Belief: A Strength that Stays on Course

Belief is one of the misunderstood talent themes, both for individuals and for teams. People are sometimes in disbelief when it isn’t a top 10 Gallup strength for them, as many people feel they have strong beliefs and thus expect it to be on their list. Those who manage or lead people with high Belief often misunderstand it as well, which can create some challenges within a team.

Let’s clear up the mystery around Belief and examine some practical tips for yourself or for managing those with high Belief! Read the Full Article

Prioritizing When Life Blows Up

Do you ever feel that crushing weight of “this is all too much?” I experienced this recently after a quick crescendo of competing priorities. It had been a week of long meetings and lots of potential new opportunities that left little room for important projects I wanted to do. I knew something needed to shift, but what? How?

Read the Full Article

How Football Explains Strengths

Recently, I enjoyed reading Sal Paolantonio’s book “How Football Explains America.” And as I was reading, I realized that we can also use football to explain Gallup strengths and the various concepts. Here are seven applications I found: Read the Full Article

Pursuit of a Calling: Introducing TakeFlight

The birth of a calling can seem mysterious because God’s ways are just that. As you’re finding your calling, you don’t have the privilege of looking back and seeing how it all connects. In this ongoing series of blogs, you will get a glimpse into this process and what we’ve learned about leadership, organizational development, faith, resiliency, and life’s journey.

The original “nudge” occurred in late 2017, and it’s since evolved into what’s now a division of BONSAI. While BONSAI is our calling to help leaders, organizations, and students contribute at their highest levels in work that fulfills their purpose, TakeFlight has an even more focused direction: to launch organizations, churches, and marriages in boldly leveraging their strengths to achieve their God-given destinies.

Read the Full Article

Flip It! Shift Your Role for an Eye-Opening Experience

How does my question make a customer feel? How do my employees receive and process my comments when I lead meetings? These are great questions to ask. But sometimes, it’s hard to get truthful answers — unless, you flip your situation.

I find that people I work with often think they know what others are feeling or thinking and, as a result, can be dismissive — especially if they score fairly low on the Gallup Empathy strength. This is the case with me, and I have to be intentional about asking how others might perceive an action or statement. The only way to really do this is to walk a mile in their shoes.

I came to this realization through an unplanned personal experience. Last year, I became a client of a business coach, a customer of a professional services firm, and a member of a team I wasn’t leading. These were new experiences for me. Basically, as everything flipped, it helped me see my business and leadership style through other people’s eyes. Read the Full Article

Bold by Example: 4 Leadership Insights From a Bold Leader

What are the four attributes that can help make you a bolder leader?

  • Visionary
  • Communication/relationship-building skills
  • Openness to input
  • Willingness to learn

To dig more into this (see my article in Young Upstarts for more details on these 4 attributes), I recently interviewed Valerie Zumwalt. She’s not only the founder of ShowMe Leaders and Executive Director of The John Maxwell Team, but she’s also someone who’s willing to march boldly into new territory. Read the Full Article

From the Classroom to the Office: 3 Ways to Ensure a Smooth Transition

When the phone rings, do you dread picking it up? Do you default to email and text when communicating? Does the thought of a face-to-face conversation make you nervous?

You’re not alone. Approximately 15 million adults suffer from social anxiety, but in the workplace, interacting with others is critical. It allows employees to be productive and businesses to operate at maximum efficiency. Unfortunately, workplace communication is difficult for many people. When I talk to my clients, many of them complain about new employees’ poor communication skills. It’s also a prevailing Millennial stereotype, even if it’s untrue.

The good news is you can conquer this issue, which has serious career implications, by getting outside your comfort zone, modifying your thinking, and practicing new behaviors. Grab a friend to work alongside you, and you’ll both be celebrating promotions soon enough! Why? Because you’ll stand out among your competition if you can become a good communicator.

Read the Full Article

Help! My Manager Hates Me. Now What?

“He didn’t wish me ‘good morning.’” “He brought in Starbucks for my co-worker and not me.” “He generally scowls and grunts if I ask a question.” “The only time he comes near my desk is to go to the printer and grab some papers.”

In other words: “I think my manager hates me, and it’s only week one.”

If you relate to this, the good news is that you’ve most likely misinterpreted you manager’s actions. And with some inside perspective, I can help you understand the situation and develop strategies to work successfully with your manager.

Read the Full Article

You’ve Graduated! Now What? How to Make the Most of Your First Job

In my work with clients and in conversations with colleagues, I hear a lot of complaints about employees, but one of the most common ones is that Millennial workers have poor work ethic, lack initiative, and struggle to communicate effectively.

And perhaps surprisingly, this frustration is often expressed by business owners and managers who are themselves Millennials. I’ve worked with and teach many Millennials — from scientists to entrepreneurs — and I can tell you that no single generation can be defined by a series of buzzwords. But unfortunately, perception is reality, and many of these stereotypes can spook potential employers.

When you consider the cost of a bad hire, it’s easy to see why. According to a CareerBuilder survey, a single dud hire can cost companies of 500 or fewer employees $11,000. And if a company has more than 500 employees, that number quickly jumps to $22,000. Hiring managers are, therefore, keen to reduce their risk and maximize their ROI through rigorous interview processes.

As a Millennial seeking gainful employment, here’s how you can stand out from the masses, dispel stereotypes, and reinforce a potential employer’s confidence in you — even before your first day on the job.

Read the Full Article

When You Practice Vulnerability, You’ll Help Others Transform

“Vulnerability” is a polarizing word. Some people can open up to just about anyone without restraint, while others would sooner get a root canal than share their feelings.

In business, vulnerability is important, particularly among leaders. Consider this: Often, while working with clients, I discover that convictions or fears hold workers back from leading and collaborating. Overcoming these obstacles requires a fundamental shift in thinking.

As a leader, you have to help people process what’s driving their ineffective behaviors in order to correct them — and you can’t do that without some level of openness. This doesn’t mean you have to start sharing your life’s story, but it does mean you need to break free from the fears that keep you aloof. Read the Full Article