Author: Tom Cox

Books for Managing and Resolving Conflict at Work

A friend asks, “Hi Tom. What are your top favorite books or articles on conflict resolution at work?” As a leader, it’s your job to ensure conflict at work is constructive, not destructive. Conflict at work is good, when it’s conflict

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Lean Leadership – Leading Lean Change

Making a workplace Lean is really about educating and empowering the workers. It’s strange to me that everyone wants to show before-and-after pictures of the workplace. It can look dramatic, but it’s secondary. This isn’t the real work of Lean

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Whether, When, and How to Push a Team

Great bosses know how to build, and how to push a team. Demanding excellence will mean pushing people. How exactly do you push someone? How do you know the right time, and the right way? Here’s what you need to

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Thomas Cox to Keynote at Toastmasters Leadership Institute

Beaverton, Ore., November 21, 2016 — Becoming a Best Boss today announced its Director, Thomas Cox, has been invited to give the keynote speech to the 2017 Toastmasters Leadership Institute to be held in Wilsonville, Oregon. Titled “The Only Universal Truth

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Leading and Managing

We lead change, and manage complexity. Leading and managing, then, are complementary activities. Change involves fear. Leaders help us deal with fear. LeadingManaging DirectionCreate a Vision; Craft a StrategyBudgeting; PlanningRiskChoose which risks to takeMitigate and manage risksClarityAligning PeopleOrganizing; StaffingDesireMotivating PeopleControlling

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How to Build an Evolved Organization

What does it mean to have an evolved organization? You have an evolved organization when you’re reaching a higher level of sophistication, structure, and purpose by building on the strengths of prior levels. Why do organizations struggle? Often, because we try

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Dan Prock on Leading Lean Projects

For this episode of the Tom on Leadership podcast, I interviewed veteran Lean expert and coach Dan Prock on the topic of Leading Lean. Same Blueprint, 30% Cheaper, 50% Better Dan’s first exposure to Lean came when he worked at

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How to Make Your Team Resilient

Resilience is the ability of a team to perform well — reliably, correctly, quickly — under extreme pressure. What makes a team resilient, and how do you as a leader make your team resilient? Ron Steed has studied this for

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How to Become a Trusted Executive

I interviewed John Blakey, author of The Trusted Executive: Nine Leadership Habits that Inspire Results, Relationships and Reputation. This book is now my #1 favorite resource for building trust — and building trust is at the heart of Stage Three, “Inspire

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Three Quick Steps to Inspire Your Team

How does a leader inspire a team? First, by sharing a vision that’s noble and worthy. It’s the promised land — anything from putting a man on the moon, to eradicating polio, to adopting a new product line for the

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How to Use Assumptive Goal Setting

Setting good goals is awesome — it can energize you and your team to achieve great things. One of the hardest parts of goal setting is overcoming your own, and your team’s, fears and internal limitations. One simple mental trick lets you

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What are the CEO’s Top Five Focus Areas?

I coach CEOs and business owners to consciously retain ownership of these five key areas: Shaping the Culture Recruiting, Leading and Managing the Senior Team Crafting and Owning the Strategy Overseeing the Budget Pursuing Self Improvement In addition, of course,

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What Should you Optimize? Define Good Work

One of the most common, and tragic, causes of poor work performance is that everybody assumes the definition of Good Work is obvious, so nobody ever seeks explicit agreement on what it is. When the boss doesn’t define Good Work, things

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When Business is Great, What Should I Be Doing?

A CEO asks, “I’ve got my business running smoothly. My managers handle all the work. I’m doing strategy and vision. What else should I be working on?” My answer: You’re looking for a new challenge, or a new level of

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How can I Be a Better Boss?

To be an exceptional boss, you have to create a target condition for your subordinates. Keep ’em Safe Make ’em Grow Keep ’em Safe When people feel emotionally safe while reporting to you as their boss, they will: Admit mistakes

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