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Reducing the Risks of Difficult Terminations

After the horrifying events last week in which an HR professional was stabbed during a termination, clients and associates have expressed concerns about the risks of terminations. I reassured them that situations like this are very rare. Over the last ten years, I have been privy to thousands of...
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Is your North American mindset tripping you up?

Recently a large Canadian customer with operations in Australia contacted us to assist with a small downsizing. We were happy to oblige and made arrangements with our partner in Australia to handle all of the arrangements. In North America, this process would include the outplacement firm (like...
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How To Select Your Leadership Coach

Like buying a house, selecting the right leadership coach is an important decision with both a rational and an emotional component. It can be challenging and sometimes intimidating. How do you select among all the different options? When selecting a coach there are a number of criteria to keep in...
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A Recipe for a Career Conversation

When it comes to having a career conversation, there are many ingredients that contribute to success, and - like in any great recipe – combining them artfully is usually necessary to create the best finished product. As a leader, you are going to have to be willing and open to trying a few different...
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Show Them The Money: A 4-Step Business Case for Career Management

Even though most HR practitioners are familiar with the benefits that career development can provide, many business leaders, managers and especially C-suite executives are not. Recently I was working with a client in the consumer products industry who was struggling to find a solution for dismal...
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How Do I Know If Someone Is Coachable?

Is this leader “coachable”?  First and foremost, being coachable is not a fixed trait but instead something that can change based on the situation, circumstances and point in time. Here’s the better question to ask:  Would coaching benefit this leader at this point? Here are the three criteria...
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Make Gold-Medal Graciousness Part of your Personal Brand

This past Olympic fortnight I’ve been struck a number of times by the graciousness of individuals at the top of their profession. What it looks like is this: athletes honouring the trailblazers before them to provide the opportunity to do what they are so talented at doing, winners and losers...
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Why CEOs Have To Pay For The Truth

What is CEO coaching and why is it worth a small fortune? Coaching a CEO is very different from any other executive coaching assignment. CEOs do not have peers and, in most cases, they do not have a single boss – often reporting to an external board or, in the case of some entrepreneurs, only to...
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Getting Ready To Step Into The C-Suite? Better Beef Up Your Conflict Management Skills

In a recent executive coaching survey from Stanford University and the Miles Group, when asked about areas for personal development, nearly 43% of CEOs stated conflict management skills. A wise colleague of mine said “just imagine if a CEO came to their role with this stuff worked out.”  With the...
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Team Leaders Can Do More By Doing Less

In a meeting with a coaching client this week, I was again struck by the powerful disconnect that can happen between a team leader’s intention and impact. My experience is that leaders show up every day wanting to do the very best they can for their teams. My client, let’s call her Mary, is just...
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Engaging in Risky Business on Your Team?

If you are a member of a leadership team, you make risky decisions all the time. If you think the only path to managing risk is hiring smarter people and doing more analysis, you’re missing a key piece of the puzzle.     The dynamic on your team might be increasing the risk of associated with your...
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5 Board Effectiveness Questions Inspired by Apple

As the world's most admired company, Apple has continued to sit in the spotlight through success, challenge and change. Over the past few years, we have watched carefully to see how the company would manage through one of the highest profile CEO succession transitions in history. We were curious if...
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Does Coaching Work?

Whether coaching works is a question I get asked all the time as a coach and the head of leadership coaching for Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions.  I have personally witnessed the power of coaching time and again, and a recently published article in the Journal of Positive Psychology provides...
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Which comes first, strategy or team effectiveness?

One of my great passions is facilitating business strategy sessions. As I’ve told you before, I’m a junkie for business and facilitating strategy gives me a taste of so many different businesses that I’m like a kid in a candy store.   But almost every time I facilitate a strategy session, I realize...
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Four Lessons for Leading in the Public Sector

As an executive coach, I work with leaders across many sectors and industries. During the past 10 years, I've coached over 100 provincial and municipal leaders in different roles at all levels. What I've come to know is that leading in the public sector is in many ways more complex and challenging...
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Three Critical Skills Managers Can't Do Without

Making sure managers are prepared to deal with the challenges ahead requires an array of tools and techniques. In addition to hard skills, including technical ones, managers need a cluster of skills and attributes that are really more about the art, not the science, of leadership. We have been...
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Yoga Inspired Leadership Lessons for Boards

After what seemed like an interminable period of inaction, the board at Lululemon Athletica has finally made itself heard.   On Tuesday, the iconic activewear company stunned the business world with a two-pronged announcement: first, founder and chairman Chip Wilson would step down; and second,...
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4 Things to Think About When Preparing for a New Boss

Recently, I was helping a team think through the imminent arrival of a new leader. They had been preparing and talking with a variety of consultants and advisors about the transition. One firm shared a one-page overview and an article about their approach, which they passed on to me.   As I read it,...
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No One is Doing the Pre-work!

Investing in learning is not just about people…it is the key to organizational sustainability. Although top-of-mind for organizations poised for growth, many have not yet figured out how to create an optimal learning experience to get the most from their learning investment. While there is much talk...
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Managing the Risk of a Bad Hire

Recent estimates put the cost of replacing a bad hire at up to five times the annual salary. At the executive level, that brings significant risk. By the time you realize a bad hire has been made, often it’s too late. The resulting loss of customers, employees and damage to your brand can make or...