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Exceptional CEOs and Non-CEOs, Alike

Consulting giant McKinsey&Company issued a white paper called, “What makes a CEO ‘exceptional’?” where they assessed the ‘early moves’ of CEOs with outstanding track records. In reading it, I couldn’t help wonder the extent to which their findings were equally applicable for ‘non-CEOs’ making ‘non-early movers’, as well. Let’s take a look. Who Outperforms Whom? …

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Coaching vs. Mentoring

People often ask me, “Say, what’s the difference between coaching and mentoring?” Well, in my view, here’s the essential distinction: MENTORING is where I talk and you ask questions; COACHING is where you talk and I ask questions. “MENTORING is where I talk and you ask questions; COACHING is where you talk and I ask …

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Effective Postmortem Discussions

Problems come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t get mad. Get learning! Sure, proper planning, resources, and discipline, can prevent many problems from ever happening. But no matter how hard we try, some will slip through, anyway – that’s just reality. So how best can we learn from the bad things that happen? Mistakes are …

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“Shisa Kanko” for Leaders

Japanese rail workers routinely point at signs as they read them aloud. The practice is called shisa kanko and, according to a study conducted by the Japan Railway Technical Research Institute, it has enabled a MAJOR improvement in occupational safety – as in reducing unforced errors by 85%!!! It works like this: Apparently, merely engaging one’s eyes, …

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Leadership Move #27: Ask Probing Questions

Sometimes it takes some digging to get to the root of things – and asking questions is a great way to do that. But, not all questions are created equal. Some questions are easy to answer but their answers provide little, if any, new insights. Example: ‘Why’d ya do THAT?!’ The problem: Aside from the …

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