How the High Cost of Low Trust Hurts You and Your Organization

By Patrick Leddin | October 11, 2018

Let’s take a few minutes to consider the impact of low trust in business. Only 10 percent of workers trust their bosses to do the right thing, and only 14 percent believe their company’s leaders are ethical and honest. Less than a fifth of the general public trusts business leaders to be ethical and honest.…

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How My Grandmother’s Shocking Story and an Aboriginal Saying Can Help You

This week, I turn 50-years-old. That means I’m entering my sixth decade of life. It’s times like these that cause me to reflect on what I’ve learned and what is before me. Perhaps you are in a similar place as you celebrate a birthday, complete a project, finish a degree, start or end a relationship,…
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Insights from an Amazing Performance: This Has Only Happened 5 Times in 147 Years

With four swings of the bat, Milwaukee Brewers center fielder, Christian Yelich, went from a successful baseball career to one destined for the record books. This week Yelich hit a single, a double, a triple, and a home run all in the same game. This is called hitting for the cycle; and, it is rare.…
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How to Own a Room; A Firsthand Lesson from Iceland’s Prime Minister

I recently delivered a presentation on leadership at Iceland’s National Government Day. The event took place at Harpa, Reykjavik’s inconic concert hall and convention center, and served as a celebration of Iceland’s 100 years of sovereignty. 500 Icelandic leaders, from all facets of the country’s government, attended the session. It was an honor to be…
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Great Leaders Know How to Create the Conditions for Engagement

The vast majority of employees are disengaged from their work and you – not the CEO, the HR department, or someone else in the organization – are key to addressing the issue. Don’t believe me? Here are two findings from Gallup: Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their work. This means that, “one in eight workers…
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How Nike’s Kaepernick Ad Might Be a Game Changer this Time

This weekend Nike unveiled their latest “Just Do It” ad campaign. The company’s well known formula of marrying the familiar tagline with high profile athletes was on display once again; however, there was a bit of a twist this time. Serena Williams, known for her dominate play on the tennis court and Odell Beckham Jr.,…
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A Southwest Captain Shows How to Effectively Pilot a Career

Last week, I traveled to Orlando, Florida for a client meeting. As I settled into my seat, the Southwest Airlines flight attendant announced that the journey was the final leg in our pilot’s 42-year aviation career. After 22 years with Southwest Airlines and 20 years in the U.S. military, he was hanging up his captain’s…
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3 Days with Beyoncé, Taylor, Garth, and Pikachu Made Me a Better Leader

This past weekend, my adopted hometown, Nashville, Tennessee, truly lived up to the name Music City. Festivities started with a Thursday night concert by Beyoncé and Jay-Z to a sold out Vanderbilt University stadium as part of the OTR II Tour. Three days later, the city wrapped up a weekend of high-profile concerts, including performances from: Taylor…
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Manchester Divided, 3 “Shocking” Growth Strategy Lessons

I think we can all learn a bit about Growth Strategy Execution from the Head Coach of the Manchester United Football Club, Jose Mourinho. Framing the Discussion In 1957, Igor Ansoff, an applied mathmetician and business leader, introduced a business growth model. The model depicts four growth strategies. Here is a quick example of each: Diversification:…
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HBS Professor Identifies the Central Issue of Leadership – One Word to Help You Address the Challenges

John Kotter is a legend in the world of leadership and change. A Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus, author of numerous business articles, and consultant to Global 5000 organizations, Kotter is, “internationally known and widely regarded as the foremost speaker on the topics of Leadership and Change.” (Harvard Business School) I’ve never met Kotter; however,…
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#1 Reason Strategy Fails and What Leaders Can Do About It

How often have you heard leaders announce a bold new initiative, only to watch it die a slow, painful death? How often have you done this yourself in your organization or team? Most strategies fail, not because they are poor strategies (although that happens – click here), but because they are poorly executed. It’s discouraging…
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HBS Professor Identifies the Central Issue of Leadership – One Word to Help You Address the Challenge

John Kotter is a legend in the world of leadership and change. A Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus, author of numerous business articles, and consultant to Global 5000 organizations, Kotter is, “internationally known and widely regarded as the foremost speaker on the topics of Leadership and Change.” (Harvard Business School) I’ve never met Kotter; however,…
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The Importance of Teaching an Old Tiger New Tricks

For much of his career, Tiger Woods has used a Scott Cameron putter. A few weeks ago, that changed. Woods’ switched to a TaylorMade Ardmore 3 mallet and his choice caught the attention of golf commentators and rabid fans. To be fair, anything Woods does appears to rise to news in the golf world, so…
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5 Behaviors of True Win-Win Negotiators Graphic

Odds are that on any given day, you find yourself in multiple negotiations with friends, family members, co-workers, direct reports, and even your boss. For many of us, negotiating happens so often, we fail to even notice it, think about it, or prepare for it. We just do it. And, frankly we often do it…
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Use this Proven ‘Secret’ to Tap into Your Team’s Productivity

Contemplate the energy, vitality, and optimism of people who are deeply engaged, particularly in this era when our technology leaves us breathless. We are at the edge of the greatest of times. California Gubernatorial Candidate Gavin Newsom has this insight: “The reality is, people will build cool things for the sake of building cool things. They…
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You Should Listen to Apple’s Angela Ahrendts’ Leadership Advice…

When asked, “What advice would you give to a new chief executive?” the remarkable Angela Ahrendts, Senior Vice President for Retail Sales at Apple and former CEO of Burberry, has a one word answer: “Listen.” And what is the greatest mistake a leader can make? “Not listening.” When interviewing for her role at Apple, Ahrendts…
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4 Awesome Reasons to Hire a Canine Coworker (#4 Might Save Your Life)

In 2017, The New York Times reported that, “…43 percent of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely….That represents a four percentage point increase since 2012, a shift that meets the demands of many job seekers.” If you are part of the growing wave of people working from home, or envision…
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Leadership Communication Choices

Are you making the right communication choices? Use this graphic to remind yourself of the importance of making the right communication choices as a leader. You can read the underlying article on the topic here.  A pdf version of the following graphic is available and ready to print for free on the tools page. Simply…
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“Boss” Research Says Do this for Team Accountability

If you plan to drive from New York to California, you don’t just fill your car up once with gas and expect to make it all the way there. You start out making good progress, but eventually you’re going to need to fill up again. In the same way, you need to fill your workers’…
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8 Behaviors of Successful Creatives Job Aid

Last summer, I wrote a post about being more creative. In it, I shared a process that a colleague and I developed and taught to thousands of people around the world. Many found the process simple and insightful. I thought my readers might find a quick graphic or ‘job aid’ helpful as they work to…
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Working on Your Personal Brand

Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand. More importantly, that brand is constantly being defined, redefined, built-up, torn-down, and reconfigured. I invite you to think about four keys to building an effective personal brand. These are: Intentions, Behaviors, Results, and Expectations of Experience. For each area, allow me to pose questions…
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Schultz Has Left the Coffee Shop. Wake-up & Smell 3 Leader Lessons

The business world has watched Howard Schultz slow departure from Starbucks. He stepped down as CEO in April 2016 and as of this month transition to chairman emeritus. Many believe he will now turn his attention to brewing up a U.S. Presidential candidacy in 2020 (Fortune). Upon his departure, I think it useful to spend…
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These 5 Remarkable Practices Will Transform Your Organization

The principles of proactivity, execution, productivity, and trust underlie every truly great organization. These five practices leverage those principles and are foundational to sustainable success in any industry. Do you want to change your organization for the better? Then put these five remarkable practices to work for you, your team, and your organization: 1. Find the Organization’s Voice Highly effective organizations find the voice of the organizational,  connect people and align systems .  They don’t just merely create and post a mission statement on the wall. 2. Develop & Execute Strategy Highly effective organizations find the voice of the organizational,  connect people and align systems .  They don’t just merely create and post a mission statement on the wall. 3. Unleash & Engage People Drop the “Do more with less,” mantra. Focus on unleashing and engaging people to do infinitely more than you imagined that they could. 4. Become the Trusted Provider Effective organizations work to be more than the provider of choice. They want to be the most trusted provider in their industry. 5. Drive Customer Loyalty Satisfying customers is not enough. These organizations work to create fervent loyalty with customers.…
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Trying to Find Your Fit?

If you are trying to find your fit, to discover your unique contribution, or determine your voice, consider starting with these questions.  No, they won’t be the final answer, but may get you on the “right” path. Download a pdf version of this image by clicking on the Tools tab and scrolling down to the…
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Money Questions

I recently created this tool to help you think through money issues that each of us should be able to answer.  You can read more about the concept in this article. You can also visit the tools page by clicking the tab in the menu bar to download a PDF version of the image.
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Costco Stock Soars; How You Can Make “Wholesale” Customer Loyalty Changes

It took retail giant and wholesaler Costco less than thirty years to become the second largest retailer in the USA and seventh in the world—without advertising. How? By growing a worldwide base of intensely loyal customers and employees, many of whom “wouldn’t shop/work anywhere else.” Just last week, Costco’s earning report beat expectations for both top…
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Make Yourself Invaluable

Over the past 25+, I have been surrounded by many top performers: Courageous fellow paratroopers in the U.S. Army Amazing colleagues at both a global consulting firm and my own professional services agency Outstanding clients I’ve supported throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia Brilliant students at one of the nation’s top universities As I…
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A Few Ideas to Create Effective Meetings

Here are a few ideas to help you create more effective meetings. Print these out and keep them close. They might save you a ton of time, energy, and frustration! Download a printable version of the graphic on the tools page. Just scroll down to the section marked meetings, find the file, and download it.…
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6 Behaviors of an Effective Mentor

Effective mentors fulfill 6 key roles.  Each role is critical to success.  Click here to download the image. Do you want to dig deeper?  Click on tools tab for a free assessment of your mentorship abilities. It’s easy. Just scroll down to the Mentor Self Assessment, click the link, and complete the assessment.   Photo…
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One Radical Idea that May Change Your World

In the 1830’s, a rather ingenious and arguably mad idea was proposed. Some 14 years later a long journey went from concept to reality as a tunnel began to weave its way under the streets and buildings of mid-19th century London. Nine years later, the first segment of what would become London’s Underground opened for business.…
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What Are Your Core Competencies?

I invite you to take a moment to reflect on what your competencies and what you bring to the table. What skills do you have? What do you know? What is the essence of your work? What makes you competitive? What about you is unique and difficult to imitate? What superior value do you provide? Here’s…
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4 Customer-Centric Questions

If you are looking to create a customer-centric team, work with your teammates to answer 4 critical questions.
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Science Says This Motivates More Than Money or Happiness

Scientists tell us that there is enough nuclear energy in a few buckets of seawater to power the entire world for a day—if it could be unleashed. Likewise, there’s enough talent, intelligence, capability, and creativity in each of the people in your organization to astound you—if it could be unleashed. Just take a moment to…
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It’s Time for Baby Boomers to Retire

In 2017, Pew Research explained that, “still sizable, the Baby Boom generation’s sway in the workforce is waning. In the early and mid-1980s, Boomers made up a majority of the nation’s labor force. The youngest Boomer was 53 years old in 2017, while the oldest Boomers were older than 70. With more Boomers retiring every year…
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Talent Engagement Matrix

Allow me to introduce the Talent Engagement Matrix. You can use this tool to assess how well your people are positioned to best leverage their passion and potential. Read more here. You will also learn what to do if someone isn’t well positioned.
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3 Problems Plaguing Your Productivity (#3 Might Be Killing You)

Today’s productivity problems go far deeper than just managing units of time. Our world has a few specific challenges that allow the time to just “go by,” and can leave us feeling unaccomplished and weary at the end of a day. Productivity Problem #1 We are making more decisions than we ever have before. Think…
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3 Coaching Lessons from Olajugbagbe and a British Knight

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across an article about 18-year-old Ruti Olajugbagbe and learned three great coaching lessons. Ruti is the 2018 winner of The Voice UK Season 7. The show is a multi-week talent contest in which celebrities partner with contestants in an effort to be named the season’s best singer. The competition…
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We Simply Do Not Know What the Future Holds

“We simply do not know what the future holds.” – Peter L. Bernstein
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The Answer to Engaging Your People May Lie in a 2,200-Year-Old Story

The great Archimedes (287–212 BCE), one of the world’s finest mathematicians, was a person before his time. Not only did he invent integral calculus and figure the approximate value of π (pi) he is also said to be the father of the machine age by discovering and putting to use the properties of levers and…
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What 250,000 Meals a Day Teach Us About Purpose

In Mumbai, India, a city of 17 million people, fast food has a unique meaning. Every day, about 5,000 dabbawalas, or “lunchbox people,” deliver nearly a quarter of a million home-cooked lunches around this vast, tumultuous city—at high speed and without error! Because people who work in the city enjoy a home-cooked lunch, thousands of…
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Engage Your People

With all of the discussion about employee engagement, have you considered this? Engage the passion your people innately possess. You don’t have to invite them to have dreams – they already have them.
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How to Create a Culture That is Continuously Learning and Growing

Organizations that fail to continuously improve their capabilities will inevitably fade away. Creating a culture that is continually learning and growing is essential to the future of your organization. Creating this type of an organization is a leader’s job – it can’t be outsourced. Let’s face it… In many organizations, employees have become so entrenched…
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The Secret to Producitivity

Do you want to increase the productivity of the team? Technology certainly helps, as does process improvement. However, someone has to use the technology. People need to embrace new processes. The secret to productivity is to ignite the passions of your team.
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How a 100-Year-Old Research Study Can Make You a Better Leader

More than a century ago, researchers at Clark University did an experiment with a walleye pike, a very aggressive fish. The researchers placed the pike in a large tank filled with water and added several minnows, the pike’s natural food, and watched as the fish immediately devoured the minnows. The researchers then placed a transparent…
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FOCUS

It sounds obvious, but most of us have a way of piling up “must-do” priorities, making it impossible to do a very good job on any of them. One recipe for disengaging people is to overwhelm them with things to do, all of which are “Job 1” and “key priorities” and “top-of-the-list.” But if you…
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Scientist Call It “Exhaustion Syndrome” and It’s Killing Your Team

All too many of us suffer from a personal energy crisis. We no longer work a standard eight-hour day. Our minds are constantly churning trying to make high value decisions, virtually twenty-four hours day. Our mode of life today—constant stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise and sleep—leads to what scientists call “exhaustion syndrome.” “[Exhaustion…
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How to Unleash the Power of Your People

Given enough support, any human being has virtually limitless power. Each person in your organization is unique and has an irreplaceable set of gifts, talents, skills, and passions that cannot be found anywhere else. Too many leaders have the pernicious paradigm that people are interchangeable, that one worker equals another, that they can easily replace…
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4 Leadership Addictions that Fuel Employee Burnout

I bet most of you are familiar with this adult only concept. Imagine yourself in this scenario… You’re commuting home after a long workday. Exhausted, you want nothing more than to eat a quick meal and a chance to relax. As you reflect on your day, you think to yourself that you were really busy,…
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The Power of Purpose: Discover (Rediscover) Your Purpose

A key habit of any true leader is to have a clear “end in mind,” a vision or mission that inspires and energizes people. It also means having a clear purpose in mind for everything true leaders do—initiatives, projects, meetings. It’s based on the simple principle of knowing one’s destination early; even if one fall…
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How a Jackass Manager Treats People

In many organizations, the typical approach to changing people’s behavior is to reward or threaten them. This is what Stephen R. Covey called “the great jackass theory of human motivation—carrot and stick.” The problem with this approach is that it treats people like animals, and it works only on the surface and only temporarily. When…
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Your Organization’s One True Competitive Advantage

No matter what industry you work in, when your people quit work for the night, your competitive advantage quits too. You might say, “What about our mission? Organizational structure? Internal rewards program? Work processes? Computer systems? Aren’t they advantages that will overcome our competition?” Obviously, competitive advantages can come from many sources, but the bottom…
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The Foundational Habit of a True Leader

We are often told of all the things that leaders should be, how they should act, what they should say, etc. If you don’t believe me, just google the word “leadership” and you will find article after article of things that leaders should do (or not do). I know, I’ve written some of them myself.…
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How One Leadership Idea Can Change Everything You Do

How Did We Get Here? Ever since the founding of the first organization (whatever it was), leaders have struggled with this problem—how do you motivate people to give their best? Age after age of autocratic leaders used fear as the primary lever for engagement. Compliance was key. In the last century, scientific managers used the…
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Is it Time to Prune

To flourish we must let go of things that hinder us. This means that we sometimes have to let of good things too. Perhaps even friends, mindsets, fears, and how we spend our time, money, and other resources. Sometimes our lives need a bit of pruning. What do you need to cut back on in…
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What Legos Teach Us About Teamwork

When our son was a little boy, he discovered a passion for Legos – not a general liking, but a true passion. His exposure started with a small Lego set. I have no recollection of his first Lego, but it was probably a car, a boat, an airplane, or some other form of transportation. Over…
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How to Create a Culture Where All Voices Are Heard

Let’s face it; many people feel that their voices aren’t heard, or even welcome. They don’t feel like they belong. This phenomena is not limited to any particular country, industry, or business – it’s ubiquitous. This isn’t just a concern. It is a tragedy. The good news is that regardless of your role, you can…
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RIP Toys R Us – Avoid a Similar Fate in Your Organization

Toy’s R Us is dead – at least in the United States. According to CNBC, “Toys R Us is planning to either close or sell all of its more than 800 stores across the U.S.” The debate is underway about what killed Toys R Us. Was it poor strategy and execution? Including specific issues like store selection…
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David Marriott Asked Me One Question: You Should Ask this of Every Customer

You are likely familiar with one, if not several, of Marriott International’s brands. With revenue of $22.69 billion in 2017, Marriott is the largest hotel group in the world. Marriott is my hotel of choice, but that wasn’t always the case. You are likely familiar with one, if not several, of Marriott International’s brands. Marriott…
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5 Communication Behaviors of Great Leaders

“Leadership is first, and foremost, a communication activity.” – Hackman & Johnson We’ve all benefited from the communication efforts of great leaders. We’ve also suffered through the pains of poor communicators in leadership roles. I’ve found that great leaders regularly make five communication choices. I invite you to review each, assess how well you are…
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Ode to the Human Resources Manager

Could you have envisioned at the start of your career; how your days would unfold throughout much of the year? There are times when all is well – people are engaged; and stints when some are angry – even enraged. When people conflict and relationships sour; they file by your office hour after hour. “Help us…
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What One Olympian Teaches Us About Teamwork (Hint: It’s Not About Medals, Pence, or Xanax)

Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon has captured the attention of many over the last couple of weeks. You are likely aware of one, if not several things, that put Rippon into the public eye. To me, the one thing that truly stands out about Rippon isn’t the thing that garnered most attention… It’s Not About…
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The One Word You Must Start Saying

Imagine that your organization has been struggling with an issue for a long, long time. Occasionally, the problem goes away; but, it inevitably reappears. People are frustrated with this reoccurring and costly issue. If you are struggling to identify a problem in your world, allow me to jog your thinking with a few ideas: Perhaps…
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3 Brand Lessons from Walt Disney World

Are you looking to improve your personal brand? Has your organization’s brand(s) become a bit stagnant? In invite you to take a few minutes to join me during a recent trip I made to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. While I was three, I picked up three valuable brand lessons that you should consider…
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5 Behaviors of True Win-Win Negotiators

Whether you realize it or not, your life is a series of negotiations. Some are grand negotiations that rarely come along and require sizable effort (e.g., buying a house, negotiating a job offer, or acquiring a new business). Other negotiations are more commonplace (e.g., settling on a movie with a friend, picking a family vacation…
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4 Steps to Sky High Customer Service

The overhead bins were nearly full, but it appeared that all of the carryon luggage would find a secure home. The last few passengers were settling into their seats, when the plane’s captain emerged from the cockpit and to make an announcement. He introduced himself as Captain Tim and welcomed everyone aboard for what he…
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Resume Tools that Work

I’ve recently added a couple of tools to help you improve your resume. Simply go to the tools page and scroll down to the bottom of the page. While you’re there, check out the 25+ other tools available to help you and your team win!   Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash
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Ode to a Project Manager

You rush from the meeting with a new project assigned, Less than an hour in charge, yet your three days behind.   On your computer you create a new file folder, Soon to be filled with interviews of each stakeholder.   One executive thinks the project is the most important ever, Another laments that it…
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Want to Have a Great Meeting? Start Here…

Good meetings start with great preparation.  Here’s a free tool you can use to set the agenda for your next meeting. 3 Quick steps: 1.  Go to www.patrickleddin.com/tools 2.  Scroll down to the section marked “Meetings” 3.  Download the Agenda Planning Matrix    Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
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Collision of Autobiographies

In the United States alone, some 94% of annual car accidents (over 2 million of them) are the result of human error (U.S., DOT). This staggering statistic is a huge catalyst for the self-driving car movement. I’m cautiously optimistic that self-driving vehicles will save many lives in the future. Unfortunately, self-driving technology won’t save us…
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Prep Better for Your Next Meeting

Are you looking for a way to improve the effectiveness of your next meeting? Check out the Meeting Planning Matrix. This simple worksheet helps you to ensure that all the important items are covered. Download, copy, and share as often as you want.   Click here. Scroll to the bottom of the list. It’s right there…
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WSJ Reports Strong Economy – Don’t Let This 1 Thing Hold You Back

The headlines in today’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reveal a strong economic picture. Here are just a few: Tech Stocks Lead the Way After Dow 26,000 US Jobless Claims Fell Last Week to Near 45-Year Low German Economic Growth Hits 6-Year High China’s Economic Growth at 6.9%: In 2017, the State Struck Back Of course,…
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How a Young Infantry Platoon Leader Found Himself Up $#!^ Creek

Years ago, I was a young infantry platoon leader in the U.S. Army. At the age of 22, the vast majority of my team members were older – some by two decades – and more experienced than me. One day, my platoon was conducting a training exercise where we were patrolling in enemy territory. At…
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Keep Things in Perspective – An Essential New Leader Mindset

New leaders can get easily lost in the moment and fail to understand the bigger picture.  Perspective matters. Being new in the role, the leader might not realize the cyclical nature of the business or the importance of certain elements. What appears trivial at first blush may prove essential in the long run. Wisdom often comes…
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Engage People – An Essential Mindset of New Leaders

It seems obvious. A new leader is given a team of smart people who have been hired because of their abilities and potential. Of course, the new leader will engage them in helping make decisions. Obvious or not, new leaders – or leaders at any level – struggle with embracing and engaging others. Whether it…
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A Dangerous Discussion

There’s a dangerous discussion taking place in many organizations. I invite you to consider whether or not you are participating in this costly conversation. It goes something like this… You & your teammates are discussing your company’s products or services. You collectively consider your offerings to be inherently brilliant, yet sales are missing the mark.…
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Earn Respect – A Key New Leader Mindset

As a leader, formal authority will only get you so far. People may do what you tell them because you’re the leader, but they will likely not give their best. As the expression goes, you can buy someone’s back and hands, but you can’t buy their head and heart. Heads and hearts are earned when…
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Remain Fair and Consistent – A Key New Leader Mindset

As a new leader it is critical to remain fair and consistent. This can be tough as a new leader can quickly find himself under pressure to help a friend, bend the rules, or make just one exception. People who were once his peers now report to him. Handling the change in the relationship can…
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Check Your Ego – A Key New Leader Mindset

When a top performer, who is recognized for her potential, track record of results, and a growing skill set, is given her first formal leadership position, it’s not uncommon for her ego get the best of her. She starts to think that she needs to do it all. She needs to have all of the…
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Taking Employees from Disengaged to Fired Up

When you look across your organization, do you see anyone that you consider disengaged, perhaps a bit lazy, lacking in motivation, or somewhat unreachable? Odds are that the person you just thought of has more passion, creativity, or excitement within him than you can imagine. The problem is that for some reason, he is not…
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leader + leader development + ideas for leaders + ideas for brands + ideas for careers + best ideas for leaders + best idea for brands + best ideas for careers + leadership + leadership & management + Inspiration + Brands & Ads + Culture + emerging leader + brands + building brands + marketing + leadership + culture + organizational culture + strategy career advice + franklincovey + vanderbilt university + Your Career + Strategies + Inspiration + Human Resources + patrick leddin + catalys + a wining culture in government + oliver's spot + the 5 ps leading teams to top results + oliver's spot for the public

Delight Your Customers with a Twist on Ordinary

We often hear about the need to delight customers, but rarely find examples of simple ways to make it happen. Allow me to introduce you to a company that has figured it out. Meet Sprinkles. Sprinkles sells cupcakes. That alone is pretty darn delightful, but what seems to really excite folks is how they’ve managed…
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Give Your People the Gift of a Great Leader

The gift-giving season is upon us. For many, exchanging presents is not merely tradition; it is an outward sign of one’s appreciation for another. Much time, energy, and effort is put into finding the perfect gift. The gift-giving practice often extends to the workplace where leaders give presents to their team members. Far be it…
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Great Leaders Don’t Stay in the Dark

Those of us in the United States experienced two great leadership lessons over the last few months. Did you pick-up on them? Leadership Lesson #1: People are curious & want to ‘participate’ in something amazing. A few months ago, a total solar eclipse swept across the United States. It’s estimated that 50% of the U.S. population…
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4 Differentiators of Great Leaders

I invite you to take a moment to think about a great leader that you know. This may be someone you worked with in the past; or, if you are lucky, someone you work with now. With that person in my mind, I bet I can predict two things about that leader. First, that great…
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leader + leader development + ideas for leaders + ideas for brands + ideas for careers + best ideas for leaders + best idea for brands + best ideas for careers + leadership + leadership & management + Inspiration + Brands & Ads + Culture + emerging leader + brands + building brands + marketing + leadership + culture + organizational culture + strategy career advice + franklincovey + vanderbilt university + Your Career + Strategies + Inspiration + Human Resources + patrick leddin + catalys + a wining culture in government + oliver's spot + the 5 ps leading teams to top results + oliver's spot for the public

Have You Ever Been in this Boat?

Creating a grand strategy – without the associated resources needed to execute it – is a recipe for frustration, disengagement, and many undesirable consequences. Have you ever found yourself in this boat? Are you putting your people in this situation, by expecting more than you’ve prepared, equipped, or even allow them to accomplish?
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How to Finish 2017 Stronger Than Ever

December is here and with it comes a flurry of activities. It’s easy to get swept up in the end-of-the-year frenzy. Frankly, left to my own devices, I’m likely to ring in the New Year with a twinge of disappointment, if I don’t accomplish a couple of goals. As I think about whether or not…
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The ABC’S of Inconsistent Employee Performance

If you have ever led a team or run an organization, you have likely experienced a moment of frustration when one, two, or perhaps most of your people weren’t doing what you wanted them to do. In those instances, I imagine that questions similar to these ran through your mind as you considered your team…
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Do Camels Learn Better Than Dogs?

Picture this. You and some friends are at a park with a large pond. You let your dog, who loves to swim, off of his leash. He immediately runs to the water and starts swimming, fetching sticks, and enjoying the deep grass around the edges of the pond. After some time, you call for him…
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This Mom-Entrepreneur Duo Will Inspire You to Find a Problem & Build a Business

Last year, my students worked with Jen Auerbach and Adriel Danae on a marketing project for a class I teach at Vanderbilt University. These ladies (pictured above) are the founders of the Clary Collection. As two new mothers, Clary Collection’s co-founders were struggling to find the best way to care for their children and themselves.…
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How My Broken Leg Helps Your Organization

This past Saturday was shaping up to be a perfect day. The weather was gorgeous. I took an early morning jog with my dog, followed by a walk with my wife. We then went out for a late breakfast and a bit of shopping in our neighborhood. It was delightful. After walking through a few…
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Are You Outstanding in Your Field?

I took this photo this week when we visited my in laws farm. You just can’t take a bad picture of these cows. The old joke about a farmer being ‘outstanding’ in his/her field popped into my head. A couple of months ago, we were up at the farm and I made this quick video…
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Uber Paid Hackers $100,000 in Hush Money: An Über Disruption of Trust

In his best selling book, The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey contends that, “there is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world—one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most…
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6 Roles of a Mentor

Successful mentors fulfill 6 key roles.  Take a moment to see how well you are doing for your proteges. Motivator – Positive reinforcement, self-confidence and self-esteem, maintain perspective, and visionary Coach – Listening, questioning skills, willingness to challenge, and ability to diagnose Counselor – Perspective – broader context of ‘situation, ability to evaluate various career options…
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How a 13-Year-Old Can Teach You to Rethink Failure

Earlier this year, I wrote an article about Lucy Westlake and her dad (Rodney) climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. The post discussed the importance of winning and, more importantly, winning with others as opposed to winning at the expense of others. “Winning often begets winning, but winning is at its very best when you bring…
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Speak Your Customer’s Language

Imagine for a moment that after seeing one of my articles or videos, you decide to invite me to your organization. We coordinate the visit, discuss what we hope to accomplish, and I make the journey to your workplace. The arrival goes as planned and after we exchange a few pleasantries, we begin our day.…
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What You Can Learn from Baseball’s Great Experiment

The June 30, 2014 Sports Illustrated cover featured a photo of Houston Astros’ outfielder, George Springer. The headline, “Your 2017 World Series Champs: An Unprecedented Look at How a Franchise is Going Beyond ‘Moneyball‘ to Build the Next Big Thing…” This was a bold proclamation by author, Ben Reiter, who called it Baseball’s Great Experiment.…
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How to Create a Culture of Engagement – A Tool to Get You Started

I invite you to take a moment to consider the people on your team or in the broader organization. No matter how large or small the universe of employees, I bet you can think of someone who seems born for a particular role and another who is likely sending out resumes in hopes of finding…
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leader + leader development + ideas for leaders + ideas for brands + ideas for careers + best ideas for leaders + best idea for brands + best ideas for careers + leadership + leadership & management + Inspiration + Brands & Ads + Culture + emerging leader + brands + building brands + marketing + leadership + culture + organizational culture + strategy career advice + franklincovey + vanderbilt university + Your Career + Strategies + Inspiration + Human Resources + patrick leddin + catalys + a wining culture in government + oliver's spot + the 5 ps leading teams to top results + oliver's spot for the public

4 ‘No Joke’ Career Observations about Jerry Seinfeld’s Career

Earlier this year, Jerry Seinfeld inked a $100 million dollar deal with Netflix. Business Insider explained that Seinfeld was to bring his, “popular web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” to Netflix. The new deal will also include two original stand-up specials for the streaming giant.” The agreement is the latest in a series of financial…
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A Lesson in Breaking Brand Stereotypes – Compliments of R.J. Mitte

You are most likely familiar with the television series Breaking Bad.  Whether you loved the show, hated the premise, or have never heard of it, this post is for you. My intent is not to endorse or criticize Breaking Bad. I’m simply providing 5 observations with the hope of helping you to elevate your personal brand. The award…
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Lights, Camera, & Bad Behavior: Avoid Hollywood Drama in Your Culture

In the last several weeks, a host of celebrities have made allegations of sexual harassment or assault against Harvey Weinstein. If you are unfamiliar with the story, suffice it to say that Weinstein, a powerful Hollywood mogul, appears to have used his position and influence over numerous women in an attempt to coerce (even demand)…
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Are You Creating a Saltwater or Freshwater Culture

Some time ago, we were recruiting for a new team member.  After a series of interviews, we sat down to review applicants & recount the interactions.  We were intrigued by one particular candidate. He carried himself well, answered all questions with ease, & had a very impressive resume.  Yet, no one was excited to hire him.…
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