The Extraordinary Blog

Boys in the Boat: A Great Case Study on Building an Olympic Team

My mother casually mentioned that her latest book club selection as an interesting book about how the US rowing team came together to win Olympic Gold in Berlin in 1936.

I had never heard of Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.  It’s a New York Times Bestseller (I must be living under a rock), so I immediately went to the closest bookstore (that would be …

Posted January 28, 2015 by Kristin Arnold in teamwork


Make 2015 Your Year

book cover

Here we are again, at the beginning of a new, exciting and wonderful year, full of amazing opportunities. Now is the time to look at the year ahead and visualize a book in which you are the author, entitled “My 2015”.

When you open it, the pages are all blank. Some people will fill in those pages and create their year ahead and 12 months from …

Posted January 14, 2015 by Joseph Sherren in Critical Thinking


Strategic Planning Day Is Here!

planningThis week, Joe and I are doing our strategic planning in beautiful Palm Beach Shores, FL.  We work in the morning and then “play” in the afternoon, soaking up the sun (although I hear a cold front is moving in…..drat!).

In December, in preparation for this meeting, we review 2014 metrics and trend data about our services and products.  We …

Posted January 7, 2015 by Kristin Arnold in Clear Direction, Critical Thinking


Breaking Management Myths


My last column was entitled “Leading from the Heart” and focused on how we need to change focus from command and control to a more empathetic focused management style.

Since then, I have been informed there is actually a book called “Lead from the Heart”.

In fact, some of the information I came across should have actually been accredited to this author.

Now …

Posted December 31, 2014 by Joseph Sherren in Leadership


Leading from the Heart


Christmas is just days away and many organizations are celebrating the holidays and commemorating the past year. It is also the time when managers wear more of their heart on their sleeves and display true feelings of kindness toward their employees.

Sometime I wonder, why does it take the spirit of Christmas to show kindness? Why is there not an ongoing culture of gratitude all year long?  …

Posted December 18, 2014 by Joseph Sherren in Leadership


7 Crucial People Managers Should Hire to Help Manage Their Reputation


mediainterviewIn this complex, digital and global business world, everything is publicly broadcasted instantaneously. Every CEO needs to be aware of how their actions, words and behaviors impact the marketplace. They must not only be transparent in their communications, but ensure they give a positive first impression.

Social media exaggerates the above, as it’s often the channel through which an executive communicates the first impression. The …

Posted December 3, 2014 by Joseph Sherren in Communication, Leadership


Don’t Just Give Thanks, Say “Thanks” Too!


Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday.  It’s a time for family and friends to get together with absolutely no expectations.  No gifts, no costumes, no cards, no nothing.  Just a turkey dinner, great conversation and a little aquavit (my family is swedish and we have a lovely tradition singing helan gar after every course!).

Sometime after dinner and before the pumpkin pie, we all go around …

Posted November 25, 2014 by Kristin Arnold in Communication


Getting Paid What You Deserve


When paying employees, you can use three methods: 1) pay by the hour, 2) pay a salary, 3) pay by the piece – the number of things they make, or the tasks they complete (known as ‘piecework’).

Many organizations are now realizing, when everyone is paid the same regardless of output, there is little motivation to produce at a high level beyond the work ethic of that …

Posted November 19, 2014 by Joseph Sherren in Employee Satisfaction


Managers Need to Embrace Social Media

Social media drop

This past summer I was surprised to hear that so many organizations in PEI do not allow the current trends in business (like social media) in their organizations. I wonder: did they not allow calculators, credit cards, automobiles or telephones when they were first introduced?

If managers only knew – the more they try to delay the future, the more they will fall behind their …

Posted November 5, 2014 by Joseph Sherren in Clear Direction, Decision Making


A Model to Describe Strategic Planning

When facilitating a strategic planning session, I often describe this model that shows the difference between strategic and operational planning:

First, I draw a horizontal axis that is a timeline from today to the duration of the strategic plan (usually 3-5 years) – along with a vertical axis that represents metrics of success – however an organization quantifies success (Gross Revenue, EBITDA etc.). I then put a mark on “today” and the midpoint of …

Posted October 29, 2014 by Kristin Arnold in Critical Thinking, Facilitation, Uncategorized

Celebrating 20 Years