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“I need to restructure my business — I’m thinking of eliminating my acquisitions team,” said the CEO of a large professional services firm. Like many of the CEOs whom I coach, he was anxious in this pandemic and had a hard time thinking of any other question other than, “How
As leaders, we all strive for success, constantly seeking the right balance to propel our teams and organizations forward. However, finding that sweet spot between variables can be a challenging task. Have you ever found yourself leaning too far in one direction and facing unintended consequences as a result? It’s
At CO2 Partners, we believe that great leaders ask questions more often than they give answers. Learn how to break out of the mental mold and tap into the 75% of questions you are not asking with our leadership guidance. Unlock your true potential with us. “I need to restructure
With companies of all sizes adapting to a constantly changing economic landscape, it’s more important than ever for CEOs and other stakeholders to understand the pros and cons of chasing revenue vs. earnings when making financial decisions. In this blog post, we’ll explore why income streams depend largely upon whether
There’s a significant shift developing as GenXers and Millennials take on leadership positions. Employees now want creative ownership—an expectation that contrasts sharply with traditional views on leadership. “Today, people believe that their value is in their ideas and creativity, not in their ability to be agents for someone else’s vision,”
What is our purpose? Who do we serve? What drives us? As society shifts its view of businesses from engines of profit to engines for good, more and more organizations are soul-searching for a purpose. Over the past decade, the move toward stakeholder capitalism has changed how businesses see themselves
When Lisa Flanary, executive coach and strategic planning partner at CO2 Partners, began her work with a CO2 to client to redefine their mission, vision, and values, company leadership couldn’t locate any documentation about the company purpose. No one, from entry-level employees to company leaders, could recall the company’s guiding
As people grow used to a volatile and fast-paced world, executives’ concerns surrounding organizational change management have shifted. Old worries about resistance and intractability have been replaced by the imperative to lead through near-perpetual transformation. “Nobody resists change anymore because we’re always changing,” explains Carmen Liefeld, Leadership Coach at
Today, workers expect more from their jobs than ever before—they want purpose, a sense of belonging, and personal fulfillment. In response, organizations have started contemplating questions like: Why do we exist? What are we doing? Are we a force for good? Yet, for all the buzz about purpose, business purpose alignment
Every company needs a corporate purpose. In fact, long-term business viability depends on it. Millennials and Generation Z, who together make up nearly half of the full-time workforce in the U.S., want the companies they work for and buy from to have a purpose greater than profit or shareholder value.
“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve” – Bill Gates By: Gary Cohen Secret Formula to Receiving Feedback It has often been thought that the feedback loop hinges on the giver of feedback, you know, the leader, manager, supervisor. Most leaders believe this (spoiler
In the last few months, the world has been learning devastating lessons from uncertainty. It comes at a grave cost of life, health, wealth, and psychological wellbeing. If someone tells you that there is a playbook for this level of disruption, they are sadly mistaken. We can and should learn,
By: Thomas Schlick Picture this. You are sitting in your office, quite content with the month’s performance, and excited about the year ahead for you and your entire company. The date is early February 2020. Then in late February/early March, you encounter the classic “cliff event.” Everything in your organization
By: Thomas Schlick When you ask your leadership team about a high-performance workplace, how do they describe it? For many on your team, it may mean “hitting the numbers”, low employee turnover, and your employees getting promotions. Today, these criteria would barely make the list. Creating a high-performance workplace in
By: Gary Cohen Ever wonder why great CEOs like Steve Jobs, Jack Welch, Eric Schmidt, and Bill Gates hire an executive coach? It’s usually not because their boards recommended it. In fact, 79 percent of the time, it is CEOs themselves who seek out coaching. But why do leaders, especially
By: Mackenzie Doheny Let’s be SUPER real — absolutely no one on this planet is perfect, and every single one of us makes mistakes. Things get overlooked, we get too busy, we forget. We wrote it on our sticky note, then stuck it to the inside of our notebook,
By: John Sandahl You’ve built a team with your direct reports. You meet fairly regularly, and the conversation is always polite and respectful but rarely inspired. The team’s results are, similarly rarely inspired. But your company needs your team to pick up the pace and start generating more results.
By: Thomas Schlick Hey, who doesn’t like a little recognition? You work hard, do your best, and it just seems natural that your boss or a peer would acknowledge what you’ve done. Well, just like anyone else, I can promise your employees enjoy a “job well done!” here and
By: Gary Cohen Today’s business environment is VUCA. What is VUCA? It’s an acronym that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. VUCA Defined Within a VUCA environment, leaders shouldn’t presume that order can be easily created, maintained, restored, or even ascertained. There are just too many moving pieces—in
By: Thomas Schlick Have you ever had an employee leave voluntarily whom you really didn’t want to lose? We often call this “regrettable turnover” – because when these people leave your organization they take a part of your company’s future with them. Let me share a personal story
As the company’s leader, you expect a resounding “yes” to this question! But is that accurate? One way to gauge things would be to practice some good old MBWA (Management By Wandering Around). What do you see? Are your people fully engaged in applying the company’s values to their
What is more important to team performance, being on the right page or being on the same page? Many business journals celebrate those who continue to make the “right” decisions. We applaud the captains of industry who get things right every time (even if we have our doubts). Maybe, though,
By: Mackenzie Doheny Over the years, I have done much hiring, training, and mentoring of executive assistants. In that time, I’ve learned to recognize the characteristics of highly successful assistants. Much of their success comes from their attitudes—towards their leader, their job, and the organization. Here are three things that
By: Thomas Schlick We’re told that “feedback is a gift,” right? If that’s the case, then why do so many people who give and receive feedback look at that gift much like a young child who expects his or her favorite toy for Christmas – and opens the present only
By: Thomas Schlick If you are like most leaders, you probably answered this question with a crisp, firm “yes!” But do you really? Lately, has it been hard to recruit, hire, and retain talented people? Have any of your star employees left the company for a better job? And when
By: Gary Cohen While it’s important to have one basic org chart—to be posted on the intranet, hung up and shared at meetings, constantly maintained by HR, and published with every new employee hire—you can learn a lot from more sophisticated org charts. Org charts can be arranged by function,
By: John Sandahl In my last post I referenced the ABC’s of internal motivation (Link to past article) and mentioned that watching my new baby learn at an alarmingly fast rate has reminded me how important the ABC’s (Autonomy, Belonging and Competence) are for both the father of babies, and
By: Thomas Schlick Company Rocks? Department Rocks? Individual Rocks? My guess is they don’t make you feel like “you rock”! If you are using the E.O.S. (Entrepreneurial Operating System) of Traction, these “Rocks” are the priorities you and your company need to tackle and accomplish in the next 90 days.
By: Mackenzie Doheny Are you running low on bandwidth? Need someone to head off disasters, thin out your inbox, manage call and demands for you? Someone to tackle these projects the way you would, but isn’t you? If so, you’re either in need of an executive assistant (EA) or a
By: John Sandahl What do leading a team and raising a newborn have in common? I’m a new father of a beautiful 7-month-old daughter, and she is already doing things and learning faster than I thought possible. As I watch her grow, I’m struck by how she, in her very
By: Mackenzie Doheny A lot of executives refer to and consider their assistants “gatekeepers” who control access by means of managing calendars and warding off time-wasters. When assistants act as gatekeepers, executives don’t have to have some unpleasant or tedious conversations. And those who get past the “gate” may feel
By: Tom Schlick You’ve just hired a new leader for your company, and today is her first day on the job. You are as excited to have her on board as she is to be joining your company. What could go wrong? Maybe everything if your company’s on-boarding process is
By: Gary Cohen For some people, Creative Meetings are the best kind. There are no wrong answers in these contexts, since the objective is just to generate ideas. You don’t need to do the hard work of coming to a decision, rolling out key information in a memorable way, or
By: John Sandahl As leaders, we may not feel a strong compulsion to “get feedback” on our own performance. The process is time consuming, for one; we’ve already been hired or promoted to leadership because of a strong track record of performance; and it’s also difficult to trust the feedback
By: Gary Cohen In reviewing recent surveys of top leaders by The Conference Board, Bain, World Economic Forum the six most significant and top challenges CEOs face that need to be addressed by organizations are: Attracting, Growing and Retaining trustworthy and capable Leadership Integrating Social Responsibility into the business model.
By: Gary Cohen If you consider that when I was in college in the early 1980s, the world population was 3 Billion people. Today the world population is 7 Billion. While death by disease, war, and famine are down significantly the complexity has more than doubled. Take a look at
By: Thomas Schlick Every hiring manager I’ve known is always out to hire “top talent” – people who are rock stars in their field. These new hires come with sterling resumes and are part of a carefully orchestrated recruiting effort. Having typically been flown in from out of state, these
As a leader in your company, how inspiring are you to the people you work with? By this, I don’t mean, “Are you a good manager?” or “Are you competent and fun to be around?”These are all good traits, but when you reflect on the impact you have on others,
Aaron Hobbs is president of RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment), a trade association in Washington DC that advocates on behalf of businesses that manufacture, formulate, and distribute pesticides for commercial and residential markets. An agriculture economist by education, Aaron has been in the role for eight years and
If you want a glimpse into how well an organization is run, take a look at how they run their meetings. The value they get out of their meetings usually reflects how well the organization is run as a whole. Meetings are designed to accomplish a particular objective. There are
This client interview is the first in a series for CO2 Partners. Our goal in conducting these client interviews is three-fold: We encourage self-reflection, and these interviews provide clients with a chance to consider why they sought coaching, what the process has meant to them, and what they might do
Executive coaching can have a large impact on a CEO. Learn first hand from an interview conducted recently with Bill Bisanz, CEO of Real Estate Equities. Bill Bisanz is the CEO of Real Estate Equities, an apartment development, management, and ownership group based in St. Paul, MN. Founded in 1972
The quality of an organization’s meetings is often tied to the quality of the organization’s overall work. Like effective organizations, effective meetings have clearly defined roles and objectives. There are four different types of meetings: decision-making, informational, creative, and motivational. While every meeting type is important, decision-making meetings are perhaps
Good question! And the answer is…everything! Even if you don’t consider yourself in the service business. My new book, Jumpstart Your Service Revolution, has just been launched – and it is chock full of practical examples of how to win an age of disruption. The premise is that almost every
Artificial intelligence, or AI, has been dramatized in plenty of science fiction movies. In these films, the robots gain consciousness, realize that humans are their enemy or simply unnecessary, and attempt to destroy them. While it doesn’t seem likely that robots will be attempting to eradicate the human race anytime
Who is your greatest role model for your career? No matter who you look up to, the one characteristic they’re sure to possess is the ability to influence others. Influencers have the unique ability to combine their skills with the charming charisma it takes to win people over. As out
We are all a result of our habits. This is most apparent in the world of business. Our habits in the workplace dictate our productivity, employee relations, and ultimately our business success. Everyone goes into the new year with a vision of improvements they want to make to their
The Internet has completely changed the world, especially the world of business. Not only have traditional businesses become more streamlined and connected, but the web has also brought along a renaissance of non-traditional businesses. Entrepreneurship has skyrocketed over the last decade, as many are attempting to become the next
ARC Advisory Group conducted research in Q4 of 2016 to understand how companies were dealing with the “great digitization”. Their overarching conclusion: Digital Transformation is happening much faster than most leaders anticipated, and the pace of change is accelerating. Smart connected sensors, digital networks, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics are
If you aren’t sure, you’re not alone. According to Robert Kaplan, creator of the Balanced Scorecard, the main cause of strategic planning failure is poor execution. And Kotter International determined that, on average, 70% of new, large-scale strategic initiatives fall short of their goal, as did a similar McKinsey &
Created using Visme. An easy-to-use Infographic Maker. By: Gary Cohen
In his book, Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations, Thomas L. Friedman observes that three forces are combining to change our world at unprecedented rates: the exponential growth of computing power and access (Moore’s law), the widespread and connected effect of
As leaders work on their own career development, they sometimes lose sight of their need to serve as a mentor and coach for others. If you have experience in a role that someone else would like to learn more about, the benefits of mentoring and coaching are often worth the
Developing Leadership Skills: What Do Great Leaders Have in Common? Two groups of authors and researchers have recently tried their hand at identifying what exactly makes for great leadership skills: Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner (who wrote The Leadership Challenge), and Michael Jensen, Werner Erhard, Steve Zaffron, and Kari Granger
Business Succession Planning: When to Start? Harry Levinson, who ran the well-respected Menager Clinic for Senior Executives, once asked the new president of Brandeis Univesity, “Whom have you chosen as your successor?” Another member of the faculty became quite agitated by Harry’s question, considering it was the first day of the
In general, the Geneva airport runs like a Swiss watch, as the saying goes. But not every operation at the airport runs with the country’s trademark efficiency. As I was being checked in by SAS Airlines (the airline you might have read about at Harvard Business School), the woman at
Influence: Improving Morale in the Workplace Influence is the amount of effect you have on someone’s character, development, or behavior. Every action–even small ones–can carry a great deal of positive influence in the workplace. Let’s say an employee shows up late for a meeting and no one says anything about
Corporate Culture ‘The single greatest tool in any leader’s toolkit is culture,” Mike Harper, former chairman and CEO of ConAgra, explained to me during an interview at his home. Culture is like the water in the aquarium; the fish don’t even know it’s there and yet it affects everything, and
Pam Rochlin is a personal injury lawyer who has represented hundreds of people injured in Minnesota car accidents. At breakfast the other day, we discussed how a car accident injury affects the employee and employer, and the employer support after a car accident that can be most helpful. Priorities of Car Accident
The people I love the best Jump into work head first Without dallying in the shallows And swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight. They seem to become natives of that element, The black sleek heads of seals Bouncing like half-submerged balls. I love people who harness themselves,
by Madisyn Taylor Like birds flying in a V, when we feel the presence of others moving along side of us, there is little we cannot accomplish. As they swoop, drift, and glide, inscribing magnificent patterns across the sky, birds are serene displays of grace and beauty. Long a
Position Profile – VOBS – Director of Development Position Profile On behalf of our client, Voyageur Outward Bound School, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for Director of Development Voyageur Outward Bound School at a Glance · Founded in 1964 in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota
For more information, go to: https://www.puc-mn.org/guns-hands-artists
An Interview on Becoming Wise with Krista Tippett Becoming wise is a bar that most of us should reach for. And it is a difficult one to achieve. I have had the good fortune of knowing Krista Tippett for the past five years and the pleasure, like many of
Anand Giridharadas is a friend who is a brilliant thinker and writer for The New York Times. I have only just begun to get to know him, and the courage and wisdom he shares is daring. Anand is speaking this week at St. Thomas University’s annual event: The Forum of
A word is dead when it is said some say, I say it just begins to live that day. – Emily Dickinson Words can uplift or cause lasting harm to others, but can words uplift or cause lasting harm to nearby substances like water and rice? Can those substances absorb
“The human mind gets creased into a way of seeing things.” -Antoine Lavoisier, Reflections on Phlogiston Kripkean Dogmatist If you are showing up as a Kripkean Dogmatist then you treat any new information that disagrees with your position as irrelevant. The moment you know that what you are hearing, reading
When the gears of your organization or team lock up, how often is it because someone is waiting for permission to take action? And how frustrated, angry, and irritated do you get when this happens? What does it mean to be responsible? At Pixar, there is a collaborative culture and
It has become a source is frustration to me working with Entrepreneurs and hearing those three letters together E.O.S. (Entrepreneurs Operating System). The marking the Gina has done is worthy of a Harvard Case Study. From filling the bloggers, like me, with positive book reviews for Traction his book. Then a training
How many times a year do you hear a story about a low-performing person who cannot be switched or removed from your department (or from the organization) because the paperwork hasn’t been done? Or because obligatory conversations have yet to take place? Or because what that person has done might
He who knows and knows that he knows, He is wise, follow him. He who knows and knows not that he knows, He is asleep, awaken him. He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, He is a fool, shun him. He who knows not and knows
As an executive coach, two future-related questions often leap to mind: 1. How will the client and their organization get to the desired destination/vision? 2. And is that really the right place for them to go? These are fun and interesting questions to ask, but the ensuing discussions can veer
The Essential Guide to SWOT Analysis is a comprehensive and interactive guide that introduces and then details the fundamental aspects of SWOT analysis. The co-authors, Jackson Hille, Content Associate of FormSwift, and Justin Gomer, a Lecturer at UC Berkeley, decided to make the guide upon noticing the below-average quality of
Whose life are you living? David Whyte asks the question, “Would you rather fail at your life than be successful at living out someone else’s life successfully?” If you find yourself living out the life your parents wanted you to live, it is time to ask yourself Whyte’s question. The
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice— though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew
The critical 9 steps of how to prepare for a meeting are …
What is often frustrating to leaders is energizing to this executive coach. People often ask, “Where is the most fun for you when working with a client?” I respond, “Picture a venn diagram where leading self, leading others, and leading the organization all intersect. Because of growth, it looks and
If you feel “not ______ enough,” seeking entry into a more elite circle isn’t necessarily going to make you feel full and complete. There’s a reason why Groucho Marx’s line, “I would never join a club that would have me as a member,” is so often recited. Without self-acceptance, any
CEO of Blue Plate Restaurant Company “We’d been in business for about 15 years prior to doing strategic planning with Gary and his team from CO2. The direction, clarity, communication and, most importantly, the buy-in from our company’s leadership has been priceless. We follow the CO2 way of planning every
8 steps to delegating tasks and Authority more effectively. If you know what you want your employees to do, don’t play games give clear direction.
Listening has become a lost art, perhaps because we’ve become so focused on ourselves. We’re used to getting what we want when we want it in this on-demand world. Listening is about others. It’s about giving them what they want and need. It’s about connecting with others on many different
A group of leadership experts from around the world will soon be providing their insights on how to crack the leadership code. They will provide their successful models and strategies so that you, too, can grow your and your organization’s leadership skills and abilities.
Significant others are, in effect, Secret Business Partners. They can act as sounding boards. They can ask questions others may be too afraid to ask–ones that often begin with “Why?” They can also use their knowledge of their partner’s strengths, failings, and personal history to add context and make judgments.
When I learned I had ADHD at age 40, I was grateful to have a label for my way of being. I read all I could on the subject. In the process, I discovered compensatory strategies for leading myself and others. One of the most effective strategies I employed was
As a business leader who built a company from 2 to 2,200 employees with a business partner, and as a business coach who has work with many business partnerships for over a decade, I know what gets said between business partners and what is often left unsaid. Today’s post is
Those who will not slip beneath the still surface on the well of grief turning downward through its black water to the place we cannot breathe will never know the source from which we drink, the secret water, cold and clear, nor find in the darkness glimmering the small round
Gandhi wisdom: Gandhi showed his wisdom in how he handled people that were difficult. This story is a great lesson for all who deal with difficult people.
When reviewing values, we ask employees to provide a narrative of each of the values they’ve seen in action. Some companies have taken the best of these stories and published them for all the employees; they give a copy to new employees, too, so that they know what it looks
Your emotional IQ is determined by the level of your emotional intelligence. It’s a major factor in your personal and professional perceptions and interactions. Find out just how important it really is!
Your emotional IQ is determined by the level of your emotional intelligence. It’s a major factor in your personal and professional perceptions and interactions. Find out just how important it really is!
Coaches should help you devise organizational strategies that fit your competencies, capabilities, and capacity. Further, coaches should help you assess and establish the roles and responsibilities of each team member as you seek to accomplish the strategy’s actions and objectives. Coaches can and should help you capture, communicate, and even
If you are the one driving the organization, limit the hairpin turns in strategy, vision, or mission. Your helmet may be screwed into the car, but your coworkers’ helmets aren’t. Don’t give them whiplash.
Success is never a solo act, except in the imaginations of narcissists. Recognize those that came before you and those who are with you now.
Your eye translates signals via rods and cones to the optic nerve. In general, there are far more rods on the periphery of your retina and a much higher concentration of cones in the central fovea. Rods help us detect motion and see in the dark. Cones allow us to
Thinking Fast as an Entrepreneur Entrepreneurial leaders are open-minded, energetic, and always questioning. They ask: How can we do it better? Where should we go from here? What is preventing us from taking action, and how can it be overcome? Couldn’t we do this and that? These questions lead to
Jobs at risk for automation An Oxford University study conducted by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne suggests that 47 percent of US jobs are at high risk due to computerization; they could be replaced in the next decade or two. This study was based on a detailed study
We each live two lives. The first is the life we live before we realize that we only get to live one life. Then there is living that life. We know we only have one life….and yet most of us still act as if we’ll get a chance for a
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, remembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source
In Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln invited and accepted three Cabinet members who had previously run against him in the 1860 Republican nomination: Attorney General Edward Bates, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, and Secretary of State William H. Seward. Lincoln’s
In the U.S., we tend to focus heavily on one or the other: deficits or strengths. A child art prodigy may spend her days in the learning center to become an average speller. A standout soccer player may spend so much time playing that sport and traveling to games that