Recently, my shower had a slow drip that I spent way too long trying to fix.  Not only did the annoying drip-drip sound drive me crazy, but my shower also was never able to fully dry.  Here’s the thing with slow shower drips that I find incredible: a single, continuous drip has the ability to completely soak a shower over time.  This small drip of the water would land on the hard tile floor and splash everywhere.  I’m no water or plumbing expert, but it seems that the continuous drip would compound, each drip causing the water to spread further and further into the shower.  The seemingly small impact of a single drip performed over and over again had an all-encompassing impact on the environment.

It’s just like this when it comes to leadership.  You as a leader have hundreds of opportunities each day to drip-drip-drip vision, mission, and purpose to your people and customers.  With every conversation, email, phone call, and interaction, you are dripping some sort of leadership.  Over time, the slow drip of leadership envelopes your entire team, customers, and organization. 

For some, this is a huge problem. 

Continue reading “The Slow Drip of Leadership”

They say it takes on average 66 days to break old habits or start new habits. On my count, many of us have been in quarantine for over 70 days, with many of those days spent working from home. As many businesses and organizations prepare to bring people back into the workplace, the question that should be on every leader’s mind is:

How has this quarantine changed the behavior, mindset, and work of my employees?  

Undoubtedly, you yourself have been changed in some ways by the all-encompassing nature of quarantine, so it stands to reason that your employees will be different, too. But just HOW different is the biggest question that remains to be answered. While we may not fully understand the impact yet, we can first adopt the mindset that we cannot simply go back to exactly the way things were before. While this quarantine has shown that we humans are highly adaptable, we also are creatures of habit.  

So what should leaders be looking out for when everyone comes back together?  

I’ve identified three employee needs your people may have coming out of quarantine that you as a leader can impact.  While every office and employee are different, these particular employee needs may show up more frequently than not. Here are the three needs your employees may have:

Continue reading “The 3 Employee Needs of a Returning Workforce”

This past week, I was able to sit alongside my kindergarten daughter as she had her first online classroom meeting with her teacher and class. First and foremost, she has an amazing teacher and deserves all the credit in the world. But second, and more importantly, a kindergarten virtual meeting went EXACTLY how you imagined.

Half of the kids didn’t know how to mute themselves and were constantly talking over everyone, the teacher lost internet connection halfway through and disappeared for a few minutes, the children became restless and started showing their favorite stuffed animals on screen, and whenever someone shared, it was either too-loud shouting or too-soft whispering. After 45 minutes and only answering two simple questions, everyone was exhausted and ready to be done.

Minus the stuffed animals showing up randomly (which might still happen!), I basically described nearly every virtual meeting happening across America today.


As the working world largely continues to work from home, you’ve probably noticed the incredible difference between an in-person meeting versus a virtual meeting. It can be clunky, disjointed, unfocused, and take significantly longer to accomplish anything of substance. If you are leading the meeting, you may feel frustrated and helpless, wondering if it’s worth even trying.

If you try and apply the same standards and practices of an in-person meeting to a virtual meeting, you’re going to struggle and, most likely, fail. As a leader, you need to be able to adopt new roles within the virtual meeting to compensate for the differences. Check out the five new roles you need to take on in order to make your virtual meeting a success for all involved:

Continue reading “The 5 Leadership Roles Needed to Lead Better Virtual Meetings”

Welcome to the new world.

COVID-19 has changed nearly everything in the last couple of weeks: sporting events are canceled, grocery stores are threadbare, schools are on extended closures, gatherings of 50 or more are not recommended, and restaurants, bars, gyms, and other popular hangout spots and events are being closed down.

However, in this vast sea of change, it seems that the only thing that hasn’t changed (yet) is the millions of workers trudging into work, shell-shocked from endless news updates and new CDC guidelines. Businesses are struggling to stay afloat, striving for business-as-usual in a climate that says nothing is normal. And in the middle of everything stands the leader, striving to keep spirits high and productivity as close to normal.

Now, for some leaders, this is a terrifying time, and rightfully so! There is no handbook for dealing with a pandemic at work, so nearly everyone is making it up as they go. However, for the transformational leader, this is the time to shine.

Leading Through Engagement

Transformational leaders are leaders who engage with their followers over simply controlling them. They focus on providing for higher order intrinsic needs by utilizing things employee engagement, vision, mission, and culture to drive results. Transformational leadership is proactive, relational, and communal, and calls for leaders to invest in the success of their people.

If you’ve been doing these things as a leader, you are more than ready to weather the storm. In fact, in times of crisis, the transformational leader has the unique opportunity and platform to make significant progress in their organization. It may not be fully realized until the crisis has been abated, but by doing the following 5 things, you can make an appreciable difference in your organization and for your people:

Continue reading “5 Things Transformational Leaders Can Do In Times of Crisis”

Leaders, here is an important mindset shift you need to make: you are consistently under-communicating.

Differentstudies have shown that it can take anywhere between 3 and 20 times before a message resonates with the recipient. Likewise, marketing experts swear by the Rule of 7: action won’t be taken until a message has been heard at least 7 times. There is value in the repetition: a single message can’t be fully absorbed and acted upon in a way that makes an appreciable difference.

Leaders can fall into the trap of believing that their message has been heard loud and clear the first time. The carefully crafted message makes sense to you, why not them? Here’s the reality: you’ve spent way more time pondering, crafting, and internalizing the message before you’ve even considered delivering it.

Those 3 to 20 times? Done on the drive home from work.

The Rule of 7? All 7 have been consumed by you before lunch.

So when you step up to the proverbial or literal mic, YOU have done the repetition work well in advance. Your people, however, are hearing it all for the very first time. If your message lives and dies by a single delivery, most likely, your workplace struggles with communication and it’s because you are under-communicating.

You may be saying to yourself, “Well, I can’t talk AND listen: they have to do a better job of hearing me!” There may be some truth to that, but do you really want to shift the onus of communication off of your shoulders? Leaders need to ensure that they have done everything possible to allow for good communication to take place.  Check out the simple, 4-questiont test to give yourself to make sure your message is clear, concise, and well-communicated:

Continue reading “A Simple 4-Question Test to Ensure Your Message Is Heard”

#CancelCulture is killing conflict resolution.

For the last five or so years, our society has adopted a mindset of cutting out, or canceling, people who have committed an indiscretion, said something inappropriate, had differing opinions, or simply hurt our feelings. Even if the indiscretion is many years old, we are prone to pounce, deleting people from our lives quicker than we can tweet out the news. While accountability towards morally wrong actions is appropriate, where is the reconciliation? How can someone who makes a mistake be brought back into the fold in a healthy way? We are quick to dismiss but slow to reconcile. In the era of #CancelCulture, we are creating a generation of people unwilling and unable to reconcile broken relationships.

This should be alarming for leaders in the workplace. Conflicts in the workplace are already costing US businesses a staggering amount each year. According to a study conducted by Consulting Psychology Press, Inc., workers spend approximately 2.8 hours of work every week dealing with conflict.  From a cost standpoint, this equates to around $359 BILLION a year in lost productivity. Now, what happens to this cost when the #CancelCulture generation takes over the workplace? Without the ability to resolve conflict in a healthy way, we could start to see:

  • Increased workplace stress
  • Increased employee turnover
  • Increased employee absenteeism from
  • Decreased employee engagement
  • Deceased productivity

You aren’t helpless, however. #CancelCulture isn’t a death sentence for your workplace. There are four things leaders can do to restore healthy conflict resolution in the workplace:

Continue reading “4 Ways Leaders Can Restore Healthy Conflict Resolution in a Culture That Doesn’t Support It”