Why Caring Leadership is Critical


[Excerpt from The Culture Question] An organization’s CEO may be brilliant, its employees may be great to work with, and the work it does may have a valuable purpose, but if its leaders aren’t easy to work for, there’s a good chance it won’t be a healthy place to work. When we write “easy to work for,” we’re referring to … Read More

Why Do Some Leaders Make Poor Decisions?


Sometimes leaders make poor decisions. Human history is littered with stories of decisions that make you wonder, Why did they think that would be a good idea? “Leaders are human beings, just like the rest of us,” is what people often say. Indeed, it’s true that our tendency to see our leaders with halos around their heads is part of … Read More

4 Questions to Evaluate Your Own Leadership


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It struck me recently that, as leaders, we need to apply the hiring lens to ourselves. Like most organizations, at ACHIEVE we choose the people we hire very carefully. We want employees who are committed to working collaboratively, identify with our values, and demonstrate integrity with their actions. Beyond our hiring process, we regularly give feedback to ensure these expectations … Read More

How to Give Fair Feedback


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In my last blog, I wrote about how to respond to unfair feedback as an employee. Now I want to explain how supervisors can give feedback that feels, and is, fair. For context, a friend of mine was recently stung when his supervisor handed him a letter at 4:20 pm on a Friday afternoon. The letter outlined a series of complaints … Read More

How to Hire for Talent and Aptitude


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Excerpt from The Culture Question: At ACHIEVE, we have discovered that ensuring employees find meaning in their work begins at the point of first contact: during the interview process. We have dramatically changed our hiring processes over the years. Through trial and error, and observations in our own personal journeys, we have come to appreciate that a person’s innate talent … Read More

In Sickness and in Health – At Work Too


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A friend of mine was recently fired because he had to take time off for a medical procedure. He originally thought he would be off for three days, but after the procedure the doctor advised him that he shouldn’t work for two weeks. When he explained this to his boss, he was fired. Aside from whether his boss’s response was … Read More

A Leader’s Job: Finding Meaning in Helping Others Find Meaning


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Do you find your work meaningful? There are undoubtedly many factors that influence whether you find meaning in your work – the balance between time spent alone vs. time spent with people, your stress level, and even the degree of novelty, creativity, and physical activity all seem to play a role. It’s important that the job fits with who you … Read More

Why Alignment with Purpose Yields Great Results


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I recently rented a car and got a powerful lesson in alignment as part of the deal. Not wheel alignment, but alignment with purpose – at least that’s the way I interpreted it. The person who served me did several things incredibly well: she greeted me in a friendly and genuine way, and then went straight into business. She had … Read More

Leadership Lessons from Unlikely Places


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The Paper Chase is a 1973 film that sets a great example of how not to build a team. The movie is based on the 1971 novel of the same name; it shows a group of students who are completely overwhelmed with the workload of their classes at Harvard. They are humiliated by their professor, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr., who … Read More

8 Key Questions for a Better Performance Review


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As I’ve written about previously, I’m not a fan of the annual performance review. There are so many ways to get it wrong, and very few ways for it to be useful. So, I have been searching for an alternative. Through trial and error over the last number of years at ACHIEVE, we’ve come up with an alternative approach that … Read More