Soderquist Blog

Would I Want to Play Kickball With Them?

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Jan 24, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Do you remember the kickball field in elementary school?  Boy, I do!  I remember being with friends, laughing, running, competing…  For me, like most young boys, it was a break from the classroom but more than that, looking back it was very formative for me.  Here’s an example:  In my professional life, when it comes to recruiting and selection of people, more and more I think about “would I want to play kickball with them?” 

Read More

Topics: Leadership

The Ultimate Team Player

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Jan 20, 2017 8:00:00 AM


As we ramp up into the New Year, I wanted to reflect on some of my key learnings on leadership in 2016 and how I want to apply them in 2017. In August, I heard Patrick Lencioni, at the Global Leadership Summit, speak on his new book titled The Ideal Team Player. Patrick’s key message was that to be an ideal team player, you needed to be three things: Humble, Hungry, and Smart. I loved the simplicity of his message, and as I reflected on this, I think there is genius in this concept.

To explain these three virtues as Patrick Lencioni describes, I thought I would use a personal story that helps me define them. I have always felt stories are much better than definitions to describe concepts like these.

Read More

Topics: Leadership, Teams

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Jan 18, 2017 8:00:00 AM


We're now 18 days, or roughly two work weeks, into 2017. How are you doing on your New Year's resolutions so far? If you haven't set any yet, it's not to late to start!

However, research suggests that only 8% of people who make a New Year’s resolution actually accomplish all of their resolutions. So here are a few practical steps you can take to help you keep yours this year.

  1. Set tangible goals. When I am working with a client I sometimes ask the question “how will you know that you improved in this area by this time next year?” For example; if you say you want to be more physically fit this time next year, you could take a Body Mass Index, Resting Heart Rate, Blood Pressure and then take them again in 12 months and see how you did. Did you improve? The important thing is that you can measure progress, and can celebrate even slight gains.

Read More

Topics: Leadership, Practical Tips & Tricks

Top 5 Blog Posts of 2016

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Dec 29, 2016 3:22:00 PM

It's that time of year again! As 2016 comes to a close and we gear up for a new year, we wanted to take a look back and share with you our top blog posts from this past year.

Read More

Topics: Leadership, Company Culture, Employee Development, Personal Development

Hold the Ladder

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Dec 9, 2016 12:30:00 PM


Five years ago when I was working for a different company, one of our full time staff members, Jill, was a woman in her early 20s and in her first year at the company. Jill didn’t just like our company – she adored it and was overwhelmingly passionate.

Read More

Topics: Leadership

Is "Have Fun" in Your Job Description?

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Dec 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM


I worked a part-time job in college and graduate school to help pay the bills and I learned a very valuable lesson from the different experiences I had in two of the jobs that I worked. 

Read More

Topics: Personal Development

Getting better vs. Being good

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Oct 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM


In her book, Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals, Heidi Grant Halvorson talks about the difference between performance goals and mastery goals.  Performance goals are all about being good at a specific task.  Mastery goals are focused on getting better or improving.  Halvorson puts it this way: being good goals are about proving yourself while getting better goals are about improving yourself.

Read More

Topics: Personal Development

George Washington's early career mistakes provide valuable lesson

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Oct 25, 2016 8:00:00 AM


In world history, the U.S. is a relatively young country but over the years of business travel, I’ve noticed anything “old” or historic in our nation’s history is essentially on the east coast and I’ve tried to take advantage of being in the area to visit some of our country’s landmarks. 
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to make my first trip to Pennsylvania for a leadership conference.
Read More

Topics: Leadership

Great leaders share talent with the rest of the organization

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Oct 20, 2016 8:00:00 AM


I was part of a group that was touring the back end activities of an order fulfillment operation. Our tour guide was showing us a scoreboard where a particular customer service metric was tracked. While his own numbers stood out as far beyond the rest, he spoke only of the successes of the people who report to him. I was impressed with that.

Read More

Topics: Leadership

What if we manage down like we manage up?

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Oct 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM


I have worked for some managers who were gifted at managing up.  They placed an enormous amount of effort on making sure that they pre-aligned with key stakeholders ahead of key meetings and conversations.  They spent time having coffee and lunch with senior leaders selling their initiatives and ideas. 

I’m not decrying this work.  It does make me wonder what the impact would be for these leaders if they invested just as heavily into managing down.

Read More