Nathan Magnuson

More Smiles, More Dollars

Nathan Magnuson

Several years ago I had a shocking experience that permanently changed my outlook. I’m afraid the traces of that experience began in high school. As a high school football player, we had a strictly enforced protocol among the players for team photos.

The Applause of a Single Human Being

Nathan Magnuson

A couple weeks ago I had an idea for one of my corporate leadership programs that has over 6,000 leaders enrolled.

Should I Focus on My Strengths or My Weaknesses?

Nathan Magnuson

If you have goal to grow as a leader, you’re on the right track. If you have a plan of how to do it, you’re doing even better. But where have you put your focus? Many leaders choose to focus their development energy on areas they think (or have been told) are their weak areas.

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4 Pitfalls of High Competence

Nathan Magnuson

We all know that competence is one of the main requirements for effectiveness. But can you become so competent that it actually becomes a detriment? The answer is yes. If you’ve developed a high level of competence in a particular area, you’re actually in a danger zone.

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5 Phrases Successful Leaders Use

Nathan Magnuson

There’s incredible power in language. Words don’t merely convey ideas, they can change the course of history. The words you use as a leader matter too. Here are some simple but powerful phrases that set great leaders apart from the rest. “We” (not “me”).

My #1 Productivity Tip (and 5 Others)

Nathan Magnuson

As you continue to grow as a leader, the invariable happens. You get put in charge of more. Whether you’re promoted to a higher position or have your level of responsibilities expanded in your current role, there’s simply more to oversee.

12 Best Practices for Leading Effective Meetings

Nathan Magnuson

“If you were a fruit, what kind would you want to be?” ” That was the ice-breaker that kicked off the worst meeting I’ve been a part of. It took 30 minutes for everyone to contribute. The meeting ran 25 minutes long.

Beware the Curse of Knowledge

Nathan Magnuson

Acquiring knowledge and know-how is critical to any professional – both for knowledge and manual workers. But with it brings some new disadvantages as well.

eBook 190

How Leaders Learn to Lead

Nathan Magnuson

The new three-part video series Jump-Start Your Employee Engagement has now launched. Join communication expert Josh Erickson and I for three ideas in three days – all in four minutes or less. This video series will only be available for a limited time – click here to enroll.

Top 10 Posts from 2017

Nathan Magnuson

6 years. That’s how long this Everyday Leadership blog has been running. I hope you’ve seen your leadership awareness and effectiveness grow over this time – as have mine. Below I’ve compiled the top 10 posts of 2017. You can also view the Top 10 list from past years.

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5 Ways to Take the Pain Out of Giving Feedback

Nathan Magnuson

One of the most distasteful activities leaders face is giving negative feedback to others. The reason? It rarely produces a positive response. No one likes engaging in activities that aren’t appreciated. Giving great feedback isn’t easy.

The Person on the Other End of Your Leadership

Nathan Magnuson

What comes to mind when you think about leadership responsibility? Taking charge? Casting vision? Setting strategy? Getting results? Every time this question has been asked in a workshop setting, the list gets long very quickly.

eBook 130

Get Your Idea Off the Ground

Nathan Magnuson

How do you get your big idea across in the age of information? A quick keyword search can provide anyone with much more data than they could ever hope to use. What’s the secret to getting your idea past all the clutter and into the land of reality?

eBook 176

When to Coach… and When Not To

Nathan Magnuson

“How can I get my leaders to do a better job coaching their teams?” ” That’s a question I frequently field from the executives and HR partners I support. I hope you’ve asked that question for yourself as well, because it means developing your team is high on your radar.

Expertise Matters!

Nathan Magnuson

Years ago I served as a consultant to two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that worked closely together. At one, the head accountant was a friendly woman who very much enjoyed her job.

NGO 172

12 Books that Shaped My Leadership

Nathan Magnuson

For years I’ve been asked for book recommendations. I always take them seriously because I wouldn’t be the leader I am without my library. It’s been a huge part of my leadership education.

Books 189

Simplify or Petrify

Nathan Magnuson

I had a chance to work with a couple new vendors recently. The contrasts couldn’t be more stark. One is a time-tested and respected brand and product. Another is a semi-recent start-up with an innovative concept. But the differences didn’t end there.

Sample 130

How to Host a Productive Generational Conversation

Nathan Magnuson

A decade ago, American organizations were largely unaware of the predicament they faced. The initial wave of Baby Boomers (many of whom occupied senior leadership roles) was set to begin a mass retirement. Many organizations were completely unprepared. Then something curious happened.

Your Career is Your Responsibility

Nathan Magnuson

I’ve been thinking about career selection and management a lot recently. When I’m asked how I landed where I am, I’m quick to reply that I wouldn’t wish my career path on anyone but I sure do love where I am now.

Career 184

11 Crucial Questions to Better Decision-Making

Nathan Magnuson

Decisions fascinate me. Occasionally they come easily. Sometimes they are difficult. Oftentimes they’re stressful. Some have huge implications. Most have a variety of influencing factors. Some decisions turn out perfectly. Some blow up entirely.

eBook 130

Dealing in Hope

Nathan Magnuson

Napoleon Bonaparte claimed, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” ” Hope is a strangely human enigma. It can’t be handled but it can be shared. It can’t create anything on its own but it can pave the way for new accomplishments.

eBook 158

How to Be a Good Dictator (or Not)

Nathan Magnuson

In the 16th century, political consultant (for lack of a better term) Niccolò Machiavelli’s works were published in the controversial manuscript The Prince – which is still in print today.

How to Influence When You’re Not in Charge

Nathan Magnuson

How do you lead when you’re not the boss? It’s hard enough to lead when you are in charge. What are the other options? If you’ve wondered this, I’ve got good news for you. It’s a lot easier than it sounds. And you can get started today. Here’s a game plan for you.

14 Questions to Answer Before Signing Up a Vendor

Nathan Magnuson

I love the opportunity for new partnerships. Having been on both sides of the vendor & client agreement, I’ve enjoyed some partnerships so incredible that folks were often eager to work late – and then chum together afterward.

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Is “Culture” Just a Buzzword?

Nathan Magnuson

“What we really need around here is a culture.” ” I’ve heard this dozens of times. You probably have too.

eBook 173

9 Ways Learning Events Can Flop

Nathan Magnuson

As a talent development professional, I’ve been privileged to lead, observe and participate in many types of learning and training events. I’m often invited by vendors to sit in on their training in the hopes I’ll make a purchase.

Where Have All the Good Leaders Gone?

Nathan Magnuson

If you’ve worked for any length of time, you’ve probably wondered, “Why is it so hard to find good leaders?” ” You’re not alone.

Don’t Sabotage Your Own Success

Nathan Magnuson

When you’re new to the workforce, enjoying leadership success can be a far off goal. The main focus is finding the right role and doing quality work. I know that was the case for me. But with time and experience (and a lot of hard work) come new opportunities to lead at higher levels.

Stress Test Your Leadership

Nathan Magnuson

I recently conducted a needs assessment for a senior executive group and was surprised when one of the highest rated development needs was stress management. The topic came up again in training discussion when another executive group expressed a high desire to include stress management on the list.

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Becoming a Coaching Leader

Nathan Magnuson

We hear so much about coaching these days. Leaders need to coach more. Employees need more coaching. High performers need coaching. Low performers need coaching. As leaders, how can we know we’ve done enough? And what does a quality coaching conversation actually look like in action?

12 Ways to Make Your Teammates Look Good

Nathan Magnuson

In the past, I’ve shared the value of being a “Kamerman teammate” – that is, going the extra mile to make your teammate look good. It’s a mindset shift for most of us, and a complete game-changer at that.

Top 10 Posts from 2016

Nathan Magnuson

It’s that time again – time to mark the 5th year for the Everyday Leadership site. We’ve had more readers from all over the world and have high hopes for 2017. Thanks for making it another great year! Below I’ve compiled the top 10 posts of 2016.

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What You Need to Understand About Adult Learning Theory

Nathan Magnuson

Picture yourself attending two training sessions. In the first, you sit quietly in your row as the instructor lectures on the benefits, nuances and applications of the topic.

When Taking Too Much Initiative Hurts You

Nathan Magnuson

One of my all-time favorite leadership values is being proactive. It’s Stephen Covey’s first habit. Taking initiative (and accepting responsible) is the characteristic that makes all the others possible. But can it be taken too far?

Leading Older Employees with Confidence

Nathan Magnuson

When I think about what makes a great boss, one of my first items is someone who really knows what they are doing – a true expert.

eBook 130

Do You Have a Royal Culture?

Nathan Magnuson

After repeat appearances, the Kansas City Royals have accomplished something they haven’t done in 30 years: win the World Series.

Team 179

Get More Initiative From Your People

Nathan Magnuson

“I don’t know that I’ve ever had someone come to me with that level of initiative. If they did, I think I’d be blown away.” ” I heard these words from an executive at a leadership event a couple weeks ago. His frustrations weren’t anything new.

eBook 158

How to Perform a High Quality After Action Review

Nathan Magnuson

You just finished a project, event, engagement or training exercise. It’s time to get some feedback. What do you do next? The After Action Review (AAR) was originally developed by the U.S. Army to analyze and report on training exercises.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Nathan Magnuson

What happens after a big win? For all the focus (and press) directed at planning and executing, what comes next? Whether your team has achieved a significant goal or is looking to get back on track after a shake-up, here are some basic ways to get everyone back on course. Identify the Next Horizon.

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You’re Never Too Big to Serve

Nathan Magnuson

My first job in high school was working at a small grocery store in town. I remember there were only eight aisles, so it wasn’t long before I had most of the place figured out.

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