Entries by Cathy McCullough

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What Should a CEO Focus On?  How CEOs Should Spend Their Time in 2021.

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, May 23, 2021 @ 11:00 AM

“Time is an inelastic resource. No matter how high the demand, we cannot rent, hire or buy more of it.”-Peter Drucker

A Quick Note: This..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Lack of Accountability in the Workplace is Expensive, Fix It

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Apr 29, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

In a recent client conversation, a CEO said to me, “He’s really (really) smart, but it’s just hard to hold him accountable. On top of..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Tactical Leadership vs. Strategic Leadership: Which Management Style Are You?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Mar 31, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

We read a lot these days about strategic leadership and tactical leadership (as we should). Leaders find themselves up against a..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Level 5 Leadership Examples- How to be a Level 5 Leader

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Mon, Mar 29, 2021 @ 09:00 AM

The Level 5 Leadership Stage is Set…

Have you ever had this "strange" feeling that you just couldn’t shake? I recently went through..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Accountability in Leadership: Build Leadership Accountability with the 5 C's Framework

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Jan 31, 2021 @ 09:00 AM

From a leadership perspective, there’s a real thirst for increasing leadership accountability. Executives have recently asked me various..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams, Mergers & Acquisitions

The ROI of Business Coaching: Executive Coaching Statistics (Updated for 2021)

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Dec 31, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

My last blog, 6 Excuses for Avoiding an Executive Coach (and Why You Should Think Again) talked about all the negative internal chatter..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

5 Coaching Insights You'll Gain from the Best Executive Coaches

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Mon, Nov 30, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

The famous mountain climber, Phil Powers, said it best during an interview on NPR’s "This I Believe” segment: “Concentrating on how I..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Strategic CEO Coaching for Busy Executives: 6 Excuses to Avoid

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Nov 27, 2020 @ 10:04 AM

If you believe the adage, ‘time is money,’ then you’re saying that the concept of time (and the elapse  of that time) costs you and your..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Building Accountability into Your Culture: Does Your Team Have an Accountability Problem? [Download]

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jul 30, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Most clients I’ve worked with say they understand the key role accountability plays in making a company operate more efficiently (and..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Team Accountability Begins with a Personal Accountability Model

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jul 30, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

I love what I do for a living. I meet the most incredible people who are building amazing companies. Most recently, I was sharing this..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

How Does Effective Communication Affect Collaboration in Organizational Accountability?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jun 25, 2020 @ 11:04 AM

Sometimes, you just have to slow down to speed up.

Communication Leads to Better Connectivity and Team Accountability

Communication is a..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Know Your Leader Template: 6 Questions to Ask in Your Next One-on-One Meeting

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Jun 5, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

It’s fairly understood that great leaders don’t lead processes; they lead people. You’re probably aware, too, that great bosses have..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Corporate Leadership Strategy: Leadership Culture is an Essential Part of Your Business Strategy

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Apr 30, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

CEOs and business leaders frequently ask me why their corporate strategies for the year falter or just don’t happen. “It’s like no one..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Leading through Disruption: Embrace Your Own “Leadership Summits”

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Apr 2, 2020 @ 11:03 AM
“Calamity is the test of integrity.” – Samuel Richardson

Never are the Five Characteristics of Great Leaders more relevant than when..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Engaging Remote Employees Through Culture

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Mar 13, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

With the recent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) more and more people are being asked to work from home.  Today’s business landscape..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Accountability Tips: Quick Tips for Building Accountability

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Feb 28, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

Holding people accountable can be a chore for most leaders building an accountability culture. For a multitude of reasons, it’s simply..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Leadership Tips to Help Your Employees Solve Their Own Problems (Part 2)

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Jan 31, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

In my last leadership problems post, I began exploring the question of how to help your people master the skill of problem-solving...

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Strategic Thinking and Planning: The Value of A More Robust Annual Plan

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jan 30, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

Regardless of size, all businesses require strategic thinking to grow. Many leaders consider strategic thinking (and the subsequent..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning

Becoming a Transformational Leader: 3 Tips for CEOs

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jan 30, 2020 @ 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..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Corporate Culture and Investment Returns: The ROI of Company Culture

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Tue, Jan 28, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

If ROI matters to you, then you might consider “cuddling up” to the power of your company’s culture. I say this, of course, a bit..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Accountable Leaders and Teams: How CEOs Grow Them [Video]

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Jan 24, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

The question of how to grow an environment of accountability is a common one.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Value of Professional Facilitation for Quarterly and Annual Planning

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jan 23, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Unfortunately, I’ve seen leading companies spend (aka “waste”) time in a one or two-day Annual Planning orQuarterly Planning Session...

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

Great Leaders are Inquisitive Explorers

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Mon, Jan 20, 2020 @ 09:30 AM

First and foremost, truly awesome leaders are Inquisitive Explorers (i.e., they have a natural curiosity about what is going on…not so..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Making Aspirational Leadership a Reality: Developing Accountable Leadership

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Jan 17, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

The key question relative to becoming an accountable leader is this: How do you turn an aspiration into a reality?

At a recent Rhythm..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Increasing Productivity & Engagement: A Case Study Example

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Jan 15, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

As noted in my prior blog, “To Assess Productivity & Engagement, Ask: Who Really Owns Your Company?,” if you want to increase..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Vision Casting in Business: A Leader's Job

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Jan 15, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Max DePree noted, “Management has a lot to do with answers. Leadership is a function of questions, and the first question for a leader..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Accountable Leaders & Teams

8 Ways to Make Weekly Meetings Strategic vs. a Tactical Meeting (Video)

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Jan 12, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

I hear this all the time: “Our Weekly Meetings are just routine report-outs about who’s doing what; they’re so tactical!” If this is..

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Accountability Scorecards: Build Team Accountability

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sat, Jan 11, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

I recently spoke to a great group of organizational leaders at the Rhythm Systems Breakthrough Conference in Charlotte, NC. The session..

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Importance of an Annual Plan: 9 Reasons Why Annual Planning Matters

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Jan 8, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Leaders frequently ask me about how to build a performance culture focused on personal accountability, employee engagement, and results...

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning

5 Steps to Having an Accountability Conversation (Video)

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Mon, Jan 6, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Most of us just don’t like to have hard accountability conversations. Conversations in which you need someone to hear you can be tough..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Leadership Tips to Help Your People Solve Their Own Problems (Part 1)

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Jan 1, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

When asked what’s needed most in today’s workforce, many leaders will list a cadre of characteristics. But the one characteristic that..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Change is Hard: Leading People Through Change

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Dec 26, 2019 @ 08:00 AM

You probably hear it all the time: “But things are going just fine! Why do we have to start doing that!?” Or even better: “But we’ve..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Five Characteristics of Great Leaders

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Dec 19, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

If we think about it, ‘excellence’ or being ‘great’ at anything is truly a lifelong endeavor. Whether striving to become one of the..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Growing Team Accountability in Your Organization

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

In my last blog, “Lack of Accountability is Costing You,” I reviewed the expense that accompanies the lack of accountability. As I noted..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

The Business Relevance of Executive Coaching

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sat, Sep 21, 2019 @ 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..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Do You Have a People Problem or a Leadership Problem?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Sep 4, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

I love organizational diagnostics. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do because I love getting to root causes instead of merely..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

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

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Aug 15, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Everywhere I looked around the office, people were dashing, working feverishly, heads down, eyes glued to screens. It was like watching..

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Supportive Catalytic Mechanism: Your Brand

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

I recently worked with an executive team who had just gotten an incredible new account. Once the excitement settled in, they realized..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth

Does Gender Matter in Leadership?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Aug 9, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Someone recently said to me (very enthusiastically), “Women make better leaders!” I stood there in a circle of leaders (men and women)..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Leadership Development: Is There a Payoff?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 @ 11:42 AM

In a study by McKinsey & Company, management development at all levels has been ranked as a #1 priority by 500 executives, and..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

What is Strategic Intent?  How to Use it to Your Advantage.

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jan 10, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without Strategy is the noise before the defeat.- Sun Tzu

Do you ever..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution

Relevance: The Forgotten Variable…

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 @ 09:29 AM

I was having a conversation recently with an executive who was struggling to get his arms around why his company wasn't getting the..

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Topics: Strategy Execution

Getting a Grip on Your Annual Planning Process

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

As you set your strategic priorities for the upcoming year, remember an important distinction: Your “strategic plan” isn’t as important..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning

Bringing Your Annual Plan to Life

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Oct 8, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

When we hear of silos, our minds drift to a beautiful landscape where we find tall grain bins built on finely manicured and plowed..

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning

Growing Your Company: Tips for Taming the Chaos

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Aug 20, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

There’s a chain reaction at the root of most organizational chaos. The catalyst is lack of focus. Without a clear definition of what’s..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution

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

Posted by Cathy McCullough on 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..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Maximizing the Productivity & Engagement of Millennials

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

In all the brow-beat talk about “those high maintenance Millennials!,” we might consider shifting the conversation. What may well be..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

8 “Leadercizes” to Nurture Long-Term Success

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, May 14, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Life’s changing and it’s changing fast. What’s important is what the changes will mean to your organization and how well you can cope..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Is Your Company Healthy?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Nov 27, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Organizations are like the human body. They are intricate systems made up of extremely complex interactions between interdependent..

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Topics: Strategy Execution

7 Ways to Assess if You’re Relying on Yesteryear Thinking

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Oct 9, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

I recently had a CEO share with me that he “thinks” everything is fine in his company. After all, he said, “We know what we know!” In..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Taming the Leadership Beast

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

This “thing” we call leadership isn’t as easy as we thought. At least, that’s what I’ve repeatedly heard from executives I’ve worked..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

What No One Ever Told You About Being a Leader

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

There’s a lot to learn about being a strong and effective leader, and the journey toward this end can be an arduous one. Part of the..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Who's Your Org Chart Serving?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Frequently, people draw connections in their minds when it comes to an org chart. To many people, an org chart defines “who” reports to..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Discipline Matters

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

During a recent onsite Quarterly Planning Session, a client group asked me, “How can we be more like  them?” They wanted to be like..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Frustrated with People? Look Within...

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, May 15, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

It’s probably one of the most common frustrations I hear from leaders: “Why on earth don’t these people do what we need them to do!?!”..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

High Performance: Forget the Dream Team

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Herb Brooks coached the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team to win a Gold Medal. That year, the Russians were highly favored to win; they’d..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Is Your Company Running You…or Are You Running Your Company?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Do you ever feel like your company is running you vs. your running it? Most executives truly desire to lead incredible and amazing..

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Six Tips for Rethinking the Dreaded “Annual Performance Appraisal”

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Mon, Sep 28, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Why is an annual ritual such as the “Annual Performance Appraisal” dying such a hard death? It’s a demonstration of how powerful habits..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Five Business Reasons to "Include" vs. "Exclude"

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Sep 6, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Pull the Right People In at The Right Time to Increase Effectiveness

Most all company leaders say their intention is to include the..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Power of a Meaningful BHAG

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

If you read my last blog on this subject, you were introduced to, of all things, a grocery store (Wegmans). I shared in that blog how..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth

BHAG: Why Some Companies Soar

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

It just seems that some companies soar, and when we see them soaring we sit back and wonder what the heck they’re doing to “get it..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth

10 Steps for Addressing Underperforming Team Members (Video)

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Our next Valentine’s Day contest winner was Chris D.: “My question is around sharing ideas to motivate and improve the performance of..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

When It Comes to Metrics, Who’s on First? (Or is it: What’s on First?)

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

One of my favorite comedy routines of all time is Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First.” Jerry Seinfeld and friends have an updated..

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, KPIs & Dashboards

Your Corporate Health: Reality or Illusion?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Nov 23, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

Corporate Health is an exercise in discipline. But like many an exercise routine it can be a sweaty, messy, and exhausting moment in..

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

The Power of One...and Another One

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

The Power of One

It started like any other day at the office, and then everything went south. In one moment during that day, everything..

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

The "Balance" of Strategic Thinking, Part IV

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Strategy and People…

Many executive-level leaders laugh at getting in touch with the people-side of their business. They usually feel..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

The "Balance" of Strategic Thinking, Part III

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Jun 11, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Setting Sail…

It was a less-than-energetic Strategic Thinking Session (Annual Planning Session) between the executive team members. The..

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning

The "Balance" of Strategic Thinking, Part II… Strategic Metrics: Are They in Sync?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Tue, Jun 10, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

The Story: As one CEO boasted to his executive team during a recent Annual Planning Session, "We well exceeded our acquisition goals..

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning

The Power of Informal Conversations

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Tue, Mar 4, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

In today's wired world, I think it's intriguing to consider an insight from Steve Jobs. Interestingly enough, Walter Isaacson notes in..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

The Tough Conversation

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Feb 12, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

I just finished facilitating a Quarterly Planning session where I observed the executive team maturing before my very eyes. An outburst..

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

The Golden Question

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Sun, Dec 15, 2013 @ 12:00 PM
When I receive calls from executives who have yet to enter the world of asking a consultative facilitator to help them through an..
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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

It's Okay to Challenge Your Own Thinking…

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 @ 09:30 AM
I once worked with a group of supervisors in a 70-year-old manufacturing company. This group had never (ever) been involved in any way..
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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Your Company's Brain Map

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Wed, Oct 30, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

Creating alignment can be a daunting task for any group of key executives. Great plans are made…activities discussed…task lists..

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, KPIs & Dashboards

Passion + Focus = Success

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Mon, Sep 23, 2013 @ 09:15 AM

We hear a lot about following our passion, living to what we're passionate about, etc. Psychologists tell us that it's passion that..

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Sustaining your Passion: It's a Leader's Job

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Tue, Sep 10, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

Like it or not, you (as a leader) write your organization's stage play. Life is hard, and being a leader can be downright grueling...

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Forward Movement: Who's Driving - You or Mr. Magoo?

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

With very good intent, many executive leaders celebrate the bottom-line (which is fine), but at what expense? Many leaders are simply ..

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution

Understanding "What" to Do, But Not Sure "How" to Execute

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 @ 10:30 AM

Most companies are notoriously good at creating wonderful strategic plans each year.  They'll spend a couple of days hashing through..

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Why Growth Companies Must Make Hard People Decisions

Posted by Cathy McCullough on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 @ 08:32 AM

Recent conversations with CEOs have reminded me of an age-old challenge in organizations: People. After a recent telephone consultation..

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Accountable Leaders & Teams

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