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Category ArchiveTips for Managers

team building kansas city

Patti LaBelle Leadership Lesson

Life sure can deliver a lesson in the unlikeliest of places.

What I learned about leadership from
Patti LaBelle was totally unexpected.

It’s sort of a sickness. Well, not really, but I tend to see team dynamics everywhere I look – even in my “down” time.  Remember that little boy in that creepy movie who whispered “I see dead people”? Well, thank God, I don’t see the undead, but I am very attuned to team dynamics and am always “observing” them. Recently, my all-time favorite singer, Patti LaBelle, came toKansas City’s Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts  I don’t mind telling you, going was one of the high points of my month…ok…my year!   I was super excited to hear her sing; but I got much more.  Patti LaBelle taught me a few things about leadership that night.

orange manager true colors

The Orange Leadership Style

Let’s talk about the Orange Leadership Style in this post.

Also, if you not sure what in the world I’m talking about with True Colors, click here.

The Orange temperament (#personalitytypes) tends to be flexible, easy-going and naturally open to change. They are rarely bogged down with the struggles of life. Not that they don’t have struggles, it’s just that they choose not to allow the burdens to affect them as deeply as other temperaments might. The phrase “keep it moving” is likely coined by a person of the Orange temperament.

Let’s be clear. The Orange True Colors temperament has feelings.  They may not show them often Andy to everyone (unless their second color is Blue).  Their feelings can be hurt, but they tend to be emotionally resilient and on to the next thing before the “hurt” sets in. Again, they keep it moving.

The Green Leadership Style

The Green Leader

It’s time to chat about the Green Leader

Gold Temperament Manager

A Gold Temperament Manager

Are you ready to learn about the manager with the Gold Temperament? Wait!  If you not sure what in the world I’m talking about with True Colors, click here.

Did you catch my previous blog post about the easy-going, peaceful Blue temperament and it’s implications on leadership? If not, check it out here!

Now, let’s talk Gold.

You have lots of strengths!

If you attended my most recent training in Kansas City, you learned Golds use task lists to manage multiple demands on their time. They like having a good “handle” on their duties and responsibilities and never want to be a slacker.

Is that you? If so, people value your ability to get things accomplished and your many  to-do lists may be a tool you help you get all done.

Dressing inappropriately for job interview

Dressing inappropriately for job interview

Dressing inappropriately for a
job interview should not be a  fatal career mishap.

I felt so badly.  I almost couldn’t rebound from that lurking, heavy, dark sense of regret.

It was like a gray cloud looming over my training and I couldn’t seem to shake it. I thought about what I should have said, could have said and ended back at the point of the scenario where remorse resided.

Let me get you caught up.

The other day, I did a mini-training for a friend. I usually am paid $350 an hour to train, but I like this person so much that I quickly say “yes” to support her.

Well, the training content was about making good first impression. The audience were teens.
Yes, kiddos! I love young people.


I had it covered!

I covered all the basics of making a good first impression and how to actually acquire the skills you admire in other people. It was a good training and my rapport with the teens was really good (for a Gen-Xer). We discussed dressing appropriately for various occasions and how one outfit doesn’t translate well into another one.  It was all covered and in record time!

After I had thanked the kiddos for their time, the unsolicited applause started.  I felt good. Really Good. Then it was interrupted.

An adult from the back of the room, went to stand behind a young man wearing a hoodie. After gently placing her hands on his shoulders she said “Could you say something about wearing hoodies”.

Ugh. Crap. Dang!

I sensed the young man’s embarrassment.  Heck, I was embarrassed for him. In my haste, I tried to say something like “he was  at a training – not a job interview -, so it was OK for him to wear his hoodie”.

Blah Blah Blah

The frustration and anger at the situation muffled my communication skills. I was a little flustered by the audacity of that person.  As you know, it’s never good to humiliate anyone; especially a young person in front of a room full of people.  I wished I had said more and that’s were the regret kicked in.

During break, the young man was standing near me. I had an opportunity to apologize to him and re-affirm that he looked fine for the setting in which he was in. After all, AGAIN he wasn’t at a job interview and no one had communicated a dress code prior.

He was a good kid

He was so humble, that he asked me softly “Should I take it off”, I said a strong “NO!” sighed and said “You’re fine, Honey.” Even though he was taller than me, I saw a six year old in his eyes – desperate for affirmation in a world that would judge him by a stupid hoodie.

I don’t pen this post to glorify myself. In the moment, I did and said too little. I’m writing this to remind us all that we cannot judge a book by its cover. I’ve sat across from clients who own large-scale Kansas City companies and many of them wore hoodies and sneaks. Guess what.  They were dressed appropriately for that setting (mainly because they owned the company).

I’m sure you’ve interviewed someone improperly dressed. Perhaps, they wore jeans, a mismatched outfit or were entirely too casual for a job interview. For years, I was guilty of judging such people and assuming they couldn’t do a job based on what they wore. This is a new world. Like it or not.

The truth is there are lots of reasons people may come to an interview (or anywhere) dressed inappropriately. Don’t miss out on a jewel because you judge to harshly … too soon.

So often people simply don’t know any better than what they do. Many young people grow up without proper coaching and support. As a result, they have no idea flip-flops are inappropriate for a job interview.

In some cases, you may have to catch the  fish before you can clean it. You can coach an employee on proper attire, but you cannot coach the exceptional skills, attributes and abilities one needs to be a good team member.


I know the lady that singled out the young man in the hoodie meant no harm at all, but she caused some.  Dressing inappropriately for an interview should not be a fatal career mistake.

Be careful with your, your staff and your interviewees. Cut people some slack and be a good person as well as a good professional.

Just so you know, I rebounded from my ominous haze of regret. Yes, dressing inappropriately for job interview is a huge mistake; but casual dress at a training is not.

My colleague and work buddy also attended that training. We chatted and she made me feel much better about the scenario. She also gave me a hug.

A great resource:  “How to Dress for an Interview by Industry” from Monster.Com”

Another great Resource: “15 Tips for Improving Your Skills Interviewing Candidates”


Email Etiquette Tips for Managers

Email Etiquette Tips for Managers

Todays topic: Email Etiquette Tips for Managers

Have you ever been completely awe struck by a rude, silly or insensitive email?

I have! I can believe how ignorant (or insensitive) some managers email communications can be. I’ve met and encountered several leaders who desperately need to read an entire book on email etiquette tips for managers.

What surprised me most was that the person’s email tone was completely different from the

Team Maintenance in the workplace

Team maintenance in the workplace – Kansas City Workshops

Team Maintenance in the workplace

I think team maintenance is more important than team building.  Team maintenance in the workplace is often overlooked as the part of the team growth process.  It’s all about team-building, but what happens after the team has built the initial connection (or re-connection)?

Team maintenance in the workplace preserves the bonds, connections and networks necessary for collaboration. Most teams work hard to build these bonds, but they can go away.  Teams are essentially people gathered around a mission or common goal. If these people have some form of a connection (or a relationship), they are able to perform cohesively.

Cohesion Defined…

Cohesion is the connection. Collaboration is the medium by which work is accomplished.  By working together, a group of people are empowered to be effective, solve problems and be creative.

Team maintenance includes the systems and resources that keep staff engaged and the team connected. It is not always easy.  In her article, “Maybe Collaboration Doesn’t Work?“, Beth O’Neill promises “collaboration isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come naturally.”  Read the entire blog post for great insight on facilitating consensus.

It’s a Start…

Team-building, on the other hand, tends to be more introductory.  It’s the first step toward a group of humans understanding one another and building a sense of trust. After the initial “connection”, team-building should soon morph into team maintenance. It becomes something  done regularly to renew existing connections and bolster ongoing trust.

Once your team has completed group formation, brainstorm ways to strengthen those connections throughout the year. Consider it a team “oil change”.  That was corny, I know. Yeah, team maintenance ensure success …in the long-term.

Agree? Disagree?  Tweet me, comment or contact me to talk about it.

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