Effective leadership is dependent on new ideas and necessary change. Links connects you to leadership articles and discussions that speak of vital evolution of individual and team performance at the workplace and the world.

At times, you may be inspired. At times, you may disagree.


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Truth Informs Leadership

An effective leader needs to provide honest communication to their team and customers as much as possible. Truth and transparency trends out as crucial in the business literature.  Be aware of the current “fashion” to muddle communication around what is really happening. It is important for each of us to remember that the truth exists and is important.  It is how we and our teams navigate and determine what goals need to be set and achieved.

What do you think?




3 Questions to Ask Yourself About Truth in Business by Todd McKinnon

Inc. magazine, Apr 28, 2016


The Risk of Being the Top

According to author Francesca Gino, you are in danger if you’re the top performer of your team.  Top performers are usually rewarded with accolades, but there may be a worrisome underbelly of the public recognition, for in reality, the top may be a lonely place.  Isolation frequently results combined with resentments from other team members.

Research reveals that top performers produce 20 to 30 times more than the average employee in their fields.

Additional negative consequences can include:

  • Peers try to undermine the top team member’s effective work.
  • Moderate performing team members punish the top performer.
  • Peers dislike appearing lazy in comparison.
  • Research reveals the more collaborative a team is, the more they disrespect the top performer.

However, on a more hopeful note, if resources provided for or earned by the top team member are shared with the other team members, they often support the high performer. Managers also can set parameters encouraging team members to collaborate well with the high performer.  They also can recognize signs of burnout, isolation, dissatisfaction, disengagement in the top team member, and can intervene if necessary including EAP or clinical referrals.

So, it seems that a successful team can be enhanced by a peak performing member if the limelight is shared with the other team members in some way.


Enjoy the day!



The Problem with Being a Top Performer. Francesca Gina. Scientific American. July 5, 2017.


Responding to a Struggling Team Member with Empathy and Development

According to Amy Gallo, it is vital to respond to unexplained underperformance of a new team member with some of the following concrete steps.  I have added some more of our steps regarding empathy and development that may help achieve more adaptive outcomes for all:

  • Never allow challenges in performance go unaddressed – or the situation will likely grow worse.
  • Ask the individual what they think is causing the underperformance.
  • Investigate what is causing the problem – do they need more training or are they unmotivated? Offer more training and development meetings so it’s not just the underperformer’s problem alone.  If they don’t respond to more attention, then it is likely to be more the team member’s issue.
  • Ask other team members what they think is going on and how things can be improved.
  • Invite the underperformer to make suggestions for correction. If they don’t make any or sufficient improvements, then there likely is an intractable underperformance issue.
  • Make a plan to address the underperformance.
  • Regularly monitor their progress.
  • Discuss the problem with the client and their supervisor.
  • If things don’t get better, start to discuss potential consequences to the low performer.
  • Praise and reward good deeds, even when most of the underperformance continues (i.e., frequent errors, falling behind on tasks, or refusal to do tasks).
  • Follow up with the individual regularly. See if they are making any improvements. You might meet with them 3-5 times per week instead of weekly.  Make suggestions regarding task and time management.
  • Pay attention if the team member keeps their word – if they agree to make positive changes in an area of their performance and then see if they do it.
  • If there are no signs of real progress over time, consider involving human resources. You may need to take further action such as a formal performance improvement plan.
  • Don’t be surprised if at some point the employee gives notice of their leaving the organization as well. Even though this is not the desired outcome of raising performance, their decision frees the organization to find a more compatible team member.
  • It is normal to have feelings of resentment regarding having spent more time and money on the ramped-up training and development. Sometimes one can feel betrayed by the employee not keeping their word or by not doing the job they promised to do.  I find one can practice mindfulness and shift the thoughts to being appreciative of the optimized collateral results that came from the ramped-up training and development.  For example, you may have developed a new system that benefits future team members or you may have completed a project that will benefit the organization.
  • Think about what signs may have been missed during the hiring process.
  • When you go on and hire a successful employee, you may realize that it was as simple as hiring the right person for the job.


Enjoy the day.



How to Help an Underperformer by Amy Gallo

Harvard Business Review.  June 23, 2014.



Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

It is a time for each of us to express gratitude for any aspects of life that bring us joy.

Our country is now 241 years old!  Together, we share a rich and varied evolution of this nation. Through twists and turns we have evolved into a nation that has grown more sophisticated and respectful of all citizens – at least according to our laws.

One recent Link recommended seeing your biggest challenge as simple and then simply doing your best at getting it done (The one about the boxer). Then while walking down the street in Chicago a few weeks back, I snapped a photo of Anne Klein’s marketing campaign poster saying in large print: “I want to live in a world where people understand that for them to be free, everyone has to be free.”

For adults only, you might consider downloading the award-winning television series “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu. It stars Elisabeth Moss, (from AMC’s Mad Men), in a terrifying depiction of what can happen to the United States if step-by-step it becomes a totalitarian society.  This series will speak for itself.  It offers a painful journey inviting the viewer to realize the consequences of not safeguarding both our individual freedom and everyone’s freedom.


Enjoy the holiday and safe travels if you are on the road!



Wearing Recovery Like a Proud Badge of Honor

23 million people are currently in recovery. Fay Zenoff, executive director of the Center for Open Recovery, a Bay Area nonprofit, is promoting a radical idea – that people in recovery could be open and then can actually be of greater assistance to those still suffering from the disease.

President Trump’s opioid commission during the past month suggested that the government battle addiction by linking with private and nonprofit groups on a national media campaign similar to those launched years ago during the AIDs crisis.

The need has never been greater. 21 million Americans suffer from substance abuse. An average of 175 people die from overdoses every day.

Zenoff suggests people simply say, “I’m in recovery.”

One in three American households have a family member in active addiction or lost to recovery. Very few families are spared.

What are your thoughts about reducing the stigma of addictions and fostering recovery?


Enjoy the day.



Let’s Open Up About Addiction and Recovery by Laura Hilgers

New York Times, Opinion Column, November 5, 2017.

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