Your Team Thinks You’re Closed-Minded? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I am a marketing manager at large consumer goods manufacturing company. I have ten direct reports and a couple of dotted-line people who work on big internal communications projects. Things move fast around here. The HR team recently did an engagement survey of my team and one of the dimensions was something along…

The Leaders Guide to Mediocrity—Less Than a Million Ways to Maintain the Status Quo

“Proceed with caution in the direction of your hopes, and live safely, the life have.” —Hank Dave Locke Mediocre is a good. Moderate quality is ok. “Average is the norm,” as Yogi Berra might say. Today’s world is complicated—every segment of society is continually changing and very little seems to be certain anymore, like it…

Top 3 Reasons Why Being a Great Leader Isn’t Easy

A few months back, I asked a group of leaders for a show of hands on who had experienced either oversupervision or undersupervision. Almost every hand went up. But then I asked how many had themselves oversupervised or undersupervised their direct reports. Only one or two hands shyly peeked out from the crowd.
So what’s going on? Well, leaders can sometimes be unaware of what they should and should not be doing. And this lack of awareness separates good leaders from great leaders. Great leaders know that leading is a never-ending journey that can be filled with treacherous obstacles.
So what do you need to know to become a great leader?

The Problem with Being a Problem Solver

Clients are often surprised when I tell them, “The problem with being a good problem solver is that everything looks like a problem!” It usually comes up when these leaders are describing how they are assisting colleagues or direct reports by fixing what they perceive needs fixing. They describe being met with resistance, defensiveness, and…