March 22, 2019

One thing I know for sure is that Unstuck Leaders know how to show up. They don’t scurry around the office, head down, wrapped up in themselves, their fears and their woes. They’re not constantly looking at their phones. They’re present. And, they’re aware of their affective presence, that is, the way they make others feel when around them.

A study about the affective presence of leaders found that a positive leader was linked to better team information sharing which led to better team innovation. I can well believe it. I once had a boss who would light up whenever an employee stepped into his office. “Ms. Sims! And how are you today? Let’s get to work!” His positivity made me feel validated, and as a result, I was more energetic and confident when presenting ideas, and more open when he ch...

March 14, 2019

Where tension is felt personally, conflict is experienced between two or more parties. It’s the result of a clash of ideas, cultural norms and passions. And, like tension, it’s essential to the growth, evolution and renewal of the organization. Without healthy conflict, an organization will stagnate.

Now. Am I saying we want everyone at each other’s throats? Of course not. Conflict doesn’t always have to be fireworks. But I would argue that it’s only unhealthy conflict that is problematic. Unhealthy conflict is the kind where the conversation quickly devolves to who is stupid and who is evil.

Healthy conflict is another thing entirely. It’s about discussion and debate. It’s about drawing out tacit knowledge. It’s about surfacing previously unseen issues and opportunities It’s about creating...

March 8, 2019

My client Gilda is a dynamic, entrepreneurial, get ‘er done kind of woman. I think she’s awesome. Anyway, Gilda was recently offered a job in a new city and she was pretty excited about it. The job was in a new industry and the company was looking to expand nationally over the next five years. Gilda would be playing a key role in the expansion process. Her first week at the new job was lovely. Her boss was laid back and kind, unlike the boss she had left back home. Her new coworkers were very sweet and welcoming. The place totally lacked drama. Gilda felt like she could breathe for the first time in years. She was excited to get to work and we agreed to put her coaching sessions on a brief hiatus while she got herself settled.

Three months later, we reconnected. I had been excited to hear a...

March 2, 2019

In the novel The Bonfire of the Vanities, author Tom Wolfe refers to cynicism as a “cowardly form of superiority.”

Sounds harsh? I don’t think so.

Cynicism is a poison that seems to have found its way into our collective hearts. It used to be that my generation, Generation X, was known for its cynicism, but I have to hand it to the Millennials – they seem to have outdone us. 

I suspect the specifics of this age of cynicism, and why it seems to have infected the Millennial generation with such force will be the topic of many future Ph.D theses. Maybe it’s a result of being raised on The Simpsons and The Office, or maybe it’s due to meme culture, or having come of age during the great recession of 2008, one of the most devastating economic downturns in history, or the crushing pressure of stude...

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