Upsize Your Leadership

Upsize Your Leadership

From the smallest of startups to the C-Suite of global corporations, Dr. Mike Armour has shown thousands of leaders how to step up their game. Now he brings this same wisdom and insight to his audience on Upsize Your Leadership. Every episode explores timeless principles of management, leadership, and personal success. Dr. Mike underscores these principles with engaging stories and interviews with exceptional guests. Whether you’re a C-Suite executive, a veteran manager, or even an aspiring leader, you will always find practical, actionable ideas on Upsize Your Leadership.

Episodes

April 21, 2021 19 min
The Unprecedented Challenge Before Management At many times in human history, managers have had to contend with losing their workforce for a few days or weeks due to disasters, epidemics, or war. But never have managers been asked to reassemble a workforce which has been working remotely and in isolation from one another for over a year. Yet, that's the very situation before us as the pandemic begins to recede. In their rush to...
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Virtual Leadership Training: The Pros and Cons For several years, virtual training has been an option, but not one that many companies chose. Most preferred the more conventional classroom style of training. The COVID pandemic changed all of that. What training was done in 2020 and the first quarter of this year was largely delivered virtually. Now, with the COVID restrictions approaching a conclusion, what does the future hold for...
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All Leadership Turns on These 3 Hinges Leadership is the art of rallying people around a shared purpose, then motivating them and mobilizing them to achieve it. To achieve this mandate, leaders must excel at three interrelated skillsets: People Skills Communication Skills Trust-Building Skills These are like three hinges on the doorway to leadership success. Unless they are maintained and well-oiled, that door will be difficult...
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A Four-Part Template for Helping People Solve Problems As leaders and managers, we are regularly approached by people wanting help with solving some problem or overcoming a challenge. Do you have a set strategy for how to manage such conversations? As an executive coach, I must guide these kinds of discussions in almost every coaching session. In this episode I offer a four-step process which I follow to make these conversations as...
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Leaders Need Trust, But They Can't Earn It Trust is the most fundamental of human social needs. Without trust, the relationships necessary for social and cultural order fall apart. And nowhere is that more true than in leadership. Leaders who are not trusted have no influence. Gaining the trust of their followers is thus a primary concern for leaders. But if they think that they can earn trust, they are missing a pivotal realit...
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February 4, 2021 23 min
The Challenge of Leading in a Polarized World From the time children begin to talk well, they are quick to raise an outcry if they feel that they are being treated unfairly. Time and again we hear them complain, "But that's not fair!" or "They aren't playing fair with me." And we carry passion for fairness into adulthood. Political and social reform movements throughout history have organized themselves arou...
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December 29, 2020 18 min
The Inherent Flaw in Strategic Plans Vital as they are, strategic plans have one inherent flaw due to their very design. Strategic plans plans typically envision the future as a straight-line projection of the present. They don’t make allowances for wholesale disruptions brought on by forces outside of our control. Yet, 2020 presented us with one disruption after another. No one's strategic plan could have anticipated the COVI...
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Critical Transitions on the Corporate Ladder For twenty years I've been observing an intriguing phenomenon: promising, high-potential managers whose careers seem to top out prematurely. There's no apparent scandal to blame as the culprit. No wholesale failure of a pivotal assignment. No costly mistake as a result of their misjudgments. They simply quit moving up. Or worse still, they are asked to move out. As a leadership a...
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It's Not Always About Motivation Leadership is about recognizing the potential in people and situations, then bringing that potential to fruition. For that reason, serious leaders find it disconcerting when they have a worker or volunteer who shows great promise, but seems content with mediocre performance. When we encounter people like this, it's easy to say that they are not motivated. Which may be the case. But not neces...
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Views of the Past, Vision for the Future Great transformative movements in history have always arisen from a grand new vision of what the future should look like. Think of the American Revolution or the development of the internet as striking examples. Yet, behind every new vision for the future is a reframing of how we remember the past. Our memory of the past is always selective. It highlights certain things that happened, but ma...
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Personal Traits of Great Team Leaders In today's world, organizations presume that managers will also be team leaders. Strong teams are essential in an era when both for-profit companies and non-profits operate in highly complex contexts. Countless studies have examined the personal traits of effective team leaders. On the internet you can find lists with as many as 30 attributes which characterize great team leadership. Some a...
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Pessimistic Leaders Can Never Instill Hope Leadership is about pointing people to a more promising tomorrow. At its best it instills hope and unshakeable confidence in the people it leads. To do so, however, leaders must be men and women who themselves embody and exemplify optimism. People may be influenced by pessimists. But they are never inspired to follow them. Pessimism comes easily. Our brains are hyper-attuned to anticipate ...
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To Lead Well, Know This First The Greek philosopher Aristotle famously advised, "First, know thyself." That adage serves anyone well. But it is particularly relevant to leadership. Leaders should know themselves, first and foremost. The most important mentor in my life understood that well. He repeatedly told me, "We all have a flat side on our wheel somewhere. The sooner we can identify that flat side and build systems...
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All High-Performing Teams Have These Traits in Common It’s fashionable today for managers to refer to their employees as their team, whether the group actually functions as a team or not. That’s unfortunate. It blurs what makes authentic teamwork distinctive. It cheapens the meaning of “team.” As a result, many so-called teams are not really teams, at all. They are simply a collection of individual contributors who happen to work t...
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What Management Is Learning from the COVID-19 Shutdown There is hardly a business in America which has not been adversely impacted by the corona virus pandemic. Yet many are learning how to thrive, even while their employees are working remotely for the first time ever. In this episode Daniel Ramsey shares lessons which he has learned from many of these business leaders who have chosen to tackle the challenges of the COVID-19 shutd...
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The Fruitless Quest for Leaders without Flaws One of the weightiest questions in the study of history is how to judge leaders from the past. Not in terms of their military, political, or other achievements. But in terms of their character and morality. Should their behavior be measured by our standards today? Or should they only be accountable to the standards of their own era? Recently mob action has toppled several statues of ren...
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Seven Intrinsic Benefits Which Motivate Commitment Whether you lead a company, a non-profit, an institution, or a government agency, people join your organization and remain committed to it for one of seven reasons. And for the most part, money and benefits have little to do with it. Instead, one of seven intrinsic benefits exerts a gravitational pull on those who choose to become part of your team or organization. This benefit -- ...
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5 Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Experience Few times in our history has political leadership at every level of government been so visible as it has been in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the visibility has been on a daily basis. People have therefore been able to see great leadership on display, along with other leadership which has not necessarily been so great. Even though the crisis is far from passed, we are far ...
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Attract Local Customers by using Smart SEO Occasionally I use this podcast to address topics which are not strictly a leadership core competency, but which could greatly benefit people in certain leadership positions.. This is one of those episodes. I've aimed today's program at professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders whose businesses rely on the internet to bring them customers, especially local customers. Their ability ...
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The New Mandate for Today's Leaders The Armed Forces War College uses the acronym VUCA to described the world today. That stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Change, and Ambiguity. Ron Holifield, my guest on this episode and the president of Strategic Government Resources, argues that this state of affairs has brought on a new set of expectations for leaders. People, he says, are looking for leaders who communicate a sense of c...
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