Category Archives: Need to Know

Art of Managing—Strengthen Performance by Clarifying Your Firm’s Values

Successful companies in my experience operate with a set of clearly understood, actionable values. These values transcend behavior and point to purpose, direction and approach. Most of the time, they are codified or articulated however, in the case of some smaller or start-up organizations, they are present in the environment even if they are missing from the framed artwork on the wall. If your values aren’t working incredibly hard to support your firm every day, it’s time to consider a refresh.


Level-Up #3—Cultivating Grace or Fire Under Pressure

There will be bad days, tough situations or pivotal debates on key issues with colleagues that will trip your trigger and stimulate your fight (as in argue) or flight reflex. For some of us who never met a good knock-down argument we didn’t love, the situation will tempt our fight or fight-harder reflexes. And for those who tend to operate on the quiet side of the equation, sometimes you just need to be heard. Learning to match just the right level of emotion or passion to each situation is important in gaining support for your initiatives and gaining much needed credibility with team members and your firm’s senior leaders. Here are 7 ideas to help your cause:


In Pursuit of Senior Management Team Cohesion

In the most recent post in this series, I emphasized the importance of carefully cultivating senior management team chemistry …particularly when it comes to neutralizing the impact of toxic participants. However, even with the positive situation of a ph-neutral group of senior leaders (including the CEO) at the management team roundtable, there’s still no guarantee of high performance. As we shift away from the issue of toxicity (a deal-killer for team performance) and move towards cultivating high performance at the senior management group level, the ideas of team cohesion and team attraction come into play. Here are 5 ideas to help you begin to promote team cohesion:


It’s Your Career—The Power of Displaying Passion for Your Work

There’s something infectious and likeable about someone who displays obvious passion for their work, particularly when the enthusiasm is anchored in fixing, improving or innovating around something meaningful to others and to the firm. For professionals climbing the rungs of the organizational ladder or navigating boundary crossing in highly siloed organizations, visible enthusiasm for your work will serve you well during your journey. Here are 5 ideas to help you showcase your genuine enthusiasm and strengthen your professional presence:


The Sticky Topics of Senior Management Team Chemistry & Performance

The use of the word “team” to reference the collection of a firm’s senior leaders is generous at best and fallacious in many cases. Senior managers don’t necessarily gel as a team and perhaps a more accurate description of them in the context of a group might be that they are a collection of intelligent, successful functional leaders who occasionally come together and tolerate each other for a few hours of collegial discussion. Here are a number of ideas to get the toxicity out and the performance up:


Leadership Caffeine—Is that Employee Not Right or Not Ready?

We all know that getting the right people in the right seats is a prerequisite for success. The problem comes in truly assessing whether the individual is Not Ready or Not Right for the role. Here are 4 reasons why we often fail to recognize the “Not Right” characters and 5 ideas to help you deal with this dilemma:


Art of Managing—Moving Beyond A Failure to Execute

Resolving the failure to execute problem is much more like a long-term fitness program than a quick weight-loss diet. It involves changing the thinking about what’s most important for organizational health and success and doing the hard work of developing new habits that support continuous improvement. Here are 7 ideas to help you begin developing some healthy new habits: