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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.

Stillness offers greater depth and clarity

Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to hike up to Rock Isle Lake in Sunshine Meadows in the Canadian Rockies. And as you might expect, the scenery was absolutely spectacular. As I stood at the edge of the lake gazing into the water, I immediately noticed how I could see right to the bottom, almost 20 feet below. My first thought was that this complete clarity must be because the water in the Rockies is so clean and pure. But upon further reflection, I realized that it was because the lake was so tranquil and unmoving. The stillness of the water allowed me to see deep into the lake and gain a clarity in vision that I never would have if this were a fast-moving stream.

Since the majestic Rockies often puts one in a contemplative mood, perhaps it wasn't so surprising that my mind continued on to a related subject. It occurred to me that in the day-to-day demands of leadership, it is often very hard to find time to pause and consider. We get so caught up in the intricacies of one crisis and then another that there is rarely time to think about the bigger picture. In essence, we become fast-moving streams, something that many of us actually wear as a badge of honour. But ... what if we were to force ourselves to slow down, to become still, at least mentally, and stop to reflect. Could we (just as I was able to at Rock Isle Lake) gain a deeper vision, and thus greater clarity on the issues and problems we face in our roles as leaders? Should we, in fact, slow down to speed up? I think "yes". What do you think?

Do you have tips and ideas on how you force yourself to become still? Please share them online at my blog at:

Why are so many managers useless as leaders?

This was the title of Merge's latest column for The Globe & Mail that posted online on October 3, and boy, did it ever get a reaction!! In just the first couple of days, the column garnered almost 30,000 views and over 8,000 direct shares. You can read it here:

Why are so many managers useless as leaders?

Clearly, it struck a chord for many people, evidenced by the amount of dialogue it generated on The Globe's website and Facebook page. If you haven't read it yet, please do, and share your perspectives either directly on The Globe's site or on our blog:

Merge's expertise sought for an article in CPA Magazine

Writer Deanne Gage sought out Merge's advice for an article in CPA Magazine on making the transition from friend to boss. You can read what Merge and other experts said here:

From Buddy to Boss: The delicate business of managing your former coworkers

And then, please share your perspectives on our blog at:

Merge makes a radio appearance

One of Merge's previous columns for The Globe & MailHow to inspire the close-to-retirement employee (online on August 20 and print edition on August 29) was the topic that got her invited to be a guest once again on the popular talk show Talk to the Hand on 1310 News Radio Ottawa. The blog post linked below takes you to an archived version of the show. If you’ve got workers near retirement on your team (or if you ARE an employee that is close-to-retirement) then I think you’ll get value from listening.

And our winners are (drumroll please) ...!

Hundreds of you participated in our survey soliciting your input for the topics we should cover in our upcoming Leadership Skills Series of online events in 2014 and 2015. We had promised to give away ten signed copies of Merge's new book Generations Exposed: Unexpected insights into the people you work with, randomly drawn from all those who took the time to share their thoughts. The winners were announced here:

Turning Managers into Leaders

That Merge has a resource that specifically addresses how to make the shift from a technical to a leadership role?

Given all the interest in Merge's latest column in The Globe & MailWhy are so many managers useless as leaders? — it is worth keeping in mind that Merge has an audio program that specifically addresses this very relevant issue. Making the Transition from a Technical to a Leadership Role is a 60-minute audio program available in either mp3 or audio CD format from our website. When you go from a non-supervisory to a supervisory role, all the skills that made you successful in the past are no longer the ones that matter! This audio ensures that you don’t set yourself up to fail even before you start; it gives you the tools you need so that you can hit the ground running.

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