5 Questions to Assess Organizational Culture

5 Questions to Assess Organizational Culture

About three months ago, I sat down for lunch at a Thai restaurant in Connecticut with a woman named Anne.

She is the managing partner of Fio Partners, a nonprofit consulting firm that I've been following for about three years: I'd hired them to facilitate staff retreats for my former organization, connected with everyone I knew who knew them, and had informational interviews with nearly every member of the six-person team about their lives as consultants. 

This meeting was less of a job interview and more of a conversation. It just felt right. I would join the team. I would complement my individual coaching at Penney Leadership with organizational consulting through Fio Partners. I would bring together my coaching expertise with my nonprofit management experience and tools to serve a wide variety of organizations. And the coconut soup was delicious.

It's what I've wanted for years. 

In the car on the way home, I called my best friend to share the news. She flipped, squealing, "ARE YOU SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW?" But I wasn't jumping out of my seat with elation—instead, I felt a total calm and coherence. It was a kind of deep knowing that my whole life had led me to this moment.

How do I know that? Here’s how…

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The Value of Misery at Work

The Value of Misery at Work

A friend of mine recently started a nursing job at a new hospital. As part of the standard orientation plan, she was assigned a preceptor to show her the ropes and acclimate her to the hospital's policies.

But instead of being a supportive and encouraging leader, the trainer was constantly looming over my friend's shoulder, speaking over her during report-outs, and making unnecessary stylistic corrections to her written reports.

Instead of feeling confident and at home at the new hospital, my friend—an experienced and wonderful nurse—felt distrusted, incompetent, and frustrated. After just two shifts, she was going out of her mind. And the training period was six weeks long!

Each time I saw her, she was pulling her hair out, venting, and counting down the days. As we sipped gin and tonics on the porch after one particularly rough shift, I asked her:

What if, instead of seeing this as a frustrating and demoralizing situation, there was another way of looking at it?

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What is Authentic Leadership?

What is Authentic Leadership?

“Authentic Leadership” is a phrase that I've seen popping up in a lot of different places lately — so much so that it's turning into a bit of a buzzword. But it's also an important concept that lies at the heart of my business.

The phrase can mean a lot of different things to different people — to some it means cultivating a deep sense of self-awareness, to others it's bringing your whole self to work, or it can also be about developing honest and transparent relationships with colleagues and direct reports. 

While those are all good things, authentic leadership means something a little different to me…

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