On going development is a key element in career performance and satisfaction.

If you have career and leadership resources that you have found helpful, let us know. We will post them on our site so that others may benefit, too. Contact us at: info@insights2leadership.net.



Managing for Results, Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker and his writings are the landmark of modern management. And, to this day, still remain the best basic introduction in the field.drucker-managing-for-results


The Essential Manager’s Toolkit, Harvard Business School

This comprehensive guide is an essential primer for managers who seek to develop the skills and capabilities that will help them excel in a complex business world.


Five Steps to Peak Performance: How You Can Use Brain Science to Bring Out the Best in People, Harvard Business Press

Are there people working for you who feel stressed out? Overloaded? Disconnected? Afraid? These are not “problem” employees; they don’t have disciplinary issues, and they’re not untalented. But they’re not achieving at their peak level in the pressure-cooker that is today’s workplace.


How to Manage Your Employees to Shine

Your job as a manager is getting harder all the time. But your most critical responsibility—especially in today’s world of intensifying competition—is how to help your people to shine their brightest.  How do you inspire solid contributors to strive for more? What should you do if a star player falls off their game?


Leadership or Management?  The Bacharach Blog

Samuel Bacharach is the McKelvey-Grant Professor of Labor Management at CornellUniversity’s ILRSchool. He is the Director of ILR’s New York City based Institute for Workplace Studies as well as the Director of the Smithers Institute and the director of the New York City-based Master of Professional Studies. He received his BS in economics from NYU. His MS and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Bacharach is well worth reading and offers a wealth of resources.

Positive Intelligence, Harvard Business Review, Jan. – Feb. 2012, Shawn Achor

Regardless of your company’s leadership philosophy, here is an easy skill based approach to using the new research on brain science to help employees “shine” in their performance and careers.  http://hbr.org/2012/01/positive-intelligence/ar/1

Learning from Failure

Amy Edmondson, Harvard Business School professor, describes strategies for analyzing workplace mistakes & failures.  She then offers suggestions for strategies that lead to a more positive and intelligent outcome. Learn from Failure : Harvard Business Publishing

Introversion as a Leadership Style: Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.  http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

 The Drama-Free Office, Jim Warner and Kaley Klemp

Free your workplace from drama dysfunction with these proven tools for increased office efficiency, harmony, and productivity.

In authors interweave humorous and relatable case studies with the three key skills you’ll need for managing office saboteurs–be they subordinates, coworkers, or the boss. You will see your coworkers (and yourself) in this entertaining and practical blueprint for addressing the dramatic behaviors that cripple so many teams.

The authors’ research draws on years of experience working with more than 2,500 CEOs and their executive teams. They define the four major drama roles–the Complainer, the Cynic, the Controller, and the Caretaker–found in most organizations and lay out a detailed roadmap to help you.


Communication Skill: Listening (short video)


People Smart: Developing Your Interpersonal Intelligence
|Everyone is in the people business, because all of us deal with other people all the time. That’s why it is smart to reap th benefits of this eminently practical guide.


Feedback That Works: How to Build and Deliver Your Message
(J-B CCL (Center for Creative Leadership))

Whatever level you occupy in an organization, from line manager to senior executive to team leader, the skill of giving meaningful and effective feedback is an important component to helping other people develop and to getting the job done.

Creating and delivering a specific message based on observed performance is key to effective feedback. Your feedback should enable the receiver to walk away understanding exactly what he or she did and what impact it had on you. When the result is this specific and this direct, there is a better chance that the person getting the feedback will be motivated to begin, continue, or stop behaviors that affect performance.  This guidebook explains how to deliver effective feedback by showing how to build your message, when to deliver it, and how to communicate it. By using the methods and examples in this guidebook, your feedback becomes a tool for development—for others and for yourself.

In today’s business world, we are reinventing all the time: our products, our business and ourselves. How innovative are you?

Self Assessment: 20 Qualities of an Innovator, Laura Erkeneff, (68KB PDF) In today’s ever changing, fast paced environment, the ability to innovate on the job is a key job skill. But, how can you be sure you are cultivating the qualities of an innovator? Take our Innovation Self Assessment and see where your strengths or development needs lie as an innovator.  Insert Link HERE

Making Creativity Practical: Innovation That Gets Results (J-B CCL (Center for Creative Leadership))

Creative solutions can be challenged and defended in the pursuit of profitability. But first, creativity must be demystified. A process that targets innovation provides leaders with just such a problem-solving approach. The goal is to produce high-quality ideas that are appropriate to the task—which means groups and organizations can implement them with less risk.

Work with the targeted innovation process consists of activities in five areas: stating the problem in a way that encourages creative problem solving, learning and understanding different problem-solving styles, learning and understanding creative pathways and their relationship to problem solving, generating ideas, and evaluating those ideas.

Targeted innovation reconciles creativity with management. Managers can use it to solve problems that meet their organization’s call for innovative answers to current challenges.   http://www.amazon.com/dp/188219778X/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Satisfaction in our careers and our lives is possible and easier than you think.  Even in difficult situations, we still have the ability to choose our responses. Many of the resources below will show you how to go about developing these skills to bring about more satisfaction into your life in difficult situations and keep it going in the good times.

In the past 10+ years, the fields of positive psychology, brain research and industrial psychology have all proven that finally, anyone can learn to be happy and more satisfied with life: even at a tough time at work! In addition, those who enjoy their jobs demonstrate a higher level of performance than those who do not. Bottom line is that when employees experience satisfaction & happiness with their careers, they are more productive by as much as 20% or more.

Video: Overview: The Basics of Happiness

Dan Gilbert presents basic research and data from his exploration of happiness — sharing some surprising tests and experiments that you can also try on yourself. This video is a nice overview on the subject. Watch through to the end for a sparkling Q&A with some familiar TED faces. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/dan_gilbert_researches_happiness.html

Video: Applying the Science of Brain Research & Positive Psychology at Work:

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity


Video:What Is Happiness?

Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong — a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.


Book: The How of Happiness  By Sonja Lyubomirsky

A groundbreaking, practical guide to attaining happiness based on innovative scientific research, The How of Happiness is a powerful contribution to the field of positive psychology and a gift to people who have sought to take their happiness into their own hands. Drawing upon years of her own pioneering research with thousands of men and women, psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky reveals that much of our capacity for happiness is within our power.

In our career development coaching with our clients, we recommend that you stress your strengths. Your company hired you because you have skills that the company wants you to use to deliver results on the job. No one hires a person for a development need. Therefore, it is important to have a clear idea what your skills are and how you can leverage them.

While it is easy to name our technical skills, it is not always so easy to name the leadership or management skills we are good at doing. We suggest you start with identifying your strengths. Our strengths are the foundation of our leadership and management skills that we are know for on the job. Once you can name these leadership and management skills than you can leverage your strengths in formulating your career strategy.

Strengths Assessments

“Everyone has a characteristic set of strengths and virtues, that is, things that they are “good” or “strong” on. Research in Positive Psychology suggests that there are (at least) 24 Strengths and virtues that are recognized in most cultures.”

The University of Pennsylvania’s free and complete VIA Signature Strengths test can be found at http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/questionnaires.aspx.

You can go to that site and register yourself; then you can take multiple personality tests and keep all your scores together. Note that the full Strengths test will take 20-30 minutes to complete

Signature Strengths, Self-Rating Scale – This is a shorter version of the above Strengths Assessment.  It is a faster but less accurate way of diagnosing your strengths. You can also print it out. It is a good place to start if you are curious about identifying your values. “Signature Strengths Self Rating Scale.”

The second most frequent request we receive is from people who would like help dealing with difficult people at work. (Career Development is our number one request.) The resources here are some of our favorites for transforming a difficult situation at work. We hope you find them helpful. Many of our past clients have found them valuable.

 Get on the Peace Train: A Journey from Anger to Harmony

How do successful people cope with anger-their own or that of others? This books outlines a clear and concise plan to better deal with this difficult emotion using the principles of positive psychology. The plan can easily be applied at work to help you are deal with a “bully” boss or angry colleague.


How To Reduce Workplace Conflict And Stress: How Leaders And Their Employees Can Protect Their Sanity And Productivity From Tension And Turf Wars

An alarming 88% of Americans cite hostility, desk-rage, and workplace incivility as top concerns. How to Reduce Workplace Conflict and Stress will help executives, supervisors, and managers-and the people that work for them-protect pride, profit and productivity from these disabling emotions. Protect your career and workplace from the hidden costs of workplace tension and hostility.


How to Manage the Unmanageable Employee– short video

Every company has ’em: gossips, wallflowers and loose cannons…Co-Author Jezra Kaye gives advice on how to manage and retain the most unmanageable employees.


Managing the Unmanageable: How to Manage Even the Most Unruly Employees – Anne Loehr & Jerza Kaye

“Loehr and Kaye provide a dignified and very practical approach to managing the inevitable-challenging and difficult team members. Grounded in years of hands-on experience, Managing the Unmanageable is full of valuable tips and techniques, and shows you how to implement them with authentic care and respect. A pragmatic contribution to every manager’s bookshelf.”



How to Deal With a Bad Boss – blog

Some pointed advice from blogger Steve Tobak. This blog is a nice overview and offers some good advice.


How To Work for an Idiot . John Hoover, PhD

While this may be a terrible title, it contains some great advice for how to transform one of the most difficult situations a person can encounter at work. It is humorous, insightful and practical. In addition, it will leave you thinking.


Failure to Delegate: Dodging Landmines – short video overview

No one could possibly write that report as well as you could, right? Whether you’re a control freak or just terrible at prioritizing, this short video describes a simple, results-oriented exercise that can help you become a more effective delegator.  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=16240087n?tag=bnetdomain

Pass It On: Delegation Skills for Team Leads and Managers

In this 90 minute webinar, our very own Laura Erkeneff offers a short course on all the basics of delegating. This course does charge a small fee. Continuing Education Units (PDU’s) are available for Project Managers.

  • Assess your current delegation skills. How well are you delegating? What are your personal barriers to better delegation?
  • Plan and implement delegation. 5 simple questions provide answers that can lighten your load.
  • Learn how to effectively monitor delegated tasks. Track and measure assignments (without nagging), support success, and learn how to provide the feedback required for continuous improvement.



Motivating Employees

How NOT to Motivate: A short funny video that uses linebacker Terry Tates’ approach to motivation.




Networking as a Strategic Business Skill, Laura Erkeneff, Blog and Templates
Many people do not like networking. In fact, for many of my friends, especially in the technology sector, you could say they hate it. This blog may change your mind about what networking is as well as the strategic value of a win/win networking strategy. And, be sure to check out the templates at the end.



Influencing & Recognition 

Getting Recognition For Yourself and Your Ideas

Even if you have the best idea on the planet, it won’t get you, your group, or you company anywhere if you can’t use it to influence others or sell your amazing idea.

Amazon: Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus, 2003


How do you get noticed among the other bright people in your company without alienating everyone?  This book teaches you how to toot your own horn in a way that’s sincere, feels comfortable, and is appealing to those you’re trying to impress.

Amazon: Pitch Like a Girl: How a Woman Can Be Herself and Still Succeed by Ronna Lichtenberg, 2005


This book is not just for women! If you are a women who was taught to “be nice” and focus on others first, or someone with a more quiet or introverted personality or someone who comes from a culture that does not value standing out in a crowd, you may need help getting your ideas across . This book tells you why it’s an advantage to be who you are and how to do better by bringing more of

yourself to work.


How NOT to Negotiate: Monty Python Illustrates…

Here is a short 2 min. excerpt from the famous (or infamous) Life of Brian ” Monty Python video for when you want to laugh. However, it does make a good point about following the “rules”.


Why You Should Negotiate For a Raise Today: Quick video pointers


Yes, this section is for everyone! Although it is not easy to talk about male/female differences at work that doesn’t mean they do not exist. Being knowledgeable about these differences can allow both sexes to appreciate and leverage diversity of styles for a greater business advantage.

The Glass Hammer: Resource Center

The Glass Hammer is an award-winning blog and online community created for women executives in finance, law, technology and big business. However, the resources here everyone will find valuable.  http://www.theglasshammer.com/about/

 Play Like a Man; Win Like a Women by Gail Evans, 2000

This book is a classic and a great starting point for those wanting to understand the basics about women and men working in the business world. It outlines all the unwritten rules about how most company cultures behave at work.


Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make that Sabotage their Careers by Lois Frankel, 2004

Do you feel as if you are being held back at work and don’t know what you are doing to cause your continued frustration? Are you a male manager and your female direct report or colleague keeps making career mistakes that hold her back? Read this book! This book uncovers 101 behaviors that women learn in girlhood that sabotage them as adults and especially in the workplace.  You can also take the assessment to see which ones may be holding back your career.


This is a consulting firm (Negotiating Women, Inc.) whose focus is helping women learn negotiating skills. Their website has a great resource section with video, audios, papers and websites. It is well worth some of your time to check this site. I have also attached some of their handouts for you to use.


Career Development, Layoffs, Getting a Job or Changing Careers


How to Survive a Layoff: Laura Erkeneff – Blog & Instruction Guide

Did you just get laid off or think you might be layed off soon? Take a deep breath and read this blog. Then, use the template and instructions to develop a plan to take your next career step and find a new job.


The Get Real Guide to Your Career, by Karen Colligan

Many of us at ITL have put development programs into place for our corporate clients. We know what components need to be included in the process to be thorough as well as how overwhelming finding a new job can be. Karen has managed to write a guide that is complete as well as easy to follow and encouraging all at the same time. But, what else would you expect from a Jersey Girl? We love this guide and frequently refer our clients to it.


Succession Planning Tool (Technical)- Laura Erkeneff

We developed this Succession Planning tool for our Technical Managers, but it can easily be adapted to fit any manager’s group.


When You Need to Coach Others

A large part of our job as a manager is to train, coach and guide our employees in some aspect of both hard and soft skills. While this part of the job is often rewarding, it can be the most frustrating, too. This frustration often comes from the fact that we rarely get the tools in how to train or coach other people. Here are a few “tips of the trade” you can use to learn these valuable skills on the job. They will benefit your own career growth, too.

Coaching for Development: Skills for Managers and Team Leaders (Crisp Fifty-Minute Books)

Upon finishing this book, you will have the skills to find out how to assess coaching needs, discover the six tools essential to coaching success, understand the roles of a coach, and learn how to supply the right advice and support. Through effective coaching, managers can improve performance, personal growth, and increased job satisfaction for their employees and themselves.


A Manager’s Guide to Coaching: Simple andEffective Waysto Get the Best From Your Employees

This manual will guide you through every step of the coaching process, from problem solving to developing accountability. It is practical and straightforward. A great manual will help every leader coach others to excellence.



Exercising Your Brain: On Going Development


Did you know that many top universities offer free on-line courses? Well they do! Here is a short list below.

Stanford – Where free on-line education started




University of California Berkeley

This link will take you to free UCB online courses:  http://webcast.berkeley.edu/

e-Learning from NASA: The Space Agency is making available a free Web-based educational product to learners of all ages across the country. NASA eClips consists of more than 55 short, 5-10 minute video segments, which are available on-demand via the Internet.  NASA eClips features many of the agency’s missions and engages learners in the excitement of science and engineering. Check it out at:http://www.nasa.gov/education/nasaeclips

Open Culture: 475 Free Movies, university courses and so much more! You could spend your whole life on this site…really.




Harvard Business Review

Harvard B http://hbr.org/?cm_mmc=google-_-Brand+-+HBR-_-hbr-_-Phrase&cm_guid=1-_-100000000000000010523-_-11353631565&gclid=CImL-vzl9q8CFegbQgod5mFXRwusiness Review

NY Times Business


Getting Balanced: When You Need to a Brain Brake, to Smile, a Coffee Break Time or a Little Inspiration


Tools Explained by an Engineer

Linked /attachment

A spoof on an Apple Launch by Onion News:


ATC 2000 Rocket Ride with Free Fall


How An Engineer Exercises the Dog


Diaroogle – Public Toilet Search Engine: This is one of those interesting sites with a very no-comment name. Starting in NYC, Diaroogle is building a peer rated and Google Map referenced search engine to locate and evaluate public access toilets. It is an intriguing example of a mash-up of content, context, peer rating and mapping. Next time you are in NYC and really need to go, check out: http://www.diaroogle.com/

A Monty Python Job Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dWMIuipn_c

What your pet does while you are at work…video

A Little Inspiration:

Good news for our planet: Barefoot Solar Engineers

Who says your need a degree to change your world? Take some tips from the women who changed the communities they live in for the better of the whole.



Stand By Me- Playing For Change

This is a video made by diverse musicians from around the world. It is inspiring to see so many people working together to create something together.

Hamster dreams…pretty cute!- video

Crow and Cat are friends – Video


Dog, Cat, Mouse



Managing the Unmanageable: How to Motivate Even the Most Unruly Employee


The Slacker:


TEDS: The Girl Cells (This MIGHT be used at the end of the group after a great deal of trust has been built.) Second thought: NO



Managing the Unmanageable: How to Motivate Even the Most Unruly Employee   


The Slacker:



TEDS: The Girl Cells (This MIGHT be used at the end of the group after a great deal of trust has been built.) Second thought: NO