Height & Light Blog

Play by a different set of rules

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Better questions, better meetings

Have you ever wondered the secrets to getting more out of meetings (and really, who hasn't wondered)?  Yes, structured agendas matter.  And clear outcomes and actions.  But I think there's more, something that's a little more subtle. Every now and then, I get to...

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Dirty Word #18 – Mistakes

Nobody relishes making mistakes, but sometimes they can be good.  In our strategy implementation work with clients, we often get involved coaching leaders on how to be more effective in their roles.  Some time ago, I was working with a really smart client who was...

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It’s all about practices…

It happened again recently. I was meeting with a colleague and a client and got an uneasy feeling. We are supporting a key unit of the organization in creating and implementing a growth plan. We have helped the leaders clarify their priorities and direction. We have...

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Secrets of a Master Planner – The Whole

I'm lucky to work with very talented leaders, many of whom are stretching into new levels of responsibility. I recently spent a day with a young leader who is running a critical region of a multi-billion dollar telecommunications company. He is adjusting to his new...

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Dirty Word #17 – Rest

Paging through this week's Crain's Chicago Business, I came across an article about StanleyBlaylock, a new and influential leader at Walgreen's. The article rightly pointed out Mr. Blaylock's successful track record and critical importance to Walgreen's strategy. But...

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Dirty Word #16 – Compassion

A friend of mine passed on a story that in one short week has made it from a chance encounter on the streets of Chicago to the nightly news.  In the meantime, it's raised more than $10,000 for a homeless man.  The story, written by Pete Kadens on the site...

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The Real Deal

In my last post, I talked about the power of sincerity - authentic interest - (and the emptiness of faking it). A while back, I ran into a client who happened to know a long-time friend of mine. When I mentioned that I thought we had this friend in common, Gus (my...

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Dirty Word #15 – Sincerity

A lot of my team's work has to do with shaping and growing top-notch relationships with crucial clients, staff members, and colleagues. That sounds simple, but it's amazing how many ways it can go wrong. Take a key client relationship: you've honestly taken it for...

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Playground Lessons

I was traveling last week. Before crashing in my hotel one night, I called home to check in with my family. My 10-year-old son got on the line and we had what began as a typical conversation. "What happened at school today?" (I've learned not to ask "How was school?"...

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The (Internal) Practice

I received an article in the mail from one of my clients last week. It's written by a Brian Martin, general counsel at a technology firm and poses a question that I've heard repeatedly from leaders of in-house professionals (legal, HR, IT, accounting) over the past...

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