I was talking to the director of a substance abuse treatment center about fraud perpetrated by a former counselor. She kept trying to say that it was impossible to have a failure in their system.

A failure did occur, no matter how much probing I did she did not admit…


Good leaders are good listeners. People who listen are more interesting.

Most people are not good listeners. Active listening is a good way to start. You listen but it is also a good idea to ask good questions. Listening is an art. Too many of want to be heard rather…


With a lack of information, people will turn to any rumors that sound good or that fed into their world view.

You can get ahead of that by giving information out by admitting what you can.

Some managers prefer to keep their secrets. They think it gives them power. What…


Many people say that they are reacting to things.

They should be responding. Reaction is a reflex. There is no thought put into it.

Responding is thoughtful. It is a considered act.

Be responsive. Anticipate problems. Create plans to respond to them. Practice responding. Be thoughtful.

Observe what is happening…


Remember when you started your job? Remember that feeling of excitement and hope that you were going to make a difference? You may still fell that way.

You may not. You may be burned out. You may be wondering what the hell happened. You may have worked hard but watched…


I often delegated stretch details to followers and less experienced supervisors. I gave them commander’s intent, offered guidance and suggestions.

Then I let them go with it. I let them command the operations. Sometimes I would be there, yet I would not be involved. I was observing. I sometimes learned…


On July 10, 2021, I wrote about Wasps of the English rugby premiership. In one game they were not executing on the basics. The story is at the bottom of the page.

Less than a month later, it was a different story.

When elite groups fail, they get back up…


Real leaders are interested in helping their followers promote and help them with growth and development opportunities. I had asked for opportunities to move and do new things that even if they not provide advancement they at least provided a change. Some of these opportunities were permanent and others were…


Leaders need to ask questions. I tried to tell my section chief something about how the printer was not working, but he was to listening to me. I also did not ensure he was listening to me.

Supervisors need to be aware many staff ask followers to hold on or…


Hans Selye, a medical doctor and chemist, coined the words, “stress, eustress and distress” in the 1940s to describe how people and animals responded to injury, chronic illness and disease. These symptoms were so common that he observed them over and over.

Eustress is the amount of stress required to be beneficial to help people learn, stay motivated and stay engaged. Though not exactly the same, you might think of this as stretch goals. You know the excitement you feel at a new challenge? That’s eustress.

Too much stress creates fear, anxiety and burnout.

Not enough stress and people become bored and unmotivated and disinterested.

Leaders need to be able to gauge where their followers are on the esutress curve. All people need a certain amount of stress to remain motivated and productive.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store