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Do You Know What Your Boss Wants From You?

As an executive coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of people in all types of organizations. Each person has their own story, of course – a unique narrative that includes their skills, experience, strengths, weaknesses, and relationships. While every engagement is different, these people all have one thing in common; their boss always plays a central role in the story. That’s why my first coaching question is “what does your boss really want from you?

Now, some of my clients have great bosses, so we discuss the relationship briefly and move on. However, a lot of my clients don’t work for a great boss. They’re not clear about his views, or don’t understand what she really wants… and all of this is impacting their engagement, performance, and happiness.


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About the Author

Steve Arneson is one of America’s top executive coaches and corporate leadership speakers. His follow-up to the best-selling Bootstrap Leadership is What Your Boss Really Wants from You. Both books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com.

How to Grow Your Strategic Mindset

“It just completely caught us off guard.”

That’s a statement you never want to hear as a business leader. But today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world makes it incredibly difficult to plan and predict the future. At the same time, we’re all under pressure to move faster and get more done. So while thinking – and strategic thinking, in particular – is a key leadership responsibility, it often gets pushed aside in the midst of the day-to-day challenges of running the business.

In fact, there’s almost a universal resistance to long-term thinking in many organizations because we’re so focused on today’s problems: Are we making our numbers? Did the products get shipped? Did we resolve the customer issue?

The problem is, when you’re not thinking strategically, not only is it hard to see what’s coming, it’s hard to know where you are. A leader I spoke to recently put it this way: “When I’m mired in the swamp, it’s hard to see anything, much less the future.”


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About the Author

Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann InternationalAnn Herrmann-Nehdi is CEO of Herrmann International, the originators and trailblazers of Whole Brain® Thinking and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument® (HBDI®). A thought leader in her field, Ann has worked with many hundreds of organizations around the world of all sizes and industries, helping them increase their thinking agility to improve profitability, leadership, productivity, innovation and overall business results. She is an AthenaOnline management expert and a faculty member of the Institute of Management Studies.

20 Interesting Behaviors of Strategy Tourist

Let me start by reassuring you: the chances that you are a strategy tourist are close to zero.

But I’m sure you do know a strategy tourist.

Most likely you know plenty of them, since strategy tourists – those individuals who lack the motivation, skills and knowledge to turn a strategy into performance – can be found in abundance in most organizations. They are easily recognizable by the following characteristics:


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About the Author

Jeroen De Flander helps you to improve your strategy execution skills in his new book, The Execution Shortcut. He is one of the world’s most influential thinkers on strategy execution and a highly regarded keynote speaker. He has shared the stage with prominent strategists like Michael Porter and reached out to 21,000+ leaders in 30+ countries. His first book Strategy Execution Heroes reached the Amazon bestseller list in 5 countries and was nominated for Management Book of the Year 2012 in the Netherlands.

Agile Balance – What it is… What it does… How to get it, part 2 of 2

As in nature, Agile Balance requires an organic inside out commitment to stay on course. That’s why I always suggest planting my The Four Commitment QuestionsTM deeply to keep every Jack and Jill on plan, on target and in engaged collaboration. The Four Commitment QuestionsTM (What Can I Do More of, Less of, Start and Stop?) become part of the bedrock to insure commitment to the organization’s vision remains consistent and strong.

Once rooted into an organization’s culture, The Four Commitment QuestionsTM transform the workplace. Based on more than 20 years of research from The Leadership Practices InventoryTM (LPI) created by colleagues Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, these simple, yet effective questions take common sense and turn it into common practice allowing Agile Balance to flourish.

With Agile Balance, the individual and organizational benefits are plentiful:


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About the Author

Robert Thompson is the author of The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable. To learn more about Agile BalanceTM, contact Robert at [email protected], follow him on Twitter @RobertHThompson or subscribe to his Leadership Path newsletter at www.leaderinsideout.com.

Want to learn more about Robert Thompson and The Offsite? Listen to the StrategyDriven Podcast interview during which Robert shares with us his insights on the unique leadership challenges associated with today’s business environment.

Agile Balance – What it is… What it does… How to get it, part 1 of 2

Once upon a time, Jack led Jill up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Subsequently, they found the slope a bit slippery. There was a bit of a spill. After that crown-breaking calamity, Jack vowed to become so nimble that he could easily jump over any candlestick, lit or unlit.

Okay, so that’s not quite how the children’s storybook tells it. But, hopefully, like any good leader, Jack, learned from experience. Bouncing back from the fall, he was exposed to “Agile BalanceTM.” (Jill was quick to follow).

What is Agile Balance? Agile is defined as nimble or mentally quick. Balance is defined as steady, maintaining equilibrium or poise. So, Agile Balance might be defined as someone or something that is nimble, quick, steady and self-assured.

But that’s just the start.

When we peer into nature, perhaps viewing the plants and trees on the hill that Jack and Jill fell from, we won’t see a perfect moment of balance. We see Agile Balance. There is no stasis in nature. Change is constant and everywhere. Plants and animals are growing, waning or dying.

That’s the rhythm to life. And that’s the rhythm to great success, both organizationally and personally. That’s Agile Balance. There is no stasis in individuals or organizations. Whether growing, waning or dying, we change each day. And it’s our choice whether the struggle from that process makes us stronger, or nudges us along as we slip slide down the slope.

As they meet on the garden path in my book The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable, guru/gardener Sam Arthur responds that he is “perfect” when Gwen Kelly asks the polite question, “How are you”. I’ve found that every reader defines Sam’s comment about “perfect” differently. Is it possible that Sam is talking about Agile Balance?

When thinking of Agile Balance, a few of the words that spring to mind are: strength, flexibility, speed, endurance and grace. These are just a few of the qualities everyone should seek and embrace as they reach for the results they desire around performance, productivity and profits.

Let’s take a deeper look at these qualities.


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About the Author

Robert Thompson is the author of The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable. To learn more about Agile BalanceTM, contact Robert at [email protected], follow him on Twitter @RobertHThompson or subscribe to his Leadership Path newsletter at www.leaderinsideout.com.

Want to learn more about Robert Thompson and The Offsite? Listen to the StrategyDriven Podcast interview during which Robert shares with us his insights on the unique leadership challenges associated with today’s business environment.