Linda Henman

Dr. Linda Henman is one of those rare experts who can say she’s a coach, consultant, speaker, and author. For more than 30 years, she has worked with Fortune 500 Companies and small businesses that want to think strategically, grow dramatically, promote intelligently, and compete successfully today and tomorrow. 

When it comes to accepting direction, star performers, especially those in the major leagues of their industries, show caution and restraint. They offer raw talent, expertise, discipline, and excellence, so they want to see the same qualities in those who lead and teach them. Members of the St. Louis Cardinals see these traits in their hitting coach, John Mabry.

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We’d like to think that if we met someone who didn’t have a conscience, we would size up the situation quickly and accurately. If we were to encounter the corporate equivalent to the fictitious Hannibal Lecter, the evil psychiatrist Anthony Hopkins made famous in Silence of the Lambs, we believe that, like FBI agent Clarice Starling, we would not only assess him accurately, we would know what to do to overpower him. And we’d be wrong.

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In my work, I frequently engage in a broad-based leadership development program to prepare top talent for advancement. That was the case when I recently worked with a large construction company to groom Mike, one of the presidents, and Joe, the lead risk officer, for advancement.

During the 360 peer interviews I asked Mike how Joe could improve in general and how he could specifically help Mike with his growth objectives. Without hesitation, Mike answered, “I need for Joe to take me right to the edge of the cliff without letting me fall over. Right now he’s serving as the business-prevention arm of the business.”

Human stars create energy in the organization, often causing explosions of ideas that send shock waves throughout the industry. The human supernovae also influence the formation of other luminaries. To position your company for growth in a global economy and to create the agility to respond to future unforeseen turbulence, you need to create the atmospheric conditions that will allow the stars to shine.

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In Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, the author takes the reader on a whirlwind tour through 13,000 years of history on all the continents. He also directly and indirectly offers some observations and recommendations about what leaders can do to influence the cultures they create and the organizations they aspire to lead.

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