Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

A Look Back At My Top 10 Leadership Insights From 2013


As we welcome the arrival of a New Year, many of us are naturally filled with hope and excitement about the possibilities and opportunities for growth, change and success over the upcoming 12 months.

The beginning of a new year is also an excellent opportunity for reflection; of contemplating where we’ve been and where we could be. From that perspective, I’d like to share with you some of the leadership insights I’ve written about over the past 52 weeks, not just as a reminder of the lessons that were shared, but also so we can contemplate how we might apply them going forward.

Instead of a list of articles, though, I’d like to share a quote from ten of the most shared and commented pieces I wrote for my blog this past year, along with a link back to that piece if you’d like to learn more about that topic.

In this way, I hope to inspire you to celebrate your accomplishments of the past year in leading your team and organization, as well as to encourage you to find opportunities to become the kind of leader your employees need you to be. The kind of leader who will not only help them to succeed and thrive, but one where you will also find a sense of purpose and fulfilment in what you do.

So here now are my quotes from the top 10 leadership pieces I wrote from 2013, as selected by you, the readers of my blog:


The key to building a thriving organization:

“In our pursuit to create meaning through our shared efforts, we need to ensure that we’re creating value not just for our customers or shareholders, but also for our employees, if not also for the community in which we operate … we have to make sure we’re creating and communicating Click here to continue reading »”A Look Back At My Top 10 Leadership Insights From 2013″

Winners Are Born In Difficult Times

Creating winning conditions for leadership development

The following is a guest post by Therese S. Kinal.

At best, leadership development is a fun day out, at worst it is a gut wrenching, annoying exercise that leaves you cringing as someone teaches you to suck eggs. In neither case does it make you into a leader. Harsh? Perhaps, but that’s how most managers and executives I work with see it…. and in the majority of cases, I agree.

In today’s environment, employees have to deal with complexity and ambiguity at a much higher rate than before. Functions and clear roles and responsibilities have been replaced with multiple bosses, cross-functional teams, working with partners all over the world and a general sense of never quite standing still. In this brave new world, the only constant is change. And it is managers’ ability to innovate, collaborate and adapt to a constantly changing environment that are the leadership skills we most need to develop.

Despite the billions invested in leadership development every year, the vast majority of programs fail to deliver their intended results. In the US alone, US$ 156 billion is invested in learning and development every year, or US$ 1,182 per employee (1). And even though classroom training (live and virtual) is perceived to be the least effective(2), over 50% of organizations report using it(3).

In this tough economic climate and rapidly changing business environment, it’s not enough to Click here to continue reading »”Winners Are Born In Difficult Times”

How Helping Others Develop Great Leadership Skills Can Help Your Business

Leaders helping others

The following is a guest piece by Megan Totka.

We often hear that great leaders are born, not bred. This would imply that you must have leadership in your blood, rather than be able to learn great leadership qualities. While it may be true that some people are natural born leaders, I don’t think it’s necessarily true that great leadership cannot be taught.

On our Chamber blog and website, we focus on the needs of small business owners. Many small businesses are started by people who want to act on a great idea. These people may or may not have previous leadership experience or even possess inherent leadership qualities.

In the case of these business owners, it’s imperative to develop leadership skills, and quickly. Even if your business is a one-man show, it’s still critical to be assertive when it comes to business, and being assertive is absolutely a leadership quality.

If you are involved in a small business, whether it is as the owner, partner, or employee, it’s a great idea to take a few minutes to think about the leadership qualities that you possess and how you can use them to benefit yourself, your company, and those around you.

A few leadership qualities that are important to those who are involved in the small business world: Click here to continue reading »”How Helping Others Develop Great Leadership Skills Can Help Your Business”

Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #11 – Liz Wiseman On How Leaders Grow Intelligence

Leadership Biz Cafe - Liz Wiseman

Why is it that some leaders are able to stretch and build the intelligence, creativity and motivation of their employees, while other leaders seem only to disengage and drain the collective talent found within their teams? That’s the basis of my conversation with leadership researcher and best-selling author Liz Wiseman.

Liz is the president of The Wiseman Group, a research and development firm that conducts research in the field of leadership and collective intelligence. Some of her clients include Nike, Apple, PayPal, Genentech, Dubai Bank, Salesforce.com, and Twitter. Prior to founding her research firm, Liz worked for 17 years at Oracle as the Vice President of Oracle University and the global leaders for Human Resource Development.

In addition to writing for the Harvard Business Review, Liz co-wrote the Wall Street Journal bestseller, “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter”, which features some of the research she’s done looking at leadership and collective intelligence.

Over the course of our conversation, Liz shares a number of stories and research findings that help to illustrate:

  • What’s the “dirty little secret of the corporate world” that we don’t talk about and how it’s impacting employee engagement.
  • How “multiplier” leaders stretch and grow talent to increase team productivity, instead of relying on attaining more resources to achieve goals.
  • Why leaders need to go “public” with their mistakes to engender team success and building community.
  • How encouraging debate can improve both decision-making and employee engagement.
  • What “multiplier” leaders do that motivates their employees to do their best work.
  • What the research findings into “multiplier” leaders reveals about opportunities to improve our education system in order to create leaders and employees that organizations will need in the years ahead.

Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #11 – Liz Wiseman On How Leaders Grow Intelligence”

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