photo of binoculars

Leading in Different Times #2: Reinforce Clarity

Posted Posted in Leading

This is the second in a series of Play notes about leading well during different times such as this one. “This not that. Here not there. And here’s why…” With daily distractions, project deadlines, and competing priorities, our teams can get unfocused. Add something like a global health challenge and they’ll likely get really scattered. […]

React or Respond?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

Poor leaders react. When something unexpected or unwanted happens, they act, rather unproductively, from habit. They speak whatever comes to mind. They exhibit little wisdom. They spin us up. Good leaders respond. When something unexpected or unwanted happens, they pause. They listen. They coach. They are wise. And they refocus us on the big picture. Important […]

How to Help When Team Members Struggle

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, We

We all struggle from time to time for all sorts of reasons. Though most leaders aren’t trained as therapists, we are all very well trained as humans. Privately, matter-of-factly remarking to a team member that they seem to be struggling then listening without trying to fix or solve is a very good start.   In […]

Tolerating Incompetence

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

Because confronting them is uncomfortable, we will often tolerate people that we judge as incompetent. But this helps no one. Everyone feels bad and distracted. We continue to tolerate their poor performance. They make up unhelpful stories about why we are so distant, curt, aloof, grumpy, unsupportive, etc. And the others on the team wonder why […]


Leadership is Simple

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

Our job as leaders is to build an environment where others get valuable stuff done together. Our job is made easier when we coach people to become masterful at doing this valuable stuff together. Simple, yes?   In your corner, Mike PS: Funny, there’s no mention of having to be the one with the answers, the […]

dropping the ball

Leadership Rule #1

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

Never do for another what they can do for themselves. Often we see people dropping the ball and we think, “If you want something done you gotta do it yourself,” or, “It’s just faster if I do it for them.” So, we jump in. We figure things out. We solve the problem. This works for us because the […]


Leader, Know Thyself

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading

As great leaders, we understand ourselves. We know our strengths, blind spots, and biases. And we consistently grow ourselves. We do all this for three reasons. First, self knowledge and growth are valuable in their own right. Life becomes more and more rich, beautiful, and fulfilling as we learn about and become more of ourselves. Second, […]


You Can Give Me a Strawberry…

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Leading

Just for today, let’s use the word ‘strawberry’  to mean a solution, an answer, an idea, or a bit of advice. If the object of our work is to come up  with strawberries, we as leaders tend to jump in and give people strawberries. Strange as it may sound, people would rather we didn’t. It […]