Hide-and-Seek Leadership

When you don’t communicate, it’s presumed you’re hiding something. The game of hide-and-seek is established. You’re hiding information, and your team is seeking to find it. Unfortunately, odds are your team will search in all the wrong places. (more…)

Join me for Impacting Leaders’ second Leadership Learning Series webinar of 2016! We’ll be talking about one of the top challenges faced by every organization – communication. (more…)

Have you ever been asked, “How are you doing?” only to have the asker already out of earshot by the time you turn to answer?

If we’re honest, we’ve all probably been that question asker at some point. We’re busy, and we have enough challenges to deal with in our own lives, so we exchange brief pleasantries to be polite. It’s not that we don’t care, but we also don’t really want to have to deal with the messiness of what’s going on beneath the surface. (more…)

I read an excellent article last week on fastcompany.com on the topic of communication amid uncertainty. It was fascinating! On the topic of uncertainty and the human brain, the authors noted the following:

Given a choice, we’d rather experience an electric shock right now than not know whether we’ll get shocked later. That’s right: Pain is preferable to uncertainty. Our brains seek what scientists have called “cognitive closure,” which motivates us to resolve ambiguous issues in our minds.

Can you believe that pain is preferable to uncertainty? Yet, when you stop and reflect on it, it’s true. Once we know the “bad news,” we can start figuring out how to handle it. It’s the not knowing that’s the killer. Humans need clarity and closure.  (more…)

I’ve written and spoken on the subject of non-negotiables countess times this past year. It’s a topic we now cover with nearly every team we serve. What’s interesting is the themes that have emerged. Though the teams we work with are vastly different in their industry and their challenges – from retail, to heavy manufacturing, to technology and HR – their non-negotiables almost always include these four common themes: (more…)

In last week’s webinar on stewarding your company culture in uncertain times, one participant asked about how they should go about talking to a colleague who was violating the company’s culture or non-negotiables. Regardless of your personality or communication style, here are some helpful guidelines when confronting a teammate or peer.


You’ve probably encountered this challenge if you’ve worked long enough or in a company large enough. You and another teammate just can’t seem to get along. Maybe you didn’t get off on the right foot. Maybe it was all a misunderstanding, or maybe the interpersonal conflict is intentional. Maybe they don’t like the way you walk, talk, act or look. Or maybe it’s all in your head.

We can’t expect to be BFFs with everyone on the team, but in most cases we should be expected to interact professionally and cordially with everyone. Getting along with colleagues, especially someone we don’t particularly see eye to eye with, is an indication of our character and our maturity as leaders.

Have a teammate you just don’t get along with? Here are five things you should start doing, and five things you should stop. (more…)

In today’s world, or at least in the United States, most of us want to live in comfort! We want comfy homes and comfy cars and comfy clothes. We enjoy comfortable friendships and we like feeling comfortable in our jobs. We equate comfort with stability, harmony, and contentment, and who doesn’t want that?

There is, of course, such a thing as too comfortable. When we are too comfortable or when we value comfort too much, we become complacent and resistant to anything that threatens to lower our level of comfort. These include: (more…)

Have you ever worked for a leader who always zeroed in on what was wrong about a process or a project? If we follow every praise with a “but…” or if every discussion turns into a critical evaluation, our teammates begin to dread interacting with us. Eventually, they quit asking for feedback (if they can avoid it). And finally, they simply shut down.

There is nothing wrong with striving for continuous improvement. It’s all in how we go about getting it. You can’t instill a desire for excellence by always highlighting what’s lacking. Excellence is inspired, not enforced. (more…)

Graduation season is upon us! Whether your child is graduating from high school or college, the anxiety can easily mount as we get used to loosening our reins (Note: I did not say let go! Ha!). I’ve been a blessed mother of three beautiful children, two who graduated from college and now our baby of the family who is graduating from high school this week. In light of all the graduations, I wanted to share the following tips that I learned from my children and from other young leaders who I’ve been blessed to watch in the early years of their careers.

1. Relationships matter.

There are very few “individual” jobs in the real world. Now, we’re all individual performers at one level or another, but we’re also almost always part of a larger team, whether that’s our department or just the company as a whole. When we learn how to build relationships with our coworkers and focus on working with our teammates, we care about each other, our customers, and the work that we do. It makes work enjoyable, and when everyone at work enjoys their work, the company enjoys heightened success. (more…)