Posts Tagged 'leading through change'

How To Overcome The 5 Pressures Of Leadership

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Leadership is not for wimps.

Wimps don’t like pressure, and leadership is all about pressure. When I was leading my TV team to over 100 Emmy Awards and 10 straight years of #1 ratings, there wasn’t a single week where I didn’t feel pressure—sometimes extreme pressure!

It’s probably the same for you too, isn’t it?

Now, your specific pressures may not be the same as ...

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The Most Important Thing To Do When You Are Leading Under Pressure

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What do you do when your plans are falling apart, the clock is ticking, and everyone is looking at you for decisions, answers, and leadership?

Have you been there?

That was my world, every week, for fifteen years. For fifteen years, I was the Executive Producer of a hit comedy TV show in Seattle, Washington. Think Saturday Night Live, but on a local level. Granted, the stakes weren’t as high as if I’d been, for example, a military general or a heart ...

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Are You Missing Out On Your Team’s Best Thinking?

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There’s a very real chance that you’re not hearing your team’s best ideas.

I wonder what that’s costing you.

Many years ago, I was the president of a local non-profit association. Among my eight or so board members was a woman whom I’ll call Chanel because it sounds exotic. Chanel was someone whom you might call a “placeholder” on the board. She dutifully showed up at every board meeting, but she didn’t really contribute anything. She sat quietly and voted on things that ...

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Why “Getting Away With It” Is the Danger Zone

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I had that dream again last night.

Maybe you’ve had it too. It’s the dream where you’ve got a final exam coming up, but you haven’t been to a single class all year.

Have you had that one?

For me, it’s typically a math test, and I have to try to read (and understand) the entire textbook in one night. Usually, I wake up before the actual exam (and it generally takes me a panicked moment or two before I realize that it ...

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Why Listening To Your Customers Will Make You Fail

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It was during a focus group that I realized my customers were lying to me.

I was working at a TV station in Portland, Oregon, and we were developing a new, nightly game show. Part of that development involved focus groups.

Maybe you’ve participated in a focus group. In our case, the process went like this. Our focus group research company somehow found several groups of likely viewers, paid them twenty bucks or so to come to a meeting room, and then ...

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How To Be As Good As Jerry Seinfeld

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Are you better today than you were yesterday?

I don’t mean physically. We all catch colds, we all have occasional aches and pains—particularly as we get older. No, I mean are you better at what you do? Are you better at your job? Are you better with your customers? Are you better with your team? Are you a better leader?

And, by the way, if you’re already a superstar—if you’re already at the top of your game—well, sorry. You can’t hide behind ...

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Curiosity May Kill The Cat, But It Will Make You A Superior Leader

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What kills the cat strengthens the leader.

If you have any cats in your life, you know that the adage “Curiosity kills the cat” is not just a saying; it’s a fact. Cats have an insatiable curiosity that overrides their instinct for self-preservation. And it can get them into life-threatening danger, over and over again.

Fortunately, though, you are not a cat. You are a leader. And leaders need a healthy amount of curiosity in order to be effective.

To put ...

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It’s Not About You And Your Stupid Little Problems

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For fifteen years, I was not allowed to get sick on Saturday. Sunday and Monday were fine; I could be sick then. Tuesday through Friday weren’t ideal, although if push came to shove, I could be sick then too.

But not Saturday. I couldn’t get sick on Saturday. Why?

Because Saturday was showtime.

See, for fifteen years, I was the Executive Producer of a hit comedy TV show in Seattle called Almost Live!, and we taped the show in front of a live ...

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To Think Out of the Box, Make the Box Smaller

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QUICK QUIZ: Which assignment do you think a creative person would like more:

  1. Write a story about anything.
  2. Write a story about a duck.

If you’re like most people (which, of course, you’re not—you’re better), you said Assignment 1. It’s obvious, isn’t it? I mean, creativity is all about freedom, no restraints, “Don’t box me in, man!” Right?

Wrong.

The surprising, non-intuitive truth is that the vast majority of creative people would prefer Assignment 2: Write a story about a duck.

Now, why is this? And ...

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Why The Best Leaders Are Out Of Control

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I recently read an interview with Marija Ringwelsky, the co-founder and COO of Remedy, a company that helps protect people from medical overcharges and billing errors. In it, Ms. Ringwelsky said:

“While I thought leadership was about influence and control, starting Remedy has taught me that leadership is quite the opposite—it’s about finding great people who share common values and a shared sense of purpose and counter-intuitively relinquishing control. If you’ve done your job right, the people on your ...

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