How to Communicate In Times of Change and Uncertainty

Change is a constant in every business, but managing through change can be highly volatile. Whether it’s the arrival of new management, disruptive technologies, or customer tastes, leaders must act decisively to pivot with the market while allaying fears and pushback from team members who cling to legacy thinking and behaviors. How effectively leaders respond to these challenges can be the difference between widespread chaos or calm. As a communications speaker and consultant, I’ve noticed that the most skillful and sensitive leaders take a coach approach to managing change cycles. They demonstrate empathy but provide the right amount of challenge and support…. Read More

Build a Culture of Respect: An Interview with Stan Richards

The legendary ad man talks teams, leadership and how great work starts with a culture of respect. Stan Richards is an advertising legend. He’s the founder and principal of the Richards Group, the largest privately-held ad agency in the country whose memorable campaigns have ranged from the folksy (Motel 6’s “We’ll leave the light on for you”) to the renegade (Chic-fil-A’s irreverent cows). But Richards’ proudest achievement is the company culture he’s fiercely built and protected over more than four decades – a no-barriers, no bull “peaceable kingdom” where information is shared… Read More

Giving Feedback That’s Radically Transparent

Honest feedback is a gift. Here’s how you can start delivering it. Giving transparent feedback is a challenge for most people. Want to know what radically transparent feedback looks like? Here’s an actual email sent to Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, by an employee named Jim Haskel: Ray –   You deserve a “D-” for your performance today in the meeting.  You did not prepare at all, because there is no way you could have and been that disorganized.   In the future, I/we would ask you to take some… Read More

Want more from your team? Eat more cake.

culture

The Golden State Warriors just proved that creating a championship culture can be a piece of cake. Literally. In what has become a Warriors tradition, players receive custom-designed cakes on their birthdays from Alison Okabayashi, a trained pastry chef in the Bay Area. (What else do you get for a multi-millionaire on his birthday?) Over the past year, Okabayashi has dreamed up MVP-caliber confections for the team. There was the one with the Michigan State mascot in Draymond Green’s uniform. Or the lifelike reconstruction of Anderson Vareajo’s curly hair. And who could… Read More