Signs of a Weak Leader – Part 3: Indecisive

May 28, 2013

hilly-road-in-italyThis is an excerpt from a  discussion in the LinkedIn Executives Club group sparked by one of my earlier postings:  4 Signs of a Weak Leader.

“I once served under a manager who just could not make a decision. In staff and planning meetings, all we heard was “I don’t know”. It didn’t seem to matter what the issue or question was – whether strategy, or markets, or products, or vendors, or planning, ad infinitum. No matter what we did, nor how we communicated or reasoned with him – he just could not overcome his indecisiveness. This went on for more than a year – and it created a huge negative impact not only on individual and team moral, but also our work products, our portfolio, and the broader market-facing business we supported.

Keep Reading…..>

Lessons from Doug Conant – A Free Session

March 21, 2013

doug-conant CEO Campbell SoupWhat I learned on the first leadership call with Doug Conant

The first call with Doug Conant exceeded my expectations.  Dan Rockwell turned out to be a natural and thoughtful interviewer.  He posed questions of his own and took many from the webcast group.  Towards the end of the call, Conant shared his three tenants:  Reflect – Declare – Behave.  I’m giving you the brief version here because I plan to write about this in more detail soon.

Does Your Team Trust You?  Part 2

March 19, 2013

trust-panoramic_11801On February 27, 2013, I published a post about establishing trust with your team as a leader.  The topic has generated lively discussions on Linkedin.  So much so, that I wanted to share some of the most insightful remarks with you.

Continue reading for remarks from the Executive Suite discussion group>

How to Inspire Others

March 18,2013

Click to visit the original post

Drag others down and you’ll go down with them. The magnitude of your impact is determined by your ability to ignite passion in others.

You make a difference by
inspiring others to make a difference.

Those you inspire pull you forward. They don’t require pushing.

Five qualities of inspirational leaders:

Jeremy Kingsley, author of, “Inspired People Produce Results…

Read more… 240 more words

4 Signs of a Weak Leader:  Part 2

March 11, 2013


My original posting on the 4 signs of weak leadership generated some lively conversation on Linkedin within The Executive Club discussion group.

Continue reading for some of the most insightful responses thus far >

Does Your Team Trust You?


Trust is defined as the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

The optimistic trust in leadership so prevalent during times of prosperity has gone the way of job opportunities and pay increases; shrinking to non-existent.

And that’s a problem.

At the core, people are driven by similar needs.  Maslow describes this phenomenon in his hierarchy of needs theory.  When looking at the pyramid, it’s easy to see how jobs are so critical to our sense of well-being.  We spend a great portion of our days dedicated to obtaining resources to meet our needs intellectually, physically, financially, etc.  The most rewarding jobs meet needs across several areas.

Continue reading article >

4 Signs of a Weak Leader

lion-in-waitingWe have all heard the old adage, “actions speak louder than words.” Unfortunately, for many, image speaks louder than  meaningful action as well.  Especially, when it comes to leadership.  A recent article in Inc magazine explains how to identify the weak leader hiding in plain sight.

According to Les Keown of Inc Magazine, “The problem comes when a weak leader masquerades as a strong leader. Outwardly, they appear effective, dependable, on top of things. But look closely at what they believe to be strong leadership and what you see is in fact a set of dangerous, destructive behaviors. Behaviors which will eventually strangle the organization.

Continue reading article >

Lead with EQ and Courage

be the example

Gurus have written many books on how to lead but you don’t really get it until you see the phenomenon in action:  the good and the bad.  I recently took part in a think-tank session which asked participants to come up with a list of words which we think are most important when conducting business conscientiously.  There were the typical words such as respect, integrity, accountability but these other words were overlooked:  emotional intelligence and courage.  Of the list of leaderships behaviors industry experts state are critical when leading in crisis recovery, I think these are just as critical.

Continue reading article >

Leading: Success Factors

February 5, 2013

successI read quite a bit.  All different sources:  business articles, news, social commentary, fiction, non-fiction and more.  Sometimes, if I come across something very insightful, I will file it away until I am inspired to write about the topic.  When reviewing my file of article ideas, I found the following excerpt from an interview with a well-known executive.  Unfortunately, I do not have the name of the speaker or the source of the article but I can share the following leadership tenants.

Continue reading article >

Leading in Times of Crisis

January 8, 2013

There is a ton of advice out there on how to lead during a crisis.  I work at Chicago Public Schools and we have been operating in crisis mode for the past few years due to ever worsening budget reductions and resource constraints.  For better or worse, the lever most often used to represent swift and immediate change is leadership.

While crafting the executive letters for our annual financial report, I spent quite a bit of time combing through press releases, television interviews and other sources that tell the story of how CPS is leading in this time of crisis.  It is my job to take a few voices and merge them into one.  At the same time, I try to find some best practices or other editorial sources which weigh-in on how we are doing and what leaders in crisis should be doing.  One of the best sources, is the following posting by the Governmental Financial Officers Association.

Continue reading post>


January 30, 2012

Here’s something new to try this year:  honesty.  Not constructive criticism, careful consideration or general observations.  I’m talking about having some tough conversations.   The kind of talks you dread having.  The ones that keep you awake the night before because the thought of starting the new day with that talk on your calendar gets you too worked up to sleep.

I’m having my toughest conversation first.  The one with myself.  And I will accept nothing less than total truth to the following questions:

  1. What can I do differently tomorrow to bring me closer to where I want to be?
  2. Am I doing something that is preventing me from reaching my goals?
  3. Am I challenging myself enough?
  4. Am I doing enough for others?
  5. Am I doing enough for myself?

Join me in making 2012 a year of self-reflection and course correction, tough conversations and inspiration.

Start with you and make it truth.

I triple-dog dare you.

Image is from David Kanigan.


by Sherry Clayton, October 14, 2011

Many of us already feel trapped in our 9 to 5 jobs.  We usually spend more time with co-workers than our own family and friends.  To make matters worse, we are often powerless to choose our closest peers.

We are hired into an organization, staffed on a team and assigned to projects.  Sometimes we are fortunate to be surrounded by talented and personable people.  Other times we are not.  This article is about the times we feel surrounded by toxic people and how to recognize the most common types.

A recent Forbes article describes the nine toxic co-worker types:  Big Mouth, Bad Influence, Betrayer, Chronic Downer, Critic, Flake, Narcissist, Rival and Underminer.

Of all the negative co-worker types, I agree with the author that The Downer has the potential of having the most negative impact on you both personally and professionally. Not only does their complaining reflect upon themselves but it can be associated with you as well. The Downer is an issue I’ve dealt with recently.

On more than one occasion, I’ve spoken to a co-worker about their constant negative comments. Initially, they were shocked and then defensive.  Most Downers have never been confronted about their behavior, so you will need to be patient. I was consistent with my feedback and overtime my co-worker has improved.  There was some initial tension but that resolved itself in time.

So speak up. It just may make a difference. ¶

Read the complete article originally published on Forbes.com.



3 replies

  1. good works from you. keep it up ma. am now following you.


  1. Free Yourself from Toxic Co-Workers « Sherry Clayton

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