Warning: Second Hand Conflict can be dangerous to your organizational health!

Today's business leaders are searching for ways to reduce interpersonal conflict and to create the type of organizational health that delivers sustainable business results.  There has been plenty written in the past decade regarding the importance of organizational health and it’s correlation to results.  Just pick up Pat Lencioni’s most recent book, The Advantage. In the title Pat’s states that organizational health trumps everything else. Although I agree with Pat, one basic concept that doesn’t seem to be getting much attention is the cost of second hand conflict on organizational health and sustainable successful results. What I find interesting is [...]

Breaking Out of the Comfort Zone

“Our motivation basically boils down to completing the best loans for our clients as seamlessly as possible. Sometimes we lose track of the personal part of the equation. I’m not talking about our relationship with homebuyers—we’re always solid there. I mean what happens in the office, over the phone, and via email between our team members.”   This client quote echoes a common theme we hear.  We’ve been working with this large national lender, in particular, since 2011. They first contacted us to help reach a number of strategic goals, including improving the way their employees communicate and collaborate with [...]

Film Room #4: Going Beyond

I hope you enjoy another installment of our Film Room series. Though we are 3 weeks into the 2014 season, this edition chronicles their 2013 championship year. Our continued thanks go out to Coach for sharing his story. Go Cougars! “Our first year in the NCAA was like being a toddler learning to walk consistently. We kept falling down, yet were eager to try again. Getting up was frustrating, but we wanted to move forward. It was harder than we imagined, in part because we didn’t yet know what we didn’t know.” (Victor Santa Cruz, head football coach, Azusa Pacific [...]

Film Room #3: The Turnaround

“Within each player or coach is the root or seed of his motivation. As a leader, even when you’re motivated to learn and improve, you may still be creating an environment that frustrates those around you, and zaps their motivation. Leaders have to work from the places that motivate those around them."   Victor Santa Cruz, head football coach, Azusa Pacific University The intensity of coaching a college football program is well documented. Just consider how many hours of media are dedicated to breaking down coaching decisions and analyzing critical in-game moments. Coach Victor Santa Cruz of the Azusa Pacific [...]

Film Room #2: The Slide Under Pressure

" When you slide back into old patterns, your overdone strengths become your weaknesses. As I discovered during the first half of the 2012 season, it’s easy to slide back. "  Victor Santa Cruz, head coach Azusa Pacific University When Azusa Pacific University (APU) took the leap from NAIA to NCAA Division II, coach Santa Cruz, his staff and his team felt prepared for continued success. After all, they’d spent the last few seasons building a winning program. Why shouldn’t success continue? (Read the previous installment for our Film Room series for a background on APU’s move from NAIA to [...]

Entering the Film Room

It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since I published my first article on Victor Santa Cruz, the head football coach of Azusa Pacific University (APU). My working relationship with him stretches back to 2009, and continues to this day. I watched him turn APU into an NAIA success, including back-to-back playoff runs in 2010 and 2011. More recently, I’ve been on hand as he’s guided his team through the more competitive waters of NCAA Division II. Any fan of football knows that the sport has evolved in the last few decades. With the onslaught of round-the-clock media [...]

Developing Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is at the core of our competencies in relating to others. What are they and why are they necessary both personally and professionally? First, the four main competencies are: Self-awareness – the ability to read one's emotions and recognize their impact while using gut feelings to guide decisions. How may times have you made a decision and looked back on it and thought- maybe if I had taken more time to understand the other person's feelings. Self-management – involves controlling one's emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances. Your company is going through low, moderate, massive [...]

The Ten Pillars of Leadership

The Leadership Challenge is a "personal coach in a book". When leaders understand that leadership is a relationship and they begin to engage in the Five Exemplary Practices-Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart- they are better able to perform at their personal best. Kouzes and Posner believe, "Inspiring leadership speaks to our need to have meaning and purpose in our lives... a leader must have the ability to bring out the best in others-to enable others to act." Their Ten Commitments of Leadership are at the core of [...]