I Can’t Hear You, Your Actions Are Too Loud!

“What most influences your work decisions every day?” I asked a group of scientists in Minneapolis.  “The boss,” one answered. “What they say—especially what they do.” Everything a leader says and does is scrutinized for meaning, because it assumes importance as a form of communication, often far beyond even what the leader imagines. And we… Read more

Information Is Critical to Peak Performance

A recent Leadership Report discussed employee engagement and specific conditions that need to be met for people to achieve peak performance. Those conditions are: Line of sight, or the ability to connect my work to results I can affect; Autonomy and involvement, or my ability to take action needed to improve results; Information sharing (there… Read more

Line of Sight: Connecting What People Do With The Results They Create

Our last Leadership Report generated interest in open book management, a concept that represents the purest form of organizational transparency. In this issue,  I want to discuss what high performers do to create line of sight. But first, let me back up. The classic definition of employee engagement is: People share the organization’s values and… Read more

Build a Business of Turned-On Business People

If you want to build trust and take performance into the stratosphere, open the books. Share information that matters to improving operating and financial results. Celebrate people when they score big successes.  Repeat. Open book management is the purest leadership communication philosophy I’ve seen and worked with. It’s grounded in the notion of creating businesses… Read more

How to Talk Politics Without Friction

I’m despairing the loss of civility in politics. Nine weeks after the U.S. elections the nastiness continues to grow, fueled by politicians in Washington and posts on social media. Is it possible to make political discussions more civil? Can we use our political conversations and posts to help us learn and grow, or at least… Read more

Vision First!

Kristen and Jason sit at a table with a divider between them.  Each has a box containing a 500-piece puzzle.  Kristen has the box with its original top, which pictures the completed puzzle.  Jason’s box has no top, with only the puzzle pieces in the bottom half. They are invited to begin assembling their puzzle,… Read more

Delivering Meaning in a Digital World

I’m turning this “Leadership Report” issue over to Roger D’Aprix, a dear friend, former colleague, author of seven communication books and the preeminent leader in the organizational communication practice.  Roger was interviewed in advance of the November 7th launch of his four-week course, “Delivering Meaning in a Digital World.” Khyla Flores is with the International… Read more

Mixed Messages Can Undermine Performance

Ron called me after he walked out of a meeting with top supply chain leaders at a large consumer goods manufacturer, where Ron was a senior director of communication. The company had initiated a plan to reduce product damage across its network, especially in its distribution centers (DCs), and the supply chain leaders had heard… Read more

Leaders: Are You Harboring Bullies?

My client held back tears as she explained to me how a powerful woman in the so-called C-Suite humiliated her in front of her employees. “Jim, you wouldn’t believe how she challenged everything I said–even common sense–and facts that she knew were true but wouldn’t admit it,” my client told me. “It was awful, just… Read more

Three Big Mistakes Resume Writers Make That Hurt Their Chances of Getting Hired

The formal resume is alive and well despite the job hunting that occurs on social media. Just last week, I received a resume from a friend and former client asking me to critique it. Of course, there are numerous features of a great resume. But there also are prevailing weaknesses–flaws that I see repeated over… Read more