Do You Need to Get Better at Giving Feedback?

As a manager, one of our most important jobs is to give feedback to those we work with. The purpose of that feedback is two-fold. First, to recognize what they are doing well. Reinforcing those things you would like them to continue to do. Second, to address those areas of performance that need to be […]

Rebuilding Trust and Moving Forward

I was recently asked the question, “What would you tell Dr. Gay if she came to you for advice about how to rebuild trust and help the Harvard community move forward when there is quite a bit of pain and distrust among alumni, students, parents, donors, faculty and staff?” There are so many layers to […]

You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup

In recent conversations with several executives, a common theme emerges — a relentless work environment marked by fewer employees, escalating demands, packed schedules, and incessant communication through texts, emails, and chat apps. The consequence? These executives are running on fumes, feeling utterly drained. When you’re depleted, creativity, objectivity, and sound decision-making become elusive. You might […]

Mitigating the Morass of Meeting Mayhem

A common refrain I hear from the leaders I work with is that they have no time to think or get work done because they are in back-to-back meetings all day, every day. When they share their calendar with me, it looks like a LEGO toy with colorful blocks from the beginning of each day […]

What is Unconscious Competence, and Why is it Important?

There is a term, ‘unconscious competence’ which is explained as becoming so skilled at something that you are able to do it without thinking about it. A simple example of this might be the use of your email system. You quickly know how to open the program, open an email, reply (or reply all), draft […]

It’s Not Your Story to Write

What happens when your vision of what someone else’s life should look like doesn’t match theirs? I’ve seen this result in wonderful, deep, rich dialogues, and I’ve seen it result in alienation. It helps to remember that it is not your story to write. Knowing this doesn’t make it easier when you care about the […]

Are You Solving The Right Problem?

The other day, I had a discussion with a client who was fixated on the fact that their request to fill a position had been denied as the company is in a hiring freeze. He was passionate about how this corporate imperative was going to impede his ability to achieve his goals and that every […]

How to Effectively Engage Your Stakeholders

Recently I received an invitation from a fellow islander to a meeting to discuss the proposed expansion of the local oyster farm. This individual was very concerned about the impact this business would have on the island and had, in fact, asked me to sign a petition against it. I politely declined sharing that I […]

What Does it Mean to Rehumanize Work?

I’ve recently begun rereading Brene Brown’s book, “Daring Greatly.” In the introduction, she says, “If we want to reignite innovation and passion, we have to re-humanize work. When shame becomes a management style, engagement dies. When failure is not an option we can forget about learning, creativity, and innovation.” This got me thinking about what […]

5 Signs You Are Stifling Your Employees

As a leader, particularly in times of stress, it can be easy to lean into a more directive or authoritative style of leadership. And, in those circumstances, it may be perfectly appropriate to leverage those styles. There is, though, an impact if this becomes the default. What are some of the signs that you might […]