Leadership Development

Align4Profit Leadership Development Blog

In the following posts of the Align4Profit leadership development blog, you’ll find fascinating news, helpful advice, and easy-to-implement leader-as-coach techniques and tips for leaders in all kinds of organizations.

Read and enjoy. We welcome your comments!

August 19, 2013

Raising the bar on performance sparks motivation and engagement

Leadership is constantly challenged by the problem of how to motivate and engage high performance. It turns out that raising the bar or turning up the heat is the best way increase both motivation and engagement. We know from tons of research that extrinsic rewards like money, recognition, fame, and the like do very little to truly motivate employees to perform at their optimum level. Rather, leaders can encourage intrinsic motivation by creating an environment that fosters challenging experiences. Ideally, […]
August 12, 2013

Real Feedback Creates Really Great Leaders

Why do leaders accept mediocre performance and allow their team members and peers to continue their normal dysfunctional behavior? It’s not an easy question to answer, because the answer resides in the hearts and deep psychological make up of the people involved. But I know that real feedback can solve the problem. But first, leaders have to stop avoiding real feedback with the kinds of excuses illustrated below. I so often witness, spoken or unspoken, the countless ways managers do […]
August 5, 2013

Mediocrity Kills Great Leadership

“Tyranny of Incrementalism will kill organizations.” —Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas Most organizations and leaders resort to incremental change. Instead of following through with all the deliberate practices required of an intimate leader in order to implement full and sustainable change, too many simply: Make modest adjustments that will maintain the status quo under the same overall patterns Do not question the fundamental assumptions on which management is based Do not change any of the key elements of the company’s […]
July 29, 2013

How to Eliminate 14 Motivation Roadblocks

A leader’s job, as I’ve said many times, is to drive accountability and motivate engagement — the kind of accountability and engagement that deliver High Commitment and High Performance. I spend a lot of time describing how to do this, what behavior to model, and what skills to use. Now after considering a list of ten motivational drivers, I’ve decided to create my own list of at least as many motivational roadblocks that need to be eliminated in many organizations. […]
July 22, 2013

4 Steps Toward Executive Maturity

Today’s best companies are searching for leadership talent that can act with executive maturity. What does that mean? For one thing, executive maturity is the opposite of reacting emotionally, that is, without thinking. Intimate leadership enables today’s management teams to empower and enrich relationships between co-workers, colleagues, and even customers. Being an intimate leader means that you maintain excellent control of emotional responses in a variety of scenarios. All of us stock an inventory of automatic responses in our response […]
February 21, 2014

Five Olympic-class Leadership Lessons

Everyone aiming for High Performance should at least have a look at Leadership lessons from the Olympics by Tom Scott in the Washington Post. There are no end to the lessons leaders can learn from watching the performances and learning the stories of this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. Scott focuses on the following five: 1. Relish, don’t stress, the big moment. I’m always amazed at how the world’s most outstanding Olympic performers approach their big moments. No one knows […]
February 6, 2014

More dollars for training means great gains for you!

When Forbes reports Spending on Corporate Training Soars: Employee Capabilities Now A Priority, leaders everywhere should at the very least start to consider scheduling leadership training dates. Karen O’ Leonard, author of the Factbook series, Bersin by Deloitte’s popular benchmarking studies in human resources, has just completed The Corporate Learning Factbook 2014: Benchmarks, Trends, and Analysis of the U.S. Training Market. In her report we learn that corporations across the world are making the smart investment decision to put more […]
December 16, 2013

The How and Why of High Engagement

How many people work in your organization? If you answered with a percentage, such as, “About half,” then you understand the question. Let me put it this way, What percentage of your workforce is fully engaged? I’ve seen all kinds of numbers over the years bemoaning engagement percentages that hover around 30 percent. The “about half” quip, above, actually represents what I generally see as the percentage of those workers who have effectively checked out, who come to work to […]
December 2, 2013

Combat Killer Silence with the 4 Ups

Some stock phrases meant to promise open communication are spoken so frequently, I think it’s time to officially designate them as communication clichés. Some examples: My door is always open Don’t be afraid to ask. I promise to be open and direct with you. We all have to open up and share.   Everyone understands that candid communication is essential to organizational health. No one argues that you can build High Commitment and High Performance without honesty. Yet in practice, […]