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excuses hair trigger

The Surprising Reason Your Employees Aren’t Honest With You—And What To Do About It

“Why aren’t my people just honest with me?” my client lamented. “I keep finding out what’s going wrong far too late!” It’s a common and serious issue. The larger the organization, the more important it is for key information to travel quickly from the front line to management. But if that cycle takes too long,…

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You Can Get Out When You Puke — Achieving Greatness — Part Four

Accountability: A Cautionary Tale That Can Happen to You

Jim was raw, I could tell. He spoke with hesitation, as if he might cry if he wasn’t careful. Something big was up. He had my full attention. “You know I’ve been a rebel for a long time,” he said, “You used to coach me about it. It’s changed a little, but apparently not enough.”…

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Get Organized To Achieve Your Dreams - Clear and Open

One Simple Question that Cuts Through Excuses (And Why You Probably Won’t Ask It)

Managers hear a lot of excuses. I know because they tell me. I also know the reason is because they make a lot of excuses, only they do it more subtly. One of my martial arts teachers once said to a group of black belts, “Watch the white belts very carefully. They make the same…

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Leadership Means Embracing Discomfort No One Else Will - Clear and Open

Why Performance Reviews Don’t Work and What to Do About it

Mary, a manager in a manufacturing company, recently told me about a very stressful performance review she conducted. She gave her employee, John, some challenging feedback about how poorly he did his job. John was aghast. Not only did he think he was doing well, but he had been expecting a raise. He left the…

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Is Your Unconscious Need for Control Getting in Your Way?

Control is overrated. Your unconscious need for it could be holding you back.  Nate was a CEO and partner in a manufacturing startup who contacted me to help him improve his management team’s communication and help them become more efficient. Poor communication and inefficiency were symptoms, but they weren’t the real problems. The eight-person management team…

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Reductionism vs. Holism: What Type of Outlook is Better to Solve Business Problems?

The other day I was having a check-up, and I decided to have a little fun with my doctor. I asked, “What’s the difference between a living body and a dead one, assuming nothing is broken on the dead one and the person died of natural causes?” “Well, their organs aren’t working,” the doctor began,…

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An Open Letter to Millennials

Dear Millennials, You’re amazing. You shine with a light humanity has not seen before. Your energy is boundless, your passion inspiring, and your sense of freedom and possibility may very well be what saves humanity from its own shadow.  But you’ve got a shadow, too, and I’m concerned. I’ve coached many of you and seen…

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Solving the Right Problem Helps You Avoid a Lot of Extra Pain

When you go to a doctor, usually you bring symptoms. You’re looking for a diagnosis—and a solution to fit that diagnosis.  Patient: My arm hurts a lot! (symptom) Doctor: When did it start? Patient: Right after I fell out of a tree. Doctor: I see. The x-ray shows it’s broken. (diagnosis)  Patient: Well, I did…

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The Opportunity Cliche - Josef Shapiro - Clear and Open

Creating a “Safe Place” so Critical Thinking Can Flourish

As the 2020 presidential race looms in the not-too-far distance, there will be frequent examples among the candidates in which excuses, deflections, and a general lack of critical thinking will be on display. Unfortunately it isn’t just the politicians that are guilty. If you ask 1,000 people if they can think critically, the majority would…

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