UntitledThe Language of Hope: Set Your Intentions for Success

Perhaps your in-box is flooded with well-wishers encouraging you to make this next, new year a bigger success than ever before? And why not? What’s the alternative?! Perhaps you are on the verge of a business reinvention? Last year in January, I set aside four full days to set my intentions for the year 2010. This was much more than a goal-setting journey or even a visioning process. I absolutely devoted this time to getting really clear…

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Accidental or Intentional: Creating the Organizational Culture You Want

Our recent office relocation included the movement of many boxes of books. It seems like we moved an acre of books, and at least half of this acre is devoted to leadership, organizational development, sales, performance management. Suffice it to say that it’s quite the library, and for the most part, I’ve read them all, sometimes more than once. All this to say that there’s plenty that’s been said about leading teams and groups, and plenty other things have been said about organizational culture…

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UntitledLeaders Look Forward and Back

When I was growing up, our family met for dinner every night and said “grace.” Typically, this consisted of rushing through the perfunctory blessing: godisgreatgodisgoodletusthankhimforourfoodamen. Occasionally, when my dad was quirky and irreverent, he’d shout out: “Rub-a-dub-dub! Thanks for the grub! Yay, God!” As we grew older, grace at regular meals didn’t change much, but at Thanksgiving, the blessing was longer and included remembrances of those we loved or more lengthy, thoughtful demonstrations of gratitude. Last year, the Wagners gathered…

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UntitledThe Truth of Clean Silverware

For quite some time, as a college student and new teacher, I worked as a waitress. A few of these restaurants were fine dining establishments, some were cafés and one was a bakery. In all of these places, there were several truths I learned-one was that in general, New Yorkers made you work, but they knew how to tip. Teachers were notoriously bad tippers. I think everyone, no matter what passion or path, should wait tables for a little while. My theory is this will make us much more tolerant and pleasant, in general. But perhaps the most significant truth…

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UntitledPick a Port and Chart the Course: Yes! You Need a Vision

My dad, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, loves to tell me about how a significant percentage of words we have for describing most anything derive from nautical terminology. He’s read every word Patrick O’Brian wrote (think: Master and Commander) and one of his favorite books is When a Loose Canon Flogs the Dead Horse There’s the Devil to Pay: Seafaring Words in Everyday Speech. He could’ve easily chosen a career on the water as in the skies. Sometimes he muses of being a tugboat captain.He learned to sail on…

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UntitledCreating a Team Agreement: Foundational Element for Success

At one point in my career as a manager, I took on the task of helping instructors prepare to teach at a new employee academy. The four-week academy was designed to prepare new staff members to learn the logistics, philosophy and specifics of their new jobs. The material was intense, controversial and challenging. The participants were educated and experienced in a wide variety of disciplines and areas of expertise ranging from health care, human services, law and justice, risk management and sociology. They were all grown-ups.One particular part of the instructor development process was ensuring that the instructors established a safe place for learning so that…

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UntitledTeam Agreement… Now What?: Getting the Most for Your Investment in Your Team

One of the most powerful organizational culture tools that we share with our clients is the Team Agreement. Sometimes called a team charter or team guidelines, a Team Agreement is a collaboratively created promise to do your best in your specific team’s role or function. It’s more about communication, values and interaction and the how or method about getting to the results or goals you want. Typically, the Team Agreement is aligned with the company mission and vision and helps you to make your company values actually come alive, instead of just being something

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