The CompassTopics to keep you and your organization on course.
Building Remote Teams: Go Deeper than Icebreakers
One of the things I’ve seen in nearly all the recent articles about building teams remotely can best be described as icebreakers. These have their place, but I’d argue that now may not be the time. People are stressed. There is a lot of uncertainty. They are trying to do their jobs remotely in less than ideal working situations.read more
Human Topography: Navigating Workplace Relationships
Managing human relationships in the workplace is challenging. Dynamics shift frequently, engagement rises and falls and external factors impact us and our co-workers. Our world of work is much like a landscape that we need to understand and navigate in order to be...read more
Great Team Cultures Don’t Happen By Accident
Communication! Teamwork! Trust! Support! When I first started working with teams, these are the words people would shout when I asked what they learned from an experiential activity. Unless prompted, they would let it go at that. As leaders, we sometimes do the same...read more
Leader as Teacher: Tips and Tricks
Leaders are asked to do things all the time they weren't trained to do. It is the nature of the role. One of the most consistent and often neglected challenges for leaders who aren't trained in it is being a teacher. Whether, it is formal teaching, informal...read more
Leadership Style: Looking for a Fit
How does your actual leadership style fit you? Do the people you supervise think you are genuine and sincere? Does the culture of your organization match your approach and philosophy on management? How often are you asked to act in a way that doesn't align with your...read more
Do Leadership Principles Apply to Hourly Employees?
"This all sounds great for teams with motivated and educated people, but what about teams of entry-level or disengaged workers?" An attendee asked this at a recent workshop focused on building effective teams. She then said that all of the leadership material she...read more
Toxic Employees: What to Look For, What to Do
It turned out that she had systematically gotten rid of anyone who had the even the slightest disagreement with her and made sure to promote those who saw things her way.read more
Rural Nonprofit Problems: What Can Be Done?
All small nonprofits face challenges, but rural nonprofits face added difficulties. Here are three common challenges and how to address them. STP STP means everything is run by or supported by the Same Ten People. They serve on church boards, volunteer with Little...read more
Tough Employee Near Retirement: Just Wait it Out?
Problem employee nearing retirement? Why not just wait for them to go? I've heard this sentiment so many times. A leader describes, to minute detail, an employee's negative impact and then says something like, "They will be retiring in two years, just waiting for...read more
Adventure: Inspiration is All Around Us
Grit. Resilience. Determination. Perseverance. When I deliver the Endurance Leadership program, I encourage attendees to substitute whatever word they like with the word endurance. While they may not be technically synonymous, I find that people connect with...read more
Peer Accountability: It’s Worth the Work
If team members hold one another accountable in a positive and effective way that frees the leader up to focus on any of the other tasks he or she has to do.read more
Employee Loyalty: What can Leaders Do About It?
The research is pretty clear. Employee loyalty has decreased dramatically over the past decades. Some people point at the Millenials as the problem. I actually see them as pointing to the solution. In one recent study, among others, job satisfaction was...read more
Empathy is Not a Soft Skill
We understand the purpose of empathy, and maybe even its importance in theory, but in situations that matter, we have difficulty putting ourselves in others’ shoes.read more
I might be a mean parent. My daughter recently got scraped up doing something outside. Instead of diving for the first aid kit and offering sympathy, I commented on how cool the scrapes were. Okay, maybe I'm not mean, but I know that minor scrapes and bruises show...read more
Facilitation: Tips to Make Your Meeting Great
Let’s face it, employees are often not excited about attending a facilitated session. The facilitator needs to do things to infuse energy and generate participation.read more
Lessons from the U.S. Women’s Ski Team
The most recent Olympics provide an opportunity to celebrate a couple of amazing performances and see directly how they relate to individual performance inside a team environment. The gold medal earned by Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall show that focus on effort, process and team culture can bring historic results.read more
Addressing Board Committee Challenges
I once worked at a nonprofit organization that had 11 standing board committees. The board also required nearly every significant decision staff made to be approved by the appropriate committee who then needed their decision approved by the board. Wasn't that...read more
One Approach to a More Effective Team
Working with a client recently, the group discussed the difficulty of creating truly effective teams. They work in a fast-paced industry and say they have little time for team development inside the office. They also experience relatively high turnover, a standard...read more
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