How Nice Leaders Become Angry

How Nice Leaders Become Angry

Anger is a funny emotion. No, check that. It’s not funny. It’s angry. But it is often strange and hard to understand. That’s especially true when otherwise affable or thoughtful people become leaders and start to exhibit anger more and more frequently. Anger provokes the people being led to question what they thought they knew…
The Five Dysfunctions of a Virtual Team

The Five Dysfunctions of a Virtual Team

For almost two decades we (at Table Group) have been using the Five Dysfunctions of a Team model to help leaders increase the cohesiveness and effectiveness of their teams and achieve more. Now, the whole world is navigating the unique challenges of transitioning to virtual work. This week we sat down with members of our…
A story of gratitude and faith

A story of gratitude and faith

I am writing this note almost exactly one year, to the minute, since one of the most wonderful and powerful moments in my life.  A year ago, I was in Maryland at a hotel located along one of the many bays in the region.  After a client event, I had an extra day to write…
Reimagining Work for a Community in Crisis

Reimagining Work for a Community in Crisis

Anyone who knows me understands that among the books I’ve written, one of my favorites is The Truth About Employee Engagement. My affinity for this book is the simplicity and efficacy of its message: employees only need three things from their managers to love their work.  Really.  And if that doesn’t sound unbelievable enough, those…
The Danger Of Bad Forensic Analysis

The Danger Of Bad Forensic Analysis

The other day, I went into my office with two colleagues, gave each of them a section of The Wall Street Journal, and we spent the next 45 minutes reading whatever captured our interest. When we were finished, we discussed the various articles we found, from finance to marketing to strategy to international business. Much…
Corporate Envy

Corporate Envy

I recently came across a new book with a title that really caught my attention. Love Your Life, Not Theirs, written by a woman named Rachel Cruze. It addresses the idea that one of the primary reasons people take on so much debt in their lives is their tendency to compare themselves to others and…
The Pinnacle of a Successful Company Is…

The Pinnacle of a Successful Company Is…

…Brace yourself for this.  It’s not pretty.  The pinnacle of a successful company, the quintessential activity that makes success possible, is a CEO’s weekly staff meeting.  Yes.  A staff meeting.  Now, if you’ve read any of my books or essays, you know that I’ve talked about meetings before.  So, you might be wondering, what’s changed?…
The Danger of Fame

The Danger of Fame

Fame. A few months ago, prompted by all the news about Michael Jackson’s troubled life and drug-related death and the similarities between him and Elvis Presley, I started to think about the dangers of fame. And when the travails of Jon and Kate (of the Plus Eight television show) became known, I sat down and…
Diversity’s Missing Ingredient

Diversity’s Missing Ingredient

When it comes to tapping into the competitive advantage of diversity, few companies succeed. Yesterday I was reminded why.  Our firm was having a meeting to discuss important elements of our strategy and marketing efforts, when something really great happened—we got into an argument. Not a disagreement. A loud, contentious, uncomfortable and passionate argument.  On…
The Notre Dame Brand

The Notre Dame Brand

Lest anyone think that the current graduation speaker controversy at the University of Notre Dame is merely a matter of partisan politics and media hype, it is worth a closer look. What is happening right now in South Bend, Ind., is not simply a critical moment of truth for a vaunted institution; it is also…
Rediscovering Work

Rediscovering Work

Sometimes when we’re in the midst of a major event or a crisis, we don’t notice big changes that are happening around us. And then, when things settle down and we get up off the floor, we look around and notice that some parts of life have fundamentally shifted. I think that is what’s going…
Virtual Teams

Virtual Teams

When I speak to audiences about teamwork, one of the most frequently asked questions I get has to do with managing groups of people who are geographically dispersed, a.k.a. virtual teams. This surprises me a little because the topic, as well as the solution for addressing it, is certainly not very sexy. But with so…
The “Down Economy” Bandwagon

The “Down Economy” Bandwagon

It seems like we’ve been preparing for this current recession for the past two or three years, constantly predicting it and staving it off as long as we could, all the while listening to the media tell us that it was just around the corner. And now that it is here—and it is here—we’re witnessing…
A Selfless Man

A Selfless Man

I lit a candle today and prayed during Eucharistic Adoration in our parish chapel for a man I know who was hospitalized yesterday for the second time in two weeks.  He is suffering from emphysema and an infection after recent surgery.  The candle burned brightly, more brightly than the others, for the hour I was…
CEO Pride

CEO Pride

For some reason, I haven’t directly addressed this topic in any of my writings over the years. It’s not because I’m afraid to or that I find it uninteresting. I think it has more to do with having such mixed feelings. On the one hand, I think the amount of money paid to so many…
The Danger of More Shiny New Things

The Danger of More Shiny New Things

I‘m sure it‘s natural for people to be fascinated with acquiring new things. Whether we‘re talking about physical possessions like homes or cars or toys, or more conceptual assets like knowledge or technology or business strategies, we seem to highly value what we don‘t have, especially when it is novel. I suppose this is understandable—even…
Courageous Leadership

Courageous Leadership

I am sending this message to  large group of people who I know to be Catholic/Christian.   I must confess that there are parts of me that don’t want to send it, because I don’t want to offend anyone or make them uncomfortable.  However, sometimes in life we are called to stand up for something we…