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What did you expect?

One of the popular sayings I heard early in my management career was “people don’t do what you expect; they do what you inspect.” The underlying premise of this statement is that unless you watch and keep an eye on people, they will inevitably stray off course and take advantage of you. It is built […]

Do you celebrate?

Imagine how your culture would shift if you put as much energy into celebrating your team’s achievements as they did to accomplish them. My challenge for you as a leader is to become your organization’s celebration czar. Shift your focus from what is wrong to what is right. Find ways to celebrate the big and […]

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

“…we used to experience disruptions followed by periods of stability, change now is increasingly perpetual, pervasive, and exponential. “ – Harvard Business Review A laser is simply a focused beam of light. It can cut metal or perform the most delicate medical procedures because it is focused. If you want to make meaningful change in […]

Strategic Planning: Start Well, End Well

The new year is knocking on our door, and if you’re like me, you’re thinking about ending the year well. What I love about the end of the year in the good ole’ US of A is how we gather around tables with family and friends to eat and share stories. If your family is […]

The speed of relationship

Society beckons us to move faster, run harder, and produce more. So we invest in better software, the latest technology, and the next shiny thing that promises better results.  But I have a hunch. Maybe the key to growing your organization is learning to move at the speed of relationship. What does that mean? It […]

The key to longevity

I recently visited Boone Hall Plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. This plantation was used in the 2004 movie, The Notebook, starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. The driveway leading to the mansion is lined with live oaks leading to a rock and iron entry gate. Although not part of the original script, this is the […]

Consistency & Time: The keys to building mutual respect

My wife and I recently had the privilege of taking a 10-day road trip in our RV. On our way home, we visited the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. The signature geographical feature there is called Natural Bridge. As you can see from the picture, it is majestic to behold. The crazy part is, this […]

What is winning?

A few weeks back, I was at a sports complex with some close friends watching their children play rec league soccer.  Now, I know you may be thinking, what does rec league soccer have to do with growing a business, leading people, and developing my next leadership level. Let me indulge you for a bit. […]

Celebration is powerful.

What is worth celebrating? Anything you want to be repeated. Celebration has not come easy for me. I grew up with a father who had a strong work ethic. Finish one thing and then move on to the next. You shouldn’t expect to be congratulated for doing your job. My father was rarely wrong, but […]

Enjoy the journey.

I just got back from a week-long trip to Alaska. This time of year, it is light 24 hours a day and we attempted to make the most of every hour of daylight We had a wonderful time. My wife and I went to see our son and daughter-in-law. We ate like pigs, played cards, […]

High road or low road. Where are you?

Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” Many people familiar with Marcus Aurelius aren’t aware that his writings were private journals, only discovered after his death in 180 A.D. His statement above takes on a new, deeper meaning seen through this lens. He was instructing himself, […]

Best practices breed mediocrity.

Hear me out. Best practices are necessary. I’m not suggesting that you throw them out the window. However, over time, best practices become industry norms which means you’re just doing what everyone else is doing. Best practices are a great starting point for building something exceptional but they are the beginning, not the end destination. […]

Tired of making excuses?

I recently met a man named Adam. He was a super successful investment banker that upon turning 40, realized that he had become what his junior high track coach called him, “a fat kid.” He is just shy of 5’10” and had bloomed to 250+.  And, no, the coach shouldn’t of said that, but at […]

Lagniappe – do you have it?

Lagniappe, my friend Gina from Louisiana, told me about this Cajun term. It means “a little something extra.” Don’t try to say it based on its spelling. It is pronounced lan-yap. Try saying that with your best Cajun accent. So what does Lagniappe have to do with leadership? At this point in the game, everything. […]

Are you leading or lagging?

We frequently help our clients establish KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. They are simple, clear, and compelling ways for your team to see if they are winning in real-time. Indicators, in general, will either be lagging or leading. A lagging indicator tells you what happened. It is about history. A leading indicator helps you create […]

Use Your Words: Keep the conversation going

I was sitting at a local coffee shop. In came a human train of preschoolers marching through the front door. True to form, one of those youngsters started pushing another kid. The preschool leader sternly looked at the child doing the pushing and said, “Use your words.” Conversations are the power cord for relationships. They […]

Do you measure up?

I have been doing executive coaching professionally since 2005. I have coached doctors, lawyers, business leaders, PhDs, surgeons, CEOs, and genetic scientists. As odd as it may sound, I have become convinced over time that one of the biggest things holding leaders back is not that they think too highly of themselves. They actually don’t […]

Pass on the Superstars

Whether you’re a fan or not, Tom Brady is the quintessential “A” player. 10 Superbowl appearances and 7 wins statistically make him the GOAT – the Greatest Of All Time. His long-time coach Bill Belichick was recently interviewed and said, “He always found a way to make his players productive. It didn’t matter who the […]

Are you safe?

They have you surrounded. They are screaming and making demands. They want money and lots of it. They’ve taken control, and you don’t know what to do. Sound familiar? Just a typical day at the office, right? You could tell them what to do, you are the boss, but rarely is that the most effective […]

Are you focusing on the right thing?

I am a 64-year-old Baby Boomer. In the world I grew up in, leaders focused on getting results. And in most cases, it didn’t matter how many people you stepped on or used up to get those results as long as you got results. Focus is a powerful thing. It will direct actions and increase […]

What are they really saying?

By Tyler Head That’s the fourth time this month. You just lost another member of your team to a remote position offering more money and flexibility. You were hoping to fly under the radar of the Great Resignation, but it’s kicked down the door of your organization and you’re not sure how many more people […]


By Tyler Head “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” is as true today as when Benjamin Franklin first said it. At their core, leaders are change agents. They want to make a difference and change the status quo. My favorite definition of leadership is taking people places they would not or […]

With Who, What, and How Are You Starting 2023?

By Tyler Head With who, what, and how are you starting 2023? The new year is knocking on our doorstep. I bet you are just as tired as your people of an unfocused start to a new year. Shhhhh, it’s just us. No one else knows that the above sentence read your mind. But…we can […]

Intentional vs. Accidental

By Tyler Head Imagine we’re sitting down for coffee, and I ask, “…are you completely happy with the progress you made in 2022?” We hope that you are. We hope this was a banner year for your organization, but I have a follow-up question, “…was it intentional or accidental?” Without intentionality, all results are accidental. […]

If Your Coffee Mug Has No Handle, Is It a Cup?

By Tyler Head Thanks is an expression of gratitude. To give is to freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone). I am writing this from a coffee shop in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where I grew up. I am sitting at a bar-height table that stretches laterally across the front face of a coffee shop. The […]

Curiosity Actually Didn’t Kill The Cat

By Tyler Head Curiosity Actually Didn’t Kill The Cat. There was something magnificent in the distance through the barren silhouette of dead trees. Growing in your ability to “Lead with Heart” is an opportunity for you, your people, and your organization. To do this, you must move toward your people with curiosity. Below is a […]

Are You Encouraging People to Make Mistakes?

By Tyler Head Are You Encouraging People to Make Mistakes? If not, it is unlikely that your business will be around 10 years from now. Psychological Safety – the room and space to take risks and make mistakes without fear or shame is vital to producing the kind of innovation it will take to keep […]

You Are Dead In The Water Without Trust

By Tyler Head This is part three of Leading with Heart. In our previous insight, we discussed the importance of engaging with your own vulnerability as the act of “Laying the First Stone.” Vulnerability is the first of the three facets of “Leading with Heart.” Part 1 introduced this critical differentiator for businesses that want […]

Laying The First Stone

By Tyler Head Building a bridge takes more courage than jumping off a cliff. In our previous insight, we discussed the power of “leading with heart” and laid out a few key characteristics, including vulnerability, cultivating psychological safety, and developing high-trust relationships. Next, we introduced expert resources we will be referring to throughout this Insight […]

Will You Bridge The Gap?

By Tyler Head In this insight and the following couple, we will discuss the power of leading with heart and warn you about the cost it has or could incur on your organization should you neglect it. Leading with heart includes characteristics like vulnerability, cultivating psychological safety, and developing high-trust relationships, among others. We will […]

The Human Connection – Being Fully Human Makes You a Better Leader

By Tyler Head In the last insight, we told the story of a coach who made a conscious effort to connect with his players and coaches, even as the organization grew. In case you missed it, you can read the full article here. His impact was felt throughout the league. However, maybe shaking the hands […]


By Tyler Head What does it look like to participate in your organization?  As your company grows, what does it look like to stay involved with what really matters?   As the distance between you and the day-to-day operations increases over time, how can you meaningfully stay in the game?   I once heard a story of […]

Hard Lines Lead to Deep Organizational Dysfunction

By Tyler Head Some time ago, my wife and I were getting ready to move. I figured the best way forward would be to start backward from our move date and set hard deadlines for when certain things needed to be done. So, I proceeded to outline what I believed needed to be done by […]

Unchain Your People From Their Desks

Years ago, I sat at a desk on the first floor of a two-story building.   It was a beautiful building inside and out—we had great outdoor space, plenty of parking, and a full-functioning kitchen with a hangout area.   My desk was in a shared space with a couple of other coaches doing similar work as […]

Squeaky Brakes—Wherever You Go There You Are

Early last week, I was driving through town as the sun set, windows rolled down, taking in the multiple shades of orange painted across the sky. As I slowly came to a stop, I heard a faint squeaking. I looked around and saw a couple of other cars also stopping—confident that that squeaky noise was […]

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Uncle Ben said it best in Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.” If you are reading this, he was talking to you. You have the authority to change the narrative in the hallways of your organization. You have the platform to speak into this cultural moment through both your actions and words. You have […]

Lightning and Thunder: How your curiosity as a leader can serve you and your people better

A couple of days ago, as I was driving across town, I peered over my steering wheel. I was captivated by the lightning that flashed vividly in the distance. Lightning is a magnificent and scary thing all at once. In a moment, it eradicates darkness. In the next, it is gone—shortly after comes a deafening […]

Do Your People Resemble Chickens?

Traditionally, purpose has been used as a means to an end, a tool in which organization leaders will scream and shout from the rooftops, yet very few people outside of the creator(s) of this statement can even care enough to look at it twice. Just because your organization’s purpose statement is plastered across your company […]

Kickball and The Art of Invitation – Part 2

By Tyler Head Kickball was the real deal at my school, and I knew that as a 6th grader.  One day after lunch an 8th grader walked by me in the hallway, pointed directly at me, and said, “Hey Tyler, Friday for kickball. Will you be on my team?” I’ll never forget that moment. I […]

The Power Of An Invitation – Part 1

By Tyler Head You may or may not remember recess; for me, it was a highly developmental time of my day… still is. Playing outside with classmates, running wild and free, playing in the dirt, organized games like tag, hide and seek, and the infamous kickball. My goodness, what a game to behold; male, female, […]

Uncross Your Arms In The Boardroom

By Tyler Head The “ask your people for feedback” model is not actually dead. It’s how you have gone about it, partnered with a lack of follow-through. In other words, it’s not the actual premise of asking and listening; it’s in the way that their opinions/feedback have or have not been addressed. This has deepened […]

Three Questions that Will Change The Game

By Tyler Head Your people are complex beings who hunger for meaning, connection, and shared purpose, as are you. I am willing to bet that your people are far more interested in doing a good job than you think. Study after study has proven this point. Your people want a deep and meaningful connection with […]

4 Critical Questions Every Leader Needs to Use

By Tyler Head Listen, we understand the exhausting dealing with today’s workforce can be. Business leaders across the nation are struggling with the same issue. How do we stop pointing fingers and motivate people to move in the same direction? Better yet, how do you get your people to move on their own? We’ve come […]

Cultivate A Culture Of Coaching

By Tyler Head Just because it got you there doesn’t mean it will get “them” there. Traditionally, it has been modeled that you have to know more to lead; you must have the correct answers should your employees call you for help. We all know that “knowledge is power,” and if you are going to […]

You Have The Right Tools—Your People

By Tyler Head How we start does not have to determine how we finish, but it is highly important. When I was 19, amid the early days of college and starting my first business, I had a side hustle working for a car detail shop, hoping it would provide a steady income while starting my […]

Clarity, Context, and Copper

By Tyler Head Recently, I’ve started taking Copper, my dog, on runs with me around the area we live. We live in an area of Springfield, Missouri, where you sit on your front porch and wave at people who walk down the sidewalk. The mailman still goes door to door, and kids dart from house […]

You Know The Way Forward—But Do They?

By Tyler Head Taking a more strategic approach to planning is the best way to execute strategic planning. We told a light-hearted story about putting together a 1,000-piece puzzle in the previous insight. We paralleled it with a deeper dive into the significant value of leading with a clear picture of success, building and maintaining […]

Is Your Strategic Vision A Puzzle? | 3 Key Elements To Solve The Puzzle

By Tyler Head During the holidays at my house, my wife and I always enjoy breaking out a big puzzle. We tend to work on it sporadically through the holiday season, typically starting around Thanksgiving Day. However, it never fails that both she and I go about the actual process of “puzzling” quite differently. However, […]

Quit Whining And Start Winning

By Tyler Head Our lack of “quality workers” is not solely the fault of some external happenings but a blatant indicator that the system has been headed in the wrong direction for some time. As we press deeper into this idea, I want to recognize that we cannot control everything, but we mustn’t hide from […]

Risk It | Engage & Understand Your People

By Tyler Head Maybe it’s worth risking it all. Learning how to lead and serve your people requires much effort; more listening and less talking. More talking with and less talking at. To do so, we must understand our people. We must learn the language of our team; their wants, needs, pain points, how they […]

Be A Fearless Leader

Historically, one of the main tools leaders have used is fear. The boss is someone to be feared. Most employees don’t want to make the boss mad, get in trouble, or worse yet, get fired. Fear can produce results fast but at what cost? When humans experience a threat or fear response, the blood flow […]

Don’t be a Semi-Truck | Addressing Blind Spots in Leadership

By Tyler Head We can learn quite a bit about leadership from driving on the highway, specifically when it comes to developing the ability to lead people better. Typically, semi-trucks have stickers on the back of their 72-foot extended trailer that warn others of their potential blind spots. These stickers are there for the education […]

Leading Your Team | Moving From Confusion to Clarity

If you are reading this, it’s because you desire to lead your people better in some form or fashion. Good job! We owe it to the people nearest us and ourselves to lead better, even if it’s a little bit—every day counts. I would challenge you, upon reading our insights, to take 3-5 minutes following […]

Let’s Shake Hands with Our Technology

By Tyler Head We, as leaders, must develop and empower our people to utilize current technology and artificial intelligence. Not the other way around. Knowing the value and differences between people and technology is imperative.  Let’s be honest, although only having compliant robots would be “easier,” the long-term effect would eliminate your organization’s most beautiful, […]

Old School Leadership Model | On the Brink of Extinction

By Tyler Head A couple of days back, during a meeting with a client, we discussed a significant difference in leadership styles that are often overlooked but knocking on your front door. Allow me to set the scene. “Leader A” knows the way, as does “Leader B.” Both of these individuals oversee ten or more […]

The Gift of Showing Up Fully

By Tyler Head A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at the dinner table with my wife and much of our family we had not seen in a while. As the rest of the family conversed, my mind drifted off to something that had happened during work earlier that day. From there, it progressed […]

Jump On the Seesaw – Lead With Trust

Believing in your team and practicing trust will change your organizational culture. What you believe about your team and your ability to communicate that, as the leader, plays a vital role in the growth and direction of your organization. It serves both you and your team to express your beliefs often and clearly—specifically the positive. […]

Tools to Change the Way You Lead – Listen Intently & Question Intuitively

As we learn how to lead others better, we must realize that often this starts with leading ourselves better. To listen intently and question intuitively could be two of the most pivotal changes you make in your approach to leading and being with your people in the workplace. How often do we lead meetings where […]

Why Your Power Button Doesn’t Work…

From your millennial staff: Dear Old School Leader, We are not impressed by how powerful you are, how much time you’ve put in, and the “do as I say, not as I do” way of leadership. We are impressed by your honesty, vulnerability, and candid ability to lead with head and heart. We are significantly […]

Help Wanted vs. Team Members Wanted

Help Wanted vs. Team Members Wanted Hiring and Retaining Quality Employees in the Fast-Paced Marketplace By Tyler Head From time immortal, leaders have hung out “help wanted” signs. Come help me build my empire. I need someone to do the grunt work that I am unwilling to do, and I will trade you dollars for […]

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

By Tyler Head Wash, Rinse, Repeat Moving cohesively toward a common goal. Leaders are normally expected to have all the right answers, to set direction, and lead the charge. And yes, it takes courage to step out and lead in this way from the front of the pack, but it even takes more bravery to […]

Slash Your Employee Turnover While Skyrocketing Productivity

DRYVE Leadership Group was recently featured on Maven Monday’s, a show hosted by best-selling author Brandon Welch. In this episode, Brandon taps into Randy Mayes’ wisdom on how to Attract and Keep Good Employees. See info and resources below including info on how to write compelling ads to attract exactly the kind of people you […]

A Cultural Shift From People Managers To People Leaders

By Tyler Head I frequently converse with leaders whose actions often indicate that leadership is just another role in their company. They believe that it’s a light switch that you flip on when you walk through a doorway, a tone of voice when you pitch a new project or idea, or even a higher-paying position. […]

Your Vision Is Not Enough

One of the best traits a leader can have is vision. Leaders need to be champions of change and innovation to chart the course for a new and better future. Change is no longer an option. Our world is changing so rapidly that if you don’t modify and adapt, you will die. As Darwin said, it […]

Are You The Only One Who Knows What Winning Looks Like?

I frequently speak with frustrated leaders because their people aren’t doing what needs to be done to succeed. The conversation usually goes something like this, “they know what to do, but for the life of me, I just can’t get them to do it.” They won’t make the sales calls, they won’t meet deadlines, they […]

Home Alone

The way we work has changed forever. More people are working from home than ever before. Even if we get past COVID, a significant number of people will continue to work from home. As a leader, you can’t help but wonder what they are doing during the workday? Are they spending hours on Facebook, playing […]

Is Your Team Suffering Separation Anxiety?

Has all the physical separation got you concerned about your culture? If you are a proactive leader, it should. In its simplest form, culture is the way we do things around here. It is a set of—often unspoken—social norms and relational dynamics shared by a group of people. It is held in place and supported […]

It Is Cold Outside!

As I sit here and look out my window, I am confronted with the reality that Winter has indeed arrived. That crazy groundhog was spot on. Ice, snow, and sub-freezing temperatures are predicted for the next ten days. I am hunkered down and trying to survive. That is a natural response to brutal conditions. Many […]

What if Your Judgment Is Bad?

I frequently work with leaders who find themselves in conflict with other leaders or their team. Conflict itself is not bad. It is how we handle or mediate the conflict that will ultimately build or undermine our team unity and culture. There is a well-studied concept called the Fundamental Attribution Error*. This concept says that […]

Ready, Set, Go!

Okay, we have turned the corner on another year. And while it is true that January 1st is just another day, it offers you as a leader a tremendous opportunity to move your team forward to take new ground. The first of the year is a symbolic starting line for all you want to get accomplished […]

The Gift

Gifts come in all sizes and shapes, but the best gifts do not come in a box or a bag. They come in the form of a human. Someone who is willing to get out of the way and be a change agent for good—a leader. Many of the best leadership principles have humble beginnings. […]

I Plan To Fail Next Year

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” is as true today as when Benjamin Franklin first said it. At their core, leaders are change agents. They want to make a difference and change the status quo. My favorite definition of leadership is taking people places they would not or could not go […]

Thanksgiving Every Day

When I was growing up, the only time we had turkey was on Thanksgiving Day and occasionally on Christmas. It was great tasting and didn’t have all the adverse side effects of red meat. I loved turkey and couldn’t understand why we didn’t eat it all year long. Fast forward 50 years, and turkey is […]

The Diet Pill Myth For Business

Imagine how great business could be if you had employees that were as dedicated and capable as you, salespeople that all consistently shatter quotas, and lots of customers that were loyal and eager to do business. Is there a “diet pill” that would instantly bring about these changes within your company? Remember, the goal is […]

Is Your Vision & Mission Too Small?

Great visions and missions go way beyond just making your organization financially successful. They point to how you are going to make the world a better place. Do you regularly and effectively communicate with your employees how they’re connected to your company’s vision and mission? This piece of your company culture is the “glue” that […]

The Business Owner (Leader) Experience

Businesses consistently face the challenge of balancing the need to provide an extraordinary customer experience and develop a worthy employee experience—two sides of the same coin. Both elements help support organizational success, and you shouldn’t neglect either one. One of my favored pursuits is to help businesses up-level their Business Owner Experience. Consider, if you’re […]

The High Cost of Unengaged Employees

According to Gallop, a whopping 34 percent of employees are involved, enthusiastic, and committed to their work and workplace. That means—look to your left, now look to your right—only one employee in three actually gives a rip about their job and your company. In essence, that one engaged employee is carrying two other people. To […]

Four Powerful Steps to Get More of What You Want & Balance the Scales of Business

By John Gibson In business and life, there’s a constant balancing of the scales between fortifying needs and reducing company stressors. Let’s explore one strategy to improve the abundance ratio significantly. The power of “Lean-in > Weigh-in > Buy-in > Stay-in” is unmatched. Some things that we perceive that we lack as business leaders could be: […]

Slaying the Giants

By John Gibson After years of success, a multi-location service business’ progress ground to a halt. Despite their success, infighting, employee disengagement, and consistent turnover were significantly undermining their development. In desperation, they reached out to a brilliant business coach. He quickly identified three giants in their land. The business coach surmised that there were […]

What You Water, Will Grow

I was recently hiking in the high deserts of Colorado near or above the tree line. The ground was dry, parched, and rocky.  Unexpectedly, I came upon a lush green area that was full of life and beautiful wildflowers. Through the middle of this garden was a little stream of water. As the snowfields melted, […]

The Science of Responding Well

By John Gibson In our last Insight, we delved into the art of responding well and introduced the equation: E + R= O. Gaining the awareness that the outcomes (O) we get in business and all of life are the results of the quality of the responses (R) that we have to the events (E) […]

The Art of Responding Well

By John Gibson What is E+R=O?  Have you ever known someone in any area of life that seemed to almost always respond in just the right way or with just the right words no matter what? How do they make you feel? For me, they inspire confidence and, without fail, they make a profound impact […]

Flying Blind?

You are having fun. Your business is serving a greater cause. You are delivering on your mission. You and your people are working hard. But…you are going broke. How did this happen?! Leadership experts said if I focused on my mission, everything would work out. Modern aircraft are amazing pieces of machinery. The North American […]

Compliance Will Crush You

Process and systems are tools that help smart, intelligent humans accomplish more in less time. Too often, well-meaning leaders place undue emphasis on compliance. The goal is not to comply with processes and procedures. It is to accomplish your mission in the most effective manner possible. When we focus on compliance with rules, processes, and procedures, […]

You have a deadline

Did you feel that surge of stress-induced adrenaline when you read the word “deadline”? Most of us do. Our mind and supporting body chemistry say it is time to get moving, to make things happen. Would anyone do their taxes if there was not a deadline? Would students hand in their homework? Of course not. […]

They already know something is up

Transparency and openness are essential components of trust. Humans, all humans, have an uncanny ability to perceive and pick-up on emotions. It is fundamental to our survival and our ability to connect with others. Now, the ability to interpret those emotions can vary wildly. Based on the level of trust or perceived threat, we can […]

Don’t go back to normal, go forward to better

Okay, enough is enough. It’s time to get focused. Ignore the things you cannot control and focus on the things you can control. Remember, it’s not the adverse conditions that create stress; it’s the lack of a meaningful response. Jack Canfield says it well- “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what […]

Your world has been turned upside-down, now what?

As a business leader, the stress of the current events is almost suffocating, but let’s keep it in perspective. It’s not the adverse conditions that create stress; it’s the lack of a meaningful response. Now is the time to step into the fray and lead.  So, where do you begin?  In our experience, great leaders find a […]

Why Employees Are Really Quitting

Everywhere you go, the landscape is littered with “Help Wanted” signs. They are in windows, posted by curbs, and even showing up on major billboards. Companies are desperate for employees. In many cases, entry-level starting wages have almost doubled. Offering more money will not set you apart. There are too many jobs and not enough […]

Stay focused on what’s really important | 3 ways to manage stress in the face of uncertainty

“We don’t always get to choose whether or not we have storms. The only choice we get to have is how we respond to those storms.” -Rory Vaden The surreal events involving the current coronavirus outbreak have radically changed our world. Business leaders, just like you, are no doubt losing sleep over how bills will […]

The self-driving company | Also, why employees are really quitting

Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those self-driving cars? All that drive time now yours to do with it whatever you want. Hop in the rig, program in your final destination, sit back and relax. Before you know it, you are there. We have been doing it for years with commercial airplanes. We […]

Believing is seeing | 3 easy steps to better communication

Odd reality about humans–we see what we believe. We are not the rational, objective creatures we like to think we are. According to the latest findings in neuroscience, all the information we receive is being filtered in an effort to complement our current belief system. If it doesn’t match our way of thinking, we either […]

The Fall Of Malls And How To Avoid The Same Fate

On a cold, snowy, winter day, I made the trip to the local mall to honor my commitment to get more steps in this year. It had been a while since I had been to the mall. In their heyday, malls were the epitome of American wealth and prosperity. Modern clean buildings, sporting the latest […]

Don’t Be a But

“But,” “no,” and “it won’t work,” are too often the knee-jerk responses we give to new ideas presented by a team member. Now put yourself in their shoes. No one wants to look stupid or be demeaned. It takes a lot of courage to bring a new concept or constructively challenge the boss’s current way […]

When Being Right Goes Wrong

“But—I was right!” It’s the proclamation of countless clients following an intense interaction with a coworker, friend, or family member. Many fight to be right without even realizing it. They fight because there’s value in it and a payoff, but “being right” comes at a cost. It’s simple math. If you are “right,” then typically […]

What were you thinking?!

“What were you thinking?!” If you haven’t said it, chances are you’ve heard it in the workplace. In other words, “what kind of idiot would do something like that?” Unfortunately, I have uttered (or at least thought) that cringe-worthy question far too often in my management career. To the person taking the action, what they […]

Are your policies coming between you and your customers?

In my line of work, I’ve experienced many white-knuckle negotiations. You can imagine, then, my frustration with a popular telephone company while trying to get one simple task accomplished. It’s a negotiation that lasted six hours. My wife and I recently welcomed my aging mother into our home. Mom’s one request is that she be […]

If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail | A leader’s vision check for 2020

Imagine we’re sitting down for coffee and I ask, “…are you completely happy with the progress you made in 2019?” We hope that you are. We hope this was a banner year for your organization, but I have a follow up question, “…was it intentional or accidental?” Without intentionality, all results are accidental. A year […]

Good leaders know it’s not about me, it’s about we

Are you concerned that your people are not engaged? Your people want to do more, not less. They eagerly want to take a seat at the table and make a meaningful contribution. If this is not the case, then there is an extremely high likelihood that you encouraged them to be disengaged. Humans are naturally […]

Seeing is doing

If you see it; you will do it. People do not normally intend to aimlessly wander around and spin their wheels. If you see this happening in your organization, it is a clear sign that success has not been well defined. It is also a sign that there is not a simple, clear way to […]

Conflict and communication rarely coexist

One of my favorite sayings is that “conflict and communication rarely coexist.” Humans generally want the same thing. Conflict arises between people because one person believes that what they want and another person wants, is somehow mutually exclusive. If you get more pie, I get less. What if, instead, you could both make the pie bigger? Then […]

Great leaders know their opinion doesn’t matter

One of the things I consistently see leaders do that undermines their team’s effectiveness is freely expressing their opinion. The best leaders know that their opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is the mission. In most organizations as soon as the leader speaks, everyone is focused on pleasing the leader. At that point, the focus is on […]

Trials and Training | How to survive in life and business

A little preparation can go a long way. It is because of training that I was able to beat cancer in 1992 and survive a plane crash in 2014. I credit training with giving me the skills to own a handful of businesses over the years and manage others. What I’ve discovered is that I […]

Great Cultures Are Built On Purpose

In order to lay the foundation for great workplace culture, two essential questions must be answered. The first, is your organization making the world a better place? And the second, is your team aware of and focused on that purpose? When you think about what attracts you to a brand or a company, is making […]

Is Your Team Dysfunctional?

In his now classic book, “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team,” Patrick Lencioni lays out the 5 key ways in which teams undermine their effectiveness: 1. Absence of Trust 2. Fear of Conflict 3. Lack of Commitment 4. Avoidance of Accountability 5. Inattention to Results My friend Nathan Lozeron does a great job explaining the […]

Effective Communication: Can You Actually Overcommunicate?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  -George Bernard Shaw Business leaders, speakers, and authors often talk about the importance of overcommunicating. I’m not convinced it’s possible. If you think communication is a one-way process of talking at people, then maybe there’s some merit to it. I prefer […]

Tap into the power of dreams: A solution to get great employees to stay

In his New York Times best-selling book, “The Dream Manager,” Matthew Kelly states, “It’s foolish to hope employees will be passionate and engaged about their work if they’re not passionate and engaged in their lives–yet a staggering number of people are not enthusiastic about their lives.” Research shows that employees are more likely to stay […]

3 Traits of Every Healthy, High-Performance Organization

Do You Have an (H2O)?: Healthy, High-Performance Organization “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This often-quoted line rings with truth. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good your strategy is. If you don’t have a healthy culture reinforcing your strategy, you’re destined to fail. The most sustainably successful companies have three healthy, high-performance […]

Simply Brilliant

Those two words fit together like a hand in a glove. In a world that is overwhelming complex people are looking for simple, clear, and compelling solutions that work. Modern life is complex. Even a decision about what tooth paste you are going to buy is complex. A typical store carries almost of 200 distinct […]

How new phrasing can lead to new possibilities

Generative language is a powerful thing. Our words can be used to tear down or build up. Think about the possibilities around a simple statement like ”let’s explore some possibilities” or ”what do you need to make that happen?” Compare that to ”that won’t work” or ”you can’t do that.” When it comes unleashing human […]

The Change You Are Looking for Starts With a Conversation

Do Crazy People Drive You Nuts? People do what they do for a good reason, but remember it is for their reasons not yours. Have you ever observed someone else’s behavior and thought, “that person is crazy”? I know I have. The reason their behavior seems crazy to you is because if you were doing the […]

Are You Safe? | Why Trust Is So Important

People do what they do for a good reason, but remember–it is for their reasons and not yours. Are You Safe? There is an overwhelming body of scientific evidence pointing to the importance of trust and psychological safety. Interestingly, Google conducted an extensive study on what makes for effective teams. The study was named after […]

You Can’t Motivate People

Carrots and sticks don’t work. Organizational Psychologists refer to this as extrinsic motivation – motivation that comes from outside of yourself.  The approach is seductive in that it often works in the short run, but is rarely sustainable. As soon as the reward or punishment is removed, the desired behavior disappears. People are hardwired to […]

The Accountability Myth

I frequently hear leaders talk about the difficulty of holding their people accountable. Holding someone accountable is an elusive goal. Even if you can hold someone accountable in any given moment, who has the time, energy and bandwidth to hold someone else accountable on an on-going basis? The only person you can effectively hold accountable […]

If You Want to Be Heard, Shut-up and Listen 

One of my favorite sayings is that Conflict and Communication Rarely Coexist. People don’t generally disagree, they just think they do. The latest findings in neuroscience suggest that when I am trying to convince you of my truth, at a subconscious level the listener hears me saying that they are not as smart as me. […]