Welcome to Beyond the Jargon

Five tips for being a great mentor (and four traps to avoid)

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 1/22/2018

Have you ever had a mentor? Someone who took you under his or her wing to show you the ropes? Someone who freely gave their time and shared their knowledge and experience to assist you in your own growth and development?

I can think of a couple of really good mentors I have had over the course of my career. These individuals helped shape my view of leadership and created my belief that a leader’s job, in part, is to develop future generations of leaders. They provided a safe space for me to be vulnerable, ask questions and explore ideas without any fear. They freely gave their time, insight and experience to help me be successful.

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Compromise Isn’t a Bad Word

Author: admin, Date: 2/15/2017

“Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”
          ~Walter Lippmann, American Journalist

To say that we have a great divide in this country is an understatement.  If I don’t agree with you then I am an “idiot” or “stupid.”  (Words thrown out on social media from both parties.)  In politics, compromise has become a bad word.  Civil discussion is unpopular and loses out to vitriol, name-calling, and agenda pushing.  (Bear with me, I promise this is not going to be a political post.)

Categories: Leadership Development | No Comments

What We Are Reading

Author: admin, Date: 5/19/2016

Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results
Robert J. Anderson and William A. Adams
Viking Adult, 2013

Is your leadership a competitive advantage, or is it costing you? How do you know? Are you developing your leadership effectiveness at the pace of change?

For most leaders, complexity is outpacing their personal development and today’s escalating global complexity puts it at a premium. /Mastering Leadership/ involves developing the effectiveness of leaders – individually and collectively – and turning that leadership into a competitive advantage.

This timeless text provides a systematic approach to developing your senior leaders and the leadership system of your organization – not with quick fixes, but with real development that requires a strategic, long-term, and integrated approach. /Mastering Leadership/ offers a pathway to bring forth the best use of yourself, your life, and your leadership.


An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization
Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
Harvard Business Review Press (2016)

A Radical New Model for Unleashing Your Company’s Potential

In most organizations nearly everyone is doing a second job no one is paying them for—namely, covering their weaknesses, trying to look their best, and managing other people’s impressions of them. There may be no greater waste of a company’s resources. The ultimate cost: neither the organization nor its people are able to realize their full potential.

What if a company did everything in its power to create a culture in which everyone—not just select “high potentials”—could overcome their own internal barriers to change and use errors and  vulnerabilities as prime opportunities for personal and company growth?

This book demonstrates a whole new way of being at work. It suggests that the culture you create is your strategy—and that the key to success is developing everyone.


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Adversity Reveals You

Author: admin, Date: 1/4/2016

“In times of adversity and change, we really discover who we are and what we’re made of.”
Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks

How you lead during times of adversity reveals you. Your leadership strengths are highlighted and your leadership flaws are accentuated.
Adversity is in the eyes of the beholder—it can be as small as a difficult employee or customer interaction or as large as a major lay-off or legal challenge. Regardless, how you behave under stress says a lot about your overall leadership.
It is easy to lead during the good times. While obstacles still exist, leaders tend to have the resources (time, people, money) to overcome them. It’s when times get tough that you really need to demonstrate your leadership skills. What leadership strengths or weaknesses do you reveal during times of adversity? What do your employees and colleagues say about you when things are stressful? These are the things I often hear about the “boss” when I work with clients:

Categories: Executive Coaching | Leadership Development | No Comments

Stop the Mind Reading—Give Candid Feedback

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 7/21/2015

Providing feedback (positive and constructive) is Management 101.  Giving feedback to direct reports, co-workers or team members is essential to success.  Providing upward feedback, while sometimes tricky, helps contribute to a transparent environment focused on growth and development.

If feedback is essential, why do we see so many situations where employees don’t know where they stand?  Why do some employees only get feedback once a year during their performance review?

Which of the following situations sound familiar?

  • You notice that sales aren’t where they need to be so you make a sarcastic comment during a sales meeting hoping the team catches on that you aren’t happy.
Categories: Executive Coaching | Leadership Development | No Comments

Creating a High Performing Environment

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 6/5/2015

Leaders play an important role in creating a motivating work environment.  They set the tone by demonstrating respect, valuing employees, and creating a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

While you can’t really motivate someone, you can create the conditions that encourage people to be motivated to perform at their best.

While money is important, it isn’t the most powerful or effective motivator.  People want to be paid fairly, but it isn’t the force that generates discretionary effort. The following factors, when employed on a day-to-day basis, go a long way to creating an environment of high performance.


Categories: Change Management | Leadership Development | Organizational Culture | No Comments

Why you should strive for integration, not balance

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 4/30/2015

“Hi. How are you?”

This is a pretty standard greeting as we acknowledge co-workers in the morning or begin a phone conversation. In fact, it’s become the kind of question that rarely, if ever, requires a serious response. If we do get a real answer, it often feels awkward or even intrusive.

For some time I’ve noticed that the response I usually get when I ask, “How are you?” is “busy,” “crazy,” or “stressed.” It seems like most of us are running in different directions, struggling to manage it all, and striving to make a difference in our personal and professional lives. The common thread is the desire to achieve a greater work-life balance.

Categories: Leadership Development | Miscellaneous | No Comments

A Quick Way to Explore Work/Life Balance

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 3/25/2015

My coaching practice presents me with the opportunity to work with leaders in a variety of organizations and industries.  These are leaders at all levels struggling to make a difference in their work and in their lives.  A common thread is the desire to find more “balance.”  (While balance is the popular term, I think it is really more about integration; but, that’s a discussion for another post.)

Categories: Executive Coaching | Leadership Development | No Comments

The 3 Cs of Building Credibility

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 1/30/2015

We hear a lot about credibility these days, particularly as it relates to our elected officials (as in lack of credibility).  It has even surfaced as we evaluate the results of our sporting events (e.g., deflated footballs, blown calls).

Credibility is the quality of being believable or worthy of trust.  As a leader, it allows your employees to put their faith in you to make good decisions, communicate with transparency and be a reliable source of information.  It allows your peers and your manager to know that you are communicating without hidden agendas and that you have the organization’s best interest in mind.

Categories: Executive Coaching | Leadership Development | No Comments

Tips For Being A Great Mentor

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 4/17/2014

Have you ever had a mentor?  Someone who took you under his/her wing to show you the ropes?  Someone who freely gave their time and shared their knowledge and experience to assist you in your own growth and development?  I can think of a couple of mentors that I have had over the course of my career.  These individuals helped shape my view of leadership and created my belief that a leader’s job, in part, is to develop future generations of leaders.

Categories: Leadership Development | No Comments