• culture,  leadership,  performance management,  team building,  transitions

    The tainted star

    We’ve all met them. Many of us have worked with them. And sometimes we have had to fire them. The “them” I am talking about are those star performers who also have issues relating to those around them. If you give this star an assignment they can perform independently, they excel. But once you pair them with others, the trouble begins.  You often don’t recognize the signs quickly either. In my experience, these stars tend to be self-starters. they have great skills in project management, research, and follow through. On the one hand, you appreciate how well they perform the tasks and projects you assign them. But conversely they tend…

  • leadership,  succession,  team building,  values

    Five Lessons on Leadership

    I served as the executive director of a fine nonprofit organization for 13 years and recently retired. (See my bio here.) I put my heart and my soul into the work. It became my identity, my quest, and my passion. I believe (ok, I know!) we did some pretty good things in those 13 years. But that is not the point of this post.  The point is the many good things that happened in the last month as I said goodbye that provide important lessons for leadership. So many people sent me inspiring notes or said nice things about me and to me during this time. They said what I…

  • culture,  leadership,  team building

    Teamwork: The Secret Sauce

    The value of solid teams – and teamwork – cannot be overstated. As proof, I point you to the daring rescue of the Thai soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave. It took the effort, wisdom, and planning of over 1,000 volunteers working through the problem, devising a plan, teaching the kids, and tending to the complicated logistics of the seemingly impossible rescue effort. We celebrate the divers and the medical professionals – and should. But even the volunteers feeding the rescuers or driving the shuttles back and forth to the site were vital members of the team that brought these kids to safety. During my career, I have…

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