December 1, 2018 // 11 Comments

Are you perpetually and transparently discussing and preparing for inevitable work changes?

Hey there, Rikki Schwartz here… I was born and raised in and around Detroit, Michigan, where the auto industry (for better or for worse) has always been the area’s heart and soul.  Having lived in Flint, MI for nearly a decade in the 80s, I watched automotive plant closings tear at the fabric of the city, its neighborhoods and families.  To give you an idea of the dramatic shift that unfolded while I lived there — 50% of the (190,000) residents of Flint were employed by GM in the 1970s, whereas only 5,000 of Flint’s (110,000) residents currently work for the auto giant.  Likewise, as of 2015, 61 automotive plants had closed in Metro Detroit…and that was long before the recent (Nov 20, 2018) announcement that GM would be closing five more plants…

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August 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

Change Your Scenery

Is your team stuck in a rut? Maybe your normal processes have become a little stale. At The Center For Agile Leadership, we recently had a quarterly strategy session where our leadership team spent a weekend together on a boat in Key West, FL. The change of scenery really helped us unlock some new ideas and fresh perspectives.

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May 31, 2018 // 0 Comments

Spring Clean Your Life

Spring has finally sprung after a crazy winter. It even snowed in May in Salt Lake City, UT this year! Now is the time to renew and re-invigorate your living environment. Why? A clean environment feels wholesome and healthy Removing clutter creates space and less stress in your life The physical act of cleaning is exercise, resulting in better mental cognition During the spring I go room-by-room in my home and complete a deep cleaning. Yes, it’s time-consuming and hard work, however I always feel amazing after its done. Here are some specific tactics that I employ: Remove most items from the room– this allows you to find hidden pockets of dust and dirt Question everything– if you are removing something that hasn’t been used all year then sell or…

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April 26, 2018 // 1 Comments

Warning: Labels Matter!

Every time I turn around I find another project management guru saying one of the following: Do you have enough resources to staff your project? Make sure you lobby to get the best talent on your team. Your people are your best assets. While the overall sentiment of these phrases might be accurate… we all want the best team members and adequate resources to complete our project; these phrases completely depersonalize your team and the people who are on it. Essentially, by referring to people as “talent” or “resources” your minimizing that individual to only what they can do for you. That’s the polar opposite of what we as Agile Leaders should be doing. As Agile Leaders, we should be focused on treating people with equal respect and we should…

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April 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

Lessons From the Lift: The Power of Intention

Today Brian is talking about the power of intention. How can visualization and positive thinking affect your leadership outcomes?

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March 21, 2018 // 1 Comments

6 Traditional Leadership Techniques That Didn’t Make the Cut

6 Traditional Leadership Techniques That Didn’t Make the Cut At The Center For Agile Leadership® we are always striving to build the best culture that we can for our team. A happy team, leads to happy customers, leads to a great place to work. As students of leadership, we are constantly testing various techniques and tools. Sometimes the techniques work well and we adopt them and sometimes they don’t and we leave them by the way-side. Here are six techniques that did not make the cut in our company: Annual Performance Reviews Traditional management conducts annual performance reviews for each employee. There are really only two outcomes from this method of evaluating employees – you give them a good review at which point they expect a raise because its been…

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January 30, 2018 // 2 Comments

10 Fundamental Leadership Practices That Will Make You A Better Leader

10 Fundamental Leadership Practices That Will Make You A Better Leader Holy crap there are too many classes, books, video, and theories about how to be an effective leader. If you read even 10% of all of the leadership books that get published each year, you would never do anything else. These days it seems that everyone has an opinion on what techniques work and which don’t. At The Center For Agile Leadership we are always experimenting with different ways to lead in order to build the best possible organizations. We’ll forever be experimenting and evolving our leadership program, but below is our list of the 10 most fundamental leadership practices that always rise to the top. We use every one of these fundamental ideas in our own company. Dream…

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January 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

#LearnLoveLead Series: Stories from a Certified Agile Leader

Lead your team outside the boundaries.  

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January 8, 2018 // 0 Comments

Bullish Leaders

matador and bull

Through teaching 30+ Certified Agile Leader® classes, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a large variety of leaders. I’ve met soft spoken leaders who work hard and lead by serving. I’ve met brash, over the top leaders who are all bluster and lead by being the loudest in the room. In today’s politically correct (PC) world, it’s easy to look at these two types of leaders and assume that the quiet, servant leader is the ideal model. It’s certainly a style closer to the principles that we teach at The Center For Agile Leadership. Yet, it’s hard to ignore the fact that some of the loudest and most braggadocios leaders to ever come through my classes have made their way to the top and are considered very successful leaders. When…

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January 1, 2018 // 0 Comments

2018: Learn, Love, Lead

While I don’t put a lot of stock in New Year’s resolutions, I do believe in the power of having a mantra. A simple phrase that you can commit to memory, revisit in times of stress, and use as a focusing tool throughout the year. At The Center For Agile Leadership, our mantra is just three simple words: Learn, Love, Lead. Learn – Learning should never stop. As we enter 2018, commit to discovering one new valuable nugget each day. Love –  Agile Leaders practice “Agape love.” This year, choose to care for those that you lead. Take care of their wants not needs; and hug and spank as appropriate. Lead – Remember that being a leader is a choice you make every day. When you encounter hard times in 2018, pause…

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