright also picks up on that …

Management

MBAs Are More Self-Serving Than Other CEOs

Patrick George<p><b>The research:</b> Danny Miller, a research professor at HEC Montreal, partnered with Xiaowei Xu, an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island, to analyze the performance of 444 celebrated U.S. CEOs—those featured on Fortune, Forbes, and BusinessWeek covers from 1970 to 2008. …

Leadership

The Authenticity Paradox

Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership. But a simplistic understanding of what it means can hinder your growth and limit your impact.<p>Consider Cynthia, a general manager in a health care organization. Her promotion into that role increased her direct reports 10-fold and expanded …

Leadership

The Necessary Art of Persuasion

If there ever was a time for businesspeople to learn the fine art of persuasion, it is now. Gone are the command-and-control days of executives managing by decree. Today businesses are run largely by cross-functional teams of peers and populated by baby boomers and their Generation X offspring, who …

Management

HR Can’t Change Company Culture by Itself

A strong culture is vital for organizational success – as evidenced by the relationship between culture and leadership, employee commitment, customer satisfaction, and innovation. But “strong” doesn’t mean fixed. As the organizational goals and strategy change over time, so too should culture …

Employee Engagement