“Leaders are sentenced…

…by their sentences.”We’ve long defined effective communications when the sender and the receiver of a message understand the message in the same contextual meaning. As leaders, this is a basic, albeit crucial, element of the success as a 21st Century Leader. However, as Warren Bennis reminds us in the title quote, there are consequences associated with the words we use and whether or not they convey their intended contextual meaning. This is especially true when we speak. Technology advances notwithstanding, humans are pre-wired to still respond to the spoken word. The spoken word is hundreds of thousands of years old while the written word is still only several hundred years old. Even in a technology-laced world we now operate in, the spoken word still rules in the world of effective communications. In my experience, lack of effective communications is the number one reason why leaders are not effective in leading their...
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Preach Always...

...Sometimes Use WordsWe have all heard the phrase “Practice What You Preach” at some point in our lives. There is even a variation that goes “Preach What You Practice”. The underlying theme is the effective combination of Preaching and Practice. However, Preaching does not always mean words are involved. This takes on added importance the more we talk about business culture and the many ways leaders influence the culture of a business, regardless of whether it is a for-profit or non-profit, small venture or large corporate venture. What leaders say and do to reflect the culture are as important as what they accept what others say and do, whether positive or negative to the culture.What do people see from your actions? What are you preaching without saying anything? We often forget that every move we make as leaders is under some level of scrutiny. People are watching and judging based on...
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Guest — James P. Healy
So true, especially in the case of parents with children, who are so capable of discerning our beliefs and integrity from our word... Read More
Thursday, 25 June 2015 14:25
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"The culture of any organization is shaped…

corporate-culture-comics-improve-culture
…by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate." This has been one of the easiest newsletters to write for the simple reason that I see so many examples of the situation outlined in the undated quote above from Gruenter and Whitaker. So much so that it seems like the right time to break down why it occurs and provide some thoughts on how to help leaders avoid the this trap that many find themselves caught in. One of Peter Drucker’s quotes reads, “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” which means when you get culture right, the rest will more often than not, fall into place.The conversation begins with the definition of culture itself. We define culture as the shared set of beliefs, values and attitudes that guide the behavior of the organization. Every organization, large or small has a culture that is created in one of three ways:Leaders hire associates...
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Recent Comments
Guest — David
How interesting! When I ask a leader to define her/his culture, it takes a while to get a response; there's hesitation; or "I neve... Read More
Saturday, 11 June 2016 12:59
Guest — RLochner
David, Thank you for your note. I get the same response many times and the conversation gets interesting when they understand tha... Read More
Saturday, 11 June 2016 21:51
Guest — ALochner
Hello Uncle Rick! I’ve been binge-reading leadership literature over the past week or so and have really enjoyed your blogs! As ... Read More
Friday, 27 December 2019 08:12
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I Listened

In the 1999 movie, “The 13th Warrior”, Antonio Banderas plays an Arab in the company of a band of Norsemen. There is a scene where all the Norsemen are talking in a language the audience cannot understand while the lone Arab sits intently. Eventually the entire conversation is in English meaning the Arab can now understand what they are saying. When he responds to an insult in their language, one of the Norsemen angrily questions, “Where did you learn our language?” He responds simply, “I listened!” Effective communications is the quintessential skill for effective leadership and listening is a crucial component to effective communications. Many leaders attend class after class on how to speak and present, while very few, if any, have been to an effective listening class! Listening has always been a key part of my own success as a leader and I will use those examples to highlight the...
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Forget Coping...

…Think Adapting”For all the time and material I’ve devoted to helping my clients and students manage change, I could not help but note the simplicity and profoundness of the title quote. What makes it even more credible is it is attributed in a recent “People” magazine article to Dame Judith Dench, winner of an Oscar and a Tony Award at age 65! As the current character “M” in the James Bond film series, she likely knows what she is talking about so let’s break it down further! Forget Coping Coping is generally defined as a reaction to minimize stress or conflict. It conjures up images of someone trying to deal with an uncomfortable situation and possibly surviving to move on to another day or the next event. In the leadership context, it portrays the leader who is overcome by the events surrounding them as their world peppers them with problems and...
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