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Does leadership coaching improve organizational performance?

The economic downturn of 2009 led to unprecedented challenges in global competition, creating high levels of anxiety and uncertainty that significantly affected stakeholder expectations that resulted in organizations tightening their budgets and standards of governance. As companies tried to do more with less, employees were being asked to carry more load and stress in the midst of declining...

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Don't rush transition

After nearly 20 years as an executive, my season ended differently than I had expected. My identity and reputation had revolved around my role and effectiveness as a leader. What now? Some people view their transition experience as traumatic or confusing; they don’t see that it is much more. Charles Taylor, a Canadian philosopher, describes this attitude in his epic work, A Secular Age...

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Qualities of a good leadership coach

At the risk of sounding biased, there are some excellent reasons why having an experienced leadership coach can be beneficial— They coach from areas of strength that may not be areas of strength for you; They are an objective sounding board, bringing significant experience as a leader of organizations and major initiatives; and They give you the opportunity to confide in a perso...

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'Death by meeting'

In 2004, I accepted a VP role for an organization that was expanding globally and, as a result, experiencing new challenges. However, nothing prepared me for the number of meetings I was expected to attend! I became frustrated with endless meetings and the lack of decision-making and productivity. It was also clear we didn't always have the right people in the room, often undermining the...

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Making 'reflection' a core leadership practice

Returning from a global leadership intensive with participants from Africa, Asia and the U.S, I couldn’t help but be intrigued with how challenging it is for many of us, particularly those of us who live in the West, to invest time to reflect on our leadership experience, and what has contributed to it the most. By ignoring such an important practice, we often overlook the potential si...

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What powers your growth and profit?

What powers your growth and profit? Book Review GROW: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s 50 Greatest Companies Jim Stengel, 2011 The better you understand the people most important to your business’s future, the more you can stand for something fundamentally important in their eyes and the closer you can come to being an indispensable part of the...

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How our decisions are framed

Book Review A Brief Guide to Ideas William Raeper and Linda Edwards (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1997). Many of our great philosophers and theologians over the years have wrestled with the notion that, at our core, it is our beliefs, assumptions and behaviours that influence our decisions—what we believe about the world, others, and ourselves is reflected in every dec...

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Which comes first, success or happiness?

Book Review The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. Shawn Achor, 2011. We think: If I just get that raise, or hit that next sales target, I’ll be happy. If I can just get that next good grade, I’ll be happy. If I lose that five pounds, I’ll be happy. And so on. Success first, happiness second. The only problem is that...

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The cost of ignoring the 'talent' business

Book Review The Alliance: Managing Talent in a Networked Age Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh; Harvard Business Review Press, 2014 A business without loyalty is a business without long-term thinking. A business without long-term thinking is a business that’s unable to invest in the future. And a business that isn’t investing in tomorrow’s opportunities and ...

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The void of transition

For children growing up in the U.S during the 1960’s and 70’s, ‘Gilligan’, ‘Skipper’, the ‘Howells’, ‘Ginger, the movie star’, ‘The Professor’ and ‘Mary Ann’ were household names as characters in CBS’ hit television series, Gilligan’s Island.[i] For 98 episodes the characters looked for a way to g...

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