5 Reasons to Become a Better Leader (that have nothing to do success)

I spend a lot of my time helping leaders become better. But to be honest, research consistently shows that we overestimate the impact leaders have on organizational performance. Consider this recent leadership study showing that firm performance is mostly due to chance. (This study suggests only 30% of the variance in firm performance could be attributed to a particular CEO, though other studies I've seen peg it even lower, more like 10-14%.) So, if the research is right, why invest in leadership development? If your organization's success are largely out of your Read More >>

A real friend with benefits

Recently, Brandon Levey and the amazingly talented team at Stitch Labs compiled a list of expectations they have for managers in their company. Their definition included: someone who builds trust, is incredibly supportive, challenges people to do their best, communicates well, has difficult conversations, recognizes successes but also tells things like they are, leads by example and jumps in when the going gets tough. I suggested to Brandon that we might capture many of these attributes with one word: friend. It occurred to me in that moment that what we really expect from Read More >>

Musings on Work on Labor Day 2015

It seems right to take a moment to reflect on the nature of work today and remind ourselves of the ways we can build meaningful work environments. The holiday has ceased to be an occasion to demonstrate the power of labor unions, perhaps because so many companies now actually strive to be places where human flourishing matters. Barry Schwartz got it right when he said that in talk about fair wages, we " must ....not lose sight of the aspiration to make work the kind of activity people embrace, rather than the kind of activity they shun. How can we do Read More >>

The Innovator's Personality

Harold Evans' They Made America is filled with vivid stories and photos of American invention over the last century. It is an account of audacity, the bold and sometimes arrogant disregard of natural restraints in service of some vision or problem to be solved. Reading the stories and seeing these images, I wondered what we really know about who "They" are – the characters in these stories – and what conditions enabled them to do what they did. The Innovator's Personality The most innovative scientists and engineers have a handful of Read More >>