Rhythm Blog | Leadership

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

The Business Relevance of Executive Coaching

Cathy McCullough Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

A current executive coachee from one of the three big food distribution companies recently shared with me that one of his colleagues asked him why (on earth) he wanted an executive coach. His response: “Because how else am I going to keep holding myself accountable? If I don’t have someone that keeps me thinking about how I go about doing what it is I do, then my old habits will just creep back in, and I don’t want to go back to where I once was.”

Whatever the domain, whether being a great Olympian, a great orchestra conductor, a great writer: No one is automatically ‘great.’ They all have coaches or mentors that invested heavily with their time and energy to extend their craft into someone hungry to learn it. Greatness is a lot of hard work that consists of relentless (and repetitive) practicing, coupled with direct and many times hard to hear feedback. Greatness at most anything also consists of plenty of failure. Without a coach, there are some athletes that would still be really good, but they wouldn’t be great. I’m convinced that greatness is something that a leader has to aspire to; otherwise, coaching can have impact but that impact will be limited. 

3 Tips for CEOs to Be Transformational Leaders

Cathy McCullough Tue, Sep 12, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

There was a pause in his verbal stride as we talked. It was an awkward pause, which is why it caught my attention. As I looked at him, I could see his head was slightly tilted downward, his eyes staring at the floor. When he looked up, his entire facial expression told me he was suddenly in a different place. As his executive coach, I paused, too. 

“So what’s going on? Where are your thoughts right now?” In another moment, he looked me squarely in the face and began to authentically express his inward pain.

“I want to be a leader that people want to follow. I’m good at being a CEO, but I’m good at a tactical level. People follow me because they have to. It would be such an amazing life experience for me if people would follow me because they wanted to follow me.” 

9 Steps to Make Coaching Your Sales Team Predictable

Barry Pruitt Tue, Aug 29, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

I recently blogged that being a great coach requires that you know which hat you’re wearing the very moment you engage with a team member. Everyone wears more than one hat and although your intent is positive, your impact can be negative when failing to first determine which hat you are wearing.

Multiple hat examples outside of business include mother, father, friend, grandparent, troop leader, sports coach, and more. The point is that as a sports coach, wearing 100% of your “parent hat” will make you less effective than wearing a 100% sports coach hat. It’s not that you can’t be good, it’s that you lessen your chance to be great. The same principle applies in the workplace and with workplace teams. Make sure you know which hat you're wearing.

How to Stay Sane While Growing Your Company: A Case Study

Cathy McCullough Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Everywhere I looked around the office, people were dashing, working feverishly, heads down, eyes glued to screens. It was like watching a group of mad scientists  go  about their work, and there was a definite edge of “crazy busy” in the atmosphere. Teams were operating at the mercy of every single problem, and by his own admission, the CEO’s marching orders changed by the day, or even the hour. 

The CEO (let’s call him Fred) shared with me that meetings at his company were usually his own random agenda of everything that needed to be fixed, or worked on, or improved, or updated, or reinvented, or adjusted. He would strongly suggest solutions for specific problems that were clearly on his own front-burner, and there wasn’t much discussion. As he walked away from these meetings, people followed him down the hall, asking questions. They would then scatter to get back to the job at hand, only to find, according to Fred, that his directions would change the next day.

5 Tips on Time Management From Busy Leaders

Alicia Croke Tue, Aug 1, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Recently, our team sat down with our some of our panelists for our Women In Leadership breakfast at the upcoming Breakthrough Conference. I was happy to sit back and soak up all the knowledge I could from these inspiring ladies and men. One thing rang through crystal clear from our calls with them: how to manage time effectively with life and business.

5 Ways Leaders Can Encourage Women to Speak Up at Work (Video)

Jessica Wishart Tue, Jul 25, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Earlier this year, we partnered with our friends at VitalSmarts on a webinar about the cost of failing to voice concerns in the workplace. The results of their study were astonishing: Each failed conversation costs an average of $7,500 in time and resources, and employees waste seven days or more. While the cost of silence can be shocking, I recently came across another VitalSmarts study that examines the cost of speaking up, especially for women in the workplace. 

To Assess Productivity & Engagement, Ask: Who Really Owns Your Company?

Cathy McCullough Wed, Jul 12, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

“I’m tired of all this ‘employee engagement’ stuff. We hire people to do a job, so why can’t they just do it!” 

“People keep telling me to just hire more people, but are we maximizing the people we already have?”

“How do we get and then sustain higher levels of productivity?”

Higher levels of productivity. We really do want it to have an easy answer. We want it to just happen, almost magically as a part of everyday life. We try and try to target it by providing increasingly efficient processes and procedures. We buy new and updated equipment, and we invest in the latest and greatest technology—our people will be so appreciative!

5 Books By Women Leaders You Should Be Reading

Alicia Croke Sun, Jul 2, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

"Almost four in ten businesses in G7 countries have no women in senior management positions," according to Forbes

I am very lucky to work in a company where our executive team is made up of a diverse group of women and men. The women at Rhythm Systems inspire me every day to learn more, be more, and dream more. One way our female leadership empowers other women in our organization is through continuous learning. We constantly share insights, books, and news. In the spirit of lifelong learning and female empowerment, I am sharing 5 of my favorite books by female leaders.

Getting Predictable Results From Leadership

Barry Pruitt Thu, Jun 29, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

What do professional painters, singers, leaders, negotiators, and, in fact, most professionals have in common? They practice with multiple approaches and in many situations. They push personal limits (and the limits of their profession) by always asking questions about how to improve. So, how do you professionally shepherd your team through the roadblocks and challenges they face? How can you increase the chances of seeing the desired outcomes for the plans, priorities, KPIs, and BHAGs your team determines? How can you help your team become predictable? 

Strategic vs. Tactical Leaders: Which Are You?

Cathy McCullough Sun, Jun 18, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

We read a lot these days about leadership (as we should). Leaders find themselves up against a multitude of scenarios and situations, all of which they’re supposed to magically handle in the right way. When you study leadership, you quickly discover the massive complexity that surrounds it. So let’s take just one slice of leadership and dissect it for the purpose of your own reflective thinking about what kind of leader you tend to be (and the pros/cons that surround these tendencies). 

The slice of leadership we’ll look at is the tactical vs. the strategic leader. Both are needed, but when you’re trying to lead a team (or teams) of people toward a common endpoint and/or if you’re trying to grow a company, understanding the differences between these two styles is imperative. Without a sense of understanding around your own leadership tendencies, you can’t move the needle on much of anything.