It’s not the facts we disagree on…

…it’s the interpretation of the facts we most often disagree!In this classic conflict between content (facts) and context (interpretation) lies a key element of effective leadership; managing perceptions! We’ve heard many of the mantras around perception including the most common, “Perception is Reality”.  But what is perception and how does it influence our ability to be effective leaders?  Perception is the process we use to organize and interpret our sensory inputs in order to understand, and give meaning to, what goes on around us.  More specifically, perception can be addressed by looking deeper into the factors that shape our perceptions and reside in the Perceiver, the Situation and the Sensory Target.  Let’s look at each of these to see what we can learn to be more effective leaders! The Perceiver ~ Even before we encounter our next sensory input, our previous experiences and attitudes will impact how we interpret, or simply...
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Start Steady…

…Finish Strong!This has been a mantra I’ve lived by since the days of running marathons in the early 90s, to helping get my kids ready for Army and Navy boot camps.  As each was getting mentally and physically ready to attend their respective basic training, I would repeat the phrase over and over especially on our training runs.  Now it holds a place on my triathlon jersey as a constant motivator to keep improving as a triathlete.  It is in this context the mantra was recently put to the test and got me thinking about its relevance in a broader leadership setting. Start Steady ~ In the local sprint triathlon earlier this month, I was even more committed to a steady start in the swim as I have ever been. It was not about talent, rather finding a pace that was in keeping with this being a sprint, but not burn...
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Guest — Dave Brennan
Rick, must say that I do enjoy reading these! Glad to see you are still swimming, biking and running. I have not yet transitione... Read More
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 11:59
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You Don't Know SWOT!

Of the many lessons I’ve learned throughout my career, one that has generated sustainable success is the effective use of the SWOT Analysis.  For those readers who are not familiar with the SWOT Analysis, it is a flexible tool that helps the leader identify internal Strengths and Weaknesses as well as external Opportunities and Threats (hence the acronym).  It can be used to assess individual circumstances and/or organizational situations with a very straightforward process.  The challenges for both frequent SWOT users or those leaders just getting started with the tool is that most fail to realize the full value of the SWOT process.  Most only realize half the value by ignoring the most effective part of the tool!In a traditional SWOT Analysis, the leader creates four lists containing the collective insights on the internal Strengths (list #1) and Weaknesses (list #2) along with the external Opportunities (list #3) and Threats (list...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Robyn Rickenbach
Excellent synopsis of how SWOT can be used effectively ... and not just used without really getting the full impact. Thanks for s... Read More
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:53
Guest — RLochner
Robyn, Thanks so much for your comment. My experience tells me it makes or breaks the entire SWOT process. Thanks again. Rick... Read More
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 15:19
Guest — Kathy
I used your SWOT with synthesis for a report given at a recent board meeting. It was fantastic and well received by the board. Tha... Read More
Thursday, 28 July 2016 06:55
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Change the Narrative...

…Change the Culture!I recently attended a lecture that carried the above title and was intrigued by the ensuing discussion around how effective communications can literally change the course of an organization based on the narrative used to inspire it.  In my mind, effective communication is the number one leadership challenge in business (for-profit and non-profit) today supported by an abundance of real-world examples, surveys and professional articles.  Most surveys I’ve read on this topic not only identify the issue, but also identify leadership’s own poor attempts to improve communications within their organizations.  It is this challenge to improve what is a well-known issue that highlights this leadership discussion. Effective communication is defined as the ability of the sender and the receiver to understand the message in the same context.  This implies using clarity in the message itself, choosing the most effective and efficient media to transmit the message and using an...
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“Excellence drives Mediocre People away…

…just as Mediocrity drives the Superstars away”One of the greatest challenges any leader will face is putting the right team together and positioning them to excel and achieve desired results!  This is true of businesses large and small, for-profit or non-profit, public or private sector.  What I love about the title quote from Jim Hunter’s book, “The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle” is the simple truth it represents for leaders to invest in fielding the right team to realize the Vision, execute the Strategy by achieving their Goals leading to the aforementioned Desired Results.  However, what is frustrating is how many leaders are not addressing the mediocrity and lamenting the inevitable departure of their best team members.  Let’s break down the two issues and address what leaders can do with each one.Excellence drives mediocre people away ~ Of course the first challenge to this issue is defining what excellence means to...
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Recent Comments
Guest — Deborah Frey
Brilliant, my friend! (I was traveling when I read this earlier in the week, and sought it out to repost.) Incredibly simple guid... Read More
Thursday, 26 May 2016 17:58
Guest — RLochner
Deb, Thanks so much for your comment. It seems I really struck a nerve with this one as it generated quite a response, especially... Read More
Thursday, 26 May 2016 18:13
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