Milestone Blog

6 Questions To Determine Your Team's Alignment

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Jun 4, 2015 6:45:00 PM

Achieving the extraordinary isn’t reserved for superheroes and you don’t have to enlist Captain America as your team leader to accomplish something remarkable. In fact, most high performing teams are comprised of fairly regular members. History offers plenty of examples of teams that have taken individuals from average backgrounds and created something truly extraordinary. The Miracle Mets of 1969, the Rolling Stones, and SEAL Team 6 are just a few.  Of course, you’re saying to yourself, my team isn’t made of professional athletes, rock stars or Navy SEALs. How can we become remarkable?  

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Topics: Leadership, Values & Ethics, Practical Tips & Tricks, Creating Culture

How Aligned Is Your Senior Team?

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on May 28, 2015 3:30:00 PM


Performance Matters.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask any results-oriented executive, group of shareholders, or board of directors.  It also matters in the athletic arena and the classroom.  Expectations are high in these environments and teams that win embrace them.  But as a senior leader, how can you know whether your team is really a high-performing one?  And how can you know if you are really aligned?  Let me offer three pieces of evidence as a bit of a litmus test.

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Topics: Leadership, Values & Ethics, Practical Tips & Tricks, Creating Culture

Building Shared Commitment in Your Leadership Team

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on May 21, 2015 3:00:00 PM

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The senior team of any organization is like the foundation of a house. It is constructed to carry the structure above that is seen while resting appropriately on the bedrock of talent that truly supports the organization’s success.

Shared commitment is like the reinforcing bars placed in that foundation.

Lack of shared commitment among the team can compromise the integrity of the foundation and put undue pressure on the bedrock, causing the visible structure to show signs of distress. Even more things are revealed to be true about the reinforcing of that foundation when extreme external forces put added pressure on the bedrock or structure. Things can quickly crumble or fall.

Here are some questions to ask yourself that may help you as a leader as you look to build greater shared commitment:

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Topics: Leadership, Values & Ethics, Practical Tips & Tricks, Creating Culture

4 Conversations Leaders Must Have

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Apr 6, 2015 12:33:00 PM

Leadership is all about improving the process in order to produce better results, and leadership shows up most in conversation. Here are four conversations to have with your team in order to improve leadership, influence behavior of team members and increase productivity.

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Topics: Leadership, Relationships, Values & Ethics, Practical Tips & Tricks, Employee Development, Personal Development

Hey, Millennials: Are You Really Being Honest?

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Feb 26, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Honesty goes beyond just not telling lies. Our society agrees that deception should be avoided; you don’t need a blog post to tell you that lying is unethical.

Honesty has multiple dimensions, though. One facet of honesty is that of being open and direct. As a twenty-something, it can be intimidating to be candid at work, especially with coworkers who are older and more experienced than you. Still, there are several reasons why millennials shouldn’t shy away from telling the truth just because we’re young. Namely, honesty contributes to Authenticity and Growth.

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Topics: Leadership, Values & Ethics

What’s your price? (The Cost of Values)

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Feb 24, 2015 7:30:00 AM

I’ve often heard people say, “Values don’t matter until they cost you something.” When I’d hear someone say that, I’d usually smile and nod my head in subtle agreement, never fully considering the meaning of that statement. It wasn’t until I actually faced an important values dilemma that I realized both the meaning and the irony of that phrase. Each of us employs values to guide everyday behaviors, and by extension, nearly every action and decision becomes a trade-off of competing values. Most of the time we do this work without thinking, and as a result, we are woefully ill-prepared to calculate the costs of our values until it’s too late. I learned my lesson the hard way, but I believe there is a more effective and practical solution.

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Topics: Leadership, Values & Ethics

Jackie Robinson Would Have Said Something

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Feb 13, 2015 8:40:00 AM

April 15, 1947 doesn’t mean much to people outside of the game of baseball. In fact, many baseball fans don’t know the significance of that day. But that is the day that the Brooklyn Dodgers started one Jackie Robinson at first base. Jack Roosevelt Robinson was the first African American to start in Major League Baseball in the modern era. Jackie Robinson was a very good baseball player. When most odds were against him, he succeeded by taking his talents and developing them through hard work and consistent practice. I don’t pretend to be an authority on Jackie Robinson, but what I do know gives me pause to think that perhaps he is one of the best athletes in our nation’s history. While attending UCLA, he lettered in 4 NCAA sports: football, baseball, basketball and track. His courage and willingness to withstand the racial abuses brought an end to 60 years of discrimination in Major League Baseball based solely on a man’s color. One thing is sure, he was honest and full of integrity. He displayed a commitment to his values that served him well when he needed them most.

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Topics: Leadership, Values & Ethics, Powerful Influencers

Determination: An Important Leadership Lesson

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Jan 8, 2015 4:33:00 PM

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to attend the annual Fred Forum in Vancouver, British Colombia. The FRED organization is devoted to elevating the quality of leadership in the world through investing in leaders focused on developing other leaders. During the forum, participants like me were sent out into the community to visit a variety of not-for-profit organizations to learn about these organizations and meet the people who lead them. The goal of these visits is to see first-hand how the leaders inspire and guide their organizations. My experience not only demonstrated how to run an excellent not-for-profit, but inspired me to lessons in life I would have never expected prior to our visit.

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Topics: Powerful Influencers, Deeper Life, Values & Ethics

3 Truths About Work/Life Balance

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Dec 18, 2014 4:36:00 PM

I'm at the career and life stage when I'm being asked about work/life balance. I hold a title of CEO and officially hit my mid-40s this month. I have a wife, two sons, and a mortgage, which is to say, I've achieved a certain degree of “normal.” Time and experience have led me to believe three things are true of Work/Life balance: 

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Topics: Personal Development, Values & Ethics, Practical Tips & Tricks

Making Space for Rest

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Dec 16, 2014 5:23:00 PM

Every year as the holiday season approaches, I have found that there is always a predictable theme that emerges among my peers, coworkers and other social circles; busyness. During a time of year that is specifically set aside for our rest, rejuvenation and reflection on the things that we hold most dear, our minds instead become bogged down by the growing lists of things we must do. Who is hosting the family this year? What will I buy my significant other? How will I keep up at work? How many days off is enough to appease dear old mom before jetting back to the office?

As the questions mount, so does the stress level. In a culture that has adopted a 24/7 lifestyle, it is no surprise that our holiday season is no exception. The question is what are ways that you can make room for rest in your life this holiday season?

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Topics: Personal Development, Values & Ethics