March 1960 — Billy D. Marden arrived as an infantryman in the Army’s First Cavalry Division in Da Nang, Vietnam to fight in an endless, bloody stalemate of a war. During a 5-month span, Marden had been wounded three times — bad enough to go back home — and was eventually sent back to the United States for treatment at Bethesda’s Walter Reed Naval Hospital.

Wounded but proud, Marden and other wounded service members felt the joy of being back on American soil. It didn’t last long. It was at that time that, en route to the hospital, Marden first…

“W”hat a beautiful a sight. The police officers who keep my family safe…I consider them some of my closest friends.”

Exclaimed Judy Simon, an elderly woman attending a community-police meeting in Houston in July of 2020. Her voice raspy and chiseled, she went on as her friends chimed in to offer similar sentiments.

Shouts of “thank you” and “U-S-A” could be heard off an on for over an hour — these woman have a spirited love and admiration for the men and women in blue who keep their Montrose neighborhood safe.

And she’s not alone. Young mothers, hardworking manufacturers, and…

Have you ever worked at a place where feedback was ignored, forgotten, or non-existent? If so you know how devastating it can be, for all.

It’s a motivation killer. In fact, almost 80% of all millennials wish they got MORE feedback from their direct manager.

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”

Leaders who don’t provide accurate appraisals threaten good organizational performance. That’s because, we as humans, are HORRIBLE self-evaluators. We need feedback to grow. PERIOD.

This article poses a series of questions to distinguish the difference.

No Leader likes to…

COVID-19 has taken normal and completely tossed it out the window.

The new normal is now remote and virtual work for 62% of the U.S. working population. That’s a shit ton of people working from home.

January 2019 — I walked into a business who hired me to do some organizational culture work. In essence, the work was to find out why turnover was high and engagement was low.

I was given 5 days to audit the culture. It barely took me 5 *hours* to figure out what was going on.

Here’s what I discovered:

  1. Employees didn’t have an easy and safe way to report anything that needed leadership’s attention.

2. Supervisors were over-supervising.

3. Leaders preached they had an “open door policy” but no one believed it.

This is far too common in businesses today…

When you read this though, you might catch a little sarcasm, a little bit of teeth grinding, a a tiny bit of, shall we say…mental tautness.

But I’m not mad. Life’s too short to get mad.

It has do with “leadership” and the mess we have made of the word. If you type in “leadership traits” into google, you get quite an astounding number of results.

Ben, the CEO of a medium sized energy business, knew he had an issue. This wasn’t the standard-issue issue — this wasn’t harassment, waste, fraud, or stealing.

No, no. It was something different this time. Something new, but something he used to accept as the norm.

Ben had heard that members of his team were deciding whether they should be truthful about things they were seeing in the business. Things like toxic culture concerns, management blunders, and communication gaffes.

Ben’s busy. He needs to hit revenue targets, grow the business, please the board.

Things like culture and communication didn’t use…

Note: CEO could easily be President, Partner, or any other corporate officer.

In exchange for all the benefits that come with winning the corner office, CEO’s have to satisfy a lengthy list of items that often seem at odds with each other.

Hit short term quarterly numbers. Innovate for long-term growth. Take time to create award winning culture. Get shit done. Love your employees. Fire those who can’t produce. Exude toughness. Show empathy.

All while under a constant weight of pressure to show positive results and conduct yourself as an impeccable leader who avoids scandal or catastrophe and gets along…

There are words and words and none mean anything. And then one sentence means everything — Richard Flanagan.

If you’ve ever been a position of leadership, you know how much your words mean. When I work with company leaders, one of the pillars we work diligently on is self-awareness. In that vein, it’s imperative we pay special attention to the little words and phrases that light people up. All in an effort to then incorporate them into their daily conversation patterns.

You’re not going see:

“Here’s your bonus!!”

“You’re promoted!”

“Take the rest of the day off!”

No, no. I…

Tim Paul

Co-Founder/CEO @ Critical App. Determined to make the world a better place by making work a better place.

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