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New perspectives on leadership and organizational culture from the Kinetic Insights PathFinders.

  • The Best Lessons In Life I Learned From Parenting. #kineticinsights
  • The Best Lessons In Life I Learned From Parenting. #kineticinsights
  • The Best Lessons In Life I Learned From Parenting. #kineticinsightsThe Best Lessons In Life I Learned From Parenting. #kineticinsights


By |November 21st, 2018|

I often tell my clients, that the best leadership lessons I have ever learned were from being a parent. The leadership skillset requires that you are always thinking ahead, balancing multiple priorities, helping others to accomplish stretch goals, noticing their needs and feelings, resolving conflicts, and listening, really well.  To all the parents out there or those who fill that role in the life of a family member, someone they love, does this sound familiar?

Parenting, not unlike leadership, is challenging and rewarding. It requires commitment, […]


When the Middle becomes the Beginning: Why and How – you need to invest more in coaching your mid-level leaders

By |October 1st, 2018|

Do you think it’s too costly to develop your middle managers as well as your executives? Think again.

Many organizations treat middle management as a Darwinian proving ground by making a minimal investment and then waiting to see who survives. Meanwhile, the best development tools such as executive coaching, action learning task teams, and high fidelity simulations, are reserved for senior leaders and a select group of high potentials. These are often expensive and the size of their middle management population drives organizations to invest development […]

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The Risks of Either-Or Thinking

By |June 12th, 2018|

Life is full of light-hearted paradoxical sayings: slow down to speed up, tough love, stability through change, and more. Most leaders easily understand that these behaviors sound like opposites ends of a continuum but are really very complementary. We know there can be great benefits in using “both” of these “opposites”.

Unlike these common paradoxes, “either-or” thinking is a trap we can easily fall into that encourages us to believe there is only one right behavior and it blinds us to the opportunities of a more […]

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The Purpose of Servant Leadership

By |May 14th, 2018|

Leadership comes in many colors. In today’s world we see leaders who demand respect by putting others down and elevating themselves. We see leaders who know something is right or wrong, but in order to keep the peace or achieve an agenda, they don’t speak up. We see leaders who drive their people for results at all costs. And, occasionally we see a strong leader who emerges as a true servant leader. In my experience it is far too infrequent to see this type of […]

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Emotional Intelligence for Teams

By |April 24th, 2018|

When we think about how to best develop leadership skills in those around us, we frequently encounter the need to strengthen Emotional Intelligence (EI). Likewise, most leadership development programs identify EI as a major objective. However, little attention has been given to developing the emotional intelligence of teams, despite the fact that organizations strongly rely on teams for delivering a wide range of results. We see this as a major oversight. Research has found a clear correlation between team emotional intelligence and overall team performance […]

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Successful Skill Secrets…Scream TOP EXECUTIVE!

By |February 13th, 2018|

The evolution of our best executive self is an ongoing, never-ending quest. As executives we evolve with each new position, new responsibilities within a current position, or with new circumstance in our lives. If you are a freshly promoted executive, you will need to assess and adjust your existing skills to be your best in your new position. Sometimes this requires adding skill sets. I once worked with a Division President who had previously been praised for his ability to get a team to complete […]

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“The Veggies of Leadership: Emotional Intelligence”

By |January 10th, 2018|

By Kristi Thompson – PathFinder, Kinetic Insights.

Emotional intelligence is not the cake, or even the icing on the cake: it’s the veggies of leadership.

A decade ago, emotional intelligence was newly recognized as a characteristic of effective leaders. Today we know that EI is not only important, it is the very thing that distinguishes great leaders from the rest of the pack, especially at the highest organizational levels. (On Emotional Intelligence, Harvard Business Review Press, 2015, p.3.)

Although EI seems intangible, specific EI competencies have been […]

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Building Leadership from the Inside Out

By |December 4th, 2017|

Everyday headlines shout loudly about professionals from the ranks of politics, government, religion, media, and business who have succeeded greatly in their chosen field of endeavor only to have their personal failures take them down. We have all looked on as one-by-one leaders from all walks of life have crashed and burned, resulting in public humiliation for the leader, their family, and their organizations.

Each of these leaders up to the crashing point, has had enough effective leadership skills to rise through the ranks of their […]

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Why Your Team Needs a Coach

By |September 20th, 2017|

If you were on an Olympic Rowing team which of the following would have, in your view, the most impact on the team’s competitive ability?

  1. A team building event where the team makes chili together.
  2. A class on the physics of rowing and boat aerodynamics.
  3. A race with an expert coach, riding along-side, making real-time suggestions and providing tips on technique and strategy.

While each of these could have benefit for the team, we believe that the most impactful and best ROI in terms of cost […]

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Feedback on Feedback

By |July 24th, 2017|

It’s not much of a surprise that most leaders honestly say they want quality feedback. What IS surprising, is that very few people, leaders included, are actually good at giving feedback. Many simply don’t give enough.

Studies and surveys show that as many as 1/3 of all feedback interventions backfire while a whopping 98% of employees will fail to be engaged due to lack of or poorly delivered feedback. In the face of these startling numbers, 58% of managers still feel they do give enough feedback.

Giving […]

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Lasting Change Demands Transformational Leadership

By |May 4th, 2017|

When a leader puts people and relationships at the center of any effort for cultural change, we describe their strategy as transformational leadership.

A true transformational leader knows that it is their people who get results and execute any change. The leader is the conduit. Transformational leadership builds the capability of people and brings higher levels of personal commitment from individuals to the organization’s vision and objectives.

Experts in the field say that transformational leaders can motivate followers to transcend their own interests for some other collective […]

  • Accountability

Being Accountable for Accountability

By |March 26th, 2017|

We all love working with people that hold themselves accountable to completing their projects, initiatives and strategic plans as promised. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many of these people as we might like. As leaders, it’s up to us to hold individuals accountable and to encourage accountability among team members. Most of us just aren’t as good as it as we need to be.

The Harvard Business Review says one out of every two managers is terrible at accountability because 46% of all managers reporting to […]

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Power of the Team

By |January 22nd, 2017|

Power to of the Team

Do you feel like team work leaves no time for your work? No surprise.

In early 2016, Harvard Business Review reported an increase of more than 50% in the amount of time spent in collaborative activities.

Over the past 20 years, globalization, strategic partnerships, and the demand for innovation and speed have resulted in a heavily team-based work environment. For many companies, more than three-quarters of an employee’s workday is spent in meetings, on the phone, and responding to emails.

Even though a team […]

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Culture and the Overlooked Stakeholders

By |November 27th, 2016|

Corporate cultures that inhibit strong long-term financial performance are not rare; they develop easily, even in firms that are full of reasonable and intelligent people” – Kotter and Heskett, Corporate Culture and Performance.

Unless you’ve spent the last 25 or so years living off the grid in Barrow, Alaska you’ve learned a little about how important culture is to organizational performance and how it eats strategy for lunch or is it breakfast? Either way – it’s kinda important.

The Elephant in the Room

Culture, as the old […]

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Will your acquisition be successful?

By |November 20th, 2016|

How important is culture when you are acquiring or merging with another company?

A KPMG study found that 83% of mergers fail. The number one reason these mergers failed? Culture. According to the Bain & Company survey of executives, clashing cultures lead to frustrated and anxious employees, demoralization, defections, productivity flags and eventually, failure. Alex Miller of KPMG said,

“Culture fit is pivotal in the long run…Merging cultures often determine strategic outcomes”.

Strategies that might lead to M&A transactions:

  • Vision, Strategy, Tools, Execution

Much Ado About Execution

By |November 13th, 2016|

As I mentioned in my previous blog “Tis the Season,” strategic plans only have value if they are executed. What good is a plan on the shelf? If you’re a leader who is feeling a little trepidation about planning based on less than stellar execution in the past, you’re one of many. While there is no silver bullet for successful execution, there is a lot that can be learned from leaders with deep experience, consultants with broad organizational exposure, and academicians who study real organizations […]

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Skills to Develop Your Visionary Leader

By |November 6th, 2016|

Visioning takes practice; very few of us are born with this talent like Steve Jobs of Apple or Jeff Bezos of Amazon or Edie Weiner who wrote Future Think. How do we build these skills and really put them to work for our companies?

Much goes into becoming a true visionary. First, what is a visionary leader? Visionary leaders are able to envision situations and environments years beyond where they are today. These ideas are not transactional they are transformational. They can see, connect and […]

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What Leaders Should Learn About Managing Conflict

By |October 30th, 2016|

As a leader have you ever encountered a team embroiled in conflict? It seems that nowhere that you step is safe? The workplace is supposed to get results. You are here to accomplish the goals that are set and to get the team moving in a positive direction, working together to achieve the next big thing. The challenge is conflict can get in the way of getting things done and can cause employees to become disengaged – causing a vicious cycle that is difficult to […]

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‘Tis the Season’ for Strategic Planning

By |October 23rd, 2016|

Strategic planning: “a systematic process of envisioning a desired future state and translating this future broadly into defined goals or objectives, and a sequence of steps to achieve them.” (Business Dictionary)

Sounds simple. Right?

All you have to do it think vertically from high altitude to low altitude and move information through the funnel, starting with review/revise your vision, mission, values, your customer value proposition and identify internal enablers and inhibitors. Then conduct an external context analysis of your customer needs, regulatory changes, competitor developments, and economic […]

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Culture enAbled Strategy Workshop

By |October 16th, 2016|

Culture enAbled Strategy

Define the culture needed to execute your business strategy

We’ve all heard the Peter Drucker quote: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. But did you know he also said, “Company cultures are like country cultures. Never try to change one. Instead, try to work with what you’ve got”. Culture is dynamic. It is constantly evolving and adapting to changes in the marketplace, the workforce, and leadership. The question is, Is your culture evolving in a way that will support and enable your business […]


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