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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute – a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

Change doesn't come from watching, it comes from doing

Has this ever happened to you?

  • You signed up for a gym membership but you stopped going after the first few weeks?
  • You bought the healthy eating cookbook, but it's languishing on a shelf in your kitchen?
  • You attended a training course, took copious notes, but never actually used the tips you wrote down so carefully?
  • You went to the doctor for an ailment, got a prescription but never filled it. Or maybe you went so far as to get the meds, but then never remembered to take them.

Change doesn't come from watching, it comes from doing. You won't get stronger, healthier, smarter, or better if all you are is a spectator. If you want to be exceptional — a leader, a role model, a person — then you have to become a player, a participant, a contributor. What will it take to move you from spectator to participant, to shift you from watching to doing? Or maybe the right question is "what's getting in the way?"

Here are some of my (not-so-good) reasons for still being a spectator:

  • It's easier to stay with the status quo
  • If I don't see positive results fast enough, I lose interest
  • I get busy with other day-to-day responsibilities
  • I have good intentions but I just can't seem to find the time

And here are two things I do to stop being a spectator, to move me from watching to doing:

  • Pick one thing to focus on and keep with it for at least two weeks, after which it becomes somewhat of a habit
  • Tell someone else what I am planning to do as a way to keep myself accountable (because they're likely to ask me about my progress)

So what shifts you from spectator to participant? What's getting in your way? Please share your responses online at my blog at:

Forced ranking of employees is a foolish idea!

Merge's latest column for The Globe & Mail is causing controversy, as she puts forward her contrarian viewpoint on forced ranking of employee performance, a practice prevalent in many large organizations. Read Forced employee ranking is a foolish approach to hear her reasons why bell-curving and forced numerical ranking have absolutely no place in high-performance workplaces. And then, if you wish, add your viewpoint to the ongoing discussion as well.

Turning Managers into Leaders

That we can fit a short burst of leadership development into your in-house management meetings

A full day (or longer) training program doesn't always work for many organizations, and you may have time for only a shorter "injection" of skills and ideas. If you convene your entire team from across the organization for an annual (or more frequent) meeting, then chances are that you use the time to go over past results, finalize plans for the upcoming year, announce a new initiative, or launch a new product or service. But with all your people together in one place, it's also the perfect time to include a shot of leadership skills development into your agenda. Merge can custom-design and deliver a high-impact program lasting from only 1-4 hours. Click here to view a list of possible leadership training topics, all of which can be tailored to fit your shorter time frame. Then call us to discuss a presentation for your entire team, or to a smaller select leadership group in your organization.

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