Photo by humberto chavez on Unsplash

Difficult executives are the bane of their peers and a major drag on the energy of their bosses.

Unintentional Jerk

The “unintentional jerk” is a particular type of difficult executive. They have the best of intentions and firmly believe that they are doing what is best for their company or team. However, they leave a trail of destruction as they plow through the organization trying to achieve their goals. And, when confronted about their behavior, they are shocked to hear that people are upset with them.

Unintentional jerks aren’t necessarily passive aggressive types (more on those executives in my briefing…


Photo by Cindy Tang on Unsplash

Catalysts, Reasons & Interventions

The economy is tough, but is getting better. I hear it from most of my C-Level clients. Now, the tone is, “We need to gear up so that we are not left behind as we emerge from the pandemic.”

If you’ve been fortunate, you’ve built a good, perhaps “great” company that has weathered this crisis and you are poised for an upswing. Did you know, though, that the average life of a corporation is only 14 years and growing shorter? And that’s without factoring in the impact of COVID-19.

This briefing looks at

  • the catalysts that…


Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash

An important ingredient for business success is to hire smart, confident, and assertive people. However, when you do, you’re sure to have conflict. It’s impossible to put a bunch of intelligent, self-assured people together without them bumping heads.

In fact, if there isn’t conflict, then something may be very wrong. Nothing creative ever happens in boring, placid environments. The trick is to help all those smart people navigate conflict effectively and positively.
In this briefing, we’ll look at:

What causes conflict?
Clashing Styles
Dealing with conflict
Strategies for senior teams

What causes conflict?

No two human beings — not even identical twins —…


Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

Business success depends upon team success.

In today’s business it’s obvious…or it should be, that each of us has only a part of the expertise or information we need to get our jobs done.

However, success is not about gathering resources to you. The American independent, entrepreneurial spirit can only go so far these days. Success comes from fully leveraging the skills and attributes of every member of the team.

Intelligence does not stop at my skin.

Howard Gardner

In his seminal work, Frames of Mind, Howard Gardner discussed the importance of his network of associates ‘…office mates, professional colleagues…


Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

Recently, with the downturn in the economy precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve observed a corresponding downturn in business peoples’ ability to think creatively. Ironically, right at the time when more creativity is most needed.

Creative thinking is the economy’s fuel — discovery, invention, and entrepreneurism.

Geniuses produce because they think fluently and flexibly.

Michael Michalko in “Cracking Creativity

Fluency of thought demands the generation of large quantities of ideas. A key characteristic of genius is immense productivity. Thomas Edison held 1093 patents. Einstein published 248 papers. Darwin wrote 119 papers besides his theory of evolution. Therefore, if you want…


Photo by Danilo Alvesd on Unsplash

In any organization, there are some who are opposed to any change, even positive change. They have often worked within the same structure for years, and it provides their comfort zone. They can be toxic colleagues.

Most people, though, are resistive to change not because they actively oppose development, but because they are simply anxious. You can’t ignore this silent minority; they can become huge allies.

But the bulk of your efforts will be directed towards those that are actively opposed to structural or policy change. It is important to identify and deal with them if you want to ensure…


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Turning the page on a new year is an opportune moment to review how you lead. These leadership tips will help you find balance for your team, and yourself.

Communication really is key. Most people respect and appreciate direct developmental feedback from their bosses. It drives people crazy sensing that something is wrong and not knowing what it is. If you are upset about something your employees are doing — tell them.

In today’s free agent economy, very smart people want to grow and will only stay at companies that help them do that. Great employees are looking to be…


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Successful leaders know how to manage others. But what are the keys to managing up? What happens to those who don’t learn how to manage their boss … or board … or investors?

If you want to effectively interact with your boss, you must be proactive. You need to step outside yourself and ask:

What drives my boss?

How does she think?

What is her style of processing information?

Then, adapt your style to fit your audience.

Like it or not, if you don’t know what makes your boss tick, and if you don’t figure out how to influence him…


Photo by Ameen Fahmy on Unsplash

Do you want your employees to be more innovative? Yes, of course. Who doesn’t? However, spurring innovative thinking and action is not easy, otherwise everyone would be creating the Apple Watch, Zoom, and the Go-Pro Hero.

Here I’ll offer tips on how to foster more innovative thinking in your business. Suggestions are drawn from my work and research, plus insight from others such as IDEO, the world-famous design firm.

What is innovative thinking?

Creative ideas come from prolific idea generators. The notion that geniuses hide away and conjure up one great idea is absurd. Really creative people produce many, many…


Photo by rob walsh on Unsplash

One of the hallmarks of highly effective executives is their willingness and ability to act proactively regarding their own and their employee’s professional development. I am constantly amazed, however, about the frequency in which we (I refer to my colleagues in the Society of Consulting Psychology of the American Psychological Association) encounter organizations that only begin to provide developmental help (training) for their employees when they get in trouble.

My first entrée into most organizations is to be called on to help save a derailed executive; to help that executive get back on track before he or she loses their…

Carl Robinson PhD

Carl is a business psychologist and leadership development expert who focuses on the development of high performance leaders. www.leadershipconsulting.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store