Three Ways to Deal with Cliques at Work

[Excerpt from The Culture Question] Although we want to encourage relationships, we also want to actively discourage the formation of cliques in our workplaces. When cliques do form, leaders need to deal with them promptly and effectively. Cliques are exclusive groups of people who share common interests. They are surrounded by thick relational walls that are difficult to penetrate. Cliques … Read More

Why Leaders Should Take Breaks

There’s a long-standing understanding amongst our staff that they should be “worried” when I’m away on vacation. The first time new hires learn that I’m taking a vacation, longer-serving staff inform them to prepare for something big upon my return. Their words of warning are related to a pattern that has occurred time and again over the course of our … Read More

How to Communicate Effectively as a Leader

As a speaker, I give about five presentations to various groups over the course of a month. Recently I was preparing for an event where there would be 500 people in attendance, and even though the presentation was only an hour-long and similar to what I’ve delivered before, I invested a lot of time and focus to prepare. When it … Read More

A Leader’s Role in Managing Projects

I’ve always lived by the principle that if you aren’t five minutes early, you’re already late. When my wife and I are meeting friends for supper, I’m always pushing her to leave a little early, just to make sure we’re on time. While attending university, I never pulled an all-nighter writing a paper. My desire to finish my papers by … Read More

Leadership Must Be Developed

While I only cook about once a week, sometimes I like to try making something new beyond my go-to meals of spaghetti and hamburgers. By no means am I a chef, but I do have some cooking instincts. And given that I’m not very patient, I don’t have the desire to read long and convoluted recipes, and I definitely don’t … Read More

Learning to Let Go and Delegate

One of my favourite memories as a leader was when a young employee I was increasingly relying on for more important and challenging tasks told me, “You know, Randy, I’m not qualified to be doing half the tasks you’re giving me.” I could tell by her tone and body language that, while she enjoyed the challenges I was providing, she … Read More

How to Talk to an Employee About Mental Health

Talking to employees when you notice they may be struggling, or when others have reported observations or difficulties to you can be daunting. However, part of supporting mental health in the workplace is being aware and able to have conversations with those who may be struggling. While the initial appearance of symptoms related to mental health concerns can be sudden, … Read More

Reflections on Resilience

Although I’m physically fit and love mountain biking, I “retired” from my favorite hobby earlier this year For most of my adult life, mountain biking has been my favorite hobby. Unfortunately, it has not been without consequences – five years ago I hit my head on a tree while biking. This incident has had an impact on my life ever … Read More

How to Manage Organizational Change

Nothing is permanent except change.” Mr. Hawkins, my fourth-grade teacher, is the first person I remember using this phrase – and now I use it too. While this statement may be true, change is still difficult, sometimes confusing, and often frustrating for those experiencing it. For organizations, changes that are not implemented well frequently cause stress and increased conflict, which … Read More

Firing – Your Most Important Decision

Most of us are familiar with the collective sigh of relief that comes after a poor performing or toxic member of the team is fired or leaves. In these situations, remaining staff are usually more than happy to pick up the former employee’s tasks, and motivation and productivity often increase for the whole organization in spite of having one less … Read More