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Leadership Insights

Refinery’s leadership insights are written by our experts from around the world with decades of leadership development experience. We’re always learning and always sharing. Get the real dirt.

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Opinions

Food and Leadership P1

 

“Like food, leadership can be comforting, delightful, surprising, revolting. Like food, it is fuel, glue, and emblem of a community — be it a family, a nation, or a corporation. It energizes, brings us together, and represents us. Like food, leadership has a timeless essence, comes in countless forms, and fulfils basic needs.”-- Gianpiero Petriglieri, HBR, June 3, 2010

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Opinions

The Year of Not Quite Living: Part Three: Fumbling Toward the Light

 

I was not even at the half-way point of one of the worst years of my life. Already, I had lost my job, had to move my family back to Colorado, attempt, then fail, then attempt again to find a job, get pregnant, then lose the pregnancy, try to maintain a state of normalcy for my kids, and work through a consulting gig that was putting food on our table. I was ready for that year to end. Every day was an immense struggle for me to get up, try to be a mom to my babies, a supportive wife to my husband, and a capable consultant to a client that had high expectations for me to transform their service quality levels. I was still bitter— actually, downright angry—about being fired from my executive position 6 months earlier. I still had so many unanswered questions. I was doing amazing work, or so I was told. I was getting along with everyone on the executive team, or so I thought. My team of regional managers and 71 branch managers loved working with me, or so they told me. What did I do wrong? What was wrong with me?

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Development

How connected are you really?

 

What does being connected mean to you?

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News

What leadership looks like in times of turmoil

 

In the wake of the tragedy that took place on March 15th in Christchurch New Zealand, I shared something powerful and hopeful with my LinkedIn community: the above picture of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, accompanied by a comment on her display of empathy and inspiring leadership.

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Opinions

Can we create work environments that are truly inclusive?

 

My last blog post was labelled, “How being pregnant has made me a better leader”, and the response I got to it was quite incredible. I was humbled and awed at the stories that people shared with me about their own experience. I also got the proverbial, “just wait”.

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Opinions

The Year of Not Quite Living—Part One: Falling into the Pit

 

“Today is my one-year anniversary with Central Bank*. But, rather than getting an annual review, I got fired. Well, asked to resign, actually.

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Opinions

Feedback and Meaningful Conversations Are Everything During the Talent Process

 

If your organization is embarking on a talent management initiative of any size or scope with an objective of ensuring a robust pipeline of high potential leaders, one of the most critical questions to ask is: Are we an organization which understands how to…

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Opinions

Shedding the Corporate Armour—Part Three: Outgrowing Your Suit of Steel

 

Okay, let me set the record straight here. Despite my experiences of being blatantly (and sometimes subversively) mistreated, overlooked, harassed and otherwise not treated as an equal to my male counterparts at work over the years...

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Case Studies

Knowing How Isn’t Always Enough

 

Last November, I took a break and spent a (well-deserved if I do say so) vacation in Jamaica. While there, my wife and I went for a dive on one of the reefs off the coast of Negril. Despite being a proficient diver, having dove for many years in...

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Development

How Being Pregnant has Made Me a Better Leader

 

To kick it off, I want to admit, I’m a little hesitant to write a blog post about being pregnant. It feels immensely personal and a little voice inside of me keeps nagging at me, “oh don’t be that woman who gets pregnant and that's all she can talk about!"

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Case Studies

Know the Theory, Know the Real World, KNOW YOURSELF

 

Stencilled on the wall of The Refinery’s head office in Vancouver, BC, are some of the team’s shared values. “Know the theory, know the real world, know yourself,” is, in my opinion, a great foundation for success in the field of leadership development.

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News

Shedding the Corporate Armour—Part Two: Casting the Armour

 

In my previous article, I examined the ways in which I used my business clothing—suits and other androgynous and stiff business attire—to gain access to a fairly male-dominated, conservative work world.

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Strategy

Shedding the Corporate Armour—Part One

 

It was May of 1985. I had just finished my last final exam during my third year of undergrad, and had heard back from my internship coordinator that I was scheduled for my first interview for a professional internship at the Marine Bank Corporation…

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Strategy

Sometimes You Just Need to Get Punched

 

I love this excerpt from a recent New York Times interview with Amy Schumer where she was asked: “What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?” Whether you like her comedy or not, her reference to The Professional pulls out an inherent truth…

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