One leader behavior gets 88% more “above and beyond” performance.

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Simple Positive Affirmations for Work to Transform Your Team

While Stuart Smalley may be the king of positive affirmations, I’ve been talking about positive affirmations for work a lot more than usual the last few weeks…

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Change in the Workplace: 5 Tips for Leaders

How should leaders deal with “always on” change in the workplace? We often talk about change at work as if people universally resist it. Change is something people resist. Except when they don’t…

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Phil Teaches 4 Execution Habits at Leadership Event

Last week, Phil delivered a keynote for the Arbuckle Area SHRM chapter and the Southern Oklahoma Leadership Luncheon. The topic? Follow up and follow through. "The real place where the rubber meets...
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Strategy Execution: What You’re Not Thinking About

Can your kid’s X-Box teach you strategy execution? I got to spend some quality time with my kid and her X-Box this weekend while we survived the second straight week of major winter weather events that weren’t. Her favorite game is Forza, a car racing game that is amazingly accurate…

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Proud Day at Approachable Leadership

I received a great gift last week. My former intern Cameron Brown had a bound copy of his dissertation on leader approachability delivered to my office. I am proudly displaying it on my shelf next to a couple of other…

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New Year, Same Resolutions: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

The New Year showed up again. If your office is anything like mine, that means a lot of talk about resolutions and a “better me.” Personally, I love this time of year. I love it because it encourages people to reexamine

Approachability Playbook Released on Amazon: Bonus Offers

Most of you know I love music. I was listening to a favorite Spotify playlist when I started this post. In the nick of time a classic song inspired the subject line. (Recognize the lyric? Scroll to the bottom to see if you’re right!)…

Why You Should Use the “F-Word” with Your Team

You should use the F-word with your team a LOT more than you do. Do you use the F-word with your team? I sure do. The F-word gets people’s attention. When you drop an F-bomb your teammates will sit up and listen…

Developing Leaders Through Training

Developing leaders is a crucial component to any thriving business. But there are two things that keep a lot of organizations from properly developing leaders. Those two things are time and investment…

Generational Stereotypes Are BS – Here’s What to Do Instead

Generational stereotypes are bad for business.

Seems like our culture has become obsessed with generational stereotypes. New articles come out day after day. And they purport to have uncovered some great new insight into how to deal with the millennials creeping into our offices. Here’s my insight.

Most of it’s bullshit.

People are just people. And we all want the same things. We want to be engaged. And to be challenged. We want to be respected. To be compensated. And to be valued.

Change Leadership: What You Need to Know From the Get-Go

Change Leadership is a hard job. And it’s never ending.

This is because change is a routine part of life – a blessing and a curse. American journalist, Sydney Harris put it this way:

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.”

Humans are made for change, but we can also be overwhelmed by it. Especially the speed of change. It’s important that, as leaders and people, we understand the human nature of resistance to change. And how that resistance burns up both physical and emotional energy.

The Coaching Habit: Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier

If you haven’t stumbled across The Coaching Habit yet, now’s the time.

The Coaching Habit is sneaky-sophisticated. And better yet, easy to read. Being such a fan of the book, I was so grateful when the author, Michael Bungay Stanier, agreed to take a few minutes to give us some insight.

Here’s our conversation.

Phil: What inspired you to write The Coaching Habit?

Michael: My company earns its way by teaching busy managers how to coach in 10 minutes or less. The book grew out of lessons taught and lessons learned. And behind all of that was my desire to make coaching…or better said, being more coach-like…something that everyone feels they can do.

Phil: What do you think are the top 3 takeaways leaders will get from your book…

Staff Appreciation: The Hidden Key to Solve Resistance to Change

What does staff appreciation have to do with managing change?

Everything.

ATD’s Change Again? article gives some hard-to-ignore reasons for why you want to focus on staff appreciation when managing change.

“When staff feel appreciated, resistance diminishes.”

Remember the three reasons people resist change.

They don’t get it (an information gap);
They don’t like it (an emotional reaction); or
They don’t like you (a relational trust issue).
Think about how staff appreciation impacts each of these three areas.

When a person doesn’t feel appreciated, it’s safe to assume that there’s a lot of noise going on in his head. Most of the time he’s just talking to himself. Why does he stay? Is there some place else he could be? Somewhere he could get more recognition? Do something different? Maybe make more money? Meanwhile, he’s trying to find the headspace to actually get his work done. Then you throw a new change effort on top of that.

Managing Change: 3 Reasons People Resist Change

Managing change is difficult.

It’s one of the hardest things for leaders to get right. This is because effectively managing change requires leaders to put strategy aside and get real with their people.

Remember our article on Boston Consulting Group’s DICE model? This model is such a valuable resource for those looking to assess the hard factors behind managing change. Have you set a clear and attainable timeline? Did you thoughtfully configure the team? Did you designate the appropriate kind of leader? (The people person rather than the over-achiever.) Have you considered how this change project affects the other duties of your team? Does some work need redistributed?

How to Be a Good Manager: Create the Right Space

Wondering how to be a good manager? Great question.

Do you want to know how to be a good manager? For us, it’s simple. You must be less invading and more inviting. When things get stressful (and let’s face it, these days when aren’t they stressful) it is easy for you to become an additional burden to your team. But that’s when leaders get headed down the wrong path. People don’t grow, excel, or shine when they have no room to breathe.

When we teach leaders how to be a good manager we explain the key to keeping morale high without suffocating your team through micro-management is to create a comfortable space where they come to you when things are off track. Think about the space around you. The energy you put off. The ease with which someone feels they can approach you. When they do approach you, do you invite the interruption or are you put off by it?

Change Your Perspective and Change Everything: Fall in Love with Your Job Part 3 of 3

Can you really change everything if you change your perspective?

Why not? There is one thing we know for sure. The way you see your self, your work, your friends, your world, has a direct connection to the way you feel about your self. Your work. Your friends. Your world. There are many things in life that are outside our control. But our perspective is not one of them. Change your perspective and you just might change everything.

This is the last bit of advice David Allan gives us on how to fall in love with your job. We wrote about the first two steps – hacking your job and improving relationships with coworkers – here and here.

People want to feel like their work is meaningful. We say that a lot these days. Do you believe it yet? Maybe you’re one of the people still trying to come around to that perspective. (Ah, perspective). We understand. Twenty years ago, few people required meaning to stay at a job. That doesn’t mean they didn’t crave it. Or didn’t feel the effects of the lack there of. It just means they wouldn’t quit their job over it. That’s not true anymore.

How to Get Along with Coworkers: Fall in Love with Your Job Part 2 of 3

If you can’t get along with coworkers you won’t love your job.

Recently we discussed David Allan’s first tip for falling in love with your job—hack it. This is part 2 of 3 in the How to Fall in Love with Your Job series.

Allan’s second tip has to do with how to get along with coworkers.

We all know that coworkers mostly fall into the “things about my job that I don’t have control over” category. We don’t get to pick who we work with. But the fact is, how we get along with coworkers (our relationships with them) has a direct impact on our daily lives. It can impact how we feel about ourselves and our work. And we do have control over how we choose to interact with people placed into our lives.

Here are three tips for how to get along with coworkers.

How to Fall In Love with Your Job: Part 1 of 3

You have the power to take control of your job.

More than half the people in the U.S. don’t like their jobs. This, according to the Conference Board Research Group in their most recent annual survey. What’s more, our nation has been hovering at this spot for at least the last 16 years.

It’s not that surprising though is it? Most people’s day jobs have very little to do with their passions. Sure, on occasion, we get a spark of accomplishment from our jobs. We enjoy a good challenge or creative brainstorming session. But for the most part, we work because we must work. And most days we’d prefer to be somewhere else. But we show up. We’re always going to show up. And if we’re going to show up, why not make the most of it?

Phil Featured in Fast Company Piece on Approachability

Earlier this week, Fast Company released an article all about learning how to put your team at ease. Gwen Moran, author of the piece, provides 8 simple ways to be more approachable and "fine-tune" your communication skills. Guess who kicked off the discussion? That's...

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What Others Say About Approachable Leadership

Here is what others have to say about recent Approachable Leadership Keynotes and Workshops.

Great Interactive Session, New Techniques

"I recently attended the Approachable Leadership Session with Phil Wilson at the CUE Conference in Denver. It was a great session. I loved the interactive sessions, they really help you learn some new techniques. Phil does a great job involving the participants and keeping everything moving at a great pace. I am so enthralled with this training that I brought Phil to our location to put my troops thru the paces for approachable leadership!"
Laurie Galmeyer, Director of Human Resources, ETFN

Masterful Approach Captured Audience

“Phil is masterful in his approach and paints a compelling vision. He has the ability to capture an audience’s attention and take them on a journey through images and anecdotes. Whether you have 1 or 100 supervisors in your organization, I would recommend Phil Wilson’s “Approachable Leadership” session. And learning how to live longer and make more money wasn’t so bad either.” 
W. Alex Koch, Manager of Positive Associate Relations, TJX

Demystifies Leadership, Use Lessons Every Day

“Your workshop  demystified what connecting with another human being – whether an employee, client, or spouse – can be like.  I’ve used his 3-question strategy every day, both in my personal and professional relationships, to become a better coach, sister, and friend.”

Lori Broyles, Business and Entrepreneurial Services Coordinator, Francis Tuttle Technology Center

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