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Valuable Insights on Leadership, Teams, and Organizations.
Following are original articles by Leading Principles consultants that capture some of the lessons that we have learned about leadership, teams, and organizations. Click on the titles to read the full articles.

Keeping Your Coach Accountable
Executive coaching has a powerful impact but only when it is performed competently, under the right circumstances, with the right support and for the right reasons. In order for the rapidly growing ranks of executive coaches to be differentiated from the pack, they will have to demonstrate their own accountability. This will mean defining the necessary circumstances for their coaching to be successful, and then, more importantly, measuring that success to show the purchasers that their investment resulted in positive change.

Faux Meetings
Why is it that when someone says, "Let’s meet," so many people respond with, "Why me?" Certainly, many people seem to approach meetings with a view that they would rather sit alone in a room with no windows giving themselves paper cuts! Why is this? The answer is probably that most so-called meetings fail to accomplish the true objectives of a real meeting.

Integrating a New Leader
How many times have you seen a new executive hired with great expectations, only to see him fail or sputter along in mediocrity? How often do new leaders actually meet the leadership expectations of their organizations? In Good to Great, Jim Collins lists getting the right people in the right jobs as one of the six factors that convert good companies into great companies. Organizations put tremendous efforts into succession planning, using risk assessments, competency models, candidate evaluations, development plans, etc. Selection processes utilize performance management tools, assessment centers, psychological tests, employment interviews and many other techniques. Compensation packages, promotion processes and retention practices are designed and redesigned to assure that the desired candidate is acquired. So why don't companies put the same effort into making sure the candidates succeed when they arrive?

Longer Than Anticipated
Next time someone asks, "How long will this take?" tell them, "longer than anticipated." How long will the new technology roll-out take? Longer than anticipated. How long will the new training program take to develop? Longer than anticipated. How long will it take to grow market share by 5%? Longer than anticipated. This is a rule of organizational life. Why? Because we are always pushing and being pushed to deliver faster. Give someone a realistic timeline and you will be told it is slow and unreasonable. Build time into your project for everything not to go perfectly smoothly and you will be told that you are not efficient enough. Tell someone how long it will really take and they will tell you they need it sooner. Of course, what happens? The deadline passes. The goals are not yet achieved. A new timeline is established. Rarely does the organization collapse as a result.

Why Leadership Training Fails
Leadership encompasses a set of values and beliefs and the behaviors that stem from them. Our views of leadership, and our consequent actions, are the result of a lifetime of observation and trial and error. We each have thousands of experiences that have been reinforced over years of our lives that have ingrained these views within us. All of this makes leadership views and behaviors extremely difficult to change. Ultimately, this leads to 3 reasons why leadership training fails.

The New Theory of Relativity
Einstein’s theory of relativity, E=mc2, revolutionized the field of physics despite its remarkable simplicity. The new theory of relativity is equally simple: R=P. Relationships equal productivity. It may be a stretch to hope that this simple equation will revolutionize the field of leadership. However, there are no better or stronger motivational forces than strong relationships. People work for a living, but they work hard for other people. They stay in their jobs because they like their boss and coworkers. They deal honestly with colleagues because they value the relationships that would suffer otherwise. Relationships are the key to the most productive work environments. Yet, it seems that the gap between those in power and those without power is widening at an ever increasing rate. Leaders at the tops of organizations and workers at the bottom are out of touch with one another. There is a reason for this: Ineptivity.