leadership advising

Leadership and Manipulation: Donald Trump Case Study, Part 2

What’s the difference between leadership and manipulation? This two-part series explores this very question using Donald Trump as the case study. In Part One I introduced the topic and shared three of the six tactics that skilled manipulators use to get what they want. Here are the other three, along with positive leadership lessons. (more…)

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Leadership and Manipulation: Donald Trump Case Study, Part 1

I get a lot of requests to write about Donald Trump’s personality. Let’s start with an update to two articles I wrote in 2016 during Donald Trump’s campaign for president.

Trump is good. I mean, really good. When it comes to imposing his will on others, without their awareness or permission, Trump is one of the best I’ve ever seen in this generation. Webster defines manipulation like this:

Manipulation is to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.


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The Discipline Of Optimism

Optimism is not just seeing the glass as half full. It’s about doing what it takes to fill it up.

Optimism is not wishful thinking. Not even a hopeful attitude. Optimism is the discipline of envisioning and pursuing possibility, against the odds. Optimistic people are this way because they work at it. They don’t just see the glass as half full, they push through to keep filling it so that potential turns into reality. Optimism takes perseverance, grit, and belief in the power of a vision and of the people pursuing that vision. Optimism doesn’t give up when the going gets tough. Optimism never quits looking for opportunity, potential, the possibility everyone else missed, the faint light at the end of the tunnel.

Jon Gordon, an ambassador of positivity, wrote this about optimism. (more…)

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How To Promote For Resourcefulness And Avoid The Peter Principle


  • make a living off of fixing everybody else’s problems.
  • have an attitude of superiority, as if they know what’s best for others.
  • thrive on being the one with all the answers.
  • adopt the belief that “I’m worthwhile, you’re worthwhile only if you take my advice and appreciate it.”

In French, the word “rescuer” is often translated as “savior.”

Rescuers are exceptionally attractive targets for promotion because they:


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Tackling Workplace Conflict: Research And Best Practices To Stop The Drama

On average, employees around the world spend about 2.1 hours per week, or over one day per month, dealing with workplace conflict in some way. In the US, that number is higher (2.8 hrs/week) equating to approximately $359 billion in paid hours. Non-profit sectors experience the most workplace conflict, with nearly 48% of employees reporting conflict at work.

What is the actual prevalence of conflict in the workplace, what causes it, and what opportunities are there for positive changes? To answer this, I’ve studied the most comprehensive workplace conflict research I could find, a 2008 study commissioned by CPP Inc., one of Europe’s leading business psychology firms, and Fellipelli, one of South America’s leading business psychology firms. The study included survey data from 5000 employees at all levels of their companies in nine countries around Europe and the Americas and remains some of the most comprehensive and useful research available. Here’s a summary. (more…)

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My Top Five Blog Posts of 2016

Happy New Year! I am so grateful to all my blog subscribers for reading what I post and sharing your comments. Many of my articles have been inspired by comments, questions, and stories you share.

In case you missed these, or want to read them again, here are the top five articles of 2016, based on traffic and interaction with these posts on our website.

#5 – Four Uncomfortable Truths About Feelings

Emotional intelligence is where it’s at. If you are on Twitter, search #StartAtOpen to see all the research, stories, and tips relating to the power of creating a safe emotional space for yourself and others.

#4 – When Personality Meets Communication

This article gained steam faster than any other one this year. It is fourth on the list and was only published in October. Thanks to all the PCM trainers and enthusiasts out there for sharing and liking it.

#3 – Neural Coupling, Brain Syncing And Communication

This article is not as technical as the title might imply, yet it’s full of cool science. I geek out when I realize that teaching people how to match perceptions and close channels literally helps re-wire the brain in more healthy ways. Yeah, we can change the world one person, one interaction, one neural pathway at a time!

#2 – Leadership And Manipulation: Donald Trump Case Study, Part 1

I picked on Trump quite a bit last year. This year my commitment is to be less critical of politicians, and more focused on using well-known figures as learning examples. There’s a second part to this one.

#1 – Six Personality-Based Reasons Why Trump Is Unfit To Be President

Far and away the most clicked and shared article of 2016. I wonder why? Will my predictions prove to be true? Who knows? He keeps surprising us every day. Regardless, there are some great tips in this article for understanding personality differences in and out of distress.

Thanks for letting me into your life! Looking forward to a fabulous 2017!

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2017

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CWC + Discussion Guide

Conflict Without Casualties: A Field Guide for Leading With Compassionate Accountability. This book is the foundation for our Leading Out of Drama program, a comprehensive guide for balancing compassion and accountability to build relationships that are safe, curious, and consistent.

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The Power Of Great Questions: Interview With Marshall Goldsmith

MarshallGoldsmithPhotoBLOGI got the opportunity to interview Marshall Goldsmith, world renowned business educator and coach, on the power of questions. Marshall shares his wisdom around these topics:

  • What’s the difference between active and passive questions?
  • What are the Six Engaging Questions to start every day?
  • What are the top three questions we should ask ourselves when facing leadership challenges?
  • What are the most important things to focus on each day?
In 20 minutes, Marshall gives tremendous value to listeners, offers several free resources and an opportunity to be part of his “Six Questions Study.”

Click here to listen to the full interviewPodBeanButton

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Supporting Student Athletes With Compassionate Accountability

School is back in session and Fall sports are in full swing. I have three daughters, each of them plays competitive volleyball, one in middle school, one in high school, and one in college. So this is my favorite time of year! And it can be stressful for all of us.

School sports is a terrific way for young people to develop physically, mentally, and socially. Learning new skills, playing as part of a team, and experiencing competition are important life skills. And it can be a terrifying and stressful time as well. Fear of rejection is everywhere. Body image and physical abilities are magnified. Locker room gossip creates drama.

Supporting your student athlete is a big responsibility. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you and your child athlete make the most of this Fall sports season. (more…)

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Three Kinds of Imbalanced Work Cultures. Which One Is Yours?

At the risk of oversimplifying, problems with organizational culture can be grouped into three categories:

Lack of safety = toxic emotional environment

Lack of curiosity = stagnation and irrelevance

Lack of consistency = no staying power

To understand the differences between these, their causes and how to begin making changes, let’s take a look at the three features of healthy cultures. Next Element’s Compassion Cycle shows three core competencies of healthy leadership and culture and how they work together.

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