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Leaders and their Egos

Leaders and their Egos

Leaders are human and can screw-up. Their screw-ups, however, can be very costly. A primary source of their screw-ups, like all of us, is their egos. Our egos are our sense of identity, our sense of self-importance and self-esteem. They are our perception of our...

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A Question of Loyalty

A Question of Loyalty

I was consulting with a significant part of a large aerospace company. I was interviewing a very senior vice president. He was complaining about how hard it had become holding on to top employees. Of particular concern to him was what he saw as the lack of loyalty of...

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Build a Better Strategic Plan

A good strategic plan serves as the focal point for how an organization manages itself and its business as it moves toward both long and short-range success. It provides… Direction for aligning organizational units, staff, and their activities. Criteria for...

The Appeal and the Problem of Being an Authority Figure

As leaders, we all have had to deal with people who see us too much as authority figures. Such people automatically defer to us, whether we want them to or not. There are certainly times when such automatic deference would be welcome when the demands of being a leader...

The Joys of Leadership: A Journey beyond Power and Prestige

For the holidays, I thought an article that explores the less-discussed aspects of leadership that bring joy and satisfaction to leaders would be in order. How much time do you spend simply appreciating the pleasures that being a leader can offer? The greatest way to...

Managing the Stress and Distress of Leadership

Stress is our normal reaction to possible threats in our environment. Faced with anticipated danger, stress enables us to fight, flee, or hide if necessary. When the threat ends, the stress dissipates. Stress becomes distress and distressing when the sense of threat...

Leadership and the Win/Lose Game of Power

Conflict is behind every dysfunction in our teams, organizations, and other human systems. Conflict that is openly hostile or a passive aggressive power struggle. Conflict over some difference. We turn differences into dysfunctional conflict whenever being right, or...

You Can’t Lead Alone… and You Don’t Have To

Many leaders have the notion that it is lonely at the top. Like so many things, if you believe it, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The fact is no one has ever accomplished anything of any significance alone. Think about that. I think about my first successful,...

Leadership & the Imposter Syndrome

The leader of a portion of a major museum complex in Washington, D.C. desperately wanted to be a better leader, but his behavior consistently defaulted toward wanting to be liked. The leader of a major television station in the same city spent much of his time...

Managing the Discomforts of Leadership

I'm often asked to work with smart but underperforming executives, whose justification is that taking certain actions would be uncomfortable. They also cite that they don't want to cause anyone else discomfort (which they find discomforting). Leadership is a role rife...

Leaders, Are You a Part of Your Teams Or Apart from Your Teams?

Human beings have two opposing and powerful pulls: to be part of and to be apart from. When we are ‘part of,’ we belong. We want to belong to groups of others that accept us, appreciate us, and support us. In fact, we only survive and thrive in communities with...

The Value of Being Unproductive

“I feel like I’ve always got to be productive,” a client told me. She continued, “I feel on the edge of burnout though.” I ask, “Do you ever take time off?” Then I add, “I love days when I’ve got little or nothing to do. In fact, I often plan my week to be sure I’ve...

Worthlessness Is a Worthless Fiction We Were All Taught!

I grew up with a humiliating stutter. I was asthmatic and puny. I saw myself as pretty worthless. I had a friend, a psychologist, who used to say that everyone has their “core of rot.” We all have some aspect of ourselves that we consider worthless and unworthy. Thank...

Energy Sponges! Ways Leaders Waste Their Time and Energy

Time is a resource. And leaders never have enough of it. There are goals that must be met, staffs to be managed, customers to coddle, finances to figure out, superiors to satisfy, and the partner and kids at home wanting their attention. The list goes on and on. There...

Developing and Using Personal Support Systems

Charles N. Seahore, Ph.D. was the author of this article. Charlie was an exemplar of leadership and the practice of organization development. One method, of acquiring, maintiaining and demonstrating one’s interpersonal competence is to have a network of supportive...

Creating Agreements for Success, Part 3

Contracting for Ego Management We all have egos. To a greater or lesser degree, we all have needs to maintain and/or protect our sense of identity and self-esteem. The admonishment to leave egos at the door is fruitless. Therefore, the following three can be useful in...

Creating Agreements for Success, Part 2

Contracting for Effective Relationships How well a leader accomplishes his/her intended goals and strategies is very much dependent on the quality of the connection among the members of the system. As important as relationships among team members are in the world of...

Creating Agreements for Success, Part 1

Contracting for the Impact We Intend Effective leaders need followers to execute strategies and tactics if they are to accomplish their visions and goals. Too often misunderstandings and miscommunications hamper effective execution. Good contracting can prevent these...

Leaders and their Egos

Leaders are human and can screw-up. Their screw-ups, however, can be very costly. A primary source of their screw-ups, like all of us, is their egos. Our egos are our sense of identity, our sense of self-importance and self-esteem. They are our perception of our...

Leadership and the Importance of Connecting

Leaders cannot accomplish their intentions and goals alone. It is essential that we connect well with those whose support makes us leaders. I mentioned last month a leader who embarrassed an important employee in public. That leader weakened their connection with that...