Welcome back!
Individual Leadership: Listening is Not a Spectator Sport

Listening isn’t a passive activity. You’ve heard about active listening a gazillion times, but I still see leaders at all levels do a poor job of it.


Here are five things you can do that will reduce misunderstandings, improve clarity, and help you make better decisions. Those are the good things that happen when you listen better.

  • Pay closer attention – are you listening to understand or thinking of your response?
  • Withhold judgment – stop evaluating and focus on comprehending the message.
  • Clarify – engage in the conversation and clear up confusion or reduce misunderstandings.
  • Confirm – make sure you got it right by restating what you heard – we frequently miss things because we filter information.
  • Reflect – acknowledge the perspective or point of view of the other.


You’ll have your chance to share your points of view and disagreements as well. But if you do this first, I promise you’ll be viewed as a more effective leader.

Organizational Leadership: Resisting the Draw to Action

Most leaders I work with have a strong bias to action. It comes from a focus on getting things done and achieving results. But we frequently conflate action with progress and get drawn into the details of activity. However, you don’t just want to do something, you want to do the right things to produce strategic and impactful results.


Leaders are best when they focus on managing results versus managing tasks. You do this with a rigor in defining the work to be done, and precisely outlining the milestones of progress. This is what enables you to get out of the proverbial weeds and guide the execution of your strategy. I call this approach magnets and milestones:

  1. Clarify the objectives or initiatives to complete. This is your magnet drawing everyone unequivocally to the same destination.
  2. Define what success looks like along the way. These are the milestones that tell you you’re on the right track (or off).

Then let your people and their teams do their part.

Leadership in the World: Recruitment

With job openings reaching the highest levels on record in April, recruitment is among the top priorities of employers. Recruiters and HR teams post jobs and reach out to prospective candidates, but it doesn’t always work. And if I’m being honest, it’s a mediocre approach.

HR and recruiters can provide useful support, but If you want to fill openings (and subsequently retain great talent), get leadership involved. Leaders can use their network to spread the word of openings and reach out directly to potential candidates, immediately increasing buy-in. Additionally, it is critical that leadership plays an active role in bringing in top notch talent because the people that make up an organization are what drives success. Bobby Bowden, the legendary football Head Coach at Florida State University, once said, “He who gets the best players usually wins.”

It’s true. When you have talented people, everything else gets easier. So, carve out the time needed for leaders to be active in recruitment and get the best players for your team.


A friend introduced me to the Japanese term Mingei. It’s a philosophy which recognizes that ordinary objects can have both function and beauty. The idea has its roots in crafts and folk art like cups, bowls, or pots – things that are necessary, but also beautiful. It reminded me of the way Steve Jobs used to talk about the aesthetics of technology.

Without getting too philosophical, I’ve been thinking about how interactions between people, in particular among leaders, could be both functional and beautiful. Whether it be a collaboration, a coaching conversation, a problem solving meeting, even a sales call. All of these could be beautiful.

What elements would have to be present to be both functional and beautiful? I suspect it has something to do with the attitude we bring, the knowledge we possess, and how skillful we are all coming together at once for a burst of excellence or even effectiveness. In the same way an athlete, an artist, or a performer brings their talents for a great performance. Even a beautiful one.

LinkedIn Live: How Leaders Drive Strategy Execution

Join me on Tuesday, June 21 at 10am Eastern as we discuss how leaders drive strategy execution.

LIL for June 2022.png
We’ve updated our Privacy Policy to be in accordance with GDPR guidelines. If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter you can easily unsubscribe using the unsubscribe link below.

Edinger Consulting