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Lori's Latest Articles

"What you said was so powerful, I wish I’d written it down…!"

How many times have you said that to someone?

Here Lori shares an excerpt from the latest thoughts she doesn’t want you to lose.

Mesa Verde Living Room, Colorado by Jerry Park

Vertical Development: Feedback & The Expert Stage

Within the progression of vertical development there are several distinct stages (sometimes referred to as mindsets or worldviews) that describe how we relate to and navigate the world around us. The Expert stage is the most prevalent within organizations. And with good reason: this is the stage where our professional...
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Vertical Development: Leaders as Pioneers

I’ve been working with vertical development since the mid-90s when I studied adult stage development in grad school. I learned it as a framework for understanding individual growth and development. I quickly realized, however, that its principles apply to groups, teams and organizations, and I’ve been using it in my...
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Announcing: On Leading

It’s been almost a year since launching Lori On Leadership. It’s been a joy to bring leaders who are exemplars of transformative capacity into the spotlight! Finding a way to bring the crucial importance of leading beyond right/wrong, dualistic thinking has never been more urgent. So this Substack and podcast...
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5 Fears of Mid-Level Leaders — Fear of Exposure

“Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you: I’m successful. But am I really adding enough value to the organization? I think about the teams that I’m responsible for—the vast array of output and all that they are capable of, and my job is somehow to hold it all together. If I...
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5 Fears of Mid-Level Leaders — Fear of Failure

“Please don’t tell anybody, but I’m scared. My organization has invested $100M in this new initiative, and the outcome will brand my career. If it succeeds, I’ll be a hero. But if it fails, people will look at me as the person who squandered all the work hours, all the...
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5 Fears of Mid-Level Leaders — Fear of Rejection

“I really didn’t expect this. I’ll admit that I’m used to being liked by the people around me — and I’m used to people going along with my proposals and my ideas on what should be done. But I’ve run into a wall. I’m hitting obstacles that I’ve never encountered...
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5 Fears of Mid-Level Leaders — Fear of Incompetence

“I just got promoted, and I was really excited about the opportunity. But things just aren’t working out as well as I thought they would. It seems like every time I want my team to go one direction, they all end up going the other way. I’m trying really hard,...
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5 Fears of Mid-Level Leaders — Fear of Disconnection

“Why did I say ‘yes’ to this job? Why have I invested so much of my life into my work? Why did I trust everyone around me so much? I never saw it coming. No one gave me a warning. They’re edging me out, pushing me aside—and it’s painful. I...
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5 Fears of Mid-Level Leaders

Over the past two decades, I’ve worked as an executive coach with hundreds of leaders across the United States and around the world. I have discovered that many leaders—in spite of their very different titles and job responsibilities, situations and work locations—have something in common: their fears. Ironically, most leaders...
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Return to Work Policy through the Lens of Vertical Development

Mandate a return to work? Continue to allow people to work from home? In the wake of COVID, the Chief People Officer I was coaching knew that she and her Head of HR had to resolve this contentious issue, but they didn’t know how.  Unilaterally imposing a one-size-fits-all policy covering...
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Teams In the Squeeze

All of the leaders I work with believe in “the power of the team”—at least in principle. However, in practice, they often find it difficult to access and leverage that power when their teams are under intense pressure. One such team, formed by a client I worked with recently, is...
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A Transformative Decision-Making Practice for Business Leaders

As a business leader, decision making and problem solving are in your DNA. These skills are, rightly, lauded and developed in the corporate world. But what do you do about those intractable problems and unresolvable dilemmas that keep you awake at night? Perhaps it is no surprise that mindfulness—the capacity...
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