Author Archives: JC Cruz

JC Cruz is an Executive Coach, Conflict Solutions Specialist, and Organizational Consultant specializing in team development, employee behavior, and workplace harmony. He served 16 years as Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for South Texas College before entering private practice in 2014.

The Hard Work of Leadership

leadership

Leadership is not the task of getting things done. It is equally not the task of getting people to want to get things done, despite the frequently quoted definitions offered by some of our modern leadership teachers. Leadership is the task of shaping the character, potential and contribution of others for their own sake and the sake of society at large. The tasks that we leverage to go about doing…

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Active Listening = Understanding

active listening

When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with a member of your staff? A healthy rapport with staff is critical to good leadership and good workplace outcomes. Building good rapport from day one provides the foundation necessary when critical conversations are necessary to launch a product, address a concern or clarify an objective. When employees walk into your office or meeting area knowing you are invested in the relationship…

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Leaders can Learn to Manage Stress

stress

April is National Stress Awareness Month. Work-related stress is by far the most common and costly form of stress in the United States. Stress and its associated impact on our physical and mental health account for the majority of sick days taken each year. The cost to U.S. employers is now estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Stress and mental health are highly correlated. Helping our employees…

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The Role of Kindness in Leadership

kindness in leadership

What is the single most important attribute for good, effective leadership? That is perhaps the most dangerous question in the world for a leadership coach. Not because it is difficult, but because it is easy. Too easy, in fact. There is no wrong answer. You can choose from literally dozens of buzzwords and catch phrases and you will be guaranteed applause. But, sitting on a panel one day, I was…

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Managing the Mind Helps Leaders

think positive

In the late 1990s, researchers from the University of Maryland teamed up with the University of Würzburg in Germany to study the creative mind. What promotes human creativity? What inhibits it? How strong are those influences? These were but a few of the many questions they set out to answer. The results of their work speak volumes to our continuing and ever-increasing understanding of the importance of mindset and the…

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The Contagious Nature of Synergy

synergy

Flu shots are big right now. An inevitable wave of symptoms is expected to hit the workplace, and your managers are understandably concerned. One well-situated sneeze and an entire work team could be calling in sick by the end of the week. One thing you DON’T want to inoculate your staff from, however, is the persistently contagious bug of good synergy. Wait, you say. Is synergy contagious? Yes, say the…

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The Art of Leaving Nothing Unsaid

Leaving Nothing Unsaid

“Leave nothing unsaid” may seem an odd piece of advice for a leadership and management column. In today’s media rich world – where words can be quickly immortalized and just as quickly regretted – the fear to keep silent and reserved may be high. Sage voices of the past have often suggested discretion and wisdom over hasty expression, such as this from Benjamin Franklin: “Remember not only to say the…

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Speaking with a Leader’s Heart

Leader's heart

Communication is key “Did I wake you?” “No, I’ve been awake for a bit,” I say. A friend is on the phone. He’s an attorney. “Good. I don’t have court until 8 a.m., but I’m already here,” he says. It’s 7 a.m. “I’m catching up on my voicemail and writing a few notes to myself.” We chat for a moment, toss a few project ideas back and forth, share an…

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Leadership: Crafting a Resilience Mindset 

resilience graphic

“It is within our power to be unconquerable.” Seneca (4 B.C. – 65 A.D.). When Roman philosopher Seneca spoke these words, he was referring neither to our bodies nor our positions in life. He was referring to the power of our minds. Stoicism was a way of life for Seneca, and he taught it to all who would listen. Stoicism is the practical everyday philosophy of virtue and self-discipline introduced by the…

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