An Open Letter to Federal Managers – Leading through “Sequestration”

I have the privilege of serving great clients, many of whom are managers in the federal government, like you. They are good people—leaders who are dedicated to their people and their mission—and they are under a great deal of strain right now. The budget cuts taking place through Congress’ “sequestration” touch far more lives than most people realize…federal employees facing furloughs, managers struggling to find clear (and reasonable) guidance, contractors trying to keep their businesses solvent and maintain responsiveness to … … Continue reading

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Returning “Home”—Leading and Living with Less Distraction and More Intention

I’ve been reading a thought-provoking new book by the organizational behavior thought leader Margaret Wheatley, called So Far From Home. I appreciate her unique synthesis of global trends and the realistic, yet still inspiring, conclusions she draws about how we leaders can do meaningful work in the very complicated world we inhabit. Interestingly, Meg specifically calls out the Internet and its applications as a major source of distraction—the kind that negatively interferes with our quality of life. (How … … Continue reading

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When Good Questions Go Bad

This post was inspired by separate conversations with several of my clients who share a certain behavior that can offend people. Since it’s a behavior that I can relate with all too well, I decided to share some thoughts on it. Enjoy! I recently had a new a-ha moment—I realized that a particular behavior of mine (and which has very benign, even positive, intentions behind it) really offends some people. Whoa. It’s one thing when a laugh gets misinterpreted, or … … Continue reading

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The Impact of “Impact”

This week’s entry was inspired by a client who has been making huge strides in his ability to manage himself and build relationships, and who is encountering resistance to building a more productive relationship from one hold-out…a long-time critic who is senior to him. A client of mine was in a conversation with a senior leader about determining the proper path forward on a particular project. Knowing my client, it was probably less a conversation and more of a debate, … … Continue reading

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Getting Real: Just How Neutral Are You?

This week’s entry was inspired by a conversation with a leader about dealing with difficult people—not just any difficult people, but the ones who have disappointed you to the extent that you are really wondering if you’ll ever effectively manage or motivate them. We all have that One. The person whom you just can’t seem to reach. To whom you have given the same feedback, over and over again, to no avail. The employee who has missed deadlines repeatedly, damaged … … Continue reading

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