“Content is the King...

content_v_context How well do your followers understand their kingdom?
...Context is the Kingdom."We’ve written extensively on the importance of context in leadership ranging from effective communications to critical thinking to effective decision-making. We recently came across the title quote in an article by Dave Ulrich as yet another reminder of the importance of context over content for effective 21st Century leadership. Additionally, we’ve actively embraced artificial intelligence (AI) as an important support tool for our leadership and business coaching practice. One of the key lessons in using AI (ChatGPT in this case) most effectively is the ability to leverage the right prompts or questions to support the issue at hand.Recently we had a conversation with ChatGPT and asked it the following question:What are the top 3 tips to ask ChatGPT great questions?The response back is listed below without edits:Be Specific: Provide clear and specific details in your question. Instead of asking vague or broad questions, narrow down the scope to...
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“The purpose of today’s training...

Think-Different How are you training to defeat yesterday’s understanding?
...is to defeat yesterday’s understanding."As leaders make time to plan for the next business cycle, we’ve noticed a common theme both in our coaching conversations as well as in general conversations not directly related to coaching. Leaders are quick to delve into the operational plans for their businesses and organizations. However, when the asked about their personal leadership development plans, the conversations suddenly go silent or taper off significantly. Thus, this is the theme for this month’s discussion around how leaders must think more broadly when it comes to planning for sustainable success in a new business cycle.The title of this month’s discussion is from the 17th Century Japanese philosopher, Miyamoto Musashi. He is also a noted strategist, swordsman and ronin. He is credited with developing a unique style of swordsmanship, a feat he could not have accomplished by continuing to use the yesterday’s understanding of his time. So too, leaders...
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“...Inspire through values...

values21 How is your culture aligned to your organizational values?
 ...and motivation takes care of itself."One of the most visible effects the current VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment has been the impact on organizational culture. We define organizational culture in our leadership and business coaching practice as the shared set of Values, Beliefs, Norms and Attitudes within an organization that guide the Behavior of its members. At the foundation of this definition are the core values of the organization that become the guiding principles of its leaders as they model the desired culture.What we’ve observed over the last four years is less about the values themselves and more about the struggle leaders face in aligning their core values to the desired culture. The title quote from Tony Hsieh, the late founder of Zappos, highlights the point. When we look at the relationship between values and culture, we can state it in simple terms as Values + Alignment = Culture....
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“..., you have to be immune to criticism, but...

Feedback How is your team receiving your feedback?
...at the same time, responsive to feedback.”We find this distinction between criticism and feedback to be an interesting topic as we coach our client leaders through the many changes occurring in their businesses. In a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment, it is easy to take any negative input, whether from internal or external sources, as a personal affront. The skill of the leader is to know the difference between criticism and feedback as the title quote from Deepak Chopra suggests. His entire quote above is, “The biggest insight is that if you want to be successful, you have to be immune to criticism, but, at the same time, responsive to feedback, which are two different things.In our leadership and business coaching practice, we routinely facilitate coaching around the differences between the two so we are using this month’s discussion to share some thoughts on how leaders can effectively leverage...
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“It’s not who is right...

accountability How are you focused on what’s right as a leader, even if you may be proven wrong in any given situation?
...but what is right, that is important.”As we continue to focus many of our writings on critical thinking and the leader’s ability to set direction for their teams, this quote from Thomas Huxley rang true on so many levels. We continue these discussions in the context of operating in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment. It is a recurring theme because we continue to see and hear about business leaders struggling with change and conflict they feel they have limited control over. It stems from a frequent chorus of leaders struggling with what should be, versus what actually is, the current reality!In tough situations, it is not uncommon for leaders to hear themselves and other leaders lament the current situation through the lens of, “it could/would/should be this instead of that.” or “It isn’t supposed to be like this”. While these statements carry an element of truth in that...
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