Published Articles

A Counterintuitive Secret for Achieving Extreme Productivity

The awesome engine of American worker productivity has stalled. Company leaders have trimmed workforces to the bone and continually ask more from those who remain. But this strategy has run its course. The way to achieve greater productivity is by doing less.

The myth of hyper-productivity leads us to believe we are most effective with our faces glued to a computer. Since people naturally need occasional breaks, most employees spend this time pinging back and forth between work and social media while convincing themselves (and their bosses) that they’ve never lifted their noses from the grindstone.

Read More on Upstart Business Journal

Small business advice: How undervaluing your time can undermine your company

In the delivery business, you don’t want your drivers trying to complete their last handful of deliveries with the gas tank on empty. The last thing your company needs is for a truckload of flowers or a catered banquet to end up stranded on the side of the road.

Nevertheless, many business owners take a “running-on-empty” approach when it comes to time management, both with themselves and with their employees. Often, we fall into the mindset that staying productive means staying busy, but this denies business owners an opportunity to refuel mentally.

Read More on The Washington Post

Employees Can’t Carry Out A Strategy If They Didn’t Help Plan It

One of the biggest concerns I hear from business leaders is that their people fail to implement quickly enough. They complain that too much time is spent planning, when most of success is implementation.

There are concerns that employees tasked with implementation are not making decisions fast enough and, consequently, are not acting on decisions with the proper urgency. When leaders attempt to make sense of this, they often assume that employees don’t want to stand out.

Read More on Business Insider

Building Relationships Vs. Getting Results

If you had to choose between good business results and good business relationships, which would you pick? This might seem like a trick question – after all, results are what you put into the bank at the end of the day, but you know that a hard-working team of motivated people makes that possible.

But it isn’t a trick: there’s a conflict between people and profits playing out everyday that executives need to be aware of.

Read More on Construction Today

Freak Out: Why You Need Freaks — and How to Find Them

Your company is defined by a group of individuals so rare and so unique that they’re really “freaks.” The freaks are the ones who bring about innovative, disruptive change that upends an industry. If you want your company to be a leader in creating breakthrough solutions and products, then you need something more eccentric, passionate, and opinionated than the norm.


6 Steps For More Effective Delegation

Delegating is a great way to ensure that more tasks get done in less time, and it also builds team capacity. Unfortunately, a lot of managers don’t pay enough attention to the delegation process, and thus fail to reap the benefits. Are you a successful delegator?

Read More on FastCompany

The Secret To Cultivating Leadership Charisma

Steve Jobs could stand up in front of an audience and light them on fire. People loved him. Sometimes it hardly mattered what he said; people would still be on their feet, cheering. Mark Zuckerberg, try as he might, doesn’t get quite the same reaction.

Read More on FastCompany

Getting Local is Essential to Going Global


With the rise of the Internet, growing competition from other markets, and increasing pressure to work faster, quicker, and cheaper, the appeal of breaking into new markets is high. Foreign markets seem like an obvious answer if going global is perceived to be as simple as finding foreign vendors and hopping on an airplane, passport in hand.

Read More on Business2Community

Silicon Valley 101: Understanding the Workforce That Powers the Globe

What is it that makes the Silicon Valley workforce so unique?

First of all, it’s a fairly evolved workforce. People in Silicon Valley need to understand the business model they’re working in, and they have strong opinions about what methods of leadership and management are most effective.

Read More on GroundReport

Develop And Lead A Spirited Team

Are your employees motivated? Are they skilled? Do they have what it takes to work together and poise your company for success?

An organization is only as strong as its team, so it’s critical that you hire for, and foster, the right people for your company. But what should you look for in future and existing employees?

Read More on GroundReport

Rocks, Paper, CEO: Finding The Best Leader For Your Startup

When the three female founders of Y-Combinator alum career site The Daily Muse incorporated back in 2011, the McKinsey alums knew that formal roles would be critical to the success of the company. “Which founder should be CEO is the first of many important decisions you’ll make as co-founders,” says COO Alex Cavoulacos.  “If you can’t align on that as a team, consider it a red flag; you’re going to have trouble down the line.”

Read More on Forbes

5 Keys To Leading Your Company During High-Stakes Growth

I’ve got good news and bad news.

The good news is that the economy is finally looking up. A recent survey of Silicon Valley executives showed that 63% added jobs last year, and the majority also say they’ll add jobs this year. The unemployment rate is 7.8%. Business leaders are rosy on the economy, and we’re finally starting to experience some growth again–the recovery has begun.

Read More on FastCompany

How To Develop A Global Team

Is your company reaping the benefits of cultural profit? Does it have the ability, in other words, to enter new markets, develop new supply-chain models, and efficiently and effectively integrate as a global organization so that information can cross boundaries successfully?

Read More on FastCompany

6 Exercises For Mastering Cultural Agility

Business leaders are like athletes: They need to be able to adapt to rapidly changing elements in their environment and respond with speed, power, and accuracy.

Unlike in sports, however, where it’s relatively easy to perceive what your opponents or teammates are doing and respond accordingly, the things that business professionals need to pay attention to and respond to are often hidden in nuance.

Read More on FastCompany

The New C-Suite Requirement: Cultural Agility

If you’ve got your eyes set on the C-suite, you should ask yourself the following question: What are you doing to make sure you go from being a good leader to a truly advanced leader and an agile executive?

Read More on FastCompany

Are You Really Managing For Results?

If I asked, would your employees tell me that you manage their results or their tasks?

It is often natural to want to attempt to manage the different processes that are underway in your organization. The key, however, is to measure the results of the processes, rather than the processes themselves. Four out of 5 managers would say that they manage for results, but their people often have a different story to tell.

Read More on FastCompany

Seeing The Forest For The Trees

With reverence and awe, we admire the forest primeval, with its towering boughs of green and massive columns reaching skyward. Beacons of sunlight filter through the dark and mysterious labyrinth of ancient life, giving us more and more reason to clamor to preserve its ageless beauty at almost any cost.

Read More on RealtyTimes

Worst New Year’s Resolutions For Your Wallet

With a new year just around the bend, many are already setting resolutions to begin January 1: Lose weight. Reduce stress. Save more, spend less. According to psychologists and financial experts, however, the most common New Year’sresolutions are generally unachievable and tough on your wallet. While renewing personal goals is an important step in jump starting the year, most popular resolutions need to be refined.

Read More on Forbes

Network Shares Its Know-How

An international virtual community of small consulting firms has formed a network to share their expertise and win business.

The Summit Global Network is the latest venture from US-based author, speaker and consultant Alan Weiss, who has been advising organizations how to improve productivity and performance since 1983 through his Summit Consulting Group.

Read More on Financial Review

6 Steps To Outperforming Your Competition In A Lukewarm Recovery

When reading this title, I imagine the first question that comes to mind is, “Is this really the recovery?”

Economists may say it is, but business leaders can only answer with a resounding, “Kinda.”

Read More on FastCompany

Your Game Face is Costing You

On a recent Mastermind call, the discussion was about self-management and putting on a game face in difficult situations.


Read More on SelfGrowth

What To Do When Interviewers Break The Law

How do I navigate  sticky interview questions, including illegal ones?
- Eduardo

The gut reaction in an interview is a feeling like you’ve got to placate your interviewed to stand a chance to getting the job.  But here’s what I got to say about interviewing.

Read More on FastCompany

What Every CEO Must Learn From Hosni Mubarak

Hosni Mubarak showed up nearly an hour late to his own funeral. The announcement of his address today created extraordinary expectations. Millions of Egyptians streamed into the late night cold to watch in collective celebration. Mubarak instead effectively delivered nothing. After a stunned hush in Liberty Square, the demonstrators’ angry shouts drowned out the balance of his speech.

Read More on FastCompany

Toe Curling Vision

Each year brings with it a whole new brand of crazy-making busyness. Listening to my clients, now seems to be even more intense than usual. So it’s time to take a breath and revisit your vision for the year.

Read More on EzineArticles

The Six Steps to Delegation

By implementing the six steps to delegation, a manager creates a work environment that is more productive, fosters creativity and opportunities for growth and focuses on the importance of communication.

Read More on SelfGrowth

The Reviews are In: Performance Reviews Suck

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reports that 58% HR professionals give their own performance management systems a grade of C or below. Some go as far as saying performance reviews are hurting companies and should stop.

So why do we keep doing them?

Read More on SelfGrowth

The Job Market Will Recover: Are You Primed for Takeoff?

Analysts said government data on Friday showing the economy shed a mere 11,000 jobs last month, the fewest since the start of the recession, was the strongest indication yet that the battered job market was starting to turn around. (Reuters, December 7, 2009)

Everyday there are a lot of people on Twitter talking about how much they hate their jobs and that they’re only staying in them for the safety of having anything in this job market.  If the job market is beginning to recover, its high time to start asking yourself, “Am I going to just complain about my job or am I going to take advantage of the uptrend when the new waves of hiring occur?”

Read More on FastCompany

The Best Of The Best Do These Three Things. Do You?

Ever wonder what it takes to truly become the best of the best? For 100 years? If you’re going to be the best, commit to it–not once a year during strategy formulation or an annual event, but everyday in your culture, hiring and financial decisions.

Read More on FastCompany

Thanks Are Dangerous

Get ready for the onslaught of articles and parables about being grateful for things that really aren’t that great.


Read More on SelfGrowth

Should You Hire For Skill Or Spirit?

Companies spend a huge amount of time and resources crafting business strategies. Even so, most of these strategies end in failure.


Read More on FastCompany


What secret would you most like to free yourself of?

Imagine opening a book and discovering that a postcard had been slipped between the pages with a stamp, an address, and an invitation to send in your secret. What would you write? Would you trust your secret to the post office, even anonymously?

Read More on EzineArticles

PTSD – Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Pre-traumatic stress disorder is a term I invented once on a coaching call. I was working with a client who was in absolute anguish over something she had convinced herself was going to happen. Even though my term is about as pop-psychology as it gets, in the years since that call, I’ve seen many clients consumed with pre-living disastrous scenarios that they misperceive as being real.

Read More on EzineArticles

Power, Leadership and You

This is an excerpt from an essay Michelle contributed to the book, Winning Without Compromising Yourself.

Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, George Bush, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey – people who have power are subject to both reverence and distain. They engender great loyalty and animosity based partially on the natural alliance we feel with what they choose to do with their power, but more so as a result of their personal choices based on the impact that power has on them. There’s been plenty written and discussed about how to gather and wield power, and there are plenty of people ready to tell you what to do with your power. But why is there so little discussion of the impact that power has on an individual other than the adage, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

Read More on SelfGrowth

Power in Vulnerability

“My Power Lies in My Vulnerability” may not be something we would think up as a campaign slogan for a political candidate. However, as increasing value is placed on collaborative leadership, it is a key factor differentiating outstanding leaders as they take on the challenge of actively practicing vulnerability.

Read More on SelfGrowth

Outraged! Will The New York Times Avoid Blockbuster’s fate?

The New York Times has finally introduced digital subscriptions. It’s well known that an orgy of free news available via the Internet has been killing newspapers. Now the Times is finally catching up with a major cultural shift.

Read More on FastCompany

Mentors Are Useless–But They Don’t Have To Be

I am a lousy mentee. It’s a funny admission to make as someone who makes her living as professional mentor. Sure, I train my clients on how best to leverage my expertise. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I follow my own advice very well.

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Making work serve life, not the other way around!

Simple rules for career development that improve everything…

  • Work serves life when it is a natural part of your existence that is a professional expression of your values, passions and interests.
  • Life comes first. Who you are, what you care about, your most important relationships and the values, passions and interests that make you uniquely you.

Read More on FastCompany

Making the Highest Possible Contribution

Do you ever feel you have so much potential that you can’t sit still? All high performers feel this potential boiling up within them. It’s what they look for in turn when making key hires. But even with the most promising new employee, something can happen and, next thing you know, they’re stuck playing catch up with their inbox or putting out fires. Enthusiasm turns into frustration and if this continues over the long-term, even the best burn out or give up.

Read More on SelfGrowth

Making Mentor Relationships Work

Mentor relationships begin with plenty of promise. Often however they don’t deliver because the mentor and mentee don’t know how to make the most of the relationship. As a professional business mentor, and mentor to UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business Global Social Venture Competition for the past few years I’ve been asked to share my thoughts on what makes a mentoring relationship successful and my tips for this year’s teams and mentors as they start out.

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How to start looking for a “New” Career

Dear Michelle,

What are some things I need to think about in order to start the process of potentially needing a “new” career? I’m not in a position to take a salary cut and I can’t relocate. Help.

A Senior Recruiter via

I really applaud the clear eyed optimism in your message, recognizing the shifting sands in your career and approaching it as an opportunity – as much as possible.

Read More on FastCompany

Healthy Impatience

If patience is a virtue and we’re living and working at breakneck speed, do we have to give up our virtue in the name of profitability? The surprising answer is probably not. If you and your employees have a healthy impatience, you will refuse to remain stuck because when people put their ego aside and don’t have to be the one with the answers, they can reach out for help and get unstuck quickly. And it creates results – in fact, American Express is just one company rating its managers on healthy impatience.

Read More on EzineArticles

Generating Thought Leadership To Grow Your Career and Company

Becoming a thought leader will radically improve the trajectory of your career and business. The key is to develop your reputation as the obvious go-to person when people are seeking expertise in your area of leadership.

Read More on SelfGrowth


The annual meeting of the International Coach Federation is a great time to connect with my colleagues from around the world and spend time with friends who I respect so much that I’m always pleasantly amazed and grateful that I can contribute to them!

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Appreciating that Special Someone

My bet is that often when we take the time to be conscious of all that we have, we can sustain our appreciation for a relatively short period of time before the ‘buts’ interrupt our thoughts.

Read More on FastCompany

2 Steps To Getting Lean Enough To Succeed

What if Congress had to get rid of an old one every time they wrote a new one? Think about it.

Now let’s take this to the business arena. What if the CEO could only introduce a new objective and all the new work that goes into implementing it, after eliminating an old objective and all the work that went along with that one? Just writing this I hear the cheers of millions of hyper-productive employees who have been multi-tasked into exhaustion.

Read More on FastCompany

What Secret Would You Most Like to Free Yourself Of?

Imagine opening a book and discovering that a postcard had been slipped between the pages with a stamp, an address, and an invitation to send in your secret. What would you write? Would you trust your secret to the post office, even anonymously?

Read More on EzineArticles

The Imaging Executive: How to become a thought leader

The January issue of the AIE Imaging Executive newsletter features an article by Michelle Randall, principal of executive coaching consulting firm Enriching Leadership International. Below is an excerpt of the article, “Your thought leadership: Advancing your career and your company:”

We call them “experts” or “go-to” people. They’re the ones who gave the talk or wrote the book that you keep telling people about. You can easily use their ideas to underscore a point you want to make. My current favorites are Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote “The Tipping Point,” and Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, who wrote “Freakonomics.” These people are thought leaders. It’s time for you to become one, too. Read more

‘Tis the Season to Step In It

Every year we head into the holidays with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Who can forget Bridget Jones’ holiday party singing that was tone deaf in oh-so-many ways.

Here are a few ways to play it safe without neutering the holidays and boring yourself and others to tears.

Read More on SelfGrowth

3 Things Groupon (Or Anyone) Needs To Do If They Want To Succeed In China

When I saw a poster for Groupon in a Shanghai subway this summer, my first reaction was, “What a perfect match!” I love buying Groupons on my iPhone and I thought that the cost-conscious, cellphone-toting Chinese public would too.

And they do. But Groupon has proven that it’s not ready for them.

Read More on FastCompany

Using Cultural Agility To Put An End To Political Gridlock

I was walking across my university campus 20 years ago when it hit me. My bulky Walkman was piping my favorite tunes through muff-like headphones when I noticed just how many other students were also plugged into their own music. We were ensconced in our own customized micro-environments with no need to interact with any sounds we hadn’t selected for ourselves, or even with each other.

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Reclaim Your Effectiveness With One Simple Action

After a meeting at a large corporation I work with, one of the division presidents, I’ll call him Bill, pulled me aside. “Last year I felt invincible. But these past few months, I’ve been completely off my game,” he told me in a hushed voice. “My boss even said that I used to be a winner and asked what had happened.”

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“I’m Not Listening to You!” Why Political Conversations Are So Volatile

Have you ever had a political conversation where you felt like the person you’re talking with was living on a different planet? I mean, here is an intelligent person you’re talking with who must have cleverly disguised antennae because what else could explain his or her alien version of reality? There’s a reason that the admonition for generations has been not to talk about politics–although it’s probably not in an effort to conceal a Martian invasion.

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Are You Surrounding Yourself With Fools? (You Should Be.)

Not having broadcast TV, my husband and I just discovered The Tudors.

Beyond the fun of religion, sex, and beheadings; at its heart, the series is a fascinating depiction of how a young Henry VIII transforms into an infamous tyrant, to whom no one who dares speak the truth or else find themselves on the chopping block–quite literally.

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Measuring Life

The other week we traveled to San Diego to attend the memorial for a dear friend of ours. I met John while in college, and he and his wife were the host family for the cute exchange student who was later to become my husband.

I have to admit that I both loved and dreaded going for pizza and beer at John and Marge’s house. They were professors, medical researchers and leaders in their fields. As a twenty-two year old I found it very intimidating. John demanded rigorous thinking, and while he was humorous and insightful, articulating my ideas sloppily would land me quickly on the hot seat.

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Party On! – The Pleasures and Perils of Partying With a Coach

To ring in the new year, we celebrate with family and close friends. We enjoy a fine meal, champagne and entertain ourselves by staging ‘No Talent’ shows that are as fun for the people ‘performing’ as those watching.

Now you know you’re partying with a coach when, close to midnight, everyone is handed  a blank slip of paper and a pen with the following instructions…On one side of our individual papers, we record our greatest joys, accomplishments and triumphs of the passing year. On the flip side, we observe our disappointments, heartbreaks and achievements that stayed beyond our grasp.

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Giving Thanks Along the Journey

I’m spending Thanksgiving in Germany this year.  This means that I transported stuffing, gravy mix and pumpkin pie fixings eight thousand miles in order to cook all day for my husband’s bewildered family.

Thanksgiving is more than a harvest festival.  Our founders crossed the ocean in cramped quarters and found home just in time for a bitter winter that the majority did not survive.  In the Spring, Native Americans offered to help the pilgrims learn how to farm.  When they celebrated the harvest together that Fall, the pilgrims knew they had survived the beginning of their journey and would be able to live in their land of promise.

Read More on FastCompany