Board Service; What is my role?

Over the past few months, we’ve had several requests to facilitate training for boards of directors. Just last week, I met with a relatively newly formed board. They were receptive, attentive, and appreciative of the nuggets of information I shared. Source: National Council of Nonprofits   Board governance is the primary purpose of a board. They aren’t tasked with handling the day-to-day activities, such as staffing. Every training I’ve done has been organized by a competent, engaged director hired by the board. Boards should focus on the mission of the organization, be transparent and make financial decisions that are in

4 Reasons Why Bad Experiences are the Best Lessons in Leadership

David Letterman most likely had it right when he said, “Life experience is the best teacher.”  But I’d add a word and say that BAD life experiences are probably the best teacher, at least when you’re trying to grow in leadership and you’re willing to learn from them.  Our Horizon Point team had a discussion about something related to this concept in a meeting based on some client experience that I can’t even recall now. This led to the idea of using this theme for a blog post.   My team encouraged me to write about the lessons learned from difficult

Servant Leadership

I recently helped a top security government employee with developing a resume. His leadership philosophy centered around supporting his employees (as opposed to the other way around); he believes in empowering subordinates with authority, as opposed to responsibility. His view of leadership embodies serving which is what great leaders do.               Servant leaders are a revolutionary bunch—they take the traditional power leadership model and turn it completely upside down. This new hierarchy puts the people—or employees, in a business context—at the very top and the leader at the bottom, charged with serving the employees above

Design Thinking as a Leadership Practice

In an ever-changing world, it’s more important than ever for leaders to have the tools to be able to navigate change and innovate. It’s also important for leaders to have opportunities to spur creative thinking in a world that is cluttered with a lot of noise and distractions. Most importantly, though, leaders need support in connecting with people and building empathy.    When frameworks are provided to help spur innovation and build valuable people skills, we find that leaders are better equipped to move forward.  It seems counterintuitive to use a process to try to break away from routine thinking and/or

6 Steps for Choosing Leadership Training Content and 7 Recommended Frameworks

We’ve had the opportunity to begin training a group of leaders for a client using a global curriculum the client developed.  As facilitators, we have the opportunity to take the quality content developed and structure learning in a way that allows the participants to apply the content to impact their behavior at work. Hopefully, this will lead them to invoke positive influence on those they lead and interact with.  Any good training frames learning around well-researched models or theories.  And there are a lot of models and theories out there! How you sort through them all and determine what to

Lead Up and Learn Up

MYTH: Individual Contributors can’t shift the paradigm at the organizational level.  Our team has a long-term partnership with a multinational company to facilitate leadership training for all of their Managers of People (MOPs) and Individual Contributors here at the local site. The program we’ve developed for them consistently receives glowing reviews, with one caveat: Individual Contributors are skeptical of a real shift among the “higher-ups”. The feeling is something like, “This is great and all, but unless corporate changes the way we do things, I can’t have an impact.”  Let’s tackle the myth.  Willie Pietersen, Professor at Columbia University and

5 Minute Memo for MOPs

Are you a MOP? MOPs are Managers of People, and whether you are leaning into long-term remote work or reacclimating to an in-person work environment, here’s a 5-minute memo to help you stay on track.  Go easy — on yourself and others. There’s been a shakeup. Remember that we are all People First. We are People First in the sense that we are not ______ first (insert managers, leaders, bosses, etc.), and we should be People First in the way we manage and lead others.  Be inclusive — Everyone has a different story. Remember to acknowledge, respect, welcome, and celebrate

4 Ways to Cultivate Openness to Experience to Enhance Innovation and Leadership

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain I have recently returned from a nine-day trip to Turkey.  It’s been almost five years since I’ve traveled internationally, so I was excited that a trip that I thought would most likely not happen this year due to the COVID pandemic in fact did.   I was able to travel with my dad through Educational Opportunities,

How to Create a Great Day in Your Neighborhood

You know me, I oblige my husband about once or twice a year and watch a movie with him.  He told me he’d gotten It’s a Great Day in the Neighborhood especially for me, knowing it would be “my kind of movie”. It was.   The movie is based on a 1998 Esquire cover story titled “Can You Say…. Hero?”.  In the movie, the journalist Tom Junod, fictionalized in the film as Lloyd Vogel, undergoes a transformation of world view through Mr. Rogers played by Tom Hanks.   Lloyd sets out to uncover Mr. Rogers as a fraud, and Mr. Rogers

4 Ways Leaders Can Keep Remote Work Pros from Becoming Cons

I may be the only person in America that actually considered getting office space instead of ditching it in 2020.  Having run a business for almost ten years totally remote, I was beginning to question whether that was the best option for me and the business. As a company, three of our core values- people first, passion, and productivity- are guided by this statement: “To help drive passion and productivity, we don’t care how or where work gets done, just that it gets done in a way that meets client needs. This coincides with our desire to put people first