Leadership

Even the change you want can involve loss

Sometimes new is easy.

Sometimes it’s hard.

Think of all the variables. Does it take hard work or does it fall into your lap? Is it something you want? Does it belong to you alone or is it shared with others? If shared, is it a pleasant union? Did it open a new door? Close an old […]

By |October 31st, 2019|Leadership|0 Comments

Invisibly lead a room

Can a facilitator be effective if they’re invisible? I don’t mean literally, of course. But in the sense that their touch is so light you barely know they’re there.

It depends.
When less is more
I recently led a meeting in a beautiful conference room at Mill City Museum in Minneapolis. A 12-person council gathered to kick off […]

By |July 29th, 2019|Facilitation, Leadership|0 Comments

Collaborative leaders shine

Observing what makes collaborative leaders effective when they step forward in a group never ceases to amaze me. Are they the ones with big job titles? Often not. Emotional intelligence in collaborative undertakings matters more than authority.

A collaborative leader, with a single gesture, can resolve inadvertent voids created by others on the team. Sometimes it […]

By |February 12th, 2019|Facilitation, Leadership|0 Comments

Nine traits of collaborators

Before defining collaborator traits that can make any group’s effort much less effortful, an obvious truth is worth naming. No one has to collaborate. It’s not a mandatory part of life. Collaboration is a choice, an act of free will. An individual’s motivation usually ties to their personal or professional goals. I want to get […]

By |January 22nd, 2019|Facilitation, Leadership|1 Comment

Breakthrough via collaboration

Throughout history people have been motivated to band together. To build villages, trade and barter, rebel against injustice. And, create. Today there’s debate about whether collaboration is wearing out ambitious professionals in matrixed organizations. Fair enough. Coordinating with others can take longer than making decisions on your own, and an excess of meetings, especially if […]

By |December 26th, 2018|Arts & culture, Facilitation, Innovation, Leadership|1 Comment

Mental Fortitude

Imagine you’re 20 years old again. You’re competing at peak levels of tennis and for the first time in your rapidly-accelerating career you are on center court at the U.S. Open finals. Over the next two hours you’ll be dueling with an all-time great, Serena Williams, who’s intimating and still has a lot to prove. […]

By |September 18th, 2018|Leadership|0 Comments

Ask beautiful questions

Solutions are nice. Questions are better. The quality of our questions shapes not only the answers available to us, but our entire life. Asking great questions will change a person’s trajectory.

If you want to get to the root of any tough situation, you’ll ask hard questions, the ones you’d rather avoid because you instinctively know […]

Start with genuinely seeing

The simple act of sitting down with a client at the start of a new project is invigorating. In remarkably short order a rich field of vision opens for genuinely seeing. Events leading to the project’s formation, the motivation of people in the room and beyond, specific examples of alignment or conflict — it is […]

By |February 6th, 2018|Creativity, Facilitation, Leadership|0 Comments

Time to save your best for first

Our New Year’s resolutions and time management go hand in hand. It’s already mid-January. How’s your year going so far? I blogged a few years back about something I called the Readiness Project, which gives structure and momentum when change is in the offing. Let’s add a bit of nuance for impact.

What we know: Everyone […]

By |January 23rd, 2018|Continuous Improvement, Leadership|0 Comments

After the retreat, keep the high

A retreat that earns high marks in my book generates a breakthrough. A big beautiful question leads to new insight. A path forward becomes clear. A fragmented team re-aligns.

Then what?

Sure, many teams move forward smoothly—enacting plans, achieving goals and realizing visions and despite all obstacles. Those are the teams everyone wants to be on. But […]

By |January 10th, 2018|Facilitation, Leadership|0 Comments