Organization & Leadership Consulting

What Does a Leader Actually Do, Anyway?

A hand is putting pieces of a heart-shaped puzzle together. Each puzzle piece has an outline of an individual, representing a leader putting his team together.

Leadership Development. Team Development. Organizational Development.  Those are the things that effective leaders do, ideally in that order. Research validates the order. In reality, most of it occurs in a cyclical manner that appears simultaneous and in some ways is. For an organization to develop well, it needs effective teams and groups. For teams and […]

Values, Voice, and Vision — What They Cost You and What Others Gain, Part 2

A red hot air balloon floating above many grey hot air balloons. Representing leadership, values, vision, etc.

Welcome back. We’re picking up where we left off in the previous blog. First, a quick review. This is #4 in a series of six blogs on the theme of leadership development (six brief blogs intended to prompt your thinking, not provide a syllabus.) The intentional development of leaders and leadership is an investment. Effective […]

Ten Culture-Embedding Mechanisms (Part 2 of 4)

A group of people are sitting around a fire telling stories.

Repeat after me: “My organization’s culture is an outcome of what we collectively believe about the organization and how we behave alongside each other as a result of those beliefs.”  So, what do you believe about your organization? Over the course of this blog, one prior, and two to follow, brief introductions to ten culture-embedding […]

The Double-Edged Sword of Virtual Teams

virtual teams

Remember when, before video conference calls were the norm, the team was in the same room and we could clearly see the eye rolls, the understanding smiles, the two people in the corner exchanging glances and the boss getting increasingly agitated? Back then there were abundant visual cues that alerted us to more going on […]

Team Values and Behavioral Norms

behavioral norms

“Our problem is not to find better values, but to be faithful to those we profess.”                                                                                                       – John W. Gardner Core Values are the foundational to shaping the behaviors of an individual, a team, and an organization. They influence all our actions, relationships, and work, whether we are aware of them or not. As the […]

Scanning for Danger: Building Psychological Safety on a Team

safety on a team

We’ve all been on teams where we don’t feel comfortable speaking up. We keep quiet even when we know we have something helpful or of value to add. Why is that? Self-censorship often happens in teams that lack what is called psychological safety.  Psychological safety is what you feel when you sense the group thinks, […]

Team Development: Pains and Gains

team meets to grow and learn

Remember when your team began? They were so excited. They seemed nice, fun, agreeable, and really seemed to appreciate your leadership. Things have likely changed since then. It might feel like disagreements surround almost every decision. Maybe they push back on your leadership decisions or style and sometimes it seems like you don’t quite fit […]

Team Purpose and Design

a team puts their hands together

You’ve heard it before: “Form follows function”. It applies to both physical and organizational structures. It applies to systems and processes. It also applies to teams.  Team Purpose A true team needs to know its purpose. Without a clear purpose, it will make up busy work or simply take up time that could be applied […]

What Motivates a Person or Team to Commit?

Happy diverse team of employees with a commitment to work

If only everyone was motivated equally by the same things, leading people would be much easier. Can you identify your employees’ motivations for committing to something that is going to require a sacrifice from them? You want more than a ‘clock-in and clock-out’ attitude behind their actions. It helps to know what really fuels the […]

Trust is Foundational to Team Success

A team of bees trust each other to get work done

“Your team is not winning because of trust issues,” I tell my daughter this when she asks why her soccer team consistently under-performs. Many leaders ask the same question. Why do talented and highly educated employees have difficulty succeeding together?  Trust is foundational to other team dynamics. Just as my daughter’s soccer coach was not […]