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Articles

What COVID-19 has taught us about the importance of purpose

One year ago this month, the US went into lockdown. Scientists, along with health and government leaders, wrestled with a deadly, unseen enemy that would later course through nation with a vengeance, literally leaving bodies in its wake.

During this time, some businesses adopted remote ways of operating, the fortunate among them becoming agile enough to survive.

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Guest Articles

The pandemic reminds us how women show up to lead

The pandemic has cast a sharp light on the role of women in leadership. National leaders such as Angela Merkel of Germany and Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand were active in fighting the coronavirus before many other countries. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan led her state to take early and persistent action to slow the spread of COVID-19.

A recent article by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman in Harvard Business Review offers evidence that women leaders are better in times of crisis. In fact, according to a review of women leaders’ engagement scores, women outpointed men by six points: 55.2 to 49.2.

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Articles

Women and power: Are you owning yours?

Numerous studies have shown that companies with women in top leadership positions outperform their competitors when it comes to stock price, as well as median return on assets and equity.

Why, then, are so few women succeeding to senior leadership roles at a pace on par with their male counterparts?

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Articles

The transition of leadership power

A former coaching client, Jason, rang me last week with the exciting news of his promotion to the leadership role of his dreams. We had long ago discussed his career trajectory and created a plan for how he would develop and grow in order to achieve his goals. Now things were coming to fruition.

“I’d like your advice on how to best prepare myself for the new role,” Jason said. “I want to hit the ground running and start making some changes that I’ve felt were necessary for some time, especially if we’re going to take this business to the next level.”

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Articles

The essential leadership attributes of 2020

“I’ve been through some tough times as a leader, but 2020 has really tested my mettle,” a client of mine shared recently.

For many in the C-suite and those depending on them, this year has been a whirlwind of change and ambiguity — punctuated by anxiety and fear, marked by sorrow and loss for so many and, yet, buoyed by hope and possibility. The combined challenges of a global pandemic, heightened instances of social injustice and a polarized political environment has created a learning laboratory for leadership.

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Articles

The genesis of racism: One leader’s story

“Who is going to be interviewing Jerry?”

It was the third time that morning that I’d heard the question. Each time, the person asking it seemed a bit nervous, and there was some occasional eye-rolling among everyone. Clearly, Jerry was a legend in the executive suite, although that was not apparent to me at first.

Perusing the roster of people to see that week, I found Jerry’s name listed in the last interview slot on the final day. It seemed that I was the chosen one, but for what prize I’d not yet determined.

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Articles

Will your organization (finally) achieve inclusion and diversity?

I recently had a frank conversation with colleagues about the struggle we’ve observed our clients experiencing with achieving true inclusion and diversity in their organizations.
While our first instinct was to discuss possible solutions to what seems like an insurmountable problem, we had to admit that I&D is an issue fraught with complexity. “Most organizations say they believe in inclusion and diversity, but we believe that workplace intention and commitment must be met with action, or no sustained change will be possible,” said CB Bowman, CEO of Workplace Equity Equality.
Solutions, we concluded, needed to be holistic, address the systemic roadblocks that prevent inclusion from becoming a way of life inside organizations, and acknowledge that interpersonal blind spots can foster them.

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Articles

WOOP your team’s goals and find success

Building great leaders and high-performing teams is more than an exercise of recruiting people with the right credentials and experience for success. And, it takes more than just assembling a laundry list of attributes that you expect your team to demonstrate — resilience, drive, vision, persistence in the face of obstacles, and so forth. While

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Articles

Who speaks truth to your power?

When you are the president of the United States, the stakes are always high, because you’re making monumental decisions that affect the lives of 328 million people.

Being guided by correct information, proper advice and transparency is incredibly important for a president, but it is also essential for any leader. Another trait — receptivity to challenge from someone with a different viewpoint — helps all leaders reexamine their perspectives and validate their choices.

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Articles

Leading like John Lewis: 4 pillars of leadership

I am fortunate to be the parent of a child who graduated from university in the pre-COVID era. Watching my son participate in a commencement ceremony at Yale, the rite of passage after four years of intense study, was both a privilege and a pleasure.

For the uninitiated, attending a Yale commencement feels a lot like being an extra in a scene from “Game of Thrones,” where the streets are filled with people and pageantry. All around the extensive campus, the roads are closed to vehicular traffic, creating safe passage for thousands of graduates from all 13 schools in the university to process toward Old Campus.

They are led by a marching band and professors in full regalia, while bystanders, family and friends crane their necks from the sidewalks for a glimpse of their student, waving wildly when that person is spotted in the crowd.

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