Will the real leader please stand up?

When it comes to building a great company, great leadership is essential. We have all been taught what to look for in leaders: deep experience, exceptional communication skills, confidence, commitment to the job at hand. The list of attributes is long. Though it may not be easy, we can find and recruit “proven” leaders. But, as companies increasingly form teams with a mix of functions to drive initiatives, the real question that we should be asking ourselves is how can … Read More

What Business Can Learn from Sports about Mindfulness

From jaw-dropping feats of athleticism to heart-warming stories of sacrifice – it was inspiring to watch Olympic dreams unfold in Sochi.  On a stage where winning and losing is separated by the thinnest of margins, it takes more than peak physical conditioning to bring home the gold.  The body and the mind must be in total coherence.  That’s why many top athletes – from snowboarders to NFL superstars – are moving away from tough-love, type-A training tactics and embracing a … Read More

How To Hold The Meeting You Intended

Meetings. We love to hate them – but we can’t stop holding them. The daily status meeting, the weekly project meeting, the monthly budget meeting – it’s a never-ending, but necessary cycle. Most professionals know the “golden rules” for an effective meeting – be very discerning with the invitation list to respect others’ time, start and end on time, have a written agenda, assign action items, encourage all members to participate and contribute. Yet, despite our best intentions, meetings often … Read More

Caution: Hazardous Leadership Ahead

Hollywood’s stereotypical drill sergeant, who relies on mental humiliation and physical punishment to browbeat his troops into submission, may be getting an extreme makeover. And this change isn’t just for the big screen. According to a recent news report on NPR’s All Things Considered – “Army Takes on its Own Toxic Leaders” – toxic leadership is being blamed for the rise in suicide/attempted suicide and other forms of mental illness among enlisted soldiers. Wisely, the Army is taking an aggressive … Read More

Core Values. The Heart of Your Organization.

As business leaders, we are taught to think logically and analytically. Best practices are our security blanket. We worship at the altar of the data-packed PowerPoint presentation. It’s comforting to know that we can justify our actions and decisions with hard facts. After all, there’s a lot riding on what we say and do. But when it comes to core values, we need to take a different approach. We can’t impose a belief system – no matter how logical or … Read More

Culture implications matter in mergers and acquisitions

A recent HBR article on the post-merger rebranding of two Latin American airlines — Avianca and TACA – made us sit up and take notice. Yes, the new red and grey uniforms and freshly painted aircraft were striking. The ad campaign was slick. But isn’t that what we expect from a major commercial company? What really intrigued us wasn’t the re-brand, but the fact that it had been 3 years since Avianca acquired TACA. Three years of maintaining and paying … Read More

Customers come first. Or do they?

In a recent interview, Derrick Hall, president of the Arizona Diamondbacks major league baseball franchise, shared his philosophy on building a strong culture for his organization. “Culture is a top priority of mine,” Hall said. “The customer does not come first. The employee comes first. If we recognize, reward, promote, develop our employees, they in turn are going to treat our fans the way they should be treated.” It may sound counter intuitive, but at Harmony Crew we couldn’t agree … Read More

Leading Requires Listening

Do you hear what I hear? Alright, sorry for that earworm. But, do you? How would you rate your listening skills? What about those of your organization’s leaders? It’s probably not something you think much about. We’re all busy. We frequently deal with background noise, unclear messages, interruptions, competing tasks, deadlines, personal issues – our brains are on overload. Author and professor Dr. Judi Brownell writes, “Attention is a selective process that controls our awareness of events in the environment. … Read More

Millennial Employees Bring a New Perspective

Meet the Millennials. These young adults – now in their 20s and 30s – are the second-largest workforce cohort since the “Boomers.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, they’ll represent 36 percent of the workforce by next year…and almost half by 2020. So what? Aren’t Millennials just like their parents and grandparents when it comes to job satisfaction and security? Don’t we all care about the same things? Yes. And No. Numerous studies have shown significant and … Read More

Engagement – It’s A Choice

The 2012 Towers-Watson Global Workforce study of 32,000 employees across 30 countries proves what many of us instinctively know:  there is a very strong and immediate connection between how we feel at work and how we perform. In a “culture of belief,” employees are engaged, enabled and energized, resulting in annual revenues three times higher than for organizations lacking a positive culture. In fact, numerous research studies confirm that companies with highly engaged workforces deliver amazing results* Average one-year operating … Read More

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