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Balance in the workplace   Giving bad news   Ideal leadership attributes   Culture clash   New boss   Rivalries   D. Beth Macy   Beth Macy   Macy Holdings   Dr. Beth Macy   Business consultant in The Woodlands   Business consulting in The Woodlands   Business management   Business leadership   Resolving organizational problems in business   Managers    SOS   Difficult people at work   The Houston Dialogue   Leaders    ThinkSpace   The personal side of leadership   Houston tele-dialogue   Organizational consulting   Organizational consulting     The Woodlands   Accelerating performance   Accelerating performance in business   Stress   Dealing with stress in business   Improving management skills   Improving leadership skills   High performance leadership   High performance leadership teams   Charting your career   The many faces of leadership   Theories of leadership   Corporate Attention Deficit Disorder   CADD   Highly effective leaders   Cross-boundary issues   Resistance to change   Lack of
Culture clash?
Lack of alignment?
Cross-boundary issues?
New boss?
Rivalries?
Resistance to change?
Post-Reorganization slump?

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Balance in the workplace   Giving bad news   Ideal leadership attributes   Culture clash   New boss   Rivalries   D. Beth Macy   Beth Macy   Macy Holdings   Dr. Beth Macy   Business consultant in The Woodlands   Business consulting in The Woodlands   Business management   Business leadership   Resolving organizational problems in business   Managers    SOS   Difficult people at work   The Houston Dialogue   Leaders    ThinkSpace   The personal side of leadership   Houston tele-dialogue   Organizational consulting   Organizational consulting     The Woodlands   Accelerating performance   Accelerating performance in business   Stress   Dealing with stress in business   Improving management skills   Improving leadership skills   High performance leadership   High performance leadership teams   Charting your career   The many faces of leadership   Theories of leadership   Corporate Attention Deficit Disorder   CADD   Highly effective leaders   Cross-boundary issues   Resistance to change   Lack of

Macy Holdings Leadership Forum

2/9/2010 Idenity - Nancy Eastman

This idenity article is right on and so well written. Thank you.

1/29/2010 Breaking the Tie That Binds - Margery Miller

I really enjoyed this article, and felt that you nailed in on issues facing us when we move from one position in the working world to another or stop working in companies and forge new lives on our own.It is a time of uncertainty, stress and re-evaluation of who we are and how we would love to live.Thanks for being so insightful!

8/8/2009 Riding The Waves of Change - Margery Miller

I agree that asking the questions you raise in this article is a crucial step in moving from the victim role to a proactive participant in the inevitable change in organizations.By thinking it is "happening to us" we become defensive and fearful. By anticipating change, making contributions to the process and appreciating the new possibilities, we position ourselves for growth with the company.

5/26/2009 Thanks to Contributors - Anonymous Reader

A special thanks for the following folks who contributed ideas for "Navigating the Recession" article. Their ideas can be read in the the Leadership Forum:

Merrick Rosenberg, President & Chief Learning Officer, Team Builders Plus

Alex Kersha, Technical Consultant

Fernando Hernandez, Independent Commercial & Business Development Consultant

John Wheeler, MS, Managing Partner at Wheeler Performance Group

Marc Sokol, Personnel Decisions, Inc.

Submitted by Beth Macy


5/26/2009 Navigating The Recession - Anonymous Reader

Needless to say, a timely issue.

Among the ideas shared with our clients are the following seven (7) items:

1) First, change your thinking about the recession being a problem. As a number have suggested earlier companies should consider this a time of opportunity. I have heard it said "A recession is a terrible thing to waste." This is, in fact, a theme of an upcoming conference I am involved in with IMCNE.

2) Management (at all levels) needs to reaffirm their positions as the role models for the rest of their organizations. If management projects a pessimistic attitude in everything they do and say their employees will mirror that mindset. Alternatively, if management considers the current environment an opportunity to improve operations, build stronger customer, partner and supplier relations and improve internal processes (and they include employees in this improvement process) a more positive attitude will prevail and the company will be in a much better competitive position when the business environment improves.

3) As referenced above now is the time to look carefully and honestly at ALL internal processes and procedures and determine where are those that can be streamlined. Again, this needs to be an inclusive process; by inclusive, include employees in the improvement project.

4) More than ever before it is critical to identify your most important customers and contact them on a regular basis. These contacts should NOT be the basis for a sales call (unless that is truly warranted), but rather to see how they are doing. Identify who they are and contact them (face-to-face is optimal). This action will be rewarded.

5) Just as it is important to strengthen your relationships with your customers it is also important to strengthen your relationships with your key suppliers. Contact them and engage in a conversation about how they are doing and how you can support them.

6) In the financial area if your receivables are up, you might want to consider accepting (or promotoing the use of) credit cards for customer purchases. Have someone else be the collection agent. It will improve your cash flow.

7) Also in the financial area see where you can extend your payable cycle. Again, be careful that you don't hurt relationships with your key suppliers and partners with the practice.

Again, this is a time of opportunity. By implementing several of the above actions you will position your firm to better seize opportunities when the environment changes.

Submitted by John Wheeler, MS,Managing Partner at Wheeler Performance Group


5/26/2009 Navigating The Recession - Anonymous Reader

Great topic - relevant for all latitudes.

From what I am able to see from the markets I have contact with, it boils down to back-to-basic principles: Understanding core consumer needs; Focus on servicing top customers; Invest when the opportunity to generate a clear competitive advantage is at sight.

Best from Mexico City,

Fernando Hernandez, Independent Commercial and Business Development Consultant


5/26/2009 Navigating The Recession - Anonymous Reader

The following article, "Top 5 Strategies For Surviving A Recession," provides valuable tips for individuals to make it through this difficult time: http/www.networkworld.com/community/node/32860

Submitted by Merrick Rosenberg, President and Chief Learning Officer for Team Builders Plus


4/13/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

I am typically a project or transition employee so I am finding new work every 3 to 5 years. The two things that have really helped me are: Sales Training and Comedy Improvisation training. In regards to sales training - prospecting, cold calling, qualifying are all skills that are necessary in a job search. Also, it gives you a context for evaluating your performance through the process. Managing yourself in your job search is similiar to managing yourself in a sales position; you have to set daily goals for number of phone calls, and number of appointments scheduled. You need to set a monthly goal for how many presentations you will make. For those of us who are used to being productive every day - it does a lot for our motivation to see what we have accomplished. If you are a person who has had her self esteem punched by a lay off - make your first calls to set appointments with people you have worked with and ask them about your strengths -what they think you did best - what they enjoyed about working with you the most. Take notes!! Ask for 3 suggestions of people you should call to ask about work opportunities and if you can use thier name when you make the calls. Don't forget to call on the people you work with OUTSIDE of work -the charity committee members - the other members of parent organizations - etc.

Posted by Ann King


4/13/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

I experienced a downsizing earlier this year and though initially, it felt like a mourning of sorts, it was an eye opener for the percentage of my career that defined me. I think like a death, it is important to go through all the stages of wondering if as an individual you could have prevented it, controlled the outcome somehow differently, asking quetions of who am I and where am I going.

However, once you go through those motions and take all the immediate steps of refreshing your resume, getting the word out in your network, and unrelentlessly working to find a new role, the most important question I quickly moved to during my initial transision was: "What can I become now?"

Though the lack of control one initially feels can be dehabilitating at first, being "positive" is critical, staying connected to family and friends, and reaching out to your immediate professional network to get the ball rolling forward, For me, it was about turning a transition I did not control into the pieces of it I could control, taking control back. The most empowering feeling in that process is going about normal daily routines, get up in the morning and get showered, do your hair, do your makeup.

Don't focus on sending off resumes to company after company on job board after job board. Really focus on who you know before applying to any position. If you don't know someone at the company, try to network directly before submitting an application. Stand out from the crowd and avoid the job search tactics that everyone else is doing....focus on the companies you really want to work for and then go after them!

I think with the above, the ending is bound to be a happy one!

Posted by Kendra Stewart


4/13/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

I got laid off in 1986. It seemed like my life had totally fallen apart. I evaluated my prospects of finding another job in Houston as being low since there were no jobs in the petroleum industry back then. My experience before working in the petroleum industry had been in electronics, so I moved to Phoenix where there were several electronics companies, and I eventually got a job back in that industry.

If you get laid off - don't give up. Another job will happen eventually. Some added education may be required.

Posted by Bill Fort


4/10/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

Hi Beth,

In my view it is simple. It is all about attitude. Some years ago I ran across a statement in support of this principle. I just searched the same phrase to find a long list of highly variable commentators using the same premise. So by all means - take stock, but the real trick is to adopt a positive stance. As I recall the original piece - "Your are the only problem you will ever have and you are the solution."

Posted by Tim Edwards

(Tim later sent the following statement which he had referenced in his note above)

Attitude

The longer I live, the more I realise the impact of attitude on life. It is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than whatever anyone might say or do, it is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. The remarkable thing is that we have the choice to create the attitude we have for today and every day of our lives. We cannot change the past. We cannot change the way other people act. We cannot change the inevitable. The one thing we can change is the only thing that we have total control over and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what actually happens to us and 90% how we react to it.

A Really Wise Guy


4/10/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

My story is a bit strange as I was the HR manager for the Group so I had to coordinate my own redundancy. I knew that the organization would get to a point where a snr practitioner was no longer required and that reducing staffing numbers would mean that we didn't need two HR people in the grup. My assistant was a capable and competent individual that could step into the void and manage the administrative and operational challenges that would be left after the restructuring and downsizing of the group.

My emotions went from xment to "what am I doing?" Some days I couldn't wait to move forward and other days I felt frozen and confused. Anxiety and sleep issues also became apparent. I had outplacement support and professional supervision through the process. I knew what my path forward would be and had an exit strategy in place, however, not being clear on the exact timing was very stressful. The dates changed several times until I knew when I would go. I felt like I was in limbo. Once the call was made and the deal signed, it was like a wx lifted from my shoulders.

My plan was to have a bit of a break as I had been working long hours and in very stressful circumstances so I wanted some time to breath and soak in some fresh air - re-energise. I had decided to pursue my coaching practice which had been in action concurrently with my fulltime employment both as a lifestyle choice and a way to tap into my strengths and areas of interest.

My advice for others is to understand that grieving and transitioning process. Often people define themselves by their work and once that is taken away they feel lost and at sea. All emotions we feel are valid and normal - they might be alient to us, butt hey are still valid.Getting a clear understanding of where you are at financially, emotionally, environmentally and physically is a good way to start. My theory is "how do you know where you are heading if you don't know whre you are now?" Taking stock can take away the fear of what to do next and clears the mind in readiness for the exciting new opportunities that will be around the corner. All the things that can cause you to freeze in fear become lessened because you know what it is you are facing.

Seeking support and assistance from others is important. Whether it is through outplacement services, getting a referral to a counselor via a GP or seeking the services of a life coach, having an independent third party that can view your situation with empathy and a fresh perspective will assist the trantisional process and keep you focused on where you are going. God luck with the article, I look forward to seeing other people's comments.

Posted by Mary-Leigh Sheerhoorn


4/10/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

My process (having been laid off 3 times in the course of my 25 years+ professional life) has been to accept it as "beshert" or meant to be. It takes a while to get there. Then, the lessons begin: what did I do right, didn't do, did wrong. My biggest lesson: There are signs this is coming - pay attention! Then, if there is anything I can do to avert it, do it. I know I was saved from layoffs because of this attitude. I am editing - the final stage - a book to help others with this."

Posted by Rebecca

Rebecca@RebeccaEverett.com


4/10/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

I've been laid off twice -- most recently last October. The experience pushes me to really look at what I am most passionate about and to reach out and establish an even wider network of connections. It creates a 'white sheet of paper' which can be scary. However, I am focused on viewing it as an adventure where if I stay open, and keep doing the next right thing, I will meet many great people and be in the ranks of the employed when the time is right!

Posted by Geri Michelic


4/10/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

Hi Beth,

I was laid off last July as the markets were also in severe decline and unemployment began climbing. I'm very marketable and was prepared for any contingency...or so I thought. I got a nice severance package (3 mos salary) and outplacement services through Right Mgmt which helped. I hoped to be back to work right away and pocket much of the severance. Unfortunately it has been 9 months and I'm still not back to where I was before.

I did some part-time work and some temping through unemployment, but was off most of the time just job hunting and networking. As unemployment was running out I got a job in sales with a very low salary until commissions can exceed them (hopefully within 6 to 12 mos if I stick with it). That's where I am now.

I would recommend that everyone always have their resume ready for opportunities as they come along or the need arises (layoff/firing). I got professional help on my resume from Right, but I'm still not happy with it (mostly because it didn't get me a job right away, but some of that is my career path and circumstances). I updated all my resume info on the job boards and emailed resumes to my networks.

I'm better off than many of my colleagues who also lost their jobs and are still not back to work. The experience can be devastating and the longer you go without getting another job can begin to erode ones self-esteem and confidence. You really need to stay positive, productive, and network. I have a good network, and they were helpful with providing leads and referrals, but none materialized for me. Indeedx was a good web site for me. I also have resumes on monster.com and careerbuilder.com. I also systematically looked through the job boards of every company in my industry that had offices in my area.

I'm President of my college alumni association and am networked to over x people on LinkedIn. So many alums and colleagues were supportive and encouraging me along. some even followed up weeks later just to ask how my search was going. Some of these people I only know by name so there are a lot of thoughtful people out there willing to help any way they can. That was inspiring me, and I too would share opportunitities with my colleagues who were looking for jobs that weren't the right fit for me, but may have been for them. I only had about an interview a month. Maybe I should have been more aggressive in my search, or looked more outside my industry. Hindsight is 20/20. I had my hands full with some personal issues (my father's dying and death, marital conflicts) thoughout this time so I had to balance my emotional/family needs with my financial and professional ones.

Best advice I could give is stay positive, productive, take advantage of electronic tools and communications, and network, network, network. I've also heard doing volunteer work while your off is good for the mind, soul and is something to fill your time that you can tell an employer about. Taking some classes or reading up on some professional subjects are a good use of the time. Hope that helps...feel free to write if you have any other specific questions.

Ed

Submitted by Edward Novick


4/10/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

I learned about a local employment support ministry called HOPE ministries early on and went to one of their meetings. One of my alumni friends told me about it and met me there. It was at a church and over 30 unemployed people attended, networked, got resume help, and listened to the speaker talk on personal branding including an elevator presentation of a 3 minute sale of yourself and what you can do for an employer. This same friend said she was involved in several networking groups that met monthly, and seemed to find them helpful. I didn't go to any of them, but these groups are out there through counties, cities or churches.

HOPE ministries group that I belong to has a group on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=1157417 .

This ministry, faithful/positive colleagues (my college is faith-based, private one, so many of the alums are also Christian with good values and concerned about others and the community), and personal friends and family have helped me to keep going and stay positive and faithful through the challenges. It is easy to feel sorry for yourself, despair, become negative, and fill with fear as the money disappears and threatens your known life and security. Being faithful, praying, and drawing on the faith of others throughout (daily) can help keep you going. On the practical side, filing for Unemployment immediately is a no-brainer action to take upon getting laid off.

Submitted by Edward Novick


4/10/2009 Life After Bad News - Anonymous Reader

I was laid in 2003. It was devastating because I always work really hard and put in 110%. I felt diminished and bitter that I had been selected to leave even with a payout. But I didn't sit around moping about it for long.... After 2 days I started job hunting in earnest. I quite literarily took the very first thing that came along which was related to my skills. This happened to be a low paying contract position. But it did keep me out of the house and relatively busy during those dark times. The key for me was to quickly be able to see myself contributing to something and making myself useful. What else did I learn from this? Well, hold on to the other things in your life that make life complete. For me it was my family. Several of my colleagues had gotten divorced and lost their families as a result of the hours we were putting in at work and still lost their jobs. What we do is often an important part of who we are, but it shouldn't be ALL we are.

Posted Akin Banuso


3/31/2009 Giving Bad News - John Flawith

Great stuff, I like it. But I think there are some pretty practical things for leaders to do, which, tho not giving the "5 steps", do help the interaction. And tho pretty obvious and self evident, my experience is that managers often dont do them.1. Prepare thoroughly. First, about the individual. You should know about the individual you are talking with. Work they've done, how long and where, what projects and activities. A bit of knowledge of their background, situation, interests helps. Second about the situation. Tho HR will have the policies in detail you should know enough of them to be convincing, reassuring and credible. Think like you were going thru it - what would you ask, want to know. Which brings me to point 2. Get into their shoes. Feel what it will be like, and the reactions. Use this to get prepared for their responses. And to show some empathy - point 3. And this is the hardest one. You need to be genuinely "with them". To show that you understand and feel for their situation. Its a tricky balance to do this without becoming sympathetic. It is the one which really reflects on your personal qualities as an individual. So must come naturally.

2/24/2009 Standardization - Nancy Eastman

The cartoon graphic aptly expresses how standardization squashes creativity. Nancy Eastman

2/23/2009 To Standardize...Or Not - Mike Cowan

Beth - Great article on standardization! The concept of requisite variety is a practical tool to use for selecting what and when to standardize. My team is continually pressured to develop 'best practices' for continually evolving technologies and processes -- and upper management wonders why they are not taken up and utilized by business units. Your article provides an excellent guide for applying standardization to truly 'work smarter'.

1/16/2009 Stress Hurts - Marveena Meek

Beth, I found the article on stress interesting and sad at the same time. My husband is a detective at a large police dept. He invesitgates murders and robberies. There are times his dept will work over 24 hours at a time to catch killers and try to help families. The stress is huge for them. It is also huge on the families at home worried about their loved one serving a warrant on a suspect known to be armed and dangerous. The tools that help me cope are postitive affirmations, meditation and self hypnosis. Thank you for sharing this. Peace MarVeena Meek

1/15/2009 Stress Hurts - Beth Macy

Comments from a manager in a technical industry:Hi Beth,Thanks for this. I always appreciate your insights. I just rarely seem to find the time to write them down and send to you. A couple thoughts on this one. Wrt the portion of the article on why managers act as they do...particularly the point on projecting an image of strength. I sort of agree...

Personally, I do try hard not to project signs of stress. Not because I want to appear strong, but because I am aware of the stress state of my folks and one of the best things I can do in times of change or conflict is present a calm air of normalcy. If I look panicked or stressed, that has a tendency to amplify through the organization and stress out my troops to a greater extent. If I am calm and in control, it tends to diffuse some of the stress... if not, at least I do not make things worse. I suppose this is the signal dampening leadership function(a la Beer).

Also, I know that my own emotional level reactions to leaders that can't deal well with stressful situations is that I feel that they are in above their heads. In my ethos, it is fine for leaders to acknowledge that they have stress and are dealing with it but it is not OK to exhibit signs that it is getting the better of them or in any way allow that to be destructive to the productivity of the team.

One other challenge I find when I try to test and address my work groups- engineer types have a real tendency to shield signs of stress or weakness. Few will openly tell you that yes, they have an issue until there is no alternative or it is too late. Some will deny even to themselves that it is an issue.

I have seen this manifest as:- "leave me alone, I will judge my own work life balance" - until they have a health failure,- the employee that seems fine until they give notice they have left to work for a competitor because of a stressful influence they never shared with their supervisor, but their supervisor could have addressed(commute issues, work tasks that could have been altered, etc),- masking - i.e. workforce will not respond to attempts of leadership to take issues head on (for fear of reprisal? not sure), but given a "safe" alternate topic to target, they completely unload all out of proportion to the topic.

I take this to be an emotional transference from perceived "risky" subject to safe one. This is also perhaps a good remedy if a supervisor can recognize the situation and set up a "safe zone" or topic to to allow the workforce to vent.So, the challenge with my work groups is often to be able to pick up on the signs of the stress. They are often subtly hidden.

1/15/2009 Stress Hurts - Beth Macy

Comments from an IT Project Manager:Good article. It is a very interesting topic and would be interesting too to look at what companies are liable to do from a legal perspective as well. Stress is one of those unavoidable pieces of doing business but one that many see as not part of a company's responsibility. But your article really highlights that it will benefit the company in the end.

12/13/2008 Perils of Progression article - Margery Miller

I really enjoyed this article, Beth, and my favorite part was about the first, second and third positions--because until we can move freely among those positions, taking all of them into account, we cannot become true leaders. And, I am glad to participate in your Leadership Forum. This is certainly a time for all of us to "step up" and offer sound, practical ideas for people to think about.

My idea regarding progression in general is to encourage my clients and associates to see themselves as in a continuous progression, with ups and down along the way--all of which are necessary for growth. Without the challenges of a new position, as you so aptly pointed out, how would we hone our leadership skills?

Rising isn't about it being easy, it is about earning the right to compete and operate on a new level.I'm looking forward to more great ideas from you!

Best,Margery Miller, PeopleBiz Inc.

12/11/2008 Advice on moving into the next level of leadership - Kathy Ohm

Before you walk into that new office and new role, I'd invite you to consider 5 actions:
  1. Be complete. Oh, not with the ongoing work, but with all the people with whom youve worked. Every one. Even THAT one. Allow yourself to be grateful for all of it. Acknowledge as many folk as you can. Acknowledgment is the voice of gratitude. Gratitude actually expands intelligence and opens the human space of inspiration and new possibilities.
  2. Get in touch with what you truly care about that which is fundamentally important. To you. In your life. This is the core awareness for you as leader as well as for those you lead and others with whom you work.
  3. Listen. Deeply. For the person. For the content. For the coherence. For the promise. For the action. For the results. For the knowledge and relationships being created and the possibilities in the conversation. Every conversation you have is an opportunity to add value or create waste. Listen.
  4. Get out of your own way. If you dont already have some daily practice to keep yourself centered and balanced emotionally and physically, start one!
  5. Enjoy. Sure, youve much to learn. Sure, youll make mistakes. Value them. Remember that you only can call something a mistake once youve gained a broader perspective. A colleague from Sweden told me recently that the word business in Swedish translates as nourishing life.
So, as you take on your new leadership role, enjoy the learning, the leading, and the nourishing of life.Thank you, Beth, for this forum and for your generosity and wisdom. I have learned much from you and am grateful. Kathy Ohm, Executive and Organizational

12/10/2008 Corporate Attention Deficit Disorder - Anonymous Reader

I have a sense right now that the ground is shifting so fast that it ishard to set your feet. How can I execute a plan if the org changesbefore I can complete it... Hard to feel ownership or measure success insuch an environment. Demotivating - sounds like a form of CADD.

12/10/2008 Perils of Progression - Anonymous Reader

On your article - it is an interesting one - my comment on it is - oneof the most important and urgent things to do for a new leader is tofigure out where the manager wants to lead the organization - what isthe "aspired state" - it is an important strategic (or is it visioning)question and then to figure which of his/her leadership skills to drawon - but also the leader must also embed those 3 characteristics ofleadership - honesty and integrity, decisiveness and judgment of people(the last one being the greatest challenge) -

9/4/2008 Figure It Out - Linda Freede

Leadership skills are most likely not innate and must be learned, or at the most figured out. Beth Macy's articles are on on point, and focus on the benefits of having an outside perspective to help you hone in on an effective leadership style.

9/4/2008 Recognize Anyone? - Beth Macy

'Recognition is a significant part of what allows a shift in the pattern. Once the leader and the team are conscious of the pattern and have named it, they begin intervening with each other when the pattern pops up.'However recognizing those attributes in yourself may be difficult and a continual dialogue may be necessary to keep the behavior patterns on track. Commitment is also key!

9/4/2008 High Performance Leadership Teams - Beth Macy

What do you think? Agree, disagree? Other examples of how patterns replicate throughout the organization?

4/30/2008 Getting Started... - Beth Macy

This is the first entry for the Macy Holdings Blog. We will start adding topics for you to read and respond to very soon. You can send a personal online reply by clicking the topic link. Or you can post your own comments by registering.

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