If You're the Chief Ideas Person in Your Organization, There's a Problem. A Big One.

How did we all get onto this notion that leaders must be the single supreme creative force behind their organizations? Was it Steve Jobs? Henry Ford? Cornelius Vanderbilt? Let’s give it a rethink shall we? Co-creation isn’t about rolling up our sleeves and leading a team of creative people. It’s about creating an environment where co-creation happens around us, in spite of us and occasionally, through us. It’s about eliminating the separation of planning and doing. This of course, requires us to grapple with our needs for certainty and significance. We like the certainty of knowing we’re in charge and we attach ourselves to the notion that because we’re in charge, things will unfold as we wa

The Number One Reason Leaders Fail

A word before we get started. As you read this post, it will be tempting to think of other people and their stuckness. That’s because it’s much easier (and much more fun) to spot problems in other people than it is in ourselves. I invite you to focus on yourself from this point on, because we all have limiting patterns of belief and behaviour that hold us back. Even you. We like to pretend it’s some kind of deep dark mystery: Why do leaders fail? The answer couldn’t be more simple: Because they prioritize comfort over truth. At the very core of a stuck leader is an overattachment to their needs for Certainty and Significance. Certainty and Significance are basic human needs, we all have them

Be Kind to Unwind

Having a bad day? Boss tore apart your best laid plans? Ambushed in a meeting? Argument with your spouse? Colleague said something snide? Passive aggressive employee doubling down on their disruptive thing? Well that sucks. Now what are you going to do? Pass on all that negative emotion to the people around you? Sulk in your office for the rest of the day? Call your coach? Well if you call me, here’s what you’re going to hear. Get out. And by that, I mean get out of the office, head to the nearest coffee shop, convenience store, fast food place… wherever someone will be in place to provide you with service. And then, be really super kind to them. Tell a little joke. Give them a compliment. T

In Praise of Middle Managers

I love middle managers. Always have. Middle managers are the most undervalued resources an organization has. While senior leaders are busy strategizing, middle management is where everything actually happens. Middle managers see it all, from top to bottom, inside and out. Ignore them and you’ll lose out on a wealth of information. Line leaders, those in production and sales, have the best understanding of an organization’s most immediate needs, because they have daily customer or supplier contact. Network leaders, those working in support functions such as marketing, finance or legal, frequently work across divisions of the organization. They have many diverse relationships and the best view

The Unstuck Leader book is now available.
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