Service above self: What leaders can learn from “The Giving Tree”

One of my favorite books of all time is the children’s book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  In short, the book is about the relationship between a boy and a tree.  Throughout the boy’s life, the tree offers whatever it can to make the boy happy—to swing from its branches, to pick and eat,…

None of us is as smart as all of us—take this quiz and see for yourself

Here’s an exercise from a team building class I attended that I wanted to share with you. It uses questions from a Mensa quiz to illustrate the point that a team’s collective wisdom is always greater than any individual team member’s. To get started, see how many of these questions you can answer individually. According…

Employees are from Venus, Bosses are from Mars

I’m taking some liberties with the title of John Gray’s mega-selling best-seller, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, but I wanted to share some interesting differences in perceptions between what bosses think they are providing and what employees are experiencing in the workplace. Ask most bosses what their management style is at work…

Who’s Got Your Back? 5 ways to find out

One of the hardest things for brilliant, technically proficient folks to realize is that as they assume more and more leadership responsibility they must depend on the help of others.  And each of these “others” is an individual who needs to be seen, heard and understood. One of the strategies you can use to map…

Temperament at Work: Understanding Yourself and Others

Join best-selling authors and consultants Scott Blanchard and Madeleine Homan-Blanchard for a complimentary webinar and online chat beginning today at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time (12:00 noon Eastern). Scott and Madeleine will be exploring personality and its impact on work relationships  in a special presentation on Temperament at Work: Understanding Yourself and Others. The webinar is…

Are you suffering from BLM (Behave Like Me) syndrome?

Without a theory, framework, and understanding of personality types, people tend to judge others in comparison to themselves, explains Scott Blanchard in a recent article entitled, Understanding Others Begins with Understanding Yourself. Once that happens, you are very susceptible to “BLM Syndrome,” which is “Behave Like Me.” As Blanchard explains, “Without a way to understand…

Got room on your team? Not if this person already has a seat

What’s one of the biggest barriers to people working together effectively? “The human ego,” according to Dr. Ken Blanchard, best-selling business author and co-founder of The Ken Blanchard Companies. As Blanchard explains, “When people get caught up in their ego, it erodes their effectiveness. That’s because the combination of false pride and self-doubt created by…

A kind word changes everything

Everyone goes through emotional ups and downs during the course of a normal work week.  What’s your personal policy as a manager when it comes to addressing the feelings of your people at work? Are you an Avoider, unsure about how to deal with feelings so you retreat from the situation?  Are you an Ice…

Is your boss a Frankenstein? A 4-step process for dealing with monster personalities

October 31 is Halloween Day in the United States, a time when people of all ages dress up as different characters—some heroic, some funny, some scary.  Along with the latest popular celebrities from movies, television, and popular culture, you’re sure to see some classic monster characters from the past.  The only problem is that some…