Conquer Leadership Challenges with Small Wins

Mark Schinkel

When was the last time you felt overwhelmed by a significant leadership challenge?  Some of my recent work has included supporting leaders who have found themselves in such a place. What I often tell them is there is no path to the end goal that doesn’t start with a small win. Can you relate to any of these scenarios? Boldly … Read More

9 Tips for Leading with Integrity

Mark Schinkel

Photo of integrity, leading with integrity, leadership principles, workplace culture, organizational culture

Those who find themselves taking up the mantle of leadership would do well to Google “leader scandal” as a sobering reminder. It seems that hardly a day passes when there isn’t another story of a leader brought to their knees because of words, deeds, or deals dragged out from the shadows. These transgressions are then amplified, accelerated, and publicly shredded … Read More

How to Plan Successful Meetings

Mark Schinkel

Are you tired of sitting through unproductive, poorly planned, meandering meetings that move your organization sideways . . . or even backwards? At times, you may leave a meeting wondering why you met in the first place. Or perhaps you have felt that you were misled: “I thought we were meeting to make decisions collaboratively, not just to be told … Read More

5 Ways to Improve Equity in Your Workplace

Mark Schinkel

equity, equity in the workplace, diversity, workplace diversity, workplace culture

I recently had the opportunity to reengage as a school board superintendent for three months after several years of retirement. In that work, I interacted daily with school and board administrators at a very large school board (60,000 students) in Ontario. During my time on the board, I was impressed by the capacity of so many caring leaders to learn, … Read More

Why Workplace Culture is Important for Resilience

Mark Schinkel

resilience in the workplace, workplace culture, leadership, management

We all want a workplace where people are healthy, effective, productive, empowered, and motivated to do great work in support of their organization’s mission and shared values. However, what happens when you toss a pandemic into the mix? COVID-19 has created extraordinary circumstances as nations, communities, families, and individuals are experiencing enormous changes. These changes are playing out in real … Read More

How to Practice Good Governance During a Crisis

Mark Schinkel

good governance, leadership, workplace culture, leaders, manager, management, board of directors

I recently met with the Board of Directors of a provincial non-profit organization to talk about good governance. During the session, we discussed the role of a healthy board in anticipating and proactively planning for a crisis or major disruption. In our discussion, the COVID-19 crisis was just emerging as a real and present danger and was identified as a … Read More

How to Practice Transformational Leadership

Mark Schinkel

transformational leadership, workplace culture, management, leadership, leaders, organizations, employee, staff, performance, mentorship

Over the years, I’ve become increasingly aware and appreciative of those individuals who had the insight, time, and skill to work with me to help me improve. A core challenge faced by all leaders is how to support the continuous development and optimal effectiveness of their employees. Leadership, after all, is a verb. What makes leaders effective in supporting others … Read More

How to Use Data Effectively

Mark Schinkel

data, using data, using data effectively, data analysis, data best practices, workplace culture

Whether you lead a team, division, or department, decisions about what to start, stop, or continue doing should be driven by something more than a “gut feeling.” Decisions based on evidence, including the right data (and the right interpretation of that data) will always outperform intuition over the long haul. However, this maxim comes with a caveat! Data-driven decision-making and … Read More

How to Promote Continuous Learning

Mark Schinkel

continuous learning, workplace culture, employees, leaders, mangement

One of the great joys of retirement is having more time (and perspective) to observe and reflect. As I consider the growth and development of my toddling grandchildren, I can’t help but note the extent to which they enthusiastically engage in an endless cycle of act, experience the outcome, receive feedback, learn. This iterative process is what translates a near-blank … Read More

Why Meeting Norms Matter

Mark Schinkel

meeting norms, workplace culture, setting expectations, teamwork, collaboration

In my work as a school board superintendent, I had the great privilege of leading and participating with many teams. Consistently investing time on the front end to clarify the why, what, and how of our work was well worth the time. Team members need to be clear about the purpose for which the team exists (the why), the nature … Read More