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

Three Simple Secrets Successful Trusted Advisors Know

I spoke to a conference in Baltimore a few weeks ago about the role of a trusted advisor. I was asked to share what I’ve learned over 30-plus years working with a governor, a couple of congressional candidates, a ton of CEOs, including former GE chairman Jack Welch, and a myriad of operations leaders in… Read more

Bring on the Band: Let’s Change the Culture!

Most CEOs who think they need to improve dramatically probably do. They usually get into the mess they’re in because they didn’t execute a customer-focused business strategy well. Execution starts with enabling people to change how they do their work. Results don’t change unless work changes, all things equal. But not all leaders understand this…. Read more

Lousy Change Leadership Causes Change Fatigue

If you’re like people in many companies today, you’re damned tired of the pursuit of constant change. I don’t blame you. I see first-hand what you’re going through–and where it comes from. Leaders who don’t have a clue as to how to manage or lead a change effort do more harm than good.  Take “The… Read more

The Overselling of Engagement

Employee engagement bombards me at workshops, conferences, seminars, social media forums, in journal articles, survey reports and conference room presentations. Everybody’s talking about it. Most don’t know what they’re talking about. When it’s managed well, the engagement of people can take organizations to unheard of heights. When it’s not–and it usually isn’t–it drains finite resources…. Read more