How to be an Assertive Leader

In a recent interview on CNBC, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo talked about a meeting with Steve Jobs where Jobs told her “If you really feel strongly about something — if you don’t like something people are doing — throw a temper tantrum. Throw things around, because people have got to know that you feel strongly about it.” For some reason that worked for Jobs, but such childish behavior is…

Are You Doing to Your Team What Drives You Crazy?

One of the most common sources of information on how to be a leader comes from observation of previous leaders. For many this is often the only source and it is very natural to emulate what we see. An exercise we use in our leadership development workshops is creating a Good Leader and Bad Leader list. Participants create a list of good and bad leadership traits, based on their own…

The Glass is Always Full

You’ve probably heard the question before; is the glass half empty or half full? It’s the wrong question. It’s better to ask, what the glass is full of. Unless it’s in a vacuum, the glass, or any container, is always full of something. Even the glass that is filled halfway with liquid is still full. The rest of the volume is taken up with air, dust, and other things you…

Are You Coachable?

The pile of boulders called Little Round Top is one of the most visited spots on the Gettysburg battlefield. It was there on July 2, 1863 that a thirty-four year old professor of rhetoric and his volunteer soldiers defended the vulnerable left flank of the Federal Army against repeated rebel assaults. When the menace was greatest and the enemy threatened to crush his line, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain led his men…

How to Make Your Employee Evaluation Process Less Painful and More Valuable

“Everyone can’t be outstanding; therefore, employees should be evaluated such that they fit a normal distribution with some below average and some above average.” That’s the philosophy I was taught early in my leadership career. The general belief was that, while it wasn’t a perfect fit, ratings should resemble a bell shaped curve. Many companies still look at employees the same way, even suggesting that those who rank lowest on…