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Barnes & Conti Resource Library: Articles

Articles about Leadership Development, Coaching, and Team Building

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Article: Leadership Storytelling, by Jack Harris and B. Kim Barnes (from Industrial and Commerical Training Magazine)

Excerpt: “...Human beings learn from experiences – their own and those of others – through stories. As long as human beings have had language, there have been stories. A story creates an indelible message. It is a container for important life lessons. Most of us carry several virtual volumes of “lessons learned” from childhood forward – we remember the lessons especially well because we can recreate the story of how we learned them. We tell those stories to our own children or young relatives in the hope that they can benefit from our experiences (without necessarily having to recreate them). As leaders, we can learn to use our own stories to communicate important messages to others....”

Article: Inspirational Leadership:Involving senior leaders in developing the next generation, by Jack Harris and B. Kim Barnes (from Industrial and Commerical Training Magazine)

Excerpt: “Developing the leaders who will create a company’s future is very high on the priority list of any company’s current leadership – in a perfect world, that is. In the real world, few senior leaders are able or willing to commit the time and energy required by this very important – but usually not urgent – activity. In this article, we will describe how Eli Lilly’s Lilly Research Laboratories has encouraged and supported the deep engagement of senior leaders in leadership development. We will focus particularly on one of the programs, Inspirational Leadership....”

Article: Leadership in Turbulent Times

Excerpt: “...Traditionally, Western culture has viewed leaders as ”born, not made.“ Historically, it was a privilege of class and breeding, although exceptional people such as Joan of Arc were seen as leading through the inspiration of a higher power (godly or demonic). More recently, leadership has been described as a set of traits or competencies that can be learned or developed. Behavioral scientists have identified leadership as a series of roles that can be shared within a team. Business consultants have distinguished between leadership and management by saying that management does things right and leadership does the right things....”

Article: Leading with Courage

Excerpt: “...Leadership is often defined as the ability to guide, direct, or influence people. Formal leadership is an office or position at the head of a group of people; it carries legitimized authority. Informal leadership means stepping up to an unchartered opportunity to guide, direct, or influence others. There is little question that informal leadership requires courage, initiative, and commitment. Formal leaders can choose to lead with courage or to take the easier path....”

Article: Creating a Coaching Culture in a Corporate Environment, by Edd Conboy and Kim Barnes

Excerpt: “...The creation of a feedforward process is a key factor in the development of a coaching culture. The hallmark of an effective coaching culture is that it permeates the entire organization. Coaching is seen as a set of behaviors and not a role. The focus in such a culture is on accepting responsibility for creating stellar performers out of promising new hires and current contributors. Organizations that are considering creating such a culture must first consider whether the benefits merit the effort, and, if so, how to bring it about.....”

Article: What’s an Organizational Vision and Why Do We Need One?

Excerpt: “Envisioning is a process of determining where you want to go and how you will know that you have arrived—and then being able to communicate that to others. It’s more than a sentence on a coffee cup or the Annual Report.

An inspiring vision is a story about the future—a future that you and others want to achieve together. An inspiring vision is motivating to you and can show others a possible future, enabling them to believe in that possibility. You can use your vision as a “star to steer by”—a way to keep yourself and others aligned and focused....”

Article: The Nature of Teamwork: Becoming a World Class Team

Excerpt: “A world class team is made up of high-performing individuals whose performance is enhanced by the synergy of the team. Thus, the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. A world class team is characterized by collaboration and creativity, and by alignment of the needs of individuals with the team and the organization. The purpose and vision are “owned” by each team member and there is a clear and compelling set of shared values. World class teams operate on trust and an attitude of partnership toward one another....”

Article: Team Skills: Preventing a Good Idea From Becoming a Failed Experiment

Excerpt: “...Teams work best when the desired result requires the coordinated knowledge, talents and efforts of different individuals or units, when the whole will be more than the sum of its parts. It is an alternative to the “over-the-wall” process of each unit or person doing his or her part and then moving it on to the next. This kind of process wastes time, duplicates effort and does not benefit from the synergy of people of different backgrounds creating something together. It also does not allow for the practical advantage of involving the right people early in the decision-making process, thereby preventing expensive mistakes and “re-dos”. Effective cross-functional teams are generally the best vehicle for accomplishing complex tasks such as product development....”

All articles by Kim Barnes unless otherwise notated.

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