Your Admin is Terrible? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I am a senior leader in a large commercial services organization. I spent many years learning how to make good use of an assistant and I’ve always made sure I had a great one. Over the last few years, the company has been reducing the size of the administration group and I have…

The Power of Clear Expectations—Identifying What and Who

Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Each of these one-word questions can push organizational leaders and their team members toward the clarity they need to achieve success. In this post I’d like to focus on who and what. When leaders set clear expectations, outcomes are much more likely to hit the mark. And it’s just…

Summer Reading for the Business Professional?  Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, There are always recommendations for best summer reading and the lists usually point to fiction best-sellers.  Any suggestions for top business books?  I love a good novel but I also want to keep developing my skills. Business Minded   Dear Business Minded, There are so many great development focused books out there. I…

The Two Sides of Servant Leadership

When people hear the phrase servant leadership, they are often confused. These folks think you can’t lead and serve at the same time. Yet you can, if you understand that servant leadership consists of two parts: A visionary/direction, or strategic, role—the leadership aspect of servant leadership; and An implementation, or operational, role—the servant aspect of…

Taking a Top-Down, Bottom-Up Approach to Leadership

Leadership works best as a partnership, with managers and direct reports working together toward achievement of company goals. It requires strong skills in goal setting, diagnosis, and matching for both manager and direct report. But most organizations only focus on one half of that partnering equation, says Susan Fowler, a senior consulting partner with The…

Can’t Say “No”?  Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, I am a senior manager in what is essentially a call center. I am hoping you can help me. I am too nice.  I am a giver; I come from a long line of nice, generous givers. My Mom ran a dentist’s office and headed several volunteer committees, headed up events at our…