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Archive for the ‘Leadership & Engagement’ Category

Thumbnail : Is Leadership Born or Built? It’s Sexier Than That!

Is Leadership Born or Built? It’s Sexier Than That!

In a recent Washington Post article titled, Is Leadership Born or Built, the question was again asked, “is leadership born or is it built?” It’s always an interesting topic that garners a lot of attention because of its polarization, assuming that leadership is an either or situation.  Most of the article assumes that leadership is a […]

Thumbnail : The Upside of “No”: 9 Tips to Saying No Assertively

The Upside of “No”: 9 Tips to Saying No Assertively

In a May blog, I encouraged you to start your journey to setting limits with others by attending to four basic steps: (1) accept your right to say no (2) uncover organizational beliefs around values and work/life balance (3) learn from past history (what does your environment tell you about possible consequences to saying no) […]

Thumbnail : A Field Trip to Tech Valley High – More Than Just Tech

A Field Trip to Tech Valley High – More Than Just Tech

In my attempt to better understand where the workplace will be in the next 10-20 years for tomorrow’s panel discussion entitled, The Technology Edge, presented by the Hudson-Mohawk Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development, I recently “attended” Tech Valley High in Albany, New York.  I figured, if we want to understand how […]

Thumbnail : The Future of Learning and Development in the Workplace (Revisited)

The Future of Learning and Development in the Workplace (Revisited)

“The dropout rate of massive online courses is higher than 97%,” recently reported Seth Godin, technology guru and author, on his blog. As a panelist on next week’s The Technology Edge – The Experts Share for the American Society for Training and Development, I feel obligated to share new and shiny technology that we all […]

Thumbnail : Dear Donald, Leadership is Not a Cardboard Cutout

Dear Donald, Leadership is Not a Cardboard Cutout

This past Saturday New York’s attorney general sued Donald Trump for $40 million saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony “Trump University” that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says many of the […]

Thumbnail : How Does Detroit’s Possible Bankruptcy Link to Workplace Accountability?

How Does Detroit’s Possible Bankruptcy Link to Workplace Accountability?

This summer’s news included the City of Detroit’s dire financial condition – seeing bankruptcy as the only option for the longstanding state of financial crisis and becoming the largest city in the US to file bankruptcy. Certainly, Detroit made agreements to be accountable to their workers, vendors, bankers, companies and individual tax payers. What does […]

Thumbnail : 10 Leadership Tools Every Leader Should Know How to Use in the Workplace

10 Leadership Tools Every Leader Should Know How to Use in the Workplace

It’s amazing/startling to see, when we go into an organization and begin to work with their leaders, managers or teams, the lack of knowledge people have around basic leadership tools that they could be using to produce better results.  Tools that if applied correctly and for the right challenge, can quickly turn a long, results-lacking […]

Thumbnail : INTERVIEW: Authors Discuss Survival of the Hive and Leadership with Author Talk Radio

INTERVIEW: Authors Discuss Survival of the Hive and Leadership with Author Talk Radio

Deborah Mackin and Matthew Harrington discuss the writing process, how they came up with Survival of the Hive, and why every leader needs to read the book with host Steve Jorgenson.

Thumbnail : Global Shift in Leadership: A Move from Recruitment to Development Indicates New Survey

Global Shift in Leadership: A Move from Recruitment to Development Indicates New Survey

Recently Deloitte released their Global Human Capital 2013 Trends report.  This report looked at and analyzed how companies were “pivoting from the recession to the new horizons of 2020.”  In the survey and report, which covered more than 1,300 organizations in 59 countries, 90% of global business leaders and HR executives are looking to abandon […]

Thumbnail : How Eliot Spitzer and You Can Begin To Restore Trust After A Big Mistake

How Eliot Spitzer and You Can Begin To Restore Trust After A Big Mistake

Recently it was announced that Eliot Spitzer, former New York Governor who admitted paying prostitutes for sex and was forced to resign in 2008, is planning to run for New York City Comptroller.  It begs a curious question:  if a person has fallen from grace and people no longer trust the person, how does he or […]

Thumbnail : 4 Key Leadership Lessons to learn from the Asiana Plane Crash

4 Key Leadership Lessons to learn from the Asiana Plane Crash

For any of us who fly on a regular basis or have friends and family who do, the pictures of the ill-fated Asiana Airline Boeing 777 crash landing at San Francisco airport were terrifying. But even worse have been the news stories emerging about the co-pilot-in-training, who reportedly had only 43 hours of experience in […]

Thumbnail : Did the Founding Fathers Follow a Survival of the Hive Philosophy?

Did the Founding Fathers Follow a Survival of the Hive Philosophy?

As we celebrate this week with Independence Day, it forces us to ask ourselves, “Did the Founding Fathers follow a survival of the hive philosophy?” Outgunned, outmanned, and out resourced against Britain, the Founding Fathers had a few things going for them: resourcefulness, determination, courage, and a passion to survive. In the face of terrible […]

Thumbnail : Engage Your Employees with the CAMP Method of Motivation and Engagement

Engage Your Employees with the CAMP Method of Motivation and Engagement

“Engage!”  Captain Jean Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise would say with authority, pointing his finger forward, on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Once he gave the command, the Enterprise and crew would make it possible to move forward, to ‘engage’ the thrusters, to jump into warp drive and continue to explore the universe (of […]

Thumbnail : Survey Indicates 96% of U.S. Companies Lack Sufficient Leaders

Survey Indicates 96% of U.S. Companies Lack Sufficient Leaders

In a survey conducted for Right Management, senior HR leaders indicated that talent pipelines are producing few potential future leaders and managers, with only four percent claiming the United States has a sufficient pipeline to meet the majority of their needs. Right Management speculates that the reason that the leadership pipelines are so weak is […]

Thumbnail : 5 Reasons “Survival of the Hive” is a Must-Read, Summer Book for Today’s Leaders

5 Reasons “Survival of the Hive” is a Must-Read, Summer Book for Today’s Leaders

Survival of the Hive is a small, 100-page leadership book in the genre of Who Moved My Cheese and Our Iceberg is Melting that’s colorful, bright and easy enough to read in 2 hours.  However, it packs enough leadership “punch” to drive revitalization of an entire organization’s leadership strategy. There are 5 main reasons we […]

Thumbnail : What the World’s Most Industrious and Successful Creatures, the Honey Bee, Can Teach Us about Leadership

What the World’s Most Industrious and Successful Creatures, the Honey Bee, Can Teach Us about Leadership

When we purchased our first beehive, after carefully placing the queen in the hive, we tipped the box upside down and shook 5,000 bees into the hive. At first the bees were flying everywhere. But within minutes all the bees had settled into the hive and begun their work. During the past three years as […]

Thumbnail : The Journey That Took Us To Publishing “Survival of the Hive: 7 Leadership Lessons from a Beehive”

The Journey That Took Us To Publishing “Survival of the Hive: 7 Leadership Lessons from a Beehive”

Almost a year ago we embarked on a rather fun and unique adventure that resulted in this week’s arrival of Survival of the Hive: 7 Leadership Lessons from a Beehive. The book was written to address the current lack of great, selfless leadership within organizations and the changing paradigm that is needed in leadership in […]

Thumbnail : 4 Steps on the Journey to Saying “No” in the Workplace – Part I

4 Steps on the Journey to Saying “No” in the Workplace – Part I

You know the drill; he walks into your office and asks you once again for help with a project and says, “I realize that it is a tight deadline but you can do it, right? You always come through for me and I really appreciate you.” There it is: the hook. You smile and say, […]

Thumbnail : GUESTBLOGGER: My Time as an Intern at New Directions – Nicole Peterson

GUESTBLOGGER: My Time as an Intern at New Directions – Nicole Peterson

I learned about New Directions Consulting from my College Advisor and Internship Coordinator at Southern Vermont College.  Once I found out what type of business it was and had my interview with Matt I felt like I had finally found something that was up my alley, and for a senior in college that is huge! After being […]

Thumbnail : WORKPLACE PERSONALITY: Beware of the Bully Boss

WORKPLACE PERSONALITY: Beware of the Bully Boss

In the course of 28 years as a consultant, I’ve probably run into a half-dozen bully bosses, those people who appear to be pleasant enough initially but then throw you a curve when you actually think you’re doing the right thing.  I thought it would be good to focus a blog on this topic, include […]

Thumbnail : QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Why We Need a Service Quality Body of Knowledge

QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Why We Need a Service Quality Body of Knowledge

We had an interesting discussion recently about the new neuroscience discoveries of the brain and how they impact the difference between expected, desired and delighted quality service.  Many organizations have elaborate summaries of what quality service is and is not, how to deliver it and the expectations of employee behavior in various service situations.  We […]

Thumbnail : BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Using Social Media to Engage Customers, Increase Community Awareness, Promote Your Services and Increase Sales

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Using Social Media to Engage Customers, Increase Community Awareness, Promote Your Services and Increase Sales

Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing We have to fundamentally embrace that marketing has changed. The customer has changed.  What used to penetrate the brain of our customer by “pushing” the messaging – newspaper ads, billboards, radio and TV spots – what we would call Outbound Marketing – no longer works as our customers are becoming […]

Thumbnail : QUALITY MANAGEMENT: What does it require for a local government to be quality-driven?

QUALITY MANAGEMENT: What does it require for a local government to be quality-driven?

As Paul Barowski reflected on his recent discussion with the City of Milwaukee about their ASQ membership, I thought of several key elements that are necessary for quality to take root in city, local or state governments.  It’s also interesting to me that despite finding quality departments routinely in manufacturing, engineering, pharmaceuticals and retail, the […]

Thumbnail : COACHING: The Benefits of Mentoring, Coaching and Reverse Mentoring for the Future

COACHING: The Benefits of Mentoring, Coaching and Reverse Mentoring for the Future

IBM has more than sixty certified coaches among its ranks. Scores of other major companies have made coaching a core part of leadership development. The belief is that, under the right circumstances, one-on-one interaction with an objective third party can provide a focus that other forms of organizational support simply cannot. Results of a study […]

Thumbnail : Are We Compatible? Using the MBTI Personality Assessment with Couples

Are We Compatible? Using the MBTI Personality Assessment with Couples

One of the fascinating things about couples is how frequently they are attracted to their opposites.  In so many ways, it’s as if they are trying to complete the whole picture between two people. Yet, it’s also what creates the tension and disagreements as the couple works out the relationship details. We have a couple […]

Thumbnail : CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: The Manager As Conflict Mediator

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT: The Manager As Conflict Mediator

When faced with the job duty of “maintaining harmonious relationships,” many managers and supervisors in my workshops either: (a) chuckle, (b) groan or (c) sigh. So, when “handling drama in the workplace,” or in other words, “dealing with workplace conflict” was one of the top challenges in my supervisory workshop last week, I was not […]

Thumbnail : QUALITY MANAGEMENT: What Is Quality

QUALITY MANAGEMENT: What Is Quality

In this month’s ASQ blog, Paul Borawski asks us to consider how we define quality.  Do we have a single declarative definition, or one that is multi-faceted?  Does it change based on whether we’re talking about product quality or service quality? Immediately, I recalled a video from years back of Phillip Crosby on a Scottish […]

Thumbnail : PERSONALITY: The Word of 2013 – Choice

PERSONALITY: The Word of 2013 – Choice

I caught the opening of the Dr. Phil show on New Year’s Day. He asks the crowd, “Are you smart? Don’t be shy,” he says. Again, he asks, “Are you smart people?” Of course, many heads in the audience nod “yes.” Then he hammers home, “If you are so smart, why do you make such […]

Thumbnail : NEW MANAGER & SUPERVISOR: The Innovative Leadership Guide Volume 2

NEW MANAGER & SUPERVISOR: The Innovative Leadership Guide Volume 2

It looks like we may be seeing some signs of light at the end of the tunnel as we march into the new year.  With the fiscal cliff averted in the US, the stock market rebounding and businesses starting to release more of their reserve funds for new hiring, training and expansion – we are […]

Thumbnail : Now Available: The Amazing, One-of-a-Kind, Super-Collaborative Holiday Recipe Toolkit!

Now Available: The Amazing, One-of-a-Kind, Super-Collaborative Holiday Recipe Toolkit!

This is the time of year where giving is just as important as receiving.  As many of you know, we’ve spent the last month collecting holiday recipes from staff, clients, fans and friends to create a Holiday Recipe Toolkit that can be purchased for $5 with proceeds going to charity. After Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast […]

Thumbnail : New Directions’ The Best of 2012 in Leadership and Employee Development

New Directions’ The Best of 2012 in Leadership and Employee Development

  COMMUNICATION SKILLS Building Communication Skills Within Our Leaders [Guidebook]   Cross Cultural Understanding [Article]    PowerPoint Isn’t Dead But Your Presentation May Be [Article] Today’s Needed Leadership Skill – Lowered Defensiveness [Blog]   The Do’s and Don’ts of Body Language in Public Speaking [Blog] 12 Communication Blunders That Can Trip up Managers [Blog] MEETING AND FACILITATION SKILLS Still […]

Thumbnail : LEARNING: Strategic Tuition Assistance for a Changing Workplace

LEARNING: Strategic Tuition Assistance for a Changing Workplace

Guestblogger Kyle Lagunas:  A HR Analyst at Software Advice - an online resource for reviews and comparisons of talent management and learning management software, Kyle is a millennial and tech enthusiast who focuses on forward-thinking best practices and compelling conversations in the world of work. While there are many potential benefits of tuition assistance programs (or […]

Thumbnail : TRAINING: State of the Training and Development Industry

TRAINING: State of the Training and Development Industry

Each year we look forward to the release of the ASTD State of the [Training] Industry report which cites trends and statistics on employee development.  Many of our clients use this data to help benchmark their own efforts, and to forecast trends for the future. The 2011 report, based on a diverse sampling of 461 […]

Thumbnail : QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Building an Elevator Speech for Quality Using the 5Ps Model

QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Building an Elevator Speech for Quality Using the 5Ps Model

In his November blog, Paul Borawski makes reference to having the “elevator speech” ready to go when it comes to talking about quality.  We thought our contribution to November World Quality Month (#WQM12) might be to help people construct their elevator speeches in a way that’s easy to remember and engages other people. At New […]

Thumbnail : TRAINING: Why Employee Training and Skill Development Is The Number One Way To Retain Employees

TRAINING: Why Employee Training and Skill Development Is The Number One Way To Retain Employees

According to the American Management Association, the cost of hiring and training a new employee can vary from 25 to 200% of annual compensation.  The turnover cost for an employee can be 15%, which means it costs $2,500 to lose an $8/hour employee – the more the employee earns the more it costs to replace […]

Thumbnail : MEETING SKILLS: Still Tolerating Bad Meetings? Maybe One of These Baker’s Dozen Will Get You Back on Track

MEETING SKILLS: Still Tolerating Bad Meetings? Maybe One of These Baker’s Dozen Will Get You Back on Track

In a July 2012 Forbes article, Erika Andersen explores why people continue to tolerate “bad” meetings. She goes on to say that if employees only understood the expense involved, they would see the bottom-line importance of improving each and every meeting they attend. She uses this comparison: “I’ll bet you anything if the leader of […]

Thumbnail : LEADERSHIP: 13 Leadership Skills the Next U.S. President Has To Have

LEADERSHIP: 13 Leadership Skills the Next U.S. President Has To Have

Today is Election Day in the U.S. and we thought it would be timely to address some of the leadership requirements of any Chief in any office.  As we go to the polls and elect our next president, we want him to know that there are key leadership skills he needs to have and/or build […]

Thumbnail : QUALITY MANAGEMENT: The Need for Humanity Within the Quality Industry (from ASQ conference)

QUALITY MANAGEMENT: The Need for Humanity Within the Quality Industry (from ASQ conference)

Last week Deb and I had the opportunity to present at the 59th annual ASQ North East Quality Council Conference in Mansfield, Mass.  We presented on the idea of putting together a Quality Days event for staff and what the step-by-step approach would be for others to facilitate such an event.  The two-day conference was […]

Thumbnail : CONFLICT RESOLUTION: How To Get Along With Others – A New Spin on Workplace Conflict

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: How To Get Along With Others – A New Spin on Workplace Conflict

In June 2012, Healthy Companies International surveyed 2,700 employees from its in-house database of senior managers, HR executives and C-suite leaders to examine employee perceptions of 20 specific manager behaviors. In one of the two lowest behaviors, just 59% of employees said their boss dealt capably with workplace conflicts. “Conflict occurs in every organization,” said […]

Thumbnail : QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Using the Star Point Structure to Increase the Value of Quality

QUALITY MANAGEMENT: Using the Star Point Structure to Increase the Value of Quality

This month the ASQ leadership is asking, “How do you increase the value of quality in organizations beyond what is traditionally thought of as a quality function?”  The question is framed by ASQ CEO Paul Borawski’s participation in a brand new organization called The Smart New Manufacturing Coalition.  Ironically, we believe the answer to the […]

Thumbnail : STRATEGY: The Rise of Collaborative Partnerships in 2013

STRATEGY: The Rise of Collaborative Partnerships in 2013

Recently we were approached by a local economic developer and a concerned employer from our community.  One of the glaring issues the two parties were seeing in the local community was a dire need to offer basic supervisory and management skills to local employers.  This is nothing really new as building fundamental managerial skills is […]

Thumbnail : COACHING: The 3 Types of People You Need In Your Dynamic Support Team

COACHING: The 3 Types of People You Need In Your Dynamic Support Team

Michael Bungay Stanier in his book, Do More Great Work is clear when he says, “Doing Great Work by yourself means it’s not Great Work.” He goes on to say, “To get the job done, we all need support from those around us – family, friends, and colleagues. “  For many of us that can […]

Thumbnail : The Case for Great Soft Skills Training

The Case for Great Soft Skills Training

In a recent Robert Half International Survey which was taken by more than 2,300 professionals worldwide, 73% of participants thought training was the number one way to increase workplace retention. Soft Is Actually Hard In the same respect we’ve recently come across these numbers as they relate to soft skills in the workplace. We tend […]

Thumbnail : PERSONALITY: The Impact of Personality on Workplace Accountability and Responsibility

PERSONALITY: The Impact of Personality on Workplace Accountability and Responsibility

I recently was working with an organization to clarify the responsibility of leadership in relationship to strategic thinking, project management and functional management.  We used the classic RASCI chart to detail who was Responsible, Accountable, expected to Support, Consulted and Informed on numerous tasks and responsibilities. The goal was to help leadership within the organization […]

Thumbnail : QUALITY MANAGEMENT: How Can Quality Management Evolve to Support the Needs of a Faster World

QUALITY MANAGEMENT: How Can Quality Management Evolve to Support the Needs of a Faster World

Long ago Philip Crosby said (and I paraphrase here), “There’s no such thing as good quality or bad quality, there is just quality.  Something either is quality, or it’s not.”  He went on to suggest that quality is defined as “conformance to requirement.”  What would Phillip Crosby and other quality gurus say today about quality […]

Thumbnail : TIME MANAGEMENT: The Newest, Coolest Time Management App: YOU!

TIME MANAGEMENT: The Newest, Coolest Time Management App: YOU!

Are you ready for the new iphone 5? Have you seen all the new apps? Did you catch the recent Fast Company story about the “5 apps to Help You Swing Back into the Productivity Mode?” It seems like there are more and more resources to help us manage our time better – books, articles, […]

Thumbnail : PRESENTATION SKILLS: PowerPoint Isn’t Dead, But Your Presentation May Be

PRESENTATION SKILLS: PowerPoint Isn’t Dead, But Your Presentation May Be

Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure (and job) to go to a couple of different conferences (Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing to name a few).  Being in the training and development field, one of the many great take-aways for me professionally has been to see the new innovative ways […]

Thumbnail : CONFLICT RESOLUTION: The Fear vs. Opportunity Approach When Working With Unions

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: The Fear vs. Opportunity Approach When Working With Unions

Teachers in the nation’s third-largest school district went on strike Monday morning after negotiations for a new contract collapsed, giving some 350,000 students an unexpected day off but leading to frustrations among parents and indications that a settlement may not be close.  Chicago Public Schools and the union representing teachers have been embroiled for months […]

Thumbnail : No Regrets: Guestblogger Chris Guldner Reflects on the Lessons of Stephen R. Covey

No Regrets: Guestblogger Chris Guldner Reflects on the Lessons of Stephen R. Covey

  Stephen R. Covey may be one of the most settled souls in the universe. He died on July 16 at the age of 79. Ironically this was one year short of a key milestone he taught others to look forward to. Although his ship might not have reached that major port in his life’s […]

Thumbnail : CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Shifting People from Positions to Interests

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Shifting People from Positions to Interests

As a manager, supervisor and certainly, HR professional, you may find yourself right smack in the middle of mediating employee conflicts. By the time they reach you, tempers are flared and each person is firmly dug into a hard line of “I will only….” or “I won’t,” and “He must…” or “She had better….” language. […]

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An innovative training and employee development firm located in southern Vermont since 1984, we specialize in helping organizations get the most out of their people by raising the bar, inspiring potential and partnering with organizations to build a people-centered, high-engagement culture.
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