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Great News! I Have Been Doing it All Wrong

Leaders should not be afraid of giving clear and powerful feedback just because it can be hard to hear – they just need to do it the right way. The best coaching, while always respectful, is not always gentle. When I improve I know my lasting breakthroughs usually start with a “slap my own forehead” […]

My Grandfather Kurt Lewin: A Living Legacy for 2020

My Grandfather Kurt Lewin: A Living Legacy for 2020 My grandfather, Kurt Lewin, made a lasting impact on the fields of organizational development, applied psychology, and social science that still resonate with the issues we are facing today. Below are Parts One and Two of my recent video presentation to a OD Network meeting about […]

Almost Famous 20th Anniversary

“Almost Famous” 20th Anniversary It’s the 20th anniversary of the release of the iconic film “Almost Famous”, written and directed by Cameron Crowe.  If you do not know the film, it’s based on the director’s real life experience as a teenager who ends up touring with a rock band and writing for Rolling Stone magazine […]

A Little Nonsense Might Be Just What You Need

A little nonsense, now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Roald Dahl, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Stress-relief benefits from a belly laugh* Laughter’s health benefits are no joke. A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data are mounting about the positive things laughter can do. Moreover, if you […]

5 Leadership Lessons from Ross Perot’s EDS

I worked for Ross Perot and his company Electronic Data Systems (EDS) from 1984 to 1992. Ross Perot’s recent passing at age 89 caused me to reflect on this critical part of my professional life. Ross Perot created a very strong culture at EDS and an important part of any culture are the language and phrases that are used to help guide actions and decisions. Following are the top five leadership phrases I still use from my time with EDS:

Four Strategies for Navigating the J Curve of Change

When implementing a change, we usually spend some period of time at the beginning of the change effort on what we call the vision or the desired end state. Inevitability, however, there is also a time at the beginning of the change when productivity or other results we are focused on go down instead of improving. Here are four strategies to help you minimize this dip and get your productivity headed back upward.

Trust Me, I’m Resilient

Without trust there can be no real change: in his original article written exclusively for CEOWORLD Magazine for their C-Suite audience, Michael offers tools for shifting from doubt to trust to improve resiliency in business relationships.

Bad News Does Not Improve with Age: How to know when to speak up

One of the key challenges of teamwork and leadership is when to bring up items of concern and when not to.  Should you give the feedback or just let it go?  Point out the problem you see (that no one else seems to) or “be supportive” (and see what happens)?  One obviously can’t bring up every […]

Five Steps to Giving Feedback

Feedback is the oil in the engine of teamwork: keep it flowing and the engine can operate at a high level with no damage, let it dry up and your engine could seize up or fail completely, potentially beyond repair. While most leaders would agree with this analogy, most do not ensure that regular feedback […]

Dealing with Abrasive Leadership: Change is Possible!

We have all worked with an abrasive or “toxic” manager, and as an executive coach, I am often helping my clients “deal with” a difficult manager they work for, or working directly with the manager others find abrasive and difficult. I have a love-hate relationship with these situations because I am attracted to the opportunity to show real value and change that will improve people’s lives at work, yet challenged by the difficulty of making a positive impact on a situation others have failed to change.

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