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There is not one question in my mind about who is “THE Boss.” I am fresh off my gazillionth Bruce Springsteen concert. This show was in San Jose, at the HP Pavilion on April 24, 2012.

Let’s talk about Leadership, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band.

Full disclosure…I am a Jersey Girl…

Bruce Springsteen is an extraordinary leader. What makes an extraordinary leader, you ask? Let me give you the top qualities and explain.

First, some context – Bruce is 62 years old, has 20 albums over a span of 40 years, 21 Grammy Awards, one Academy Award, two Golden Globes, and has sold more than 120 million albums globally. He has been married since 1991 and has 3 children.

There are multiple qualities that make an extraordinary leader. I will look at 5 of those qualities and put them in Bruce-eze.


  1. TRUST – When a fan walks into a Bruce show the..... Read More...

    Bruce springsteen, Leadership, New jersey, Professional and team leadership

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Management vs. Leadership – What’s the Difference?

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

You have people reporting to you. You’re accountable for your team’s results. You write performance reviews. Are you a Manager or a Leader? In many organizations those terms are used interchangeably. But there are fundamental differences between management and leadership.
Warren Bennis, organizational consultant and author of Learning to Lead, with Joan Goldsmith, said, “Managers are people who do things right. Leaders are people who do the right thing.”

As you consider the following, think about how you approach your team, individual employees and expected results.

Managers seek stability and continuity and achieve power based on their position of authority. They work toward an outcome of employee compliance. Leaders, on the other hand, seek change and uncertainty. They focus on innovation and base their power on personal influence. Leaders work toward an outcome of employe..... Read More...

Leadership, Management, Professional and team leadership

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5 Tips for Building a High-Performing Team

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

Building and leading effective teams is a key leadership competency. But how do you create that special magic that results in not just an effective team but a high-performing team? Consider these 5 tips as your magic wand…


  1. Establish a clear purpose and specific goals. By definition, a team is a group of individuals with a common purpose. That purpose and the milestones to achieve that purpose need to be clearly communicated and understood by every individual on the team. For high-performing teams, it’s not just understanding the destination,but also-as team members – being able to help define the means to get there. This ability to co-create results gives them a deeper commitment to the team purpose and improves performance.


  2. Identify and include individuals with complementary skills. These skills go beyond just..... Read More...

    Diversity, Leadership, People, Performance, Professional and team leadership, Teams

Valuing Diversity to Improve Team Performance

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

Someone once said, “If both of us think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary.”

We all know that any given project, or product development effort, requires a variety of skills sets and experience – behold the cross functional team. But beyond that, our inclination is to put people together who have similar personalities; who seem to “click.” We think that their natural alignment will provide harmony and accelerate productivity. But harmony doesn’t always guarantee the best results. In fact, recent studies have shown that teams made up of diverse personalities are more innovative, better at solving complex problems, and are higher performing overall.
Diverse teams perform better because they bring multiple perspectives, experiences and approaches to the table. These varying approaches and thought processes create a dynamic that is better equipped to deal with complex pr..... Read More...

Diversity, Leadership, Performance, Professional and team leadership, Teams

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Your Job Search Elevator Pitch

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

Picture this. You’re at a networking event (as part of your job search strategy) and someone says to you, “what do you do?” Or, you’re in an interview and the first question is, “tell me about yourself.”


How do you respond? If nothing immediately comes to mind, then it’s time for you to prepare a personal “infomercial” or elevator pitch – a concise, informative statement that describes your key competencies and tells the listener what you’re looking for. You can use it when you’re looking for a job externally, or even when you’re looking for a new opportunity internally.


Your infomercial should include a brief summary of:



  • Your profession/level

  • Your capabilities and unique qualities

  • The type of opportunity you’re seeking



If you’ve done the job search inventory work that I talked about in an..... Read More...

Career, Career planning, Job search

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Get Real About Your Career – Start by Taking Inventory

October 15th, 2012

By: Karen Colligan

The start of the New Year is typically when we “resolve” to make changes: eat less, exercise more, learn something new, change careers…
If a career change is on your list this year – whether it’s moving to a new career, finding new work in your current field, or creating more work/life balance – an important first step is figuring out where you are today. This is what I call Taking Inventory. Clarifying who you are and what you want will help you define, communicate and achieve your career goals. Here are 8 key areas for your self-assessment.


  1. Skills. What are the skills and competencies that have helped you succeed in your career so far? Which of them are transferable skills that will help you contribute regardless of industry or position? Write them all down.


  2. Values. What are the things you MUST have in a co..... Read More...

    Career, Career planning, The Get Real Guide to Your Career

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