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Training & Development

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Respond: Leadership Is a Contact Sport

Learn how to respond to feedback and why the keys are to be positive, simple, focused, and fast!

If there is one thing I know, it’s how to respond to feedback. A pioneer in the use of customized, 360 degree feedback (confidential feedback from direct reports, peers and managers) as a leadership development tool, I’ve spent the last 30 years using feedback to help people change for the better. In 1993, I received my first national recognition for this work and was ranked by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten executive educators in this extraordinary field, which has evolved to become known as “executive coaching.” So, yes, I do know a little about which I speak.

Watch the video and read the accompanying written blog below.

If You Can’t Retrieve The Knowledge It Is Pretty Much Worthless

Companies of all sizes around the world spend tens of billions a year on corporate education, learning and development.

Many Chief Learning Officers and Learning and Development professionals have an intense focus on competency and skill retention.

Being able to retain a skill or competency is important in learning transfer, however more important, is the ability to retrieve that content or competency when you need it to make a difference with a customer or a colleague.

What I’m talking about is analogous to a filing system.




For many of the past 10 years, I’ve gone walkabout with some friends into the mountains to, well, many things.  It’s fun, it’s thoughtful, it’s invigorating, and it is also hard work.  I’ll paint a picture to contextualize the picture.High Sierra Lake

With two friends (one I’ve known for 30+ years), we drove up into the hills, spent the night in a tent cabin, and the next morning parked and started hiking. We followed the trail up to May Lake, which is already a gorgeous high Sierra lake just above timberline. From there, my two friends had got adventurous.


So You Think Your Manager’s Like a Bad Joke? Part 1: The Setup

A critic, a control freak, and a micromanager walk into a conference room… Do you know the punch line to this joke? No?

That’s because it’s not a joke. Each of these folks can squelch creativity, suppress innovation, create process bottlenecks, and demoralize staff. And yet countless employees work for these types of managers and sit in their meetings every day.

So, if you’re one of those employees, how can you cope with these types in a way that lets you feel more confident and competent? And if you act like one of these management caricatures, how can you shift your behavior so you can actually lead — not lean on your staff?


Twofer Tuesday: On Inner Circles and Habits

Are you in or are you out?

Here’s a provocative article from my friend Les McKeown at Predictable Success. He’s put down the gauntlet to say that the “inner circle” is a dangerous thing.

And yet … we all know that loneliness at work is rampant.

What do you think? In? Or out?


The Science of Happiness. 5 Ways to Boost Your Happiness

It turns out that some individuals are genetically wired to be happier. But if you’re not among them, what can you do to improve your happiness? Studies show about 40% of our happiness depends on what we think, believe, and do.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, provides five scientifically validated keys to increasing happiness in The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want (Penguin Books, 2007):


Sense-making and sharing

The Seek > Sense > Share framework is a very simple model with many layers, which you discover as you develop personal knowledge mastery.

A simple explanation is to look at PKM as four quadrants of sharing and sense-making, based on a foundation of continuous seeking of new knowledge and diverse people.

seek sense share

Monday Motivation – the context counts



 Something to think about

In the drive for more content, often overlooked is the desire for more context. Despite the finite number of words and smaller subset we use routinely, the key to understanding is context.

To establish context, consider the lenses available to us. What lens do we look through? Is that the lens through which we project? What about our audience? What lenses do they have?


Repetition Truly Is The Mother Of All Learning

When I sit in a boardroom with senior leaders I often talk about the “leaving learning optional syndrome.”

When organizations and their employees view learning and development as an event versus an ongoing process, often times the employees believe that “this too shall pass.”



How to Stay Career Focused

Dollarphotoclub_40278647-2It's an important question made especially difficult by today's organizational demands. Tim Butler, from Harvard Business School, brings some smarts to the party as director of its career development program.  In this job climate it's easy to lose sight of your goals, but you can stay focused.

There are a number of issues that professionals should give some serious thought to today: 

How far out should I be looking?