Done with Climbing the Leadership Ladder? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I need your professional advice on career goals or growth. I worked in the construction industry for 25 years, starting out as an electrician and moving up to a field manager. I essentially went from pulling wiring through conduit to managing the entire field operation on very large, multi-million-dollar commercial and industrial projects.…

Six Keys for Setting Team Priorities and Delegating

The business world is only going to keep moving faster, which is forcing leaders to become increasingly adept at managing their team’s priorities and delegating tasks. But that can be a tricky undertaking. The way leaders manage their team’s priorities and delegate runs the spectrum. On one end are leaders who don’t know what their…

Are You a Trustworthy, Self-Aware Leader?

In our new book Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways to Be a Servant Leader and Build Trust, my coauthor, Randy Conley, and I cover a lot of topics—fifty-two, to be exact. As the subtitle suggests, a primary focus of the book is the area of trust in leadership. To be truly trustworthy, a leader…

Feel Like a Fraud? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I was recently promoted to executive vice president in a company where I started as an entry level coordinator right out of college. I took advantage of the company’s training and generous education reimbursements, got an MBA, and rose steadily. I never dreamed I would get this far, and I am thrilled about…

Make Career Conversations a Regular Agenda Item in One-on-Ones

Why would anyone want to be a career builder when they risk losing the people they develop? It’s a provocative question many leaders answer by not developing their people. But this strategy doesn’t work—because people who aren’t nurtured by their leaders end up leaving anyway. Career development is about the employee experience. It’s about the…

Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace

Feeling psychologically safe in the workplace has never been more important. The storm of the past two years has generated tidal waves of competing priorities and pressing demands, all vying for urgent attention. Hurricane-force winds of unrelenting and pervasive change continue to swirl around us. Without the critical lifeline of psychological safety, employees can feel…

Leading with Empathy

People want an empathetic leader. Many managers strive to be one. But ask someone to define the term, and you’re likely to be met with silence. Let’s start with the definition. According to Merriam-Webster, empathy means “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of…

Disappointed in Your People? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I am a VP in an organization and I have a decent team, all of whom I inherited when I joined the organization two years ago. Everyone on my team is experienced and considered senior. I have done everything I can think of to make everyone’s role and responsibilities crystal clear—yet I find…

Workplace Resilience: Helping a Teammate in Need

Our mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic, demanding the attention of leaders and businesses. Under normal circumstances, one in ten adults in the U.S. have symptoms of depression or anxiety. That number has jumped to four in ten during the pandemic—and that might be conservative. Our data show much higher numbers. In our research…