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Monthly Archives: January 2015

It’s my one-year anniversary as a columnist for The Globe & Mail!!

Warning: celebration alert!

Last Thursday quietly marked an important anniversary in my world – exactly one year ago on that day, my inaugural Leadership Lab column launched in The Globe & Mail‘s Report on Business section. How to be the boss when your co-workers are your friends hit cyberspace that morning, and even though I had no idea at the time, January 23, 2014 kicked off what has turned out to be a hugely rewarding and productive relationship with Canada’s most respected and widely-circulated national newspaper, printed in six major cities from coast to coast across the country. Since that first Leadership Lab column aired last January, I’ve written seven more, including one earlier this month. And when The Report on Business ran a retrospective on the Top Ten Leadership Lab columns in 2014, two of my columns made #1 and #2 on the list!!! Continue reading

Overcome workplace negativity by letting people take action and gain control

Last week I offered up one idea on a specific action leaders can take to address workplace negativity in their teams – helping their people see the big picture. I had promised one more idea though, so here it is – let people take action and feel like they’re taking back control.

RollingUpSleevesWhen you give people opportunities to make decisions about and control and/or influence their jobs, you can nip negativity in the bud (or at least stem the tide). One of the biggest sources of workplace negativity comes from a feeling of loss of control. When people are able to make decisions, even small decisions, they get back the feeling of control, and as a result negativity is lessened. Continue reading

Overcome workplace negativity by helping employees see the big picture

ThumbsDownCartoonWorkplace negativity is a reality! And often, unfortunately, negative people can end up in your organization or department. By far, the worst aspect of negativity though is that it’s toxic, it spreads beyond just one individual, usually to others the person interacts with. So it isn’t just the negative person that is the problem; unchecked, negativity makes its way insidiously through the entire department. As a leader then, you not only need to be aware of it, but also take active steps to manage it. In the past, I’ve offered ideas on specific actions that you can take to stem the tide – challenging extreme language and letting people talk – but it’s been a while since I covered this subject … so in today’s and my next blog post, I have two more ideas.

First, draw the big picture for your employees, particularly the ones who are prone to negativity. Continue reading

Conflict can be a positive force to spur innovation

LawyersWeeklyLast month, The Lawyers Weekly ran a story about how conflict can actually be a positive force to spur innovation. Writer Geoff Kirbyson interviewed me and three other experts for this article and you can read the insights we offered in the online edition – Using good conflict to spur innovation: a team of ‘yes men’ won’t yield desired results.

In a nutshell, the type of conflict where ideas are challenged and proposals are questioned is not only a good thing but is in fact mandatory for a forward-thinking firm. The challenge of course is that there is a fine line between conflict that is disruptive and that which produces debate leading to superior outcomes. Some ideas for creating an environment where good conflict is encouraged and fostered: Continue reading

Implementing change should be like shaking a champagne bottle

ChampagneAs we kick off the new year, people everywhere make promises, to themselves and others, to make changes. Whether it’s in the professional or personal arena, the start of a brand new year always seems like a good time to stop doing, start doing, improve or enhance aspects of our lives. And if you’re in a leadership role, you’ve no doubt made resolutions about things that you want to change in your department or organization in order to make your services, products and people more efficient, effective, productive and positive. Unfortunately though, history tells us that far too many change initiatives start off with energy and enthusiasm, and then fizzle and sputter back to the status quo. So what can you do to ensure a different outcome for yourself this time? What can you do to make certain that your change initiatives stick? Consider champagne – a beverage you might have enjoyed a glass of when you rang in the new year! Continue reading

Two of my Leadership Lab columns made the top two in The Globe’s Top Ten!

#1#2As regular readers of the Turning Managers Into Leaders blog know, I write a regular Leadership Lab column for The Report on Business in The Globe & Mail, Canada’s most respected and widely-circulated national newspaper. On January 1, The Globe ran a retrospective on the Top Ten Leadership Lab columns in 2014, and two of my columns made #1 and #2 on the list!!! Woo hoo!!

I am honoured to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Joe Natale, Executive VP and Chief Commercial Officer at Telus Corp; Sherry Cooper, former chief economist at Bank of Montreal; and Karl Moore, associate professor at the Destautels Faculty of Management at McGill University. You can read the entire Top Ten list at Top leadership tips of 2014 on The Globe‘s site (and access each of the articles there as well).

My top two are listed below, and I’ve also linked them to the original blogs that I posted when the articles were first published. If this is your first (or repeat) time reading these articles, please don’t hesitate to add your comments to the original blog posts.

Make decisions and take action, ask for forgiveness later

Happy new year everyone! Welcome to 2015!  To kick-start the Turning Managers Into Leaders blog, my first column of the year for The Globe & Mail went online this morning.

Leaders: Get rid of the ‘Mother may I?’ mindset

The premise: Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness – a statement I make repeatedly to managers and supervisors. What I’m really saying is: make decisions and take action. In the column, I tell you why, I explain what I mean, and I even show you how to “ask” for forgiveness. And guess what? The word “sorry” doesn’t come up even once!

G&M010915As always, I’m eagerly awaiting your reactions and perspectives. As in all the columns I write for The Globe, it’s a short read and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. I really want to know what you think! Do you agree? Or not? Add your viewpoint to The Globe‘s website, or if you wish, drop me an email or send me a tweet (@mergespeaks).

And please help me get the word out … pass the link along to your staff and colleagues. I’d love to hear from them as well! And if you have experiences or “war stories” of your own to share, PLEASE DO!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Here is a direct link to the article in case you need to cut and paste it elsewhere: