Removing the Barriers to Collaboration

An orchestra. Meant to depict removing the barriers of collaboration.

Have you ever been working on an improvement idea and when the time comes to share it with others you think to yourself, “Ugh, I don’t want to.” If you’re like me, maybe you even groan and make a face. Well, it turns out that those little pangs of *UGH* are moments of insight. They…

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Back-to-Basics: A Resolution for Leaders

Problems, at scale. Since early 2020, leaders and teams have been in a state of turmoil and near-constant change. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a need to “triage” more than usual. Goal-setting moves out another quarter. Hiring freezes lead to mandatory overtime just to keep the lights on and doors open. Foundational routines, like weekly…

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Engaging Your Teams in Effective Project Planning

Goal Deployment Diagram

Goal deployment, the act of collaboratively setting goals and planning the work necessary to achieve them, is one of our favorite activities. It feels like a fresh start, a new opportunity to accomplish what is most important to us. And while it may not sound glamorous, engaging your teams in effective project planning is a…

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Squelching the Urge to Say, “I told you so.”

Stop sign on street at sunset or sunrise, meant to represent taking a pause.

There will come a day when you were right all along. Your warnings went unheeded. Your insights blatantly ignored. But then, your experience finally pays off. A smug smile unfolds and you relish the opportunity to open your mouth and gloat, “I told you so.” You’ve earned it. And it feels good.   “The four…

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You Might Be Accidentally Ignoring Problems (and How to Fix It)

Neon lights on brick wall that read "You are what you listen to." This article is about accidentally ignoring problems by not listening.

“When one person tells me a harsh truth, I can be sure she’s speaking for others who aren’t as bold. It makes me pay better attention, and then I realize others have been saying the same thing all along, just more softly. I haven’t heard it because I haven’t really been listening.” -Melinda French Gates,…

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It’s Time to Level Up: A Five Step Guide to Goals that Matter

Multi-level building with turquoise sky. Meant to depict leveling up to goals that matter.

2020 was a sucker punch to the gut. Yet despite the harsh realities brutally exposed this year, I remain optimistic. The entire world was forced to see things they did not want to see, and develop skills they did not plan to develop. And while we may not agree on the facts, and are certainly…

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Leadership Lessons from History: The Berlin Airlift

Douglas C-54 Aircraft

The Berlin Airlift is the type of inspirational story that makes you wonder why you did not learn about it in school. I only recently discovered it by stumbling across an old History Channel video, and have found myself thinking about it ever since. Not only is the Berlin Airlift a triumph in operational efficiency,…

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Seven Ways to Improve Performance


People often ask me, “What are the Seven Ways?” and “Why did you choose them as your business name?” The assumption being that Seven Ways is referencing a prescribed formula, as in, “Here are the seven ways I will help you” or “Let me show you the seven ways to improve.” I can see that.…

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You Get What You Tolerate


True confession time: Sometimes leaders resent their own teams. It’s true! I have known a few. I have even been one. I am not talking about the occasional flippant comment over drinks (though that happens, too). I am talking about aggravation, taking genuine umbrage, with your team’s dysfunction or poor performance. Feeling as though you…

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See something, say something


Most of us have worked for (or at least heard horror stories about) that blowhard boss who just loves to hear themself talk. Their droning words and impractical ideas fill the room, drowning out the contributions of the team. What they see as “rallying the troops” typically results in eye rolls and an increase in…

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