Values Matter: Especially in a Fire Fight

For US Navy SEALs, this was a classic operation. A dozen highly trained SEALs landing on the beach in southern Somalia and quietly infiltrating the compound of a known al Shabaab warlord name Ikrima. The operation was designed to capture Ikrima. Even with three other boats in support of the operation, the SEALs were heavily… [Continue Reading]

“I’m Behind in Leadership!”

My 6th grade daughter, Claire, told me last week that she was worried about school because she was “behind in Leadership.”  I asked, “What does that mean?”  She said that the teacher pulled all the 6th graders together to talk about their role this year in the classroom. She is in a 4th-6th grade class… [Continue Reading]

Positional Power Inhibits The Truth — And We Need The Truth

Carmen E. Voilleque & Randy Harrington, Phd Not many people have the courage to speak truth to power. Most of us find it easier to tell those in powerful positions exactly what they want to hear, whether it’s true or not.  The best managers and coaches understand that leadership is not just about vision—it’s about creating… [Continue Reading]

Why is Your Barista so Happy?

Living in the Northwest it’s easy to get hung up in strange details. Even buying a cup of coffee can be complicated. “Are these fair trade beans?” “Where were they roasted?” “When were they roasted?” “What is the PSI and temp on your espresso machine?” Coffee is serious business here. And yes, there are Starbucks… [Continue Reading]

Do Positive and Productive Women Teams Exist in Business?

I recently had the opportunity to work with an all-women business team in the financial services industry. One of the members of team asked me: “Do you think all-women teams can be successful in business?” So I did what all good little consultants do – I scoured the internet for stories of all-women business teams… [Continue Reading]

An Interview with the Worst Planning Facilitator in the Country

Strategic planning meetings are sometimes magical. There is excitement, debate, deep discussion, and a sense of momentum. Innovation joins with clarity and a palpable energy fills the room. After the session people are excited to share the results and get back to work to launch bold new initiatives. And sometimes, strategic planning meetings suck. Energy… [Continue Reading]

Slow Ideas: Dr. Atul Gawande’s Still Trying to Make Us Better.

I loved the book Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance. It was written a few years ago by Atul Gawande, a surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School. It’s brilliant. From simple practices like making and following checklists to more complex concepts such as ingenuity and perseverance, Dr. Gawande took lessons from the greatest medical… [Continue Reading]

Why Teams Fall Apart

I am experiencing a flurry of issues from clients about teams. In the last year I have heard everything from teams that are underperforming to good people resigning, to leaders arguing over insignificant issues in an effort to derail projects and damage reputations. A few years ago Patrick Lencioni took the business world by storm… [Continue Reading]