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Articles tagged with: Adaptive Leadership

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! … and How to Deal When You Aren't Getting There

If you are alert and open, you can find connections to the things you are most passionate about just about anywhere.   For me, it happened again a few nights ago as I read  “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss to my kids.  Like many, I was given this book as I graduated high school.   It’s a favorite of ours and we come back to it often.

As I read, I found myself thinking about how good leaders find their way out of confusion and ‘slumps’.  Many of us can relate to that little guy in the book charging out into the world to seize his destiny.  There are many meaningful messages that resonate at several stages in our lives.  



Add Coaching to the Leadership Toolbelt

There is no argument that effective leadership requires a variety of competencies in the leader’s toolbelt. Some of these tools include effective communication, inspiring, directing, creating vision, strategic thinking, building relationships, adaptability, drive, execution and emotional intelligence. Coaching is a relatively new tool for the leadership toolbelt. Like all the other leadership competencies mentioned, coaching is not the only tool for leaders; however, it is an important one.

There are many misconceptions of what coaching is and even how to use it, and leaders often think they are coaching when they are not. For example, a leader meets with a team member to discuss a challenge, situation or area for improvement and basically tells the employee how to resolve the problem. He or she may tell a story of resolving a similar situation. Next, the leader encourages the team member to “get out there and make the changes.”

Does this scenario sound familiar? Although this approach may have a place in leadership (in fact, it’s more like mentoring), too often, it becomes overused. When a leadership competency is overused, it becomes a weakness.

Read the article in it's entirety here:

Using EQ to Enhance Your Stakeholder Analysis

When you think of doing a stakeholder analysis, doesn’t it seem a little mid-20th century? When you look at it, after all is said and done, isn’t it really just names? Scrawled black and white names hanging there on the page in front of you with no depth whatsoever. However, there is something much, much more going on behind each and every name on that page.  Every one of those colleagues, every one of those team members, has an emotional makeup that pushes them to make all sorts of decisions, both logical and illogical. Those humans, every individual named on that page, are flesh, blood, and bones so why not take that fact into consideration the next time you perform a stakeholder analysis?

I understand, it might seem a little challenging to project your EQ onto something as two-dimensional as a stakeholder map. “I mean” you might be thinking “isn’t the stakeholder analysis supposed to simply be a strategic planning tool? Don't make this more difficult than it needs to be!”  

MSBCoach is committed to partnering with leaders and teams to identify their True North.  One's true north includes living into your values, identifying what it means to you to be your authentic self, and practicing emotional intelligence.  Leadership, executive, and team coaching are effective ways to help leaders and their teams put these principles into practice.  We also offer engaging workshops in being an authentic leader, emotional intelligence, identifying your values, and many others.  You can check out our coaching processes and our list of workshops here.

Leadership Pitfalls: Are you making mistakes or making excuses?

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It’s happened to us all: At some point in our careers we didn’t know the answer.

We were not prepared. We weren’t sure of what decision to make. And for some – this is our worst nightmare! Especially in the workplace, we are concerned with how our coworkers, bosses or clients perceive us. We want them to feel we are credible and competent additions to the team. But how do we balance that with our innate “human-ness”? The state of being imperfect – but trying to be so?

Top Ways to Ensure Leadership Failure

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What causes a leader to fail?

The truth is, there are many things that cause failure at all levels of leadership. There is not a specific “formula” for leadership failure, just as there is not a specific “formula” for leadership success. There are however, actions or behaviors that drive a leader toward the path of success or failure.

The Bottom Line in Leadership Development

We know that our clients value return on investment (ROI). Our goal at MSBCoach is to provide insight into the challenging question of how to measure the ROI for leadership coaching and development, as well as the team-building programs we offer. A frequently asked question is, “How does one build a business case for leadership development that will resonate with the executive leadership or stakeholders?” Pressed with company expectations to increase revenues while decreasing costs, many business leaders are reluctant to invest in development programs, viewing them as a luxury rather than a necessity. This certainly isn’t a new issue but, in a down economy, the pressure to justify every expense is intensified. The view held by experts is that leadership development must be viewed as a strategic investment in the business, and that a business case can – and should – be built in support of any such program...

Curiosity: An Open Mind Opens Doors

In his short but powerful book, “Wait, What?”, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan says that curiosity begins with asking “I wonder why?” and “I wonder if?” He says that “I wonder why” allows you to remain curious with the world and “I wonder if” allows you to remain engaged with the world and prompts you to try something new.

The Art of Delegation

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work you have on your plate? Do you feel indispensable, like you can’t take time off without everything falling apart? Have you missed deadlines? Do you work long hours? Are you making all of the decisions? Do you feel too busy to check in with direct reports or colleagues? Have you been told that you need to delegate more? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you likely have difficulty with delegation.

Are You Winning or Coping When It Comes To Leading Change In Your Organization?

Change…. just the word alone brings stress to many of us. We encounter so much change in our rapidly evolving world that you may wonder, “How do I keep up and manage change for myself, let alone lead my team through another change?” One thing is for sure when it comes to change, it is not a matter of if, but when.

If we are not changing, we are dying… which is not an option. There is a quote by Charles Darwin that says, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” How well do you manage and lead change?

To Lead or to Manage? OR TO LEAD AND MANAGE!


There is an ongoing debate about the differences and definitions of leader and manager and many are striving to identify which is better. The bottom line is, organizations need both leaders and managers in order to be successful. In fact, the more "lean" organizations become, the more we will see leaders who need to be able to manage and managers who need to be able to lead.

One of the mistakes that have been made is trying to make management and leadership independent of one another. The truth is they are both dependent upon one another for a company's profits as well as their people's success.


I Don’t Deserve This

I was recently traveling and stuck in Chicago International Airport for over 8 hours due to inclement weather. About every 90 to 120 minutes they would update the monitors to let us know there was still not a plane or crew for us. Typically, I would just work during this time (after finding a lucky plug in on the dirty floor of the airport); however, I had unfortunately dropped my laptop when I first arrived at the airport and completely killed my hard drive. What a string of bad luck… or was it? In my time at the airport I had nothing else to do but to walk around and enjoy a cup of coffee while I people watched. It was in my people watching I encountered an experience the inspired this blog.

I was re-filling my water bottle at the “purified” water dispenser when a lady approached me in a panic and said, “Do you have a cell phone”? I don’t know about you, but this is a question I was not sure how to answer. Come on… who does not have a cell phone these days? You can go to any elementary school and the six year olds have more advanced cell phones than I do! I reluctantly answered, “Yes, I have a cell phone”. She proceeded to ask me if I could call her… she said she just had her phone and now she could not find it. I put my things down and called her cell phone. We went through this process several times as she would plunder through all of her bags… including one with a little lap dog in it. Much to her dismay, she did not find her phone. One thing stood out to me while she was frantically searching for her phone. She continued to say over and over… “I don’t deserve this”. After unsuccessfully being able to help this lady I found a seat and grabbed a piece of paper to write out my thoughts for a blog from watching her.

There are many times in life where bad things happen to good people and even times when good things happen to bad people. It is a part of life. Some things we can control and some things we cannot control (I think there is a whole new blog coming to my brain on that topic, but I will save that for another time). When bad things happen to us it is up to us to decide how we will respond. Will we put ourselves in the place of feeling like thus responding as a victim or will be put our mindset on how to make the most of our situation. David Emerald wrote a book a few years ago titled, “The Power of TED*. In this book, he addresses the different places or origin we can approach our life/work situations from. Emerald take the reader through a story and shows how a person can come from one of the 3 points on the Dreaded Drama Triangle (Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer) or we can CHOOSE a more empowering path of the Empowerment Triangle which also has 3 points (creator, challenger or coach). There is no way out no matter which point you choose of the dreaded drama tringle; however, there are several ways out when you choose the Empowerment Triangle. Drama-Triangle-The-Empowerment-Dynamic Where do you find yourself as you are reading this blog post? Are you in a place of feeling frustrated and like things are happening to you that are beyond your control? If so, I encourage you to take a close look at your mindset. Are you anxiety and problem focused or are you passionate and outcome focused? How you choose to think and respond will determine your attitude, origin and outcomes.

Below are 5 questions to help move you from a problem focus to an outcome focus:

  1. If I were to step outside of myself and view this situation, what advice would I give to a loved one, friend or colleague
  2. What is within my control and what can I not control in this situation?
  3. How can I view this situation differently?
  4. Is there something new or a re-occurring lesson I can learn from this situation?
  5. How will I choose to respond differently in order to create something different for myself?

A meaningful way to process through these questions is to focus on this truth… if you change your questions, you can change your life. Gandhi once said, “Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they have become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.” What is your story? Have you experienced feeling like a victim and if so, how did you change your mind-set thus changing your situation? Have you ever witnessed someone feeling completely discouraged in a victim’s orientation? If so, what did you observe and were you able to be a coach or a challenger to them rather than to be a rescuer or persecutor? I would welcome your stories – they may inspire another reader.

If you are interested in working with a coach to learn how to move from the Drama Triangle to the Empowerment Triangle for yourself and/or a colleague or team member, please contact me today at . If you are interested in reading Emerald’s book, you can find it here