Category Archives: Need to Know

New Leader Tuesday—Learning to Adapt Your Approach to Individuals

You will cultivate a leadership style over time…in large part by learning from trial and error. You can accelerate the learning process and improve your effectiveness by remembering to adapt your interaction style to the behaviors and preferences of others, while never compromising your commitment to fairness, your firm’s values or your obligation to drive results.


Art of Managing—Steering Clear of Flail and Fail

Businesses of all sizes, shapes and ages run into rough patches. Rapid growth, disruptive competitors or technologies, regulatory changes or the end of the road for well-worn strategies are all potential culprits in the move from success to struggle. It’s critical at this point for a firm’s leaders and managers to react carefully and appropriately in this unfamiliar terrain or they risk moving quickly from flail to fail. They invite flailure. Here are 5 ideas to stem the tide when the flailing starts:


Just One Thing—Practice Staying in the Moment

Our world of work is filled with quick sound-bite exchanges and constant interruptions. Many of us have learned to cope with competing stimuli and the pressure to move faster and faster in our daily transactions, yet there is a cost to working this way…


A Leader’s Reasons to Be Thankful

This is an annual post at Management Excellence, offered in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. It’s a nice time for leaders to pause and recognize the many reasons they have to be thankful for the privilege of serving.


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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: