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Monthly Archives: December 2015

We’ll be back on January 11!

Celebration2As is customary for us at this time of the year, we’re taking a short hiatus at the Turning Managers into Leaders blog. But we’ll be back, excited and energized, ready to talk and learn, on Monday January 11, 2016. I look forward to another fantastic year of sharing tips and exchanging ideas, starting conversations and perhaps even some arguments, all in the pursuit of becoming even better leaders than you already are!

In the meantime, my best wishes to all of you and your loved ones for a festive, joyous, rejuvenating time with family and friends. I hope you’ll continue old traditions and find the time to create new ones!

Why CEOs should not take a vacation

My latest Leadership Lab column for The Globe & Mail is up in cyberspace!

Why CEOs should not take a vacation

Executive coaches often encourage CEOs in growing organizations to work “on” their business instead of “in” their business. So far, that’s pretty good counsel, and I don’t disagree. It’s the frequent follow-up conversation that gets me all twisted up though! Advice such as “You should be able to go on a two-week vacation and never have to check back into the office; the mental break will allow you to return refreshed, ready to take your company to even greater heights” or “Your time is better spent networking at the golf course or at industry events because that is where you’ll discover new business opportunities and further build existing relationships” may sound textbook-perfect, but quite frankly it’s idiotic and a sure-fire recipe for failure. I explain further on The Globe‘s site.

G&M121115

Well, what you think? Are all those executive coaches right after all, or do you agree with my contrarian point of view? Please share your views directly on The Globe‘s site so that your insights are available to their significant readership. Or if you wish to comment in a more targeted way, drop me an email or send me a tweet (@mergespeaks). And please … do tell me if you speak as a CEO, an executive coach, or from another perspective.

And one last thing — do me one HUGE favour – help me get the word out … share the link with your staff and colleagues (easiest directly from The Globe‘s site using the share icon at the very top of the article). My objective is always to get the dialogue started so the more people who join in the conversation, the more I’ve succeeded in achieving my goal.

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: http://tgam.ca/EMtM

What long-nosed bats can teach us about teamwork

I often blog about what the animal kingdom can teach us about teamwork – Canada geese, meerkats, crabs, ants and penguins have all come up in the past. So regular readers of the blog will not be surprised by today’s post about long-nosed bats. 🙂

LongnoseBatsLong-nosed bats, endemic to Central America, have a unique approach to discouraging predators. They feed primarily at night, so during the day they roost in a number of places, one of which is the surface of tree trunks. However, most trees are usually out in the open, so in daylight, the little bats can become very tempting morsels to predatory birds. Enter teamwork. Before settling down for the day’s nap, groups of eight to sixteen bats arrange themselves in a roughly vertical line, to take on the appearance of a long snake. When a hungry bird approaches hoping for a delicious delicacy, the bats’ defence mechanism is to individually move back and forth within the vertical formation to create the combined effect of a large snake about to strike. The cautious bird, vigilant of poisonous snake venom, flies off to find easier prey. Brilliant!

So what are the lessons here for leaders about teamwork? I see at least three. Continue reading

Is business networking difficult for you?

networkingThe benefits of business networking are invaluable. When you meet new people, you learn interesting ideas, build relationships outside your immediate circle, and create an environment that cultivates new opportunities. But, many people, particularly those who consider themselves introverts, find initiating conversations with strangers to be awkward and uncomfortable. In the past, I’ve addressed this in several posts including this one: Introverts can be great networkers too! Here are three more ideas to help get the dialogue going. Continue reading