High Potential Talent: Maximizing Employee Potential and Growth

High Potential Talent: Maximizing Employee Potential and Growth

Managing and developing high potential talent is a critical aspect of organizational success. High potential employees bring unique skills, abilities, and perspectives to a company, and their growth and development can drive innovation and help organizations stay competitive.

However, identifying and nurturing high potential talent can be a challenge. Companies must have a clear definition of what it means to be a high potential employee, and they must have effective processes in place to support their development.

In this article, we will discuss the key steps that organizations can take to maximize the potential and growth of high potential employees.

Defining High Potential Talent

The first step in maximizing high potential talent is to define what it means to be a high potential employee. High potential employees are those who have the potential to grow and develop into future leaders within an organization. They possess a unique combination of skills, abilities, and characteristics that set them apart from their peers.

Some common traits of high potential employees include:

  • Strong work ethic and drive to succeed
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically
  • Strong leadership skills and potential
  • High level of intelligence and technical skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships

Identifying High Potential Talent

Once an organization has defined what it means to be a high potential employee, the next step is to identify these employees within the company. There are several methods that organizations can use to identify high potential employees, including:

  • Performance evaluations and reviews
  • Skill assessments and development plans
  • Feedback from managers and colleagues
  • Succession planning and career development discussions

Supporting the Development of High Potential Talent

Once high potential employees have been identified, it is important to provide them with the support and resources they need to grow and develop. Some ways organizations can support the development of high potential employees include:

  • Providing challenging and stretch assignments
  • Offering leadership and skill development training
  • Creating opportunities for networking and mentorship
  • Encouraging continued education and professional development.

The Power of Peopletek Coaching for High Potential Talent Development

Peopletek Coaching is dedicated to helping organizations develop high-potential talent and build happy, productive workplaces. Our leadership programs are designed to provide the skills, knowledge, and support that high potential employees need to grow and succeed.

Our programs are based on decades of research and experience in leadership development and organizational behavior. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities that organizations face, and we work closely with our clients to create custom solutions that meet their needs.

Our leadership programs are designed to be engaging, interactive, and practical. Participants have the opportunity to learn from experienced leaders, network with peers, and apply their new skills to real-world situations. Our programs cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Effective communication
  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving
  • Emotional intelligence and self-awareness
  • Time management and productivity
  • Building and leading high-performing teams
  • Developing a growth mindset and embracing change

Peopletek Coaching is committed to helping organizations develop high potential talent and build happy, productive workplaces. Our leadership programs are designed to provide the skills, knowledge, and support that high potential employees need to grow and succeed. With Peopletek, you can ensure that your high potential employees are poised for success and ready to drive success for your organization.

Tracking and Measuring Success

Finally, it is important to track and measure the success of high potential employees. This can include regular performance evaluations, tracking the success of development plans, and monitoring the success of initiatives aimed at supporting the growth of high potential employees.


By following these steps, organizations can maximize the potential and growth of high potential employees and drive success for the company.

Blame is Destructive

When people are lame, they love to blame.

–Robert Kiyosaki, author

As most of you know, PeopleTek is a strong advocate of John G Miller’s book: QBQ! The Question Behind the Question. We consistently encourage individuals, teams, and entire organizations to read this and reflect on taking responsibility for our actions and problems, and eliminating blame. It also promotes asking oneself “what can I do” or “how can I help” when challenges are encountered.

Mr. Miller consistently talks about accountability, responsibility and ownership, and also shares that to be truly successful, blame must be eliminated. Here are his reasons why:

1. Blame leaves problems unsolved.
2. Blame creates fear, hurt, and anger.
3. Blame destroys creativity, innovation, and risk-taking.
4. Blame obstructs teamwork.
5. Blame lowers productivity.
6. Blame kills trust.
7. Blame—internally—pushes paying customers away.
8. Blame hardens positions, hindering conversation.
9. Blame limits listening and hearing.
10. Blame blocks learning.
11. Blame encourages good people to leave.
12. Blame increases resistance to change.
13. Blame causes staff dis-engagement.

No work culture can sustain itself unless team members are accountable, build trusting relationships, and refrain from placing blame. Do you know any finger pointers? Help them understand why placing blame is destructive.


Mike and Jan

Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.
–Ralph Marston

What Time Is It?

Invest The Time To Set The Path For Success
What time is it? It’s not just the beginning of a new year, it’s also the time to establish goals that are to be achieved throughout the year.

It’s old news that goals must be SMART:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable (and Actionable)
  • Relevant
  • Time Based

For those of you ahead of the game, meaning you had them completed before year end 2022 so day 1 of 2023 you could action them, congratulations! (Through all our years in corporate America, that only happened to us once).

So, let’s say you either have, or shortly will have documented goals. That’s a starting point, but one common point of failure is that team members don’t understand how they can support each goal.

As leaders, we need to clarify what each goal means, and how varying roles and positions can support their attainment.

  1. Share what the “end-game” is
  2. Share your expectations required from each team member
  3. Share how and when each goal will be measured
  4. If the goal is too big, break it down
  5. Assess if you have the resources, skill-sets, and funding in place
  6. Discuss if any dependencies or collaboration with other teams is needed
  7. Establish an escalation path if obstacles or roadblocks are encountered
  8. Obtain commitment from team members

It’s also essential that each goal clearly supports your vision and mission statements; this includes ensuring all actions and behaviors within your organization support them. If they aren’t, it’s up to you to immediately address them.

Author Melody Beattie states: The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.

It’s time; create your 2023 goals and document your successes!


Mike and Jan

People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.
–Earl Nightingale

Do You Make New Year Resolutions?

Making changes is about firmness of mind and determination.

If you make New Year resolutions you’re not alone; roughly 41% of us do.

So, what are resolutions and why do we make them? They have been defined as:
1. the process of resolving something such as a problem or dispute
2. a firm decision to do something
3. determination; firmness of mind or purpose

Common resolutions are related to self-care:

  •           Healthier eating habits
  •           Exercise routines
  •           Work/life balance
  •           Sleep more
  •           Schedule “fun” time  ex. Get a hobby, socialize with friends/family

And another common resolution is to spend less and save more.

Is there anything in your life that you want to STOP doing? What about new behaviors, routines, or actions that you’d like to START to do? We heard a New Year’s interview that also encouraged people to assess what they do well with the reminder to not neglect our strengths.

Maybe you don’t make resolutions but it never hurts to ask yourself:

  1. What’s working well/what isn’t? (For you and your team/organization)
  2. Are you lacking any skills?
  3. Do any of your behaviors impact others? How?
  4. Which of your habits impact your life and career either negatively or positively?

If you’re stuck, ask others for feedback. Simple questions include:

  • Please share 3 things I do that you want me to CONTINUE doing
  • Please share 3 things I do you’d prefer I STOP doing
  • Please share 3 things you’d like me to START doing

It’s up to us to replace our non-productive behaviors and actions. Document what’s working well and what you’d like to change and add both to your 2023 goals.

Making changes is about firmness of mind and determination. Wishing you success!

Mike and Jan

A failure to take precise and deliberate action is the reason why so many New Year’s resolutions and other goals fail.
–Jordan Ring

A Team Is Only As Good As Its Leader – Yes or No?

Do you agree that a team is only as good as their leader? Some say “absolutely not”, while others say a resounding “yes”.   We support that the answer is yes!

A leader drives the team and its members to be their best.  They understand how to interact with each team member in the language and style they prefer (not everyone wants or responds to being led in the same way).  Ex. We’ve worked with teams where some colleagues wanted their leader to touch base with them multiple times a day, and others that were happy with weekly exchanges or as needed. The most effective leaders adapt their style to that of each team member.

The role of a leader encompasses many things. They need to:

  • Share organizational vision, values, mission, and goals (V2MG)
  • Provide how individual team members can support the V2MG
  • Encourage, engage, inspire the utilization of individual and team “magic dust” (where the natural skills and abilities are leveraged).

The team is also only as good as its leader when they understand and support their company culture. The leader must be a role model who “lives” and communicates the values that support the culture they desire.

Teams will flounder unless their leader clearly defines roles, responsibilities, and expectations.  Effective leaders provide consistent and timely feedback as well as development opportunities, and they take the time to know each team member. What are the existing strengths of each team member? How can their weaknesses be addressed and minimized? What actions need to occur to support desired career paths?

Teams are stronger when the leader helps the team members recognize and acknowledge the beliefs, values, actions, feelings, and desires of their colleagues. Differing styles must be viewed as strengths with those differences appreciated!

Open lines of communication are critical, as are acknowledging contributions and openly discussing areas for improvement. Finger pointing is unacceptable! This does not mean there won’t be conflict, differing opinions, or the need to hold one-self and others accountable. Feedback is an absolute “must” and needs to be provided in an honoring, respectful, and well-intended way.

The keys behind the phrase

The team is only as good as its leader when trust is a key component of the relationships between the leader and their direct reports as well as between team-members.

Opinions are solicited, ideas are shared (and perhaps debated but in a healthy way), transparency is encouraged, hidden agendas don’t exist, and there is no fear of repercussions for healthy debates.  

The team is also only as good as its leader because as skillful leaders know how to build trust and maximize collective strengths.  They celebrate successes, and failures are discussed and considered learning experiences.

The most effective leaders:

  • Keep confidences
  • Treat others respectfully
  • Stay true to organizational and team values and principles
  • Are good listeners
  • Appreciate differences
  • Aren’t judgmental
  • Don’t gossip
  • Deliver what they say they will
  • Are aware of what is happening around them  
  • Are consistent
  • Don’t fear change
  • And most importantly promote these same behaviors throughout their team!

Yes, A Team Is Only As Good As Its Leader!  Leaders help their team understand the need for change and how and why roles and responsibilities may be impacted.

The leader manages the challenges experienced during times of uncertainty and they ensure team synergy is revitalized and that re-skilling occurs. They clearly communicate all changes and their associated impacts, and calm the fears so often brought on by change.

Do you now agree that a team is only as good as their leader?

The Importance of Developing Leadership Skills for Emerging Leaders

I have a saying “Leadership is a process and not an event”.  Too often we think that our leadership development is over. Once we’ve completed a course or two, taken a seminar, read a book we are through. We believe that we are done and if we are promoted even better to put our learning aside.  This can be a fatal mistake for all of us. As Marshall Goldsmith so wonderfully described in his book “ What got you here, won’t get you there”. So in my opinion we are always emerging leaders.

Are there new leaders? Yes for sure. It is up to us the experienced leaders to mentor and guide them. To set a culture of learning in place.  Do you know how many times I’ve heard “we don’t need that development or coaching, it’s for others, not me”.

This is so very sad because we all need development and coaching throughout our careers. We should not stop because we took a class or walked over fire coals once.

There are many skills and abilities that make great leaders; a few of those are they must be authentic, good listeners, manage conflict, build relationships, and provide healthy feedback.

Obviously, the list could be endless, but other desired traits that direct reports want from their boss is that they can be trusted, hold confidence, motivate and inspire, have high levels of integrity, and always keep their “cool”.

Where does our leadership development start?  When we are young, we develop habits. Our leadership skills, abilities, and talents are learned from our earliest experiences.

So then when do we start our process of being an Emerging Leader? My belief is right now. Too often we are moved into a new role because we are very good at doing a job or a task. We are promoted because we were good at sales, marketing, finance, accounting, Information technology, Project Management, and the list goes on and on. Most companies have an internal process that gives some great information. Hear what I said again, some great information. That is part of the problem because as people who are so very busy, we think once we’ve read the information it’s learned, and a box is checked off that we are now practicing those skills.

We as a society must change our beliefs and habits around our development as Emerging Leaders. We all must recognize that yes there are newly promoted and first-time leaders, however, we are all emerging all the time.

There are a base set of skills abilities and talents we all need to have in order to operate effectively. These skills are usually not taught to us in school. 

12 areas of development that I believe are most important

Self-Awareness– We must look inside at how we “show up” to others. This takes vulnerability. T takes receiving feedback and using assessments like Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Enneagram, Hogan, Strength Finders, TKI, Team Dimensions, EQ (Emotional Intelligence)…

Magic Dust– What are my skills, abilities and talents that make us special

Vision, Mission, Goals, Measures and Behaviors– What is it we are trying to achieve and why. Does it align to our values and actions.

Communication– Do we communicate with all others in a healthy, honoring, respectful manner to everyone no matter who they are, what they look like. Do we honor their Magic Dust and respect them for it?

Clairty– We need a process to get us aligned so that we carry out our vision, mission and goals and execute best practices and processes in our approach.

Accountability– We need to hold ourselves and others accountable to what we agreed. First it is ourselves and then it is others. 

Conflict– There will be Conflict. Do we know and understand how we show up so we can handle conflict in a healthy, honoring and respectful manner.

Influence– We all must understand how we are coming across. Are we being too passive? Are we being too aggressive?

Relationships– We all must recognize the importance of internal and external relationships and how they impact our ability to achieve our short and long term goals. It’s the only thing that will be remembered years down the line.

Feedback– This is crucial. Can we be vulnerable enough to receive it? Can anyone come to us and we will listening without judgement to their issue? It doesn’t mean anything needs to be done that is always up to you! Inspiration- How do we inspire others to understand they are Emerging Leaders? How do we help and coach others to be successful. We are all in this together and we all need each others help.

Continueal Leadership Learning– We as Emerging Leaders need to understand and recognize that Leadership Development Never ENDS.

The areas below are from a recent article we posted on Servant Leadership. I believe that when we all approach leadership with learning and applying the 12 areas above we will all be better Servant Leaders. Why because as Emerging Leaders everything begins with us.

1. Servant Leaders display selflessness

  • Leadership is about meeting the needs of people
  • They go against the age-old protocol of putting profits ahead of people
  • They put their followers’ interests ahead of their own
  • This leads to an unprecedented competitive advantage
  • They give their time, energy, wisdom, and knowledge to others
  • They help others grow (which makes the leader better)

2. They create opportunities for people to feel a sense of purpose

  • They help others find purpose in their work
  • Purpose improves levels of happiness and boosts productivity
  • They encourage employees to connect with those they are serving
  • Having employees meet the people they are helping is the greatest motivator
  • There is a competitive edge when leaders give their people access to customers

3. They serve their employees

  • Leadership is about service and making those around you better
  • They regularly assess what they are doing to improve the life of an employee
  • When will you start as an awesome Emerging Leader and help others join your process.

If you want to improve your Leadership Skills, please send us a message and let’s talk.

Work and Life Balance

Whether we want it to happen or not, we will be faced with many types of changes.

How is flexibility in your workplace? Are you able to satisfy the needs of your employees while meeting your organization’s (and your) needs?

This can be a delicate balance. Formal work hours may no longer be the norm, but the expectation for promptly responding to calls or messages, regardless of the hour, has increased.

As leaders we need to set clear expectations and be reasonable about levels of responsiveness. A 2020 study reported that:

21% of respondees reported that their boss expected them to respond to calls and texts after “normal” business hours

55% received work inquiries during evening hours

30% received work inquiries over the week-end and same day responses were expected

This may be acceptable for some, but not all. If afternoons are not being worked, have they been replaced with evening hours? Has this been communicated and have scheduling needs, work coverage, and availability been mutually established?

The needs and availability may vary significantly between team members and documenting them is a good idea. If there’s a need for off hour support, who can be available to reply to inquiries and provide support? Will they be compensated for this? Consider including boundaries. Phones will be off during what window? What days can one expect same day email responses?

Forty-hour work weeks may not necessarily be shortened with work flexibility, but it is good to be reminded that productivity, per Stanford researchers “falls dramatically” after a 50+ hour work week. The tools and maybe even the desire to work from home at odd hours may be considered a plus, but we must build in balance and allow “re-fresh” time.

Energage, a company that promotes workplace excellence reports that 85 percent of employees from 1100 companies they surveyed shared “I have the flexibility I need to balance my work and personal life.”

How do you think your team or company would score if surveyed?

Mike and Jan

Invest in your work-life balance.
Time with friends and family is as important as time at work.
Getting that out of balance is a path toward unhappiness.
–Stephen Gillett, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chronicle Security

How PeopleTek’s Leadership Journey™ will wow you?

Feedback from Leadership Journey alumni sum up the wow factor nicely:

Journey Alumnus T.S. from Accelerated Ecom shared:  

The Journey provided the overall ability to step back, assess current roles, and provided amazing diagnostics via the tools/instruments regarding leadership styles for myself and others.

Journey Alumnus Wayne Huizenga, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Rybovich shared:

The change from the Leadership Journey has been monumental.  There is joy, enthusiasm, laughing, camaraderie, and teamwork.  It has helped us create a culture where customers want to come back.

Journey Alumnus Dr. Abe Fischler, President Emeritus, Nova Southeastern University shared:

When you take the Journey, you obtain feedback regarding your strengths and the differences in the scales which describe your behaviors. You then realize what fits and what doesn’t and why you have to approach each person differently once you recognize their differences.

These Journey Alumni provided their thoughts about the Leadership Journey™, and here are more reasons to join the elite team of Leadership Journey alumni:

In a nutshell, PeopleTek’s 12 session Leadership Journey™ program is a powerful leadership development program that allows you to assess your strengths and gaps, and enables you to better understand (and relate to) others.

You’ll validate what makes you most effective and obtain the tools to address skills gaps.

The Leadership Journey is about AWARENESS (of self and others) and is geared towards obtaining a firm understanding of optimal behaviors and styles and how others wish to be interacted with.

You’ll obtain knowledge about unique styles, traits and behaviors, and how to grow and improve relationships.

You will also learn that no style is right or wrong, good or bad. Rather, it’s knowing when each style will serve you best at any given time.

As you increase your awareness levels you’ll find that conflict will become healthy, communication will have fewer misunderstandings, and differences will spark creativity and increase levels of motivation and inspiration.

Why should you attend the Leadership Journey?

You will obtain the coaching, development, and tools you will need to be successful throughout your entire career, and the learnings also strengthen your personal life! 

Soft skills matter. Great leaders get more from their people when they understand and share their beliefs, values, actions, feelings, and desires.  It’s also essential to understand the skills and abilities each team member possesses, and ideally use their preferred (and generally strong) skills for assignments whenever possible.

As a Leadership Journey participant you will:

  • Obtain an in depth analysis of how you work with others allowing for better self and team engagement, positively influence others, and build and enhance relationships.
  • Improve your ability to communicate with different styles, traits, skills, and behaviors positioning you to drive results
  • Learn new techniques to develop trust and partnerships
  • Having meaningful and documented vision, mission, goals and measures that spark strategic thinking and set and track tasks and priorities
  • Learn why all behaviors must align with and support your vision, mission, goals and measures and the need to link them with rewards and recognition
  • Improve your ability to handle conflict using new skills and situational approaches for maximum results
  • Create and implement a personalized development plan based on all the instruments, your 360 degree feedback, and an individual executive coaching session with their coach/facilitator.
  • Understand the importance of communicating with confidence and focused listening
  • Obtain listening style results in the areas of staying focused, capturing the message, and helping the speaker
  • Understand the richness of various channels of communication and appropriate strategies for most effective communication

Some balk at the title of “leader”. Would you agree that we’re ALL leaders? The answer is yes. Everyone is a leader since we all impact and influence others in one way or another. You don’t need direct reports to be a leader.

As leaders, we need to continually reflect on our levels of influence, hone our strengths, and minimize our weaknesses.  We not only need to understand and leverage our own styles and preferences for success, we must also recognize and acknowledge the beliefs, values, actions, feelings, and desires of those around us. Knowing what others bring to the table will increase levels of success, strengthen relationships, and grow results.

Career growth starts with self-reflection, company knowledge, and understanding how to coach an organization, team, and individuals and provide solutions that enable success.

How you “show up” is very critical. If you show up as a nay-sayer, obtaining your goals will get bogged down and may even come to a screeching halt.   You certainly don’t want to be viewed by your customer, colleagues or direct reports as a roadblock or order taker, but rather looked upon as being innovative and transformational.

Remember, you are a critical resource for managing, leading, or supporting key processes. This includes providing change strategies that will facilitate achieving the company’s vision. It requires that you keep abreast of the changing times, and that you know how to influence change opportunities and be innovative.

Everyone needs to be leading in one direction with laser focus, with the ability to guide oneself and others from where they are today to where they desire to be.

What processes in your business will help you drive success? You must understand the needs of the business you support and provide feedback for growth and opportunities. You must know how to be influential and manage conflict and resistance.

Being a leader does not mean you have direct reports and can be a position without authority. It requires that you stay on top of your game, provide feedback, build and sustain relationships, and possess the ability to share growth opportunities, and encourage change. Clients (whether internal or external) want leaders of all levels, with and without direct reports, to be innovative and provide suggestions and solutions in a timely, proactive manner.

You are not only a leader or business partner, but consider yourself a critical resource that positions your company to reach its desired vision, goals and success.

Start the learning process with a self and organizational assessment. Individuals and teams can also complete the assessment and obtain valuable information. 

Rank the following, on a scale of 1 – 5, 5 being a strong yes.

  • Understand the business vision, goals, objectives and measures?
  • Make and keeping commitments?
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable?
  • Step out of and expand your comfort zone?
  • Are accepting and lead through change?
  • Make thoughtful decisions?
  • Receive, process, and provide meaningful feedback?
  • Understand the concept that over-using a strength may result in a weakness?
  • Are authentic?
  • Ensure your behaviors align with your beliefs?
  • Maintain self-control even when experiencing resistance?
  • Want to continually grow and improve?
  • Thinking out of the box?
  • Take the time to assess what could be done differently to inspire success?
  • Truly listen; have the ability to process what’s heard and felt?
  • Have the courage to address what must be addressed, even when unpopular?

Leading requires having followers. In order to have followers, a common vision, mission, and clearly defined and shared goals must be in existence in order for there to be an aspired destination.

Open lines of communication are critical, as are acknowledging contributions and openly discussing areas for improvement. Finger pointing is unacceptable! This does not mean there won’t be conflict, differing opinions, or the need to hold one-self and others accountable. Feedback is an absolute “must” and needs to be provided in an honoring, respectful, and well-intended way.

To skillfully lead, there must be the capacity to build trust and maximize collective strengths; successes and failures are discussed, conflict is encouraged (and managed so it remains healthy), and recognition is consistent and aligns with goal attainment.

Don’t doubt your ability to lead. You always have the ability to influence others through your actions, behaviors, and personality. Sometimes, even unknowingly we lead others.


Why wait? Don’t let others pass you by when you have the ability to optimize your leadership skills and abilities and become a wow factor in your organization!

Change – Embraced or Resisted?

Whether we want it to happen or not, we will be faced with many types of changes.
Change is inevitable.  As a leader it’s up to us to minimize rates of failure and help others understand and accept why the change is happening.

Studies show that 50 – 75% of change results in failure, either initially (it is not successfully launched), or that it does not sustain itself due to lack of buy-in across the organization.

Dr. Britt Andreatti writes about how our brains must be harnessed to help us drive and thrive through change, and has identified 5 types of change in the workplace.

5 Types Of Change – excerpts from WIRED TO RESIST

1.    Strategic: How the organization will fulfill its mission

2.    Structural: The organization’s internal set-up

3.    Process: How the organization maximizes productivity and workflow

4.    Talent: Maximizing employee skill and performance

5.    Cultural: Shifting attitudes, values, and behaviors

It’s probably no surprise that the ability to change the mind-set of our people is the most difficult. If we don’t get them onboard, and if they do not support the new vision and core values (or perhaps don’t understand or know HOW to support it), success is unlikely.

Dr. Andreatta feels there are 4 key factors that influence success rates. They are:
Disruption, Acclimation, Choice, Desire

She also shares that as leaders we need to assess the amount of disruption and the time required for acclimation and categorizes them as:
ORANGE: A lot of effort but over quickly
GREEN:    Little effort and over quickly
YELLOW: Little effort over a long period
RED:        A lot of effort over a long period

Take time to review the level of disruption for the changes you must lead through as this will help with realistic time expectations for acceptance. Equally important is assessing if the change was a choice or a mandate, and whether it was viewed as desirable.

Dr. Andreatta states that humans are “biologically wired to resist change“, and as leaders we MUST acknowledge and manage the emotions of the change curve (shock, denial, anger and fear) before we can expect acceptance and commitment.

What are your tips for having changes in your organization embraced versus resisted?


Mike and Jan

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.
– Chinese Proverb

What’s Your Favorite Leadership Role?

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
–John C Maxwell
What do you like most about being a leader? We captured a variety of reasons our clients have shared with us and what they liked most was: (in no particular order)

  • One on One Coaching
  • Sharing knowledge, skills, and experiences
  • Driving Results
  • Identifying and executing goal attainment
  • Creating a true team with members that support one another
  • Helping determine a career path
  • Providing healthy feedback
  • Inspiring others to do more
  • Being viewed as authentic and trustworthy
  • Decision Making / Strategic Thinking

SmartPulse conducts frequent, non-scientific polls of more than 200,000 subscribers and one survey that caught our eye was one about what leaders view as their favorite role. They asked:

What’s the best part of being in a leadership role?
  1. Helping my team members develop, grow and succeed:                        52%
  2. Having control over the way things run:                                               4%
  3. Being able to set direction, take risks and make things happen:             34%
  4. Being visible and valued in the organization:                                         6%
  5. Overcoming the challenges leaders face every day:                               3%
  6. Something else:                                                                                 2%

When you looked through the list, what popped out at you? Is your favorite leadership role part of the list?  If no, please share it!


Mike and Jan

Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.
–Bill Bradley

Boss Issues?

In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people…
they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.
–Ken Blanchard
How’s your relationship with your boss?  Do you find that you are most often in sync with them or that your relationship is “hit or miss”? What’s your comfort level sharing stories about your personal life or discussing challenges you are facing at work?

Styles, personalities, preferences, and culture are a few key factors that impact relationships, and understanding them is essential, especially with your boss (and bosses’ boss).

  • Do you effectively and consistently communicate with one another?
  • Are weekly or monthly one on one sessions held and are they comfortable?
  • Do you feel valued?
  • Are you satisfied with your relationship?
  • Does anything feel wrong?

Years ago we worked with a coach that taught us to “check it out”.  If a situation or conversation did not feel right, validate the intent. Note: This isn’t about having an abusive or ineffective leader, rather it’s that your relationship has opportunities to improve and strengthen.

Other things to consider:
  • Do you know what your boss expects of you?
  • Are your work priorities jointly determined?
  • Do priorities frequently change and cause confusion and frustration?
  • Does lack of feedback or recognition impact your ability to deliver?
  • Can you share differing opinions with your boss without fear of repercussions?
  • When providing your boss with feedback, would you prefer it be done anonymously or is “in person” okay?
  • Do you find you over-commit in hopes of keeping your boss happy?

Don’t ignore any conflicts you may experience with your boss.
  • What’s the cause of the conflict and what do you feel you can change?
  • Ask what they would like to see change
  • Share your feelings
  • Commit to building a stronger relationship
  • If possible, adapt your behaviors to align with their preferences

The time you invest will serve you well!


Mike and Jan

A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.
Charles Erwin Wilson

What Makes An Exceptional Employee?

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
– Aristotle
Do you have exceptional employees? If yes, what skills or behaviors do they possess (and apply) to make you feel they are exceptional?

Travis Bradberry shares that “personality” has been rated as a key factor but clarifies that what truly makes an exceptional leader is not their personality, but rather their EQ (Emotional Intelligence).

He also shares that “unlike your personality, which is set in stone, you can change and improve your EQ” and that “exceptional employees rely on simple, everyday EQ skills that anyone can incorporate into their repertoire”.

Below are excerpts of the skills Bradberry feels set exceptional employees apart from the rest:

1.They neutralize toxic people. Exceptional employees control their interactions (and emotions) with toxic people. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find solutions and common ground.

2.They’re marketable. This may mean “likable”, having integrity and leadership skills (even if they’re not in an official leadership position), and that they can be trusted to represent the brand well.

3.They’re accountable.  Exceptional employees own their work, their decisions, and all of their results—good or bad.

4.They recognize when things are broken and fix them. Exceptional employees don’t walk past problems; they see problems as issues to be fixed.

5.They’re never satisfied. Exceptional employees have unparalleled convictions that things can always be better; exceptional employees are driven to improve.

6.They’re in control of their egos. They’re willing to admit when they’re wrong and willing to do things someone else’s way.

7.They’re judiciously courageous. Exceptional employees are willing to speak up when others are not; they think before they speak and wisely choose the best time and place to do so.

8.They focus. They can differentiate between real problems and background noise; therefore, they stay focused on what matters.

9.They can tolerate conflict. While exceptional employees don’t seek conflict, they don’t run away from it either.

10.They’re willing to delay gratification. Instead of expecting recognition or compensation to come first, they forge ahead in their work.

These align closely with the leadership values we promote: awareness (of self and others), accountability, courage, managing conflict, staying focused, self-control, continual learners, and driving results.

What other skills do you feel exceptional employees exhibit?  


Mike and Jan

Leaders don’t need to go searching for these skills either (though it doesn’t hurt when you find them);  their duty is to help everyone on their team harness these skills to become exceptional.
—Travis Bradberry