Effective Team Meetings…Plain and Simple

Posted in Leadership on April 26th, 2011 by Raymond Gleason

Through­out my work life, I have had ample oppor­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in and observe team meetings.

Ample means “way, WAY too many.”

Here is one thing I have expe­ri­enced from all of this ample­ness: it is very dis­tress­ing to see so many man­agers fail mis­er­ably in lead­ing meet­ings. Not to men­tion the actual cost of these meet­ings. Add up the total com­pen­sa­tion of the team sit­ting in your next meet­ing and deter­mine the hourly rate your com­pany is pay­ing for them to be there. It is frightening.

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How Leaders Create Sustainable Morale

Posted in Leadership on March 17th, 2011 by Raymond Gleason

This is a Guest Post by Nathan Buchanan, an Oper­a­tor with Chick-fil-A since 2004. Nathan aver­aged over 17 per­cent in sales growth over 36 months and was named Rookie of the Year. Nathan spends his time help­ing his wife home school their five chil­dren, coach­ing his lead­er­ship team, and coach­ing new Chick-fil-A fran­chisees around the coun­try. He can be con­tacted at nathan.buchanan@chick-fil-a.com

I read recently of a phe­nom­e­non in which top exec­u­tives are find­ing it dif­fi­cult to remain fully engaged in their roles.

I’ve never had that expe­ri­ence. Keep­ing a group of teens and twenty-somethings engaged, ful­filled, and mov­ing in the same direc­tion has often felt akin to try­ing to entice a school of eels to move from one side of the ocean to the other.

For a long time, I was labor­ing under the mis­ap­pre­hen­sion that it was my respon­si­bil­ity to make sure that every­one on my team was happy.

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10 Keys to Unlock Sustained Performance in Organizations

Posted in Strategy and Planning on February 28th, 2011 by Raymond Gleason

The research and prac­tice of coach­ing in the United States suf­fers from some­thing I see too often in many other areas of busi­ness research and prac­tice. As Amer­i­cans, per­haps we are too eth­no­cen­tric for our own good.

Lead­ers insu­late them­selves by lim­it­ing their study almost exclu­sively to U.S. insti­tu­tions, com­pa­nies and authors.

Recently, Europe’s largest HR and pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment orga­ni­za­tion (over 135,000 mem­bers) com­pleted a 2 year study enti­tled “Shap­ing the Future” (Research Lead: Dr. Jill Miller).

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How to Create a Culture of Death

Posted in Leadership on February 15th, 2011 by Raymond Gleason

Ques­tion: How do you slowly kill off the peo­ple who work for you?

Answer: Turn your direct reports into pessimists.

Do this, and you will even­tu­ally suc­ceed in cre­at­ing a cul­ture where each per­son has a fully devel­oped lack of self-esteem.

Per­haps there are some of you who are read­ing this and say­ing, “Yes, this is the kind of con­trol I want and need!” Well, let me help you move as quickly and effec­tively as you can toward the destruc­tion of your culture.

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Get Off the Mountain and Ask These Four Questions

Posted in Strategy and Planning on February 3rd, 2011 by Raymond Gleason

Recently, I was involved with a com­pany that had drafted a “top down” strate­gic plan.

Top down” means that the CEO, CFO, and VPs hud­dled for a long week­end and came up with The Plan.

As they handed it to me with great pride, I asked, “Other than the four of you, did you ask for input from any­one else in your company?”

Yes, of course I did!” replied the CEO. “Since we knew that we were going to put this together, I had con­ver­sa­tions with some folks.”

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Coaching 101: Required Reading

Posted in Leadership on January 14th, 2011 by Raymond Gleason

Dur­ing one of my final coach­ing ses­sions of 2010, one of my clients took one of my favorite coach­ing queries and turned it around on me. He said, “So Coach, for 2011, what will YOU be doing BETTER and/or DIFFERENT?”

It took me about 3 sec­onds to respond: “DIFFERENT!”

Begin­ning this month, I will be teach­ing a grad­u­ate course in coach­ing for an Oregon-based university.

This par­tic­u­lar client could be a “poster child” for a coach­ing leader. He reg­u­larly coaches mem­bers of his senior team on liv­ing out their Life Plans, he uses Vision con­sis­tently and cre­atively, he works daily from a sim­ple Busi­ness Plan, and he is ruth­lessly con­sis­tent in liv­ing his Ideal Week.

This client not only “gets” coach­ing, he has a hunger to know and do more.

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