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Maynard Brusman
San Francisco, California
I am a consulting psychologist and executive/career coach.
Interests: leadership development, executive coaching, emotional intelligence, career coaching
Recent Activity
Problem solvers look at circumstances with a critical eye, never assuming systems work as well as they should. They’re motivated by risk mitigation and view problems in procedures or systems as weaknesses that jeopardize their future. Continue reading
Many employees long for leaders who can solve workplace problems—from flawed systems and procedures to inconsistent policies and managers. They want their leaders to see through the trees and attack forest-sized issues, with the discernment and authority to fix them one by one. Continue reading
McKinsey’s consultants advise leaders to remember they needn’t know everything. Strong leaders tap the resources at their disposal and admit they can’t do everything themselves. Such transparency also raises the trust they earn. Greater support from respectful followers eases trying to be right, as our culture defines it. Continue reading
In our fast-paced world, important issues never become simpler, only more complex. You have less time to take each course of action and make each choice, with an ever-increasing impact on outcomes. Decisions that don’t go well are critiqued and analyzed. The need to make good decisions has never been more paramount—not just for leaders’ well-being, but for everyone under their authority. Continue reading
The pressures and expectations that face leaders in today’s demanding climate may prompt a skewed, rushed or compromised decision process. But leaders who approach decisions with objective, rather than subjective, criteria can maximize their organizations’ potential. Continue reading
An organization’s health is only as sound as its leader’s decisions. Some companies prosper from wise leadership directions, while others struggle after flawed choices—the kind that receive extra publicity because of the adverse impact on their organizations, people and communities. Continue reading
As with many aspects of leadership, the direct approach is best. Facing fears is no exception. With the help of an executive coach, you can craft a plan to deal with your fears head-on. Continue reading
As with many aspects of leadership, the direct approach is best. Facing fears is no exception. With the help of an executive coach, you can craft a plan to deal with your fears head-on. Continue reading
Leaders who convert critiques into improvements develop the strongest followings and have the fewest fears. They not only welcome feedback, but they request it. They view constructive feedback as free self-development lessons. Continue reading
Self-confident leaders have a support network of solid relationships, which helps reduce fears and fosters unity. Trusted and respected friends can offer critiques without causing offense. We know our friends won’t discard us, which diminishes any fears of rejection. Building relationships with colleagues and subordinates similarly helps you grow and improve. Continue reading
A lack of self-confidence causes leaders to second-guess themselves and doubt their own abilities. This stifles progress, and the entire organization perceives what’s happening. Unconfident leaders cause staff to lose trust and hope. Everything tumbles downhill from there. Continue reading
Fearful leaders often cannot deal with difficult issues or conversations, so moderate troubles balloon into true crises. They also resist taking the risks necessary to move their companies forward. Continue reading
Companies face myriad threats: a volatile economy, politics, cost overruns, competition and disruptive technology, among others. But there’s a particular internal threat that can dwarf them: fear at the leadership level. Continue reading
When leaders have a more positive character, their thoughts, behavior, instincts and responses are more receptive to organizational needs. They see a brighter future in which problems become opportunities. Continue reading
A positive culture clearly drives performance, which translates into greater prosperity for everyone. Only when leaders embrace this concept can they make cultural changes that profoundly benefit their organizations. Continue reading
Negativity and discord have reached historic levels in our culture. Most aspects of our lives are widely affected by worsening attitudes, constant complaints and pessimistic mindsets. Like a virus, they spread easily, even when unwarranted. Continue reading
Quiet leaders find fulfillment in their role as strategist, problem solver, vision caster or data cruncher. The esteem and respect they receive for this expertise is reward enough for them. Information is king, and they enjoy processing it to make effective decisions. Only purely objective viewpoints are acceptable to them, and they feel they must be thoroughly informed to perform to high standards. They strictly adhere to policies and procedures as they plan their route to success. Continue reading
Quiet leaders lack the people skills that many consider necessary for effective leadership, but they nonetheless often find themselves in positions of authority. While they may seem like fish out of water in some respects, they can be coached and encouraged to expand their comfort zones, grow their trust and engage others. Continue reading
Quiet leaders are typically introverts, leading with as little emotional or relational input as possible. They’re uncomfortable with feelings, closeness or the mess of human conflict. Quiet leaders need space, feeling safer at a distance from their people. They’re overly challenged by interpersonal struggles, strong emotions or typical workplace drama. They don’t aim for the spotlight, but rather efficiency and correctness. Disorganization sets them off. Continue reading
People seek relief when confronted with obnoxious or ego-driven leaders. They long for a manager who’s quiet, thoughtful, reserved and capable of creating a peaceful culture. This scenario seems wonderful, on the surface: a break from ongoing torture. But behind their deceptive façade, quiet leaders often present a world of uncertainties and unanticipated challenges. Accompanying the more obvious benefits are surprising detriments that can be as debilitating to the organization as those inflicted by their overbearing counterparts. Continue reading
Humble behaviors include honesty, kindness, sincerity and approachability, each of which sets the stage for more favorable employee responses and mutually beneficial relationships. Humble leaders exhibit behaviors that more effectively meet people’s needs—and when their needs are met, there’s no limit to what they can accomplish. Continue reading
For generations, workplace humility was seen as a detriment, not an advantage. Leaders believed organizations were best run with power, intimidation, authority and ego. Decisiveness, toughness and assertiveness were deemed leadership strengths. Facts and figures ruled the day, and leaders seldom prioritized employee needs. Continue reading
Today’s leaders face innumerable challenges that previous generations never confronted: employee disengagement, cloud-based speed of commerce, political correctness, cultural diversity, social sensitivities and a hyper-focus on efficiency, among others. Pressure to succeed is higher than ever. Leaders know they must have an A-game, and they continually encounter methods that experts claim will improve proficiencies. Continue reading
Vision will fade if a leader is its sole supporter. This is particularly true if you lead a large organization. Vision thrives only when everyone believes it and collectively promotes it. It must multiply beyond yourself so you’re not its only curator. Every employee must become its ambassador, passing along a passion for it. Continue reading
At the outset, a leader’s vision sets the tone for how an organization operates, as evidenced by its plans, decisions, responses and attitudes. In the early stages of vision-setting, guiding principles rule the day. Continue reading