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Decoding the DNA of Hybrid Teams

The sudden and rapid shift to hybrid workplaces brings a unique opportunity for exploring new ways of working. What makes the emergence of hybrid models different from past seismic changes in the business landscape, such as the industrial and information revolutions, is that the hybrid workplace is primarily about embracing new behaviors enabled by technology rather than new technologies redefining businesses and behavior. If you’re a leader navigating this new world, your first…

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Embracing Uncomfortable Conversations: Leaning Out to Create Authentic Connections

Noël found herself mentally fatigued, burned out, and disengaged from her work. How did she end up here when she felt so energized by this new role just a short while ago? Even before the Pandemic, Noël started feeling discouraged and isolated from her colleagues. When she transferred to the engineering department two years ago, she was excited for the opportunity to align her passion with her daily craft – Noël loved developing…

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Avoiding the Mire of Virtual Team Mediocrity

A star performer, Jamie worked hard to earn a promotion to become the newest appointed leader of a global, virtual product team. A team that was struggling to meet its goals. She had dreams of becoming an exceptional leader who delivers results while looking after her team's well-being. A go-getter from the start, Jamie wanted to build trust with her team so she arduously followed the remote team leadership best practices from the…

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Trust. The Missing Metric.

When Peter Drucker said, "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." he was, in essence, advocating a cure for mediocrity through better metrics. Unfortunately, he didn't specify what should be measured. Devan was excited about her promotion from leading a single team in the CS organization to Head of Customer Success at a remote-first enterprise software company. Her former CS team consistently outperformed the other teams in the group across customer…

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Team Relationship Management: The Audiobook is Here!

 Trust worldwide is at an all-time low. But, business goes on and the demand for innovative solutions requires networks of teams. Many of these teams have been forced to work remotely, compounding already complex dynamics and heightening their frustrations. Now, more than ever, cultivating trust on teams and helping each person feel secure, safe, and supported is the key to reducing stress at work, building inclusiveness, and keeping performance at its peak.…

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How to Build a Team that (Actually) Embraces Inclusiveness

In my work with teams, I found that most people describe themselves as "almost always" or "always" inclusive. Yet, too often, I've seen those same people demonstrate subtle acts of exclusion and discriminatory mindsets that keep their co-workers off the dance floor. A few years ago, a young woman from South East Asia presented some promising new product research results in a department review. After the meeting, an executive intended to compliment her…

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The ROI of Trust

Trust is like oxygen. It is an essential element that drives engagement and fuels performance. It fosters inclusiveness and binds a group of diverse people together to pursue a common purpose. Too often, leaders take it for granted – until it becomes dangerously low. Then, faced with symptoms like low engagement or rising turnover, they embrace a patchwork of remedies to treat the symptoms rather than the root cause. For leaders who dare…

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How to Inspire Motivation on Your Team

What drives us to do what we do? From ancient philosophers to modern-day behavioral scientists, many people have sought answers to that question. What makes motivation tricky is that sometimes we know what's driving us, but often, we don't. For a leader, the implications are a big deal. How do you inspire motivation on your team if people don't fully understand their own motivations? Many years ago, I had one of those 'aha'…

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The Remedy for Remote Performance Anxiety

If you're one of the tens of thousands of managers now leading a fully remote team, many of your people likely felt a sense of excitement with the freedom of going virtual. As the weeks go by, that initial excitement often gives way to anxiety as the pressure of meeting deadlines and goals without being face-to-face sinks in. That isn’t unusual as many people are more comfortable resolving issues or making tough decisions…

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The Alchemy of Leadership. Three Essential Ingredients for Success.

Here in the Wasatch mountains, 2020 arrived with fresh snowfall and the promise of more powder to come in the first few days of the new year. For those who traveled here for the Christmas and New Year holiday in hopes of an idyllic winter vacation with heaps of snow and cozy evenings around the fireplace, their wish came true. For me, the holidays have been a delightful mix of spending time with…

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Seeing the Potential for Extraordinary

Why is it that some people see the potential for extraordinary in others when everyone else sees only the ordinary? Thanksgiving is a few days away and snow is in the forecast which means lots of visitors to the ski slopes and lodges here in Park City. So before things get too busy I figured I'd pull a chair up close to the fireplace at my favorite mountain lodge, indulge in a mug…

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Crafting Your Leadership Legacy

I can still recall the feeling of satisfaction and anticipation that came with my promotion to Senior Product Manager and my first people leadership role. Reading the company announcement that named my new team, and our mission to define the next generation of products to fuel the company’s growth, I was determined that we were going to be the best, exceeding every expectation in the relentless pursuit of our goals. I was already…

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Stop the Silent Startup Killers

In the medical world, “silent killers” are conditions with no obvious symptoms that progress to an advanced stage before someone discovers them. In organizations and on teams, a lack of psychological safety, unconscious bias, and low trust are “silent killers” that slowly drain away energy, engagement, and the human spirit — often going undetected until the damage becomes irreparable. Ignoring these silent killers is toxic for teams and life-threatening for startups. Leaders who…

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Stop Wasting Money on Leader Training

In a hyper-competitive, global environment organizational leaders know that they must develop their managers and teams or risk being out-innovated and outperformed in record time. Yet, despite the billions of dollars spent every year on leader training, there is a continual flow of evidence from consultancies and academia that training fails to deliver against expectations. Recent articles from Gallup -  “Why Manager Development Programs Aren’t Working” ,  McKinsey, and HBR all emphasize the…

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Winning the War for Talent

One of the many pleasures of living in Singapore is being able to experience an incredible diversity of architectural design. From the sweeping vista of Marina Bay to colonial period buildings like Raffles Hotel, and shop houses dating back to the 1840’s, there is no shortage of design to inspire the imagination while serving a functional purpose. Good job design should do the same – inspire and motivate while meeting the needs of…

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Why Does Your Team Exist?

It seems like such a no-brainer that a team should understand why it exists, its raison d'être —and most do, up to a point. In my Team Relationship Management workshop, the first group exercise is to answer the question: “Why does your team exist?” Seems obvious, right? There are always a few eye-rolls and ‘this will be a waste of time’ expressions. But the devil is in the details. The next slide reveals…

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We Get One Story and No Do-Overs

On a beautiful spring day nine years ago I was teaching an undergraduate business course at Westminster College. The students and I – most of whom were seniors – were having a conversation about careers. One student asked me, "Is there one piece of advice you'd give us based on your own experiences?" I thought about it for a minute and said, “You only get one story, so make it interesting.” When he…

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Interview with the Author

Watch an interview with Dr. Jeb S. Hurley, author of Team Relationship Management: The Art of Crafting Extraordinary Teams. Learn the story behind his new book, the challenges today's leaders face, and what Team Relationship Management offers today's team leaders.

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The Essential Ingredients of Virtual Team Success

Virtual teams face greater complexity and uncertainty as they strive to overcome the barriers of time, distance, culture, and communications. When successful, virtual teams enable the best talent to come together and amplify energy, competencies, and creativity. However, there are significant challenges to developing highly-effective teams across time zones and cultures. One of the top challenges for virtual team leaders is the critical importance of developing and maintaining trusting relationships across their team.…

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21st Century Teams: The Road Ahead

Despite an increase in nationalistic and protectionist rhetoric around the world, the growth and speed of global business continues. Driven by the need for more people than ever to work virtually across multiple teams and cultures, organizations must develop and support a new generation of tech-savvy people through a networked, collaborative approach to leadership and teamwork. The impact on organizational culture, structure, and operations is profound, and many companies continue to struggle with…

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Mind the Gaps

For flat, global, and virtual organizations, the future of work is already here. However, for many companies, the gaps caused by the shift to the 21st-century world of work can feel like volcanic fissures, delivering flows of lava that can quickly damage a team or organization...

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The Cost of Leader Silence

The role of employee voice in organizations – whether in the form of work-related complaints, participating in decision making, contributing new ideas, or providing feedback – has been a topic of discussion and debate for over 200 years. The industrial revolution fueled the drive towards a greater employee voice via organized labor. The information era precipitated the rise of Organizational Behavior as a discipline, and a greater focus on encouraging employees at all…

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