The Lead Yourself First Blog

Resilient Leadership: How To Rise Above, Resolve And Respond To Adversity

Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit….Bern Williams

As the end of the year nears, we often tend to reflect on what has happened in our lives over the past twelve months. Looking back, we may be surprised by the challenges we’ve overcome, and the way we dealt with hardship, when in fact, our capacity for resiliency shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Continue reading “Resilient Leadership: How To Rise Above, Resolve And Respond To Adversity”

Workaholism – A Sanctioned Addiction: A Message For Dedicated Slaves…And Slave Drivers

How do you extricate yourself from an unhealthy work situation? Is it more difficult to do when you relish a challenge? Can you tell the difference between being a workaholic and a hard worker? If you are an employer, are you treating your best people with respect, or are you rewarding hard work with more work? Continue reading “Workaholism – A Sanctioned Addiction: A Message For Dedicated Slaves…And Slave Drivers”

Leadership Lesson: Can You Motivate “Dead Wood” Employees?

“I’m done.” These are thoughts or words that indicate an employee’s time with your organization has come to an end. Of course, many people reach this point for reasons that have nothing to do with low morale, lack of opportunity or a dislike for their jobs. They are ready to move up, move on or begin a new chapter in their lives, once their careers are finished or their time in the workforce is over.

Scenarios like those above are easy to understand. However, the same cannot be said about an employee who shuts down, becomes apathetic at work, or sucks the life out of their co-workers by displaying negativity day in and day out. While there is little doubt that a lack of motivation manifests itself in various forms, there are often underlying issues that can be addressed positively and proactively. Continue reading “Leadership Lesson: Can You Motivate “Dead Wood” Employees?”

The Five Biggest Credibility Killers Leaders Can’t Ignore

Deborah is a senior marketing manager for a renowned home care services organization. I have known her and several members of her executive group for more than a decade. Over the past year she has witnessed growing discontent amongst the core leadership team, a dedicated group that pioneered significant initiatives to innovate and grow the business. During their last management meeting, frustrations reached a crescendo when the VP of HR reported on the findings of the previous month’s exit interviews. Continue reading “The Five Biggest Credibility Killers Leaders Can’t Ignore”

Passionate Leadership: 12 Key Traits That Distinguish The Best From The Rest

Do you remember your first encounter with a leader who profoundly impacted the course of your career or business? Why do you think he or she left such a favourable impression? If you are in the position of leading others today, do the memories of your interactions with this individual linger fondly, still influencing your own leadership style?

Hopefully, you answered “yes” to these questions although it would not be surprising if:

a) You have yet to encounter a passionate leader and therefore have no frame or reference

b) You are sadly lacking a role model, or

c) Your recollections of leaders from your past make you wince, rather than smile.  Continue reading “Passionate Leadership: 12 Key Traits That Distinguish The Best From The Rest”

The Value Of Business Relationships: One Constant In A Changing World

“I’m not a people person.” I will never forget hearing those words during a leadership workshop I was facilitating, nor will I forget the newly appointed manager who uttered them. The shocking truth is that according to the extensive Gallup study of 2.5 million manager-led teams in 195 countries, organizations fail to select the right person for the role of manager over 80% of the time.

Imagine the consequences for your employees, customers, and overall business success when a leader lacks critical acumen regarding the value of human-to-human connection. Continue reading “The Value Of Business Relationships: One Constant In A Changing World”

Sink Or Swim? How To Anticipate Change

Why do organizations repeatedly react to rather than plan for change? Why are leaders often stupefied by the glaring realization that their workforces are aging, or that their customers have “suddenly” switched allegiances?

Consider the example of Mike, a manager working in the wholesale grocery business. Mike sought my advice to lead his department through change. He had just received a list of his company’s soon-to-be retired employees. Continue reading “Sink Or Swim? How To Anticipate Change”

Leadership Lesson: How To Retain Great Employees For Long-Term Success

“What could we have done differently?” This is the burning question on every leader’s mind when a great employee decides to leave. There is no question that the cost of rehiring and retraining, the impact on the bottom line and the stress associated with repeating the exercise takes a toll on every type of business. However, the good news is that you can break the cycle by relentlessly adhering to the following strategies: Continue reading “Leadership Lesson: How To Retain Great Employees For Long-Term Success”

The Usual Suspects: Three Reasons Why Difficult People Win... And What You Can Do About It

The Usual Suspects: Three Reasons Why Difficult People Win… And What You Can Do About It

“She’s not happy unless everyone around her is panicked, nauseous or suicidal.” One of the unforgettable lines from Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) describing her boss, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”. Fortunately, Andy realized that she didn’t need to play her boss’s game, refused to be a doormat and ultimately rose above Miranda’s outrageously dysfunctional behavior. Not only did she gain her respect, she learned to respect herself, succeeded in detaching from the drama and set impenetrable boundaries. Sadly, the same cannot be said for many individuals who work with difficult people. How are they able to push every “hot” button with ease? Why do they win? And what can be done to minimize their negative impact on morale, productivity and workplace cultures? Continue reading “The Usual Suspects: Three Reasons Why Difficult People Win… And What You Can Do About It”

@remaining humble: Remembering the Founder of Email

Last week the world lost a real pioneer; a man who transformed communication and revolutionized the way we do business. Ray Tomlinson, the inventor of email and the creator of the “@” symbol, was described as “humble, kind and generous with his time and talents”. Mr. Tomlinson spent almost 50 years with the same employer, the Raytheon Company (formerly known as BBN Technologies). He worked there until his death. Joyce Kuzman, a Raytheon spokesperson, said of Tomlinson “people just loved to work with him…He was just a really nice, down-to-earth good guy.” Paradoxically, unlike the millions who frequently use his invention today, Mr. Tomlinson was not addicted to email. Continue reading “@remaining humble: Remembering the Founder of Email”