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Articles By: Ralph Twombly

Empowerment - the Next Steps
Last month I wrote about the prerequisites for empowerment, and promised that I would continue the conversation.  This topic naturally leads me to the biggest stumbling block that most leaders face on the road to empowerment - letting go. I bet anyone in a leadership role out there will know...
Empowerment: What does it really take to empower others?
Please look at the following and circle (T or F) true or false.T or F – Employees who feel like they are “owners” make better decisions for the organization.T or F – The average employee is only giving their institutions a fraction of what they have to offer because the...
Perspective on Public Statements
As I sit here on a Saturday morning with my coffee having just read the morning paper, the old guy in me feels like he has seen some of the news before.  This happens when you are my age and cycles of social behavior start to repeat themselves.  What I’m...
The Inelegant Art
Compromising when it hurts Political season is in full bloom.  If this one doesn’t make you scratch your head and wonder about what is going on with people, I would be surprised. Factions abound, opinions are based on social media leaks and we all know how dependable they are.  For some reason...
Name It!
I enjoy telling true stories and usually avoid giving names because these stories are so real you might know who the story is about.  To that end, I will give you made-up names and fictitious businesses but the stories are very true and all end up in the power of...
Darkness Will Not Stop Me (Part 2)
Darkness Will Not Stop Me Answers this time Part II continued from March 2016   Spring has officially sprung and I hope you are getting out and enjoying the spring weather with the ones that you love. Last month I promised that I would continue the dialog about what each leader can do to...
Darkness Will Not Stop Me
Greetings from all of your friends at Priority Learning.  As the year ahead starts to come into focus some disturbing trends lurk in all of our minds.  For instance, if it has eluded you that this in an election year well, let’s just say, hope you have enjoyed your trip...
Eat To Live Or Live To Eat
Years ago we asked a question to leadership workshop participants about what they thought motivated most people in their work.  Up to two thirds of the audience would tell us “the money.”  Recently we conducted a series of interviews helping a client choose a potential head of one of their...
Practice Breathing
Recently there have been a series of strange behaviors observed by myself and those around me.  Levels of patience seem to be down and levels of open hostility seem to be up.  Calm people seem annoyed while normally patient people give you the look.  You know, “the look.”  Ever the...
The Power of Belief
Each month I like to write my ideas for this little newsletter of ours, but over time I have come to believe that what I really do is share my life with you because of me and less because of you. The process of writing down what I have observed,...
I don't Have a Bias
I have seen careers setback and even ruined in meetings. The sad part is that you don’t even have to attend or behave badly to be the victim of these career crushers. Here is all it takes: Gather a group of managers at any level and bring up the names of...
Leadership Realities Part 3
My journey to save leaders from themselves and eventually from their organizations... Last month in the continuing saga of Phil Rigorous, I explained the challenges you can face when someone simply gives you the words that sound like they hear but truly don’t. If you didn’t catch it, you can click...
Leadership Realities Part 2
My journey to save leaders from themselves and eventually from their organizations… Last month we were looking at Phillip Rigorous who had gotten himself in trouble, found himself sitting in my office and had even managed to alienate Human Resources in the process. Phillip generously provided the straw that broke his...
Leadership Realities
My journey to save leaders from themselves and eventually from their organizations The privilege of being a trusted advisor for business and for the individuals that run those businesses is great fun but can be very challenging. The fun part is when you get the honor of being a contributor to...
Leadership Intangibles
Does this sound familiar? People are lining up to see you outside of your door more and more. Tensions are high among people who normally seem calm and reserved. Something's wrong but you don't know what. Faces tell you that words of reassurance are not congruent but you don't know...
Priorities - The New Economy and Back to Basics
A story of baseball I feel like a less talented version of Jeff Foxworthy and his redneck jokes when I think about the way the world and the economy is working. It is kind of like "you know you are in the new economy when you have to wear a battery...
Why It Is More Important To Give More Than You Get
(Or, quid pro quo and the illusion of employee happiness) One of the great privileges of the work we do at Priority Learning is to have access to your people. We see your entry level folks, along with young leaders, managers and executives. This sample of people and the...
Values - A Fable Rooted in Real Life
Your turn to be the consultant... This month, I want to begin a series of articles that are written in case study form. For a long time I have wanted to do this and share some of the successes our clients have seen over the years and to share some holes...
Testing Your Organizational Culture
Testing Your Organizational Culture Sometimes Wikipedia gets it right and sometime not. This time they did well. As an organization that spends a good deal of its time immersed in the sometimes intense work of helping clients build lasting, positive cultures we spend a good deal of our...
Head vs. Heart
"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts."- by Albert Einstein Last month we brought you older articles as we took some time off. The time and this hot and steamy summer has given us time to think about what you might...
Making Leadership Choices
"What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are." -C.S. Lewis The Magician's Nephew Last month I completed a first brush at Continuous Vitality and, if you want to catch up...
Continuous Vitality Part 3
Workplaces That Make Sense For PeopleEnduring Motivation Last month in the continuous vitality discussion we examined motivation, demotivation and the KITA approach. If you want to catch up or revisit this article, click on the following link and it will be like going back in time: Continuous Vitality Part 2 How...
Continuous Vitality Part 2
Workplaces That Make Sense For People What keeps people vital in their jobs or work? You may remember that last month http://www.prioritylearningresearch.com/articles/continuous_vitality.php we began the discussion with an overview of the diagram to the right. Many of you told me that you were anxious to hear more and I suspect that...
Continuous Vitality
Workplaces That Make Sense For People I recently attended a graduation for a group of leaders who finished our Influence Leadership Series at Priority Learning. One of our participants made a graduation day ending presentation on continuous vitality in the workplace, which created an epiphany for me. While we spent the...
Finding The Best In Us
The holidays are here and like most of you I have no idea what happened to the year. But as I was thinking about what might be of value to write about, it is hard not to think about the recent senseless loss of life in Newtown, Conn. Little children...
Hope?
Every year about this time I get a bit melancholy looking back at all the things I have learned from all of you this year. So for November and December I decided to write about a couple things that I hope (no pun intended) you will find interesting. This...
Why Are We So Afraid
For years FEAR has intrigued me. It seems to be a big part of the work we do and the lives we live. We find that many people are afraid to take risks, leaders don't delegate for the fear of losing control, lots of organizations are afraid of change,...
Talent Discovery
The fourth of July is upon us and, while my mind is on sailing and family, I'd like to share an interesting and recent discovery. Lately we have been finding an abundance of talent that may be getting overlooked. Because we happen to be seeing a lot of talented, yet...
Grow your Product: Leadership and Entrepreneurial Strategy
How to grow your product as a leader Part 3 in a 3 Part Series: March 2012 - Know Your Product April 2012 - Show Your Product May 2012 - Grow Your Product Last month (April) in Show Your Product I provided ideas regarding how you might show your product. This final installment is...
Show your Product: Leadership and Entrepreneurial Strategy
How to show you have what it takes as a leader Last month (March) http://aprioritylearning.com/articles/know_your_product.php I talked a little about your leadership product. I proposed to each of you that you ask five friends to define what was unique about you, your leadership style, or your behavior. By now,...
Know Your Product: Leadership and Entrepreneurial Strategy
As a leader do you have product? Part 1 in a 3 Part Series: March 2012 - Know Your Product April 2012 - Show Your Product May 2012 - Grow Your Product It seems there is no end to the things that I would like to share with you. About the time I think...
Directive Decision Making
Introduction to Decision Making We talk a lot about decision making in our work.Included in that discussion, we frame at least three types of decisions people make in business. First, there are decisions that individuals make without consultation or collaboration in which, as singular leaders or managers, they get to own...
Jungle Rules: Resilience and Reflective Time Shifting
In my article in December we were examining how people fit in or didn't fit in with their respective organizations. As I was writing the article, it had occurred to me (again) that just because someone doesn't fit or doesn't choose to fit doesn't mean that they don't have value...
Wrapping Up 2011 From all of us at Priority Learning!
Wow, what happened to 2011? It is December and it seems like only yesterday I was trying to figuring out where I stored my summer clothes. The year has been a very good one for us with continued and ongoing work with old friends, new clients/friends, and lots of new...
Ethics In Leadership
The year has gone by in a flash and here it is November of 2011 already. Writing these articles reminds all of us of the passing months and that we should take a moment to write our thoughts and share with others. This month strikes the traditional beginning of the...
A 'Series' of Things Here at Priority Learning
A look at what is new in the world of Learning and Development Normally, I reserve this space in the newsletter to pass along another piece of information, experience or a pearl of useful wisdom. This time I really want to share something we think will...
The Measure Of A Leader
Normally I write about business things that I think will have interest to all of you and contribute to the work we do here at Priority Learning. This month is different. What follows may be the most important thing I can write and, in addition to being pretty therapeutic for...
Measuring Success in Leadership (Part 8) Approachability and Humility
This is the final installment in Measuring Success in leadership. To catch any of the previous seven articles please go to: http://aprioritylearning.com/articles/ and as you scroll down you will see all the articles plus others from staff here at Priority Learning. This is the final installment in Measuring Success in leadership. ...
Measuring Success in Leadership (Part 7) Personal Behavior and Mastery
Personal Behavior and Mastery Last month was the sixth of eight installments focused on success in leadership by introducing you to the element of Team Development.  If you missed April’s article or any of the first six installments and you want to catch up, click on this link: measuring_success_in_leadership_part_6.php ...
Measuring Success in Leadership (Part 6) Team Development
Last month was the fifth of eight installments focused on success in leadership by introducing you to the element of Self Development/Personal Growth.  If you missed March’s article or the first five installments and you want to catch up, click on this link http://aprioritylearning.com/articles/measuring_success_in_leadership_part_5.php.  So, here we go with installment...
Measuring Success in Leadership (Part 5) Self Development/Personal Growth
Last month was the fourth of eight installments focused on success in leadership by introducing you to the element of Growth/Development of People. If you missed February’s article or any of the first four installments and you want to catch up, click on this link and presto it will be...
Measuring Success In Leadership (Part 4): Growth and Development of People
Growth and Development of People Last month was the third of eight installments focused on success in leadership by introducing you to the element of Personal Accountability. If you missed January’s article on Personal Accountability or any of the first three installments click on this link: measuring_success_in_leadership_part_3.php and you can get...
Measuring Success in Leadership (Part 3) Personal Accountability
Personal Accountability Last month we began the journey of measuring success in leadership by introducing you to the second of eight sections; Results and Priority Setting.  If you missed November's article on Responsiveness and Communications or December's article on Results and Priority Setting, you can click on the links to catch...
Measuring Success in Leadership (Part 2): Getting Results and Setting Priorities
Last month we began the journey of measuring success in leadership by introducing you to the first of eight sections considered important in successful leaders. Responsiveness and Communications was our first category and we overviewed the skill and behavioral sets necessary for success and received positive feedback from many and...
Measuring Success In Leadership
Using a clear methodology to measure success and developing leaders The age old argument goes something like, "Are leaders born or are they made?" If you’ve been in the world of leadership for any length of time, you have without doubt formed an opinion. As with most things in life there...
The Leadership Reflection
Leaders amaze me in so many ways. I have seen leaders so strong that they can withstand the disapproval of trusted colleagues and still "stay the course." I have witnessed leaders so powerful that by simply making an off the cuff suggestion people jump to make that suggestion their reality...
The One Thing That Separates Successful People From Everyone Else
It is nice to hear from folks about our articles and this month I thought it would be good to write about an idea that Mike Leslie from Downeast Energy thought would be good to write about and that is “one thing that separates successful people from everyone else”....
Changing Those Problem People (part 3) - Image building around the new personal behavior
Last month I wrote about the second building block of building a collaborative plan to change personal behavior. If you want to look back and read it you can simply click here and it will take you to the June article http://aprioritylearning.com/articles/changing_problem_people_june2010.php. ...
Changing Those Problem People (part 2) - Building a collaborative plan to change personal behavior
Collaboration is described by Wikipedia as a process where two or more people or organizations working together in an intersection of common goals — for example, an intellectual endeavor that is creative in nature - by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. ...
Changing Those Problem People (part I)
Did you ever meet up with someone years after he (or she) left or lost a job you both had together and find out that person was seemingly different?  The "attitude" that cost his position seems to have changed, more energy seemed to be present, and the negative or grouchy...
Paying Your Way - The new culture from the bad economy
As a business leader, I have always liked letting folks know what is going on with others out there doing good business.  This article is about a few ambitious and optimistic clients and what they are doing.  At first the work seemed unrelated and, after a while, I started to...
The Best Places to Work Roadmap Part 5 of 5: Working Life Atmosphere and Balance
In February we looked at Individual Opportunity Creation in the featured article of our monthly newsletter.  If you didn’t get a chance to look at that installment, we have a link to connect you here; http://aprioritylearning.com/articles/bptw_4.php ...
The Best Places to Work Roadmap Part 4 of 5: DELI - Everyone Likes Gourmet
In January we looked at leadership through people listening and success in the featured article of our monthly newsletter. If you didn't get a chance to look at that installment we have a link to connect you here; bptw_leadership.php ...
The Best Places to Work Roadmap Part 3 of 5: Leadership Through People Listening and Success
Last month we looked at getting things done via communication and inclusion in the featured article of our monthly newsletter.  If you didn't get a chance to look at that installment, here's the link:  http://aprioritylearning.com/articles/bpdw_communication_inclusion.php This is the third in a five part series to introduce you to the things learned...
The Best Places to Work Part 2 of 5: Getting Things Done via Communications and Inclusion
Last month we looked at Organizational Values and Leadership Modeling in the featured article of our monthly newsletter. If you didn't get a chance to look at that installment, we have a link to connect you here; http://aprioritylearning.com/articles/bptw_organizational_values.php. ...
One Good Way to Include Employees
One Good Way to Include Employees Four years ago a client approached us for some help with their training needs regarding communications, leadership and more. The leader in charge of contracting this training had...
The Best Places to Work Roadmap Part 1 of 5: Organizational values and leadership modeling
Over the next five editions of our newsletter, we will discuss the five qualities that make an organization one of the "Best Places to Work" and dive deeper into what each means,...
Job Dissatisfaction Part 2: Personal Appreciation and An Environment of Hope and Involvement
(A look at why workers are dissatisfied and what to do about it) Last month we sent you to an article from Reuters.com and we also sent you a poll question...
Job Dissatisfaction September 2009
Job Dissatisfaction Recently while pulling together some information, Craig found a really interesting article (see below link at Reuters.com). The Article was entitled While Unemployment Continues to Rise, so Does Job Dissatisfaction. Intrigued by the title, I began to read and became...
Participation and Why It Doesn't Always Work
Participation and Why It Doesn't Always Work If you have been following along with the articles I have written for the newsletter, you may pick up a trend. I appear to be...
Culture (Noun, verb or what?)
Culture (Noun, verb or what?) Recently while working with a client on "cultural" crews, it occurred to me that people were looking for a better word for the organizational climate and that the word...
The Sling-Shot Effect
Every day we watch the evening news and somehow it surpasses the gloom and depression of the day before. The discussions we have with clients seem always to be on how bad the economy is and what will happen if the stimulus package doesn't work or Congress doesn't "get...

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The word \"Empowerment\" has been, in our experience, a little tough to implement in some organizations. Which of the following best describes “Empowerment” at your organization…

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