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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.

If you don’t weed your garden, it won’t grow

Earlier this year, in the spring, I carefully planned out and planted my little patio garden.  It has grown exactly as I hoped – the rainbow of snapdragons are finished flowering but the petunias are still blooming in a riot of colour; the mint and the chives are growing like crazy; and the red maples that were planted a few years ago continue to mature and flourish.  I love my little terrace oasis.  Except for one thing – those darn weeds that appear to sprout up overnight, or sometimes seemingly in the blink of an eye!  Turns out that if you don’t weed your garden regularly, these annoying wild interlopers can quickly take over and choke what you spent hours and days carefully cultivating.  And unfortunately, as I have discovered, weeding your garden isn’t a one-time activity.  It is something you need to do consistently and regularly to ensure that what you’ve planted continues to thrive and succeed.

Much like what happens in leadership.  Your team is a like a garden.  But there are also weeds – negativity, unnecessary stressors from other departments, or even a specific problem individual or two.  Your role as a leader is to make sure you consistently and regularly weed your garden to ensure that your people don’t get choked by negative impacts and attitudes.  Translated into action, this means that you need to keep a close watch on what may be impeding high-performance on your team, and then step up to deal with the problems before they cause significant damage.  This could require that you move quickly and decisively to deal with the source of negativity.  It may necessitate promptly addressing a performance problem.  It may involve difficult conversations with your peers in other departments.  Whatever it is, you need to take action.  As a leader, it is your responsibility to create a weed-free environment in which your staff can continue to thrive and succeed.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this metaphor.  Does it fit your experiences as a leader?  What are the challenges you face in “weeding your garden”?  Please comment directly on the blog at

In The Globe and Mail – What to do when you get mixed messages from your boss (or anyone else at work)

Mixed messages are confusing and if you don’t get clarity, they can jeopardize your success.  In Merge’s latest column in The Globe and Mail, she lays out five specific detailed steps to get your priorities sorted out. Read What to do when you get mixed messages from your boss (or anyone else at work)


Turning Managers into Leaders

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Merge is privileged to have helped people become exceptional leaders and better communicators in over 290 client organizations. She has worked with sales managers, service managers, and government managers; C-suite executives, association executives and not-for-profit executives; franchise owners; academic leaders, student leaders, armed forces leaders, and healthcare leaders; in just about every industry in countries all over the world. If you'd like to see a list of just some of Merge's satisfied (and in many cases repeat) clients in nine different industry categories, then visit this link. 

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