How to keep things running smoothly when family and business mix

Today’s guest contributor is Marsha Friedman, a public relations expert, founder/CEO of EMSI Public Relations, author, advisor on PR issues and strategies, and speaker.


success in a family run businessI once agreed to be a guest on a radio talk show. I thought we would be discussing marketing tips. Not so!

The radio hosts had noticed that in addition to me, my husband, two sons and a daughter-in-law all worked at EMSI Public Relations. So rather than talking about marketing, the hosts asked me about the dynamics of working in a business with so many family members.

Before answering that question, I pointed that there were even more family members working at EMSI—a mother and daughter and in the past other married couples!

A new mindset twist: thinking of conversation as an operating system

Today’s guest contributor is Brady Wilson, co-founder of Juice Inc., a corporate training company. This article is based on principles from Brady’s latest book, Beyond Engagement: A Brain-Based Approach That Blends the Engagement Managers Want with the Energy Employees Need. Follow Brady on Twitter @BradyJuiceInc or visit his site.


leaders using conversationYou may not realize it, but your organization is home to an incredibly powerful operating system (O/S).

Think outside the realm of technology. What has the potential to engage and energize your employees, bring teams closer together, and create a high-performing workforce?

It’s conversation.

How to improve workplace culture by investing in people

Today’s guest contributor is Maxine Attong, Gestalt Organizational Development practitioner, Certified Evidence-Based Coach, Certified Professional Facilitator, Certified Management Accountant and former Quality Manager. Maxine’s latest book is Lead Your Team to Win: Achieve Optimal Performance By Providing A Safe Space For Employees.

workplace cultureGetting your people to contribute more to your organization while simultaneously establishing stronger talent retention must cost a pretty penny, right?

Not really.

You don’t necessarily need to add expensive new ingredients to the stew; you just have to know how to use your ingredients better.

A talented chef—or in this case, a corporate or organizational leader—knows how to let an ingredient speak for itself, perhaps with just a touch of seasoning or guidance. 

What is the guidance—is it competition or is it incentives such as bonuses? 

Not exactly. 

Collaboration is risky. Now get on with it.

Today’s guest contributor is Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, and Dare, Dream, Do. Additionally, she is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. Learn more about Whitney at her website or connect with her on Twitter.


Whitney Johnson

Whitney Johnson

Last week I arrived home from work to see my 8th grade son toiling away on a science fair project with his classmate Marc. As I observed their breezy back-and-forth, one at the computer, the other laying out the poster board, both fully engaged, no ego involved, I found myself taken back. In part, because as a parent, I’m always a little surprised when children do their homework without parental micro-management, but also because these two 8th graders made collaboration look like child’s play.

And yet that’s not always our experience in the office. Rather than the free-wheeling interchange of ideas and labor we anticipate — we’re grown-ups after all — working together is typically everything but easy.

Why is teamwork so difficult?

Work-life balance: you’ve got to find the right fit for you

Today’s guest contributor is Brian Mohr, co-founder and managing partner for Y Scouts, a purpose-based leadership search firm that connects organizations with exceptional leaders. Previously, Brian worked as a talent strategist and in leadership management for major corporations, including P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and He is a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.  



work life balance brian mohrThe corporate world is susceptible to fads.

Work-life balance, a push to properly prioritize work in relation to lifestyle, features the kind of fad-ish thinking that can lead gifted people down the wrong path. Think of those who love their job—for them, it’s not exactly “‘work” as they exercise their capabilities fully toward a goal that they believe in.

Discovering George Washington’s still mostly relevant rules of civility and decent behavior

power of civilityWho knew?!

I was delighted to discover the Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation that were “copied down” by George Washington as he worked as a young boy to improve his penmanship.

The list of rules is pretty long, 110 of them in all (lots of writing practice, I guess).

The content of George’s list is based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595.

July 2015 Leadership Development Carnival

2015 leadership development carnivalWelcome to the July 2015 Leadership Development Carnival!

This month brings a treat of 22 leadership posts to savor and share. Topics range from moral character to leadership lessons from World War II to stepping out of comfort zones. 

Ready to dive in?

12 things daring leaders and smart followers share

followership speaking truth to powerYou are my follower.”

Both his tone and inflection caught me off guard. I hadn’t expected such vehemence. Or that kind of mindset.

In my mind, we had simply “connected” via social media.

Yes, I had clicked a button labeled “follow” on his page several months earlier. In doing so, I committed to learning more about him, and to sharing info, too. But in my mind, I hadn’t committed to being his follower, “an adherent or devotee of a particular person, cause, or activity.” 

As he was traveling and was in my corner of the world, we’d agreed to meet over coffee and add a face-to-face element to our connection. Hence, this exchange.

5 steps to integrate coaching into your talent management strategy


Today’s guest contributor is Renée Robertson, a two-time International Coach Federation Prism Award Winner for Internal Coaching and the CEO of Trilogy Development. Renee shares her insights and first-hand experience in her new book, The Coaching Solution: How to Drive Talent Development, Organizational Change and Business Results.


Renee Robertson on coachingCoaching means many things to many people. 

Many times a certain technique that is referred to as “coaching” isn’t really coaching at all; it’s actually counseling or feedback.

For example, you may have heard or had this happen to you. A manager will say, “Let me give you some coaching around ABC.”

They then proceed to explain why you failed to accomplish a task and explains the way ABC needs to be done.

Want long-term business success? Give introspection a try

Today’s guest contributor is Randy H. Nelson, speaker, coach, former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, and author of The Second Decision – The Qualified Entrepreneur. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Miami University, Ohio, and was awarded their Admiral Sidney W. Souers Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011.


power of introspectionEarly in my business career, my wife asked me if I knew what I was doing.

I assured her I did.

Since then, my experience taught me I was wrong. The truth was that back then I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

I know now three elements—learning, leadership and awareness—are crucial for long-term business success.

3 necessities for long-term business success