Leadership

Last year's DIY team retreat was a disaster - what do I do this year?

Last year's DIY team retreat was a disaster - what do I do this year?

We hear from many committed leaders who set out to rally their people in the right direction and call us after their self-facilitated retreat with: “There has got to be a better way to do this year-end retreat thing!”

Here are a few fails we’ve seen people experience when running their own DIY retreats along with a few remedies to make your retreat work well for everyone.

My questions to my staff at work are backfiring - what do I do?

My questions to my staff at work are backfiring - what do I do?

The old adage “There’s no such thing as a bad question” might feel like a slap in the face. Rather than good or bad questions, we like to think of questions as unhelpful or helpful. Some questions can help everyone get to a good outcome. Others do the opposite. Consider these subtle shifts to help you get the outcomes you are striving for when asking questions of your employees.

Our meetings often suck ... the life out of everyone. How can we stay energized and on track during hard team work?

Our meetings often suck ... the life out of everyone. How can we stay energized and on track during hard team work?

We know leaders want the precious time they have with their teams to be productive and full of connection. It’s challenging to keep energy up when the stakes are high. Combat common issues leaders juggle when staring down the challenge of holding effective meetings with these helpful ideas.

What are you growing at your company?

What are you growing at your company?


As a leader, you’re something of a gardener. It’s your job to nurture people and the culture so there’s a positive environment - a place where people are growing into their best selves, cultivating their talents, and working together for everyone’s benefit. Without tending, your company can become as unwelcoming as that gravel-strewn back lot of weeds.

Consider these five steps to tend your cultural garden as you work and lead.

"Do you think you should ...?" is a Solution in Disguise!

"Do you think you should ...?" is a Solution in Disguise!

Have you ever felt like you wanted your team members to be more proactive? Most leaders genuinely want to empower their teams. We know it is not effective or scale-able to have one person doing all the thinking for the group.

Yet when we try to encourage our team members to take ownership and solve problems, often we unwittingly sabotage ourselves with Solutions in Disguise. 

Setting limits without saying no

Setting limits without saying no

Whether you are an individual contributor, a department head, or a CEO answering to a board, you can often find yourself in the position of being asked to do more work than is possible given the time and resources available.

The bad news is I don’t have a magic formula for adding infinitely more work capacity.

The good news is I do have some magic phrases for responding to requests (or demands) for more work in a way that manages your capacity while still being a good team player.