Leadership Is Like Swimming

Image comparing leadership to swimming

Guest blog by Robin Cochran, VP of Operations, Executive Forum Last Friday I had a meeting with someone who knew nothing about Executive Forum. As I was explaining why our leadership programs are primarily face-to-face, he broke in and said, “It’s like swimming. You can’t learn to swim on the Internet either.” There’s a lot to learn about swimming, but you really can’t swim unless you get in the water. He explained how his father had taught him to swim by taking him to the river near their home in India and pushing him in. He had to learn to … Read More

Eight Resolutions for a Healthy Leader

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Whether you call it a resolution or a goal, it’s all the same thing. We’re all looking for that one thing we want to do differently in 2018 to make it our best year yet. The vast majority of personal New Year’s Resolutions involve becoming more healthy (eat less, work out more, etc). When we think about health, we think about the things that are easily measured: pounds, inches, calories, grams of sugar, blood sugar, and cholesterol. Rarely do we measure our mental health or consider the impact it has on our physical health. The role of a leader is … Read More

Don’t Be the Smartest Person in the Room

There’s a commercial for Experian that caught my attention recently. It begins with, “Everything you’re pretty good at now, you were once…well….pretty bad at.” I had an immediate emotional reaction to that message. That one sentence can transport you back to those early days in your career when you thought you knew everything, but had experienced virtually nothing. You stumbled. You fell. And then you got back up and learned from those embarrassing mistakes we like to call “learning opportunities.”  On one hand, you may feel embarrassed thinking back to those cringe-worthy learning experiences, but on the other hand, look … Read More

Find What Fits and Make it Stick

You know the phrase “There’s a sucker born every minute”? Well, that same phrase could be applied to new leadership development programs as well. It seems every training organization and leadership coach has unlocked the mystery of developing successful leaders with their unique programs, and they’ll share that secret with you for only a few thousand dollars per person. Practitioners receive dozens of emails a day pitching these new programs. They’re all compelling in different ways, and several of them likely have quality content.

The Problem with High Performers

They go by a dozen different nicknames- rock stars, superstars, overachievers, A-players, etc. But regardless of the name or definition, any good leader can tell you which team members are high performers and which are not. High performers are exciting. They stand out. They are the people you go to when you need a last minute sale, are faced with an impossible deadline, or need a presentation that will dazzle a client. They set the bar for excellence on your team. But they’re also trouble-makers in an organization. Here are 7 ways that High Performers create problems for managers:

Taking Time for Reflection Is A Smart Investment

We never seem to have enough time. We spend hours reading books or taking classes on time management, only to return to our desks and become slaves to our email, endless meetings and unscheduled coworker drop-ins. As the economy tanked in 2008, layoffs forced employees to do twice the amount of work in the same amount of time. And even though the economy has improved significantly, we are still managing unhealthy workloads. So, it’s no surprise that we’re always trying to find ways to save time in our day. That’s healthy. It’s necessary. What is unhealthy is where we try … Read More