Leadership

What Can Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes Teach Us About Feminism?

Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com As Women’s History Month comes to a close, critics and feminists are reflecting on the story of the now infamous CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes. The focus of the HBO documentary The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley, Holmes captivated the imaginations and tapped into the greed and hubris of the (mostly male) investor class. She raised over $600 million and took her investors for a ride that ended in disgrace. Her failed product—a fast, cheap, comprehensive blood test using only a finger prick rather than a blood draw—would have been...

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Phrasing Matters: How To Be A Constructive Critic

Posted by on Apr 20, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Are you great at spotting the flaw in the plan? Do you default to criticism rather than appreciation? If so, you could be bringing down the motivation on your team or getting a reputation as a complainer, and it may be time for an intervention. You have valuable insights to offer and it’s important to offer them constructively. Negativity bias refers to our brain’s greater sensitivity to negative information than to positive. This trait is valuable because it helps us detect potential threats and correct problems. But, when not managed well in the...

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Feedback Is Not A Waste Of Time: What “The Feedback Fallacy” Got Wrong

Posted by on Mar 27, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com Is giving feedback a waste of time? You might think so if you read Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall’s Harvard Business Review article “The Feedback Fallacy,” which purports to debunk much of our thinking about feedback. Buckingham (of the Strengths Finder fame) and Goodall argue that giving negative or “improvement” feedback is misguided, egotistical and counterproductive. But don’t despair: A careful reading of their article reveals that sensible, targeted feedback conversations are still essential to helping people improve and learn to work...

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The Confidence Gap Is A Myth But A Double Standard Does Exist: How Women Can Navigate

Posted by on Mar 26, 2019 | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com. Often when I’m conducting 360 feedback interviews for women in leadership, well-meaning colleagues say, “She should be more confident.” Most times, they are just speculating and don’t really know how the subject feels, so I ask them to describe the behavior that they interpret as lack of confidence. This often leads to some verbal hand-waving around “executive presence.” Definitions of executive presence are a lot like former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s assertion about obscenity that “I know it when I see it,” and therefore not terribly...

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Tell Your Story as a Novel from Different Points of View

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 | 0 comments

Tell Your Story as a Novel from Different Points of View

Stories have power. We humans are narrative creatures. Our stories anchor us to our identities and help us understand ourselves. When we are in a new relationship, we dole out our stories as a way of inviting someone to know us, and if you’ve been with someone for a long time, you know his or her stories by heart. We tell children stories to teach them values, like persistence in the Little Engine That Could or generosity in The Giving Tree. History, we know, is written by the victors, who all too often erase inconvenient or unflattering chapters. And leaders and influencers know the power...

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How One Leader Conquered His Fear By Channeling Curious George

Posted by on Dec 5, 2018 | 0 comments

“It’s like I’m always vigilant, walking around tense all the time, bracing for an attack, ready to defend myself,” said David, a former client. He was not describing being in a tough neighborhood at night, but roaming the floors of the start-up where had worked for a number of years and had risen through the ranks to a leadership role. He was shocked to recognize his emotional state for what it was: pervasive fear. This was surprising to him because work didn’t look scary. The company culture was somewhat chaotic, but mostly positive. David trusted and respected the majority of his...

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