STRATEGIC PLANNING is one of the most important and most misunderstood business processes. The word “strategy” shows up in just about every layer of an organization. Managers need to be good strategic thinkers; executives attend strategic retreats, and the board of directors approves budgets that support a strategic plan. Often, strategic thinking and planning have become nothing more than goal-setting.


  INFLUENCE WITH THE RIGHT STYLE 3 of 3 By Dean Newlund, CEO HISTORY IS A GREAT teacher. Employee productivity went up during the great recession because the underlying message was “work harder to keep your job.” As the economy rebounded, the power shifted, and employees said, “reward our sacrifice, or we’ll slow down or […]


  THE NEUROSCIENCE OF INFLUENCE 2 of 3 By Dean Newlund, CEO INFLUENCE: The actions taken to change the behavior of another person. Last week, I wrote that humankind’s story can be summarized as “the struggle to influence.” As long as humans have wanted to connect with and get something from other people, we’ve devised ways to influence: Literature, […]


    HOW TO INFLUENCE IN FEAR, CHAOS AND UNCERTAINTY 1 of 3 by Dean Newlund, CEO ANY LEADERSHIP development training would be incomplete if it didn’t address the ubiquitous question asked by managers near and far: How do I influence without authority? Leaders with authority influence differently than those with no authority. Most culture […]


  WHAT’S THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF OUR STRESS? USRS: Unpredictable Stress Release Syndrome THE EARTH gives up trying to hold back the pressure from below as hot water and steam spits out of the ground at the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Society’s reaction to the recent pent-up isolation, uncertainty, and fear are like […]


  LEADING THROUGH GRIEF AND CRISIS How to respond to elevated stress Tragedy happens, even during a year of unusual stress. While the Pandemic rages, businesses “pause” and we get ready for a new President, loved ones still die as they do in any year. This year, however, those tragic losses are more difficult because […]


  WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL MANAGER? Lessons learned from 28 years What makes a successful manager? For years I dodged the question. The answers, I thought, were always unique to the person. And while I believe that is true, there are some patterns I’ve noticed. I love the work I do. And since 1992, I’ve […]


    WE NEED A NEW MINDSET How to replace feeling like a victim to seeing options A VICTIM mindset has taken root in American business. God, it’s been a challenging year. And no one blames anyone for feeling beaten down, tired, and burned out. In any year, leaders need to shape their employee’s mindsets, not […]


  DO WE EXPECT THE RIGHT THINGS FROM OUR PEOPLE? Creating human-centric expectations. Since the dawn of the scientific revolution, humans have sought to control their external environment. Yet, our environment around us influences behaviors and decisions much more than we are aware of. A couple of examples: To protect itself from predators, the cuttlefish […]


  SIMPLIFYING CHANGE How to influence others for positive results. WE HEAR ALL the time that change is hard. Yes, our brains want us to reach a place of stasis—a place where we can relax without stress. However, depression is often a life without enough change. Think about what happens when we procrastinate and avoid […]