Recent Blog Articles

Get Organized, Slow Down To Go Faster: A Counterintuitive Approach - Clear and Open

Slow Is The New Fast

Because metaphors involving sexy cars are always fun…. I’ve ogled the valet lots Newport Beach, CA, where Porsches are pedestrian, but the fanciest car I’ve ever seen was in a Home Depot parking lot in the sleepy town of Phoenix, Oregon. I didn’t know what I was looking at, the only writing on this polished…

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Management Metrics as a Vehicle for Cultural Change - Clear and Open

The Mirror of Management Metrics

What’s your relationship to management metrics? It’s normal not to be able to answer right away. You’ll find yourself somewhere on the spectrum of metrics-obsessed to metrics-phobic. It doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum. What matters is that you can learn about yourself and your business or department wherever you are. People think…

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Better Managers Own Their Incompetence - A Simple But Not Easy Way - Clear and Open

Own The Weak To Get Strong

Many want to become a better manager, but don’t know how. Management is one of those things people feel like they should know how to do well, despite that it’s the most difficult aspect of business that most people receive little to no training for. Especially if you already are a manager, there’s an assumption…

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Foster Employee Engagement - Clear and Open

Evil Isn’t Helping Accountability

Our world of fiction is filled with evil characters who seek to dominate the world, immerse it in darkness, let loose destruction and mayhem, and do other “evil” things. While such stories can be entertaining, they contribute to an already less-than-responsible world and complicate accountability. Here’s how…. The vast majority of people have good intentions.…

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Leadership Coach Moment: What If Fear Wasn't The Problem? - Clear and Open

What If Courage Isn’t What You Think?

Paul was afraid, but that wasn’t the problem, as you’ll see. He needed to have a tough conversation with Sheila, an employee of fifteen years. Sheila needed to either change or leave. She was his wife’s best friend, one of his first employees, and surely had the best intentions. But her negativity was a poison…

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Business Coaching Made Simple With One Question - Clear and Open

Because Sometimes Normal Sucks

Over a decade ago a general contractor in serious trouble came to me for business coaching. Let’s call him Dave. His revenue was down two straight years. He broke even the year before, but nine months into the current year, his net profit was negative four percent. Burning cash by the wheelbarrow, he had five…

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Improve Company Culture From The Inside Out With Holistic Thinking - Clear and Open

Is It Plugged In?

The toaster won’t turn on. You fiddle with it for a minute or two. You start locally. But, when that doesn’t work, you think bigger. You move from content to context. First, you check if it’s plugged in. Then you go further out, “Hmmm, maybe the circuit is blown.” You do this all the time.…

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Overwhelmed At Work? It Doesn't Have To Be This Way

Empty Your Cup And Drink

Last week I wrote about The Simplest Path To Employee Engagement. In case you missed it, here’s the punchline: engagement comes when an individual uses their job in their own healthy self-interest to become more the person they want to become. That’s the context. One of the best examples of content you can use to…

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The Simplest Path To Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is perhaps the greatest problem facing workplaces today. Statistics show it’s only getting worse. Many of the problems that well-meaning leaders and managers struggle with are actually only symptoms of deeper engagement problems. You may not even realize it’s there. Employee disengagement can be an invisible kind of friction that drags everything down.…

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People Problems Solved with Good Accountability - Clear and Open

Accountability Begins with a Whisper

I often hear owners/managers say: “There are no good people out there to hire.” “My people don’t care as much as I do.” “My people won’t do what they’re told.” People problems are among the top three biggest complaints among managers next to money and time. I’ve heard the same frustrations for fifteen years, and…

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