Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Self-awareness is key to successful leadership. Strengths and weaknesses. How you are experienced by others.

How about what drives you? What is it that gets you out of bed every day to hustle?

You’ve seen people who get up late and immediately begin their days with dawdle and distraction. They go through the motions. They’re zombies.

But that’s not you. You have drive. A sense of urgency. Purpose.

Two business leaders bring different perspectives on how you should approach your work. You can learn from both.

Andy Grove was the CEO of Intel from 1987 to 1998. He refused to…


There are certain things you know for certain.

Like stress is unhealthy. You should do everything you can to eliminate it. You’ll live longer.

Since you’re probably like me and haven’t achieved a Zen-like alternative state and eradicated all forms of stress from your daily existence, it keeps showing up.

Sometimes you can’t help yourself. 🤨

But is it always harmful?

What if you could control it? Maybe channel it?

The stress response is normal. Don’t beat yourself up. Your heart beats faster. Your breath gets short. Butterflies in your stomach turn into jet fighters on a mission. …


Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash

Leadership involves making hard decisions. The right decisions…hopefully.

Sometimes your leadership role requires you to give answers. Sometimes you need to give a directive or delegate a task.

You need to communicate effectively. Your purpose. Your “why.” People want guidance. They seek encouragement. They crave recognition.

You know that listening is a critical part of effective communications. People need to be heard. They need to feel understood.

You get that.

But your plate is full. It’s not like you’ve got a lot of free time.

How do you make those interactions as efficient as possible? You want to give your…


Photo by Jeffery Erhunse on Unsplash

When you assume the responsibility of leadership, certain expectations come with the territory.

You need to be action-oriented. Goals aren’t achieved by sitting still.

You need to make decisions. Sometimes difficult ones.

Communication is a necessary skill, to convey your vision for the future. To delegate tasks. To let people know how their role fits into the team goal and the company’s purpose. What they’re doing is helpful. Necessary. Important.

But how do you get people to buy into your actions? To support your decisions? To want to listen to you?

You know that trust has to be established, but…


Photo by Shane Young on Unsplash

Your goal is to a productivity animal. Making the most of your workday. Every day.

Another goal is to communicate as efficiently and effectively as possible. With the right people. At the right time. With the right information.

Even when you do your best to prioritize, you don’t seem to make the progress you’d like. The right information seems elusive. Communication gets garbled, despite your efforts. The productivity never seems to get the traction you intended.

You’re trying to leverage the latest technology, the productivity apps, and the communication programs that allow you to communicate in real time.

You can’t…


Photo by Oliver Cole on Unsplash

We operate in a world that isn’t linear. Progress is uneven. Change occurs. Constantly.

We depend on imperfect humans on our team to perform for clients, customers, vendors, stakeholders — and each other — in a business world where the ground shifts under our feet regularly. New technologies. New requirements. New rules. New expectations from customers. From employees.

During the day, you seem to have multiple moments of truth. A big decision. A new initiative. A development that you didn’t see coming. A conflict between your employees.

And then you look in the mirror and see an imperfect leader staring…


Photo by Saffu on Unsplash

Patience is a virtue. Or so you’re told.

You know that some of your goals won’t get achieved overnight. You’re prepared to be persistent, and bang away every day to achieve your goals. To deliver results.

Some people have oversized celebrations for interim successes, but those seem hollow. It feels like pulling out of a marathon race at the ten-mile mark to celebrate your progress. What’s the point?

And yet…sometimes there is enjoyment in winning the little battles. When you’re gaining an edge on the competition. Or even your peers. When you’re getting farther. Faster.

You don’t have a lot…


Photo by Inside Weather on Unsplash

You’re trying to move forward, as a leader, but how hard do you push?

When your sense of urgency seems greater than others on the team, it can feel like you’re dragging them along. Are you going at a reckless pace and losing credibility as a leader? When is fast too fast?

You don’t always have a clear understanding of what to expect next, so should you slow down?

Or if you’re used to planning things out and being deliberate, are you waiting too long? Is your team waiting on you to make a decision or take an action?

How…


Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

You have big goals in mind.

You want to be the person known for getting results. Big results.

In order to do that, you want to get the best out of your people. You need to get the best out of them.

When everybody is working hard and working together as a team, it’s wonderful. It’s powerful.

But the effort, just like the results, seems inconsistent. Just when you feel like you’re getting traction, it gets wobbly. And sometimes, it goes completely off the rails.

There’s such a stark contrast to the effort when everyone is on auto pilot (and…


Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash

Why does it seem like any time you’re involved with a group of people for an extended period of time, conflict is likely? Maybe inevitable?

Because we’re human. We have different perspectives. Different needs. Different preferences. Different expectations.

Within companies, conflict impacts team dynamics and the speed and quality of team results.

You try to use your position as a leader to communicate consistently — and constantly. You encourage people to settle their difference and cooperate for the good of the team.

But conflict keeps showing up.

People disagree. Sometimes loudly. Sometimes in whispers. Sometimes it’s not verbalized, but you…

Karl Sprague

Executive Coach, Teacher, Trainer, Speaker and Storyteller

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