Evergreen Leadership Blog


What Collaborative Teams Do Differently

I sincerely hope that you’ve had a chance to be a part of at least one highly collaborative team! It is a peak experience that I’ve worked to define in my new blog post. If you have not been a part of a collaborative team, I’ve attempted to capture the essence of this experience so that you are more alert to it.

During this blog, I dive through my past experiences to highlight how collaborative teams function and to define what they do differently.

Is your leadership or your team truly collaborative? See if you can find out by reading this post!

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How to Tend Your Team’s Fire and Not Get Burned

Leaders are always responsible for generating energy (or heat) as they engage the hearts and efforts of others in moving toward a common, shared and worthwhile goal.

In thinking about that energy and momentum as “heat” generated by a “fire”, I recalled that fire takes three elements: Fuel, Oxygen and a source of Heat.

In this article, learn what your team’s Fuel, Oxygen, and source of Heat are, and discover why you should keep your team burning – but not too hot.”

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Leaders as Creators

In this series on creativity within organizations, I am reposting this blog post from 2015. In it, I describe the role of leaders as creators.

An artist looks at their work in a totally different frame of mind than a mechanic does. The artist sees infinite possibility. The mechanic sees a problem to be solved.

As a leader, you are often in the “mechanic mode”. People bring to you problems to be solved, work to be done, decisions to be made, dilemmas to be fixed, and that is a valuable and ever-present part of the role you play.

But how often do you play the role of creator? Of someone who can envision a better future and then find a way to make that vision a reality?

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Can Doing Nothing be an Act of Leadership?

Leading seems to us to be an action verb. Visionary. Problem solver. Manager. Fire fighter.

As leaders we can feel compelled to build, to fix, and to organize. Very seldom do we give ourselves the latitude to do nothing. We are busy. We are needed. Others rely on us.

Yet, I would propose there are times when, as leaders, we might do nothing.

Read more to learn a few examples.

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Gratitude: Food for the Soul

In the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving this week. It is the one holiday that is focused on gratitude, abundance, and honoring and sharing the good things in our lives.

Personally, I’m an advocate for expressing gratitude 100% of our days and not only .03% of the time.

Take five minutes to read this pre-Thanksgiving article about both the scientific benefits of gratitude and how practicing gratitude has impacted my life. You just might learn something that will leave you feeling full long beyond the holiday.

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Leadership 101: What You Do Matters. What You Don’t Do Matters Too.

Sometimes leaders think that communication is what happens when they make a presentation. Or send an email. Or hold a meeting.

In fact, leaders communicate every moment of every day. In their words. By their actions. With their inaction. Because people are watching and adjusting – sometimes to the subtlest of cues.

The minute you step into a leadership position, no matter what level, others begin to look to you for direction and guidance. And as such, what you say is important. Words matter and you can use them to further the worthwhile purpose you are leading. You can also, if not careful, use them to derail and detract and to detour effort.

This post helps you focus your non-verbal cues so that you can lead with clarity, congruence, consciousness.

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Community Builders

Evergreen Leadership’s 2016 Community Builders Retreat

When the 2016 Community Builders were packing their bags for Evergreen Leadership’s Connect & Create Retreat, they knew two things.

1.) They had been nominated and chosen as one of Evergreen Leadership’s 2016 Community Builders Award winners. 2.) They were heading to Wooded Glen Conference Center to meet their fellow award recipients at a 24-hour retreat filled with the promise of building relationships and developing leadership skills.

Learn more about our 2016 Community Builders and our exciting time at the Connect & Create Retreat by clicking the link below!

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Make it Easy to Do the Right Thing – Planning a Successful Change Initiative

We all fall prey to the path of least resistance – doing what is easy and expedient over what is in our long term best interest. We are hungry and pop into a convenience store, where we are overwhelmed by poor choices. Do we seek out the isolated piece of fruit hidden among the chips, candy and donuts? I don’t know about you, but peanut M&M’s win out every time for me.

Understanding the human proclivity to take the path of least resistance can help us design ways that “pull” people into the desired behaviors more easily. That’s why this simple mantra can make a big difference in any change initiative…

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Barbie Shoes and the Vacuum Cleaner

As my children were growing up, Saturday was “clean the house” day. Everyone participated, no matter their age. For my daughter, Nicole, at age six it meant that toys and clutter had to move off the floor and into their designated storage places so that the vacuum could be run.

In spite of knowing this, the floor would often be strewn with Barbie shoes on Saturday morning. After reminders that escalated to nagging and warnings, there was one thing that was certain to create an immediate surge of frantic activity to put the shoes away. And that was the sound of the vacuum cleaner headed to her room.

Now Nicole was not a naughty or unruly child. She just has at least one thousand things better to do than to pick up Barbie shoes. Until the roar of the vacuum sent a clear message: Run now to save the shoes!

Not unlike most of us. We have many things to do. We aren’t bad or lazy; perhaps distracted and overwhelmed. So the leadership question becomes this: WHAT CAN WE DO TO SPUR FOCUS AND ATTENTION ON THE THINGS THAT ARE MOST IMPORTANT?

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Is Holacracy a new organizational structure that will catch on?

In November 2014, Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, the billion dollar on-line shoe retailer, announced the company was moving to holarchy, an organizational structure with no job titles and no managers.

Instead of the typical hierarchy, fraught with bottlenecks, slow decision making, and concentrated power, the company will be organized into 400 circles, with each circle having a number of roles. The intent is “radical transparency” and extreme adaptability. In this model, the CEO has less power and all employees are expected to lead and to act entrepreneurially. Zappos and its 1500 partners (you and I would call them employees) will be the largest company to date to attempt this type of organizational structure.

Let me explain what I think works with this model, as well as what bothers me about this model.

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