Height & Light Blog

Play by a different set of rules

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Start-up Insurance – Pre-emptive Goodwill

A recent Harvard Business Review article, Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters, points out the initially obvious point that a deep network is vital to getting back into a senior executive role after a career speed-bump. But dig deeper into the...

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Dirty Word #6 – Followership

OK, do a quick scan of your bookshelf, podcasts, and mental catalog of leadership talks. How many have you heard on the art of following well. After looking through literally hundreds of those artifacts collected over twenty years, I found exactly.... ONE!...

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Talent: Build or buy?

Build or buy? It's one of the big philosophical decisions organizational leaders face whenever they realize that their strategy requires bringing in new leadership talent. Do we promote hunger and loyalty by promoting our own people into key leadership roles, or do we...

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Dirty Word #5 – Self-control

I'm lucky enough to work with very accomplished leaders in very successful organizations. My work gives me a front-row seat into the everyday work lives of these leaders and their key teams. I get to see them at their best and when they're doing less than their best....

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How do you know if you’re making an impact?

Do you ever wonder how your coaching work is going? I certainly do. Coaching colleagues is a little harder to track than, say, building widgets. People just don't behave like widgets. They make progress. They fall back. They show promising signs and they exasperate us...

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Isn’t that… lovely?!?

Not too long ago, I met an executive who shared an interesting story about getting started in his current company many years ago. He was a fresh-faced graduate, mixing it up for the first time with leaders at a venerable old industrial company. In the middle of a...

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The Horizontal Organization Chart

In an earlier post, Peripheral Vision, I talked about the importance of focusing on peer relationships, especially during the first several months in a leadership position. I argued that, while building first-rate relationships with your manager and your direct...

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Dirty Word #4 – Happy Adversity

I recently talked with a client who had undergone a setback in his organization. In his case, a key staff relationship had blown up in his face, necessitating the departure of a colleague from the organization. Make no mistake, it's a difficult situation. There will...

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Who to engage?

In my recent post on Peripheral Vision, I argued that a crucial focus for leaders new into a role is to build strong relationships with peers. Our recent research bears this out and I'd guess that many see it as common sense. But it does beg the question: of all the...

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Dirty Word #3 – Thoughtfulness

I had lunch with a client recently. He's crazy-successful - top flight MBA, top consultant in his field, was running a significant firm by age 40, charismatic, - your basic nightmare. Like most leaders, he's had some bumps in his career. Much as we'd like to portray...

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