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August 29, 2016

There is nothing more gratifying as a facilitator of a soft-skills workshop than the moment “the light bulbs turn on” for your learners. If you have been there and done that, you know exactly of what I speak! It’s like a cascading “a-ha” moment.

In the case of training Situational Leadership®, that moment usually occurs when learners reflect on their leadership-related successes and setbacks and realize (probably for the first time) that employing the same leadership approach in two drastically different situations doesn’t make leadership sense. The “a-ha switch” flips when someone in the room says something like, “The most inconsistent thing you can do as a leader is to treat everyone the same.”

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August 22, 2016

Most of us are familiar with the phrase, “The ends justify the means.”

Typically, we offer it up (in one form or another) when we attempt to justify an otherwise undefendable influence strategy we put in motion to produce an end result. It’s a defensive remark really, primarily intended to shine a light on what we have accomplished, while simultaneously diverting attention from the manner in which we accomplished it.

The opposite set of circumstances can be equally problematic, “We feel strongly about employing these means.”

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July 14, 2016

Common “returns” organizations seek when considering a commitment to leadership training are improved productivity and increased levels of employee engagement. And, while those outcomes are admittedly a function of many things, few (if any) are more consequential than the personalized investment good leaders make with those they attempt to influence. In short, effective leaders find out what makes people tick: what they truly enjoy about their work; what they wish were different; how their work drives them to succeed.

With those thoughts in mind reflect for just a minute on the best manager you’ve ever had. Ask yourself:

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June 7, 2016

I truly hope every person everywhere has grown up in a family with an authentic matriarch or patriarch. This would be the person that everyone in your family could agree had lived life to its fullest. They had truly “gone for it!” Made it happen! Pulled it off! Did the family proud!

When you have such a figure in your family, members of your extended clan invariably pull you aside at an early age and randomly fill your head with details. They treat these exchanges almost like it is their unassigned duty to let you know you have a genetic connection to somebody that has rightfully made a notable mark on the world.

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April 18, 2016

It was longer ago than I care to admit but, at the same time, it’s something I remember like it was yesterday. I was on “life support” in a calculus class that I had to take my freshman year of college and found myself in a one-on-one, after-school session with my professor. He had painstakingly reviewed the steps associated with solving the problem that presented itself on the chalk board (I told you it was a long time ago!). I stood there absolutely frozen. The equation on the board might as well have been in a foreign language (and in many respects it was!). The complete and utter silence in the room was deafening. And, then, my professor, who in all likelihood had to get home to his family, uttered the following words:

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