Category Archives: Leadership Development Carnival

How To Make Change After The Conference


We’ve all seen and been a part of this: We come back from a workshop, conference, strategic planning session or other great event, excited to make these great changes. Great new ideas, lots of energy, and a broader vision has been instilled and you’re ready to effect change.

Fast forward just a few months later; the company has not been effected by those game-changing ideas, and any semblance of the workshop or conference’s impact is gone.

The same can be said for many of the books written, mastermind session hosted, or webinars attended. All loaded with great wisdom and sure to move the needle, these mediums for change seldom move the needle in an organization.

So much money is spent on conferences, travel, bookings, leadership and strategic development sessions and outside consultants only to see it get wasted because nothing lasting ever came out of those promising sessions. While, yes, some of what is put out there is fluff with no real depth, there is much more great content and resources out there that has true potential to make a difference if the right variables were in play.

So, what happened, and how can lasting impact be made?

First let’s look at some of the reasons why change did not occur:

  • Action plans were not made – many people fail to plan for what to do after. They just board the plane home and forget what they learned as they focus on what awaits for them back at work
  • Upper management saw the conference as an attitude adjustment for the employee – a lot of times managers send staff to events as a way to train or change the employee, without wanting to change themselves
  • The workshop was just for show – some companies have been know to be part of these events just by attending but fail to show they align with these initiatives
  • The attendees has a poor attitude about attending – a lot of individuals look at these events as drudgery, or as a mini-vacation from work, without any plan to improve or learn
  • Leadership is not aligned with any changes from such events – upper management never intended to change anything they do and would just rather stay their course of action
  • The one or few people who attend aren’t allowed much influence in subsequent changes – they come back with great ideas and are marginalized or squelched by their boss when they arrive and not allowed to implement any changes
  • Leadership minimized and wrote off what any impact would be – by sticking to their narrow vision and not seeing what new ideas or trends are out there, these types of leaders truncate any major impact these conferences or sessions can make for their company and customers

So if you want to get the best return for you investment form any book, webinar, conference, or workshop, here are the best ways to effect lasting change:

  • Get as many people attending as possible – does this cost more? Yes. But getting more people on board increases alignment, builds broader collaboration and generates more buzz and follow through to make a major impact
  • Have a team action plan session – have the people who attend make an action plan on what was learned no less than a week form the end of the event. if possible, make it within 48 hours while the ideas and energy are still fresh
  • Set goals and determine that the company will benefit from these ideas – make a hard goal plan that the organization will see these changes through towards improving operations, customer service, sales, etc. A goal will ensure the company adopts these changes and doesn’t forsake them
  • Set incremental milestones to make sure actions steps are on track – refer to the conference material after 30, 60, 90 days to ensure the momentum stays on track.  Nothing derails planned change like time; keep refreshing the ideas and energy at no more than 30 day periods.
  • Take the key points and find the best application for them in our business culture and model – it’s easy to tell yourself that some, or many, ideas won’t apply to your business. The best companies find a way to make these work for them and leverage a differentiation from them
  • Go with an attitude of learning and professionalism – many people who attend these events take them as a big bash and spend far too much time at the bar and instead of finding ways to improve themselves and their company

At the end of it all, it’s up to you as a leader to adopt ideas into lasting change. Don’t waste your time and money, and that of your employees, or the speaker’s time, by just attending and doing nothing to improve your company or your customer’s experience.

(image: wikimedia commons)


February 2016 Leadership Development Carnival


Greetings and Welcome to the February 2016 Leadership Development Carnival!

It’s a privilege to host over two dozen of today’s top leadership thinkers (and doers). Their contributions this month will encourage all of us to continue strong in the new year, develop ourselves and our people, and stay the course of authenticity. Some authors will inspire, others will challenge, but they all empower us to make a positive impact in our leadership spheres.

While February is short, we’re long on content for our Carnival this month … so let’s dive on in!

Anne Perschel of Germane Consulting starts us off by giving us insight on How to Lead with Influence, from Gloria Steinem. Anne states “Leading with influence is a must-do and a must-have skill set for modern day leaders. This post highlights 3 principles for leading with influence as illustrated by Atlanta’s Mayor, Kassim Reed; and Gloria Steinem, in her self-described role as community organizer.” Follow Anne @bizshrink

Art Petty shares in his Management Excellence Blog some great advice for Refueling as a Leader. In these 9 steps, Art teaches that “leaders might eat last, but care and feeding of the leader’s spirit must come first or everyone suffers.” Follow Art @artpetty

Bill Treasurer of Giant Leap Consulting wants us to be authentic and to “Be Real: Lead From the Heart“. He says “the people you lead need to know that, however big your britches are, you still have a sympathetic heart they will always be able to reach. Here’s some practical ways to accomplish that.” Find Bill @btreasurer

Chery Gegelman of Giana Consulting always finds a way to inspire and encourage leaders. Her contribution this month, “4 Tips for Building Confidence in a Transition” gets us through those difficult times. “If you are in the space between being at the top of your game and a reinvention and struggling… You are not alone!   Even legends feel their confidence shake when they don’t know what they don’t know.” Chery can be found @GianaConsulting

Consultant and musician Chris Edmonds gives a call to character in his post “Unrelenting Integrity“. Chris’s admonition to us is “there are cheaters all around us. What the world needs now is unrelenting integrity from each of us. The good news is demonstrating unrelenting integrity isn’t complex. There is no club to join. There are no monthly dues required. There are no meetings to attend. There is simply you, making a bold commitment to make your promises clearly and keep your promises daily.” Follow Chris @scedmonds and on The Purposeful Culture Group

Thought leader Dana Theus challenges us to discern EQ a little more. “Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the new miracle ingredient for corporate culture. Too bad it doesn’t come in pill form! While there is more and more written on the benefits of Emotional Intelligence in the workplace every day, the general lack of it in many work environments can make it hard to spot.” Read “3 Ways to Recognize Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace” on InPower Coaching and follow her @DanaTheus

Fellow New Hampshire resident Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership helps leaders stay the course in the new year. His post “New Year’s Development Goals for Leaders 2016 Edition (Added Bonus: How To Keep Them!)” helps us break the cycle of short changing our goals and gives us best practices for keeping them and seeing them through. Follow Dan @greatleadership

What do you do when your team didn’t hear what you think you said? This question plagues leaders and wastes countless days – even weeks – of time. David Dye of Trailblaze and co-author of the upcoming book “Winning Well“, gives you a quick tool to fix the problem and reclaim your time once and for all with “One Quick Leadership Tip That Will Save You Weeks of Time“. David can be followed @davidmdye

When it comes to performance, the truth is the bell curve only exists if you believe it does. In “Develop Your Team – The Truth About the Bell Curve“, Jesse Lyn Stoner of The Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership  makes a case that it makes more sense (cents) to develop internally than look for new hires, and that a key responsibility of all managers should be to the development of their people. Follow Jesse @JesseLynStoner

Jill Malleck’s post “Today’s Leaders Make it Safe to Play” challenges us to create environments of safe culture and valued leadership. She states “As companies experiment with new org structures, including ditching the hierarchy, what is the value-add role of the leader? One important aspect of culture may be getting overlooked – the psychological safety needed to play in creative, open spaces.” Read more insight from Jill at Epiphany At Work and follow her @epiphanyatwork

Jim Taggart inspires us for 2016 in his Changing Winds post “Good Leaders Let the Light In“. Jim writes “Good leaders are able to see the possibilities and engage others in accomplishing great things, despite facing obstacles and daunting challenges in a rapidly changing environment. The good leader knows how to let the light in when the situation appears dark or impossible.” Follow Jim @72keys

Joel Garfinkle’s wants you to start planning your next career move … now. In this post from his Career Advancement Blog Joel shows 5 key ways to get yourself ready to take that next big career step. Joel can be found at Garfinkle Executive Coaching and @JoelGarfinkle

If you like to muse over leadership quotes, then John Hunter of Curious Cat Management has much for us to meditate on. He gives his “Most Popular Management and Leadership Quotes on Our Site in 2015” based on the feedback given from readers and leaders. Follow John @curiouscat_com

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference guides us in our self-awareness through “Centering is the New Mentoring“. Jon’s central theme is “self-awareness is one of the most under-rated leadership skills. Knowing who you are opens you up to accept a greater diversity of insights and enlightens you to your blind spots.” Jon can be followed @ThinDifference

If you love stories or are great at telling them, Julie Baron’s post at The Thought Board will resonate with you. Entitled “Storytelling: 5 Things We Could All Learn from Mother Goose” Julie writes “While “storytelling” conjures up images of my father sharing his favorite fish tales around the campfire and reading my son his favorite bedtime stories, storytelling has found a place in business. Why? Stories make us relatable to each other and engage people through emotions. As a matter of fact, much research points to the fact that storytelling has the power to change our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. So how are businesses using storytelling to engage their key stakeholders?” You can follow Julie @commwrks

Is vision vital to success, or strategy? Julie Winkle Giulioni shows in “The Dynamic Duo of Vision and Strategy” that “vision without strategy is just a nice idea; and strategy without vision might be a lot of unproductive activity. Together, however, they are a dynamic duo that can drive unbeatable organizational results.” Julie can be found @Julie_WG

Karin Hurt of Let’s Grow Leaders encourages us to take “A Deeper Dive into Developing Your People“. In her post, this co-author of “Winning Well” connects some lessons from scuba diving to leadership development. You can find Karin @LetsGrowLeaders

Mary Ila Ward of Horizon Point Consulting believes “a one size fits all approach for measuring leadership is ineffective.  We need to measure leadership effectiveness, but in order to do so, we need to embark on measuring more, not less in order to reach the ultimate goal of growing leaders.” Find out more in her post “Measuring Leadership: How Many Hurdles do you Have?“. Mary can be followed @MaryIlaWard

My good friend Michael Lee Stallard of Connection Culture has an encouraging message for us in “4 Ways to Help You ‘Never Give Up‘”. If you are facing challenging leadership situations, it can be tempting to want to quit. Michael shares 4 encouragements to help you never give up and propel you to success. Follow Michael @michaelstallard

Miki Saxon of Option Sanity empowers us to watch that past success doesn’t mean quick fixes. Her post “Ducks in a Row: Falling Star Marissa Mayer“, Miki gives us a look at why a leading star at one company becomes a falling star at another. Follow her @optionsanity

Rachel Aziz of Leadership Directions shares a video titled “5 Keys to a Successful Team Culture“. In the clip, Rachel explores the importance of communication, trust, motivation, vision and feedback when developing a team with a positive culture. You can connect with Rachel on LinkedIn

Many leaders like to say their people are their number one priority but actions often speak louder than words. How do you know what your true priorities are? In this post at Leading with Trust, Randy Conley discusses the one thing that reveals your true leadership priorities. Give Randy a follow @RandyConley

Robyn McLeod of Thoughtful Leaders Blog presents “Are you really a leader? An easy way to tell.”  where she shares that “we are truly leaders when what we do inspires those around us to be, do, and achieve more”. Follow Robyn and her great team @ThoughtfulLdrs

In one of the more inspirational posts this month, Simon Teague of New Level Results gives us great insights from Coxless Crew’s amazing rowboat trip from California to Australia in 2015. Titled “New Year – New Arrival“, Simon gives “the incredible, awe-inspiring story of four brave women who came together as one team to row across the mighty Pacific Ocean. After 257 days at sea they finally made it this week. The lessons for leadership, team work and values are so powerful.” You can connect with him @SimonTeague

Have you made progress so far in 2016? If not, Susan Mazza of Random Acts Of Leadership has some sage advice. In “3 Steps to Make Meaningful Progress This Year“, Susan instructs us that “the problem with most to-do lists is that they’re often more a compilation of “should-do’s” than “must-do’s.” The difference lies in the degree to which you are clear about your goals and focused on doing whatever it takes to achieve them. These 3 steps can help you transform your “should-do” list into a “must-do” list!”. Give her a follow @SusanMazza

It’s a new year; does your annual performance appraisal stay or go? Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership asks the question in “What Happens When the Annual Performance Appraisal Goes Awry?” He continues,  “All kinds of companies are eliminating the annual performance appraisal. If you’re the boss, what does that mean for you?” Wally can be found @wallybock

Willy Steiner of Executive Coaching Concepts closes out our Carnival with a terrific post “Company Culture: Will We Know It When We See It?” According to Willy, “There is increasing focus on “cultural fit” for both candidate and company.  But culture can be tough to discern, from either inside or outside a company.  This post gives you an excellent framework for asking the right questions while interviewing to gain the clarity you need to make a sound hiring decision.”. Connect with Willy @coachesforexecs

Thank you for joining this month! Make a positive impact in your world!


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