Recognition, Appreciation

4 minute read As the leader for the CD & L department in South Africa, it has always been my passion to make our engagements come alive through interesting and creative execution of materials. Often, part of an engagement is to source and supply a small gift for the team members or even a branded…

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The day my son…

4 minute read The day my son brought his classroom into the shower… was this morning. And I was the one in the shower. Me. Who would have thought? We have all seen the comic strips or YouTube clips of video conferences going wrong. My word! I am even training companies on the protocol around…

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Just Say No

6 minute read I’ll never forget one of my father’s “sales lessons” to me as I was starting my first job out of college as a medical device sales professional: “When someone says “no,” what they are really saying is “yes” to something else.  Your job is to figure out what they are saying “yes”…

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EXPOSED

3 minute read We sit down at zoom calls and see kitchen tables set up as home offices, toddlers waving to teammates, and cats unapologetically strutting in front of monitors. Today’s virtual work environment is exposing our realness as humans first, leaders second.   We love seeing our leaders, as humans. This intimate, inside look…

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Choose Empathy

7 minute read Strengthening the Empathy Muscle Every person is experiencing some degree of stress and operating with a coping deficit. In a brief period of time, individuals have been asked to perform their typical tasks at work (if possible) while simultaneously balancing concern for their safety, health, jobs, economy, and the government and society…

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The Power of Perspective

3 minute read How many times over the last couple of weeks have you heard someone refer to the unprecedented times we are finding ourselves in?  A Black Swan event. Unusual. Unreal even, and for sure it is. As were many other events in our collective history… The start of the Great Trek in South…

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Use Your Head For Your Heart

5 minute read Assess. Once you have generated an accurate assessment of functioning, you can begin to implement some coping strategies for yourself and those you lead. The assessment should measure your personal emotional state, as well as how dramatically your life has changed and how those around you (family, friends, co-workers, employees) are impacted.…

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Dear Leaders

4 minute read Dear Fellow Leaders, The uncertainty associated with the changes demanded by COVID-19 is unprecedented. As a leader, we know you are challenged with how to navigate the changing landscape and the work/life integration challenges occurring across home offices globally. You’re concerned about the wellbeing of your team and their families, and making…

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Where To Even Start?

4 minute read During this period of uncertainty and instability, an important first step is to reflect on the way that living in a stressful environment is coloring the way we emote and behave. The first “baby step” is to examine the messages we are receiving and clarify the way the information being disseminated can…

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Just Say No

3 minute read I’m just as guilty. I find myself caught up in, and even writing about, what we “should’ be doing in this current coronavirus environment. Insert pause. On a walk this week (yes, something that we all should be doing!), I started reflecting on things that I am purposefully NOT doing right now.…

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Love First

7 minute read Here we go – trying to get this post finally written and letting go my perfectionistic approach to blogs. They take me forever to write because I keep editing them and thinking of new approaches. For example, I have 5 different blog posts started at this point focused on helping others during…

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Q&A with Renee Jordan

1 minute read Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? Both, especially if I’m gathering information.  I will hunt and dig deep for the information needed.  I would love to work behind the scenes for a private investigator.  I enjoy that type of research. What was the last gift you gave someone? Prosecco What…

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Tricks or Treats?

3 minute read Spider webs. Skeletons. Tombstones. It’s officially here. The quintessential October holiday has us carving pumpkins on our front porches, donning uproarious costumes and…learning business lessons?   Yes, it just might be that Halloween has a little something to offer besides a sugar high.   Business leaders could take a lesson or two…

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Avoid the Q4 Scaries

2 minute read It’s the week before Halloween, and goblins and gargoyles aren’t what’s making me shake in my boots. What’s spookier than Halloween haunts? I’ll tell you: Q4 is down to just two months, meaning there are only two more months to get focused on finalizing goals and crossing the year-end finish line. Now…

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3 Keys to Support Integration

5 minute read The routine of unplugging and rolling up my computer’s power cable with greater methodical precision that normal gives me a few seconds to reflect. In the conference room the used name tents, post-its, and empty water bottles linger with me. We all witnessed the positive impact of the engagement session. The blue…

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This May Seem Obvious

5 minute read Throughout our client engagements this summer, I have started to see a trend emerge. Whether it was in our workshop on Emotional Intelligence, Communication and Behavior Styles, Accountability Circles, Generational Leadership (with a Millennials Focus) or Probing Skills… there was a moment in each class where a lightbulb went off over everyone’s…

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Go Green!

2 minute read Email after email came in after my last blog on the importance of hiring “Yellows”! It seems like those of you who bring the strengths of intuition, negotiation, and inspiration to the proverbial table were elated to see your contributions noticed. In addition, I was surprised at the accompanying emails that came…

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How To Be Better Than Busy

I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. Everybody’s “busy,” but what are we really communicating to those around us when we use that word? Somewhere along the line, “busy” has become synonymous with “success.” A status symbol that indicates that we are a valuable commodity, sought after in the world. I’m just as guilty as…

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Superheroes and Superstars

Superheroes and Superstars: Casting the Right Talent in Blockbusters and Business The purple arch-villain of the Marvel Avengers franchise, Thanos, stands amid a crumbling planet, his amour glistening and his gold-plated glove shimmers with infinity stones. If he snaps his fingers, half of life is obliterated in an instant. The Avengers race toward him, with…

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Can I give you some feedback?

If you’re like me, then that question can feel like a double edged sword. How do you answer? As an employee, it’s nice to know how you’re doing …are you meeting expectations? But also, can be a very scary and vulnerable moment which makes you cringe a little bit in anticipation. As a manager, field…

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Q&A with Liesl Eksteen

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?  Hmmm … what an interesting question.  I love the idea of the ‘colour of water’.  There is a great South African book with a scene where a little boy asked his mom what colour is God and then his Mom…

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The Season of Gratitude

‘Tis the season of thankfulness and that, along with a recent client project, has me thinking about gratitude! A few weeks ago we were engaged at a big National Meeting teaching some elective sessions for our client. My room’s topic was “Leading with Emotional Intelligence in Times of Stress”. The content is some of my…

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A Winning Strategy

a guest blog by Anthony Modena Chief Executive Officer, Modena Design Centres    Many years ago, when I was introduced to the game of chess, I was given a small book that taught a strategy for winning at chess. I have long ago lost the book and no longer remember the author. However, I became…

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Q&A with Kinzer Barrett

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? Gatherer You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?  Yellow – it’s the happiest color! What inspires you? Acts of service What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? I am fascinated by health…

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The Path to Essentialism : Part 1

After spending some time reading ESSENTIALISM by Greg McKeown, I soon realized the path to knowing what is essential is paved with much intentional thought and discovery.   To begin this journey, we must learn the difference between the two types of people, whom McKeown defines as Essentialists and Non-Essentialists. To sum, Essentialists are about…

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From the desk of…Sarah

If you’ve read my bio, you’ll know that some of my favorite content we teach at Riverbend is around Motivational Leadership. I am fascinated and passionate about self-motivation, motivation within teams / between colleagues, and between manager and direct report. Our Motivational Leadership workshop was the original source of my enlightenment around how differently people…

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Happy Independence Day

Freedom. Autonomy.  Liberty. Self-governance. Sovereignty. Self-determination.   These words are what our forefathers fought for.  These words are what the courageous men and women of our military and many of our fellow civilians still fight for.   They did not fight for July 4th. July 4th is simply a day chosen to represent the objective of the fight.…

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From The Desk of…. Doreen

Q: When considering candidates in an interview, what are three qualities you look for, or are “must haves,” in order to hire them? What questions do you ask to get clarity on these qualities?   A: “Hire slow, fire fast.”   This statement is some of the best advice that I have ever received from a…

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3 R’s for your July

You blinked, didn’t you?   One second it is January 2018 with an empty canvas ahead of you to paint your 2018 masterpiece! The next second you are staring at Q3 fast approaching and have only 6-months to achieve that masterpiece!   Do not hit the panic button. Pause, breathe, and immediately block out at…

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Q&A with Anel Greyling

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?  Hunter You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Blue.  Most color used, don’t want to be thrown in the dustbin if I’m not used! 🙂 What was the last gift you gave someone? Bay grows & Baby blankets. What inspires…

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June 2018 Newsletter

Happy Summer! It is hard to believe that we are embarking on month #6 of 2018 already!  Like most of you, our 2018 started with a bang! Riverbend had 18 projects in the first 19 weeks and Prepare to Roar had an epic expedition on the plains of East Africa.  Speaking of epic, Riverbend saw and…

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From the desk of…Sarah

If The Riverbend Group set out to write a book to encapsulate our philosophies on teams, management styles, and what makes a successful company… it would end up sounding a lot like The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. The Culture Code was one of my #RiverbendReads assignments and I was eager to dig in, because…

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Business Lessons in Fortune Cookies

a guest blog by Tom Williamson Vice President of Commercial Operations Entellus Medical /  Stryker   I don’t quite remember when I really started to notice fortune cookies, but now I am enamored with the seemingly perfectly timed whispers that they provide. In fact, I now have a collection of two-inch white strips of paper…

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Shareholders Should Come Last

In reading my HBR March-April 2018, there is an interview with Merck CEO Kenneth Fraizer.  One of his quotes, albeit of many, especially jumped out at me:   “While a fundamental responsibility of business leaders is to create value for shareholders, I think businesses also exist to deliver value to society.”   Not only do I…

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How I “Eat that Frog”

I am often told that I’m super productive and efficient – which I consider a great compliment! But the thing is… being effective at productivity is not a secret or something I was born doing – I’ve been studying and cultivating my productivity over the past couple of years.   One of the main things…

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Miracles?

In case you missed it, Team USA Women’s Ice Hockey took home the Gold last week!   Well done ladies!   When I heard the news, my mind easily drifted to another epic win for Team USA Ice Hockey – the 1980 Men’s Team …back to the year they were considered major underdogs against the Russians,…

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The Power of the 5 Senses

  Turkish Airlines, Dr. Oz, and The Riverbend Group all have something common.   They all believe in the power of the five senses.   If you happened to miss Turkish Airlines’ Super Bowl advertisement you can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvicqMrAHvQ. In summary, it was an ad to inspire you to travel in order to…

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Do you whistle while you work?

Another day in the office, eh? Another unmotivating, lacking luster, sucking all energy out of you day in the office? Try these suggested 10 phrases in your work space, and be careful you might find yourself singing “Zippity Do Da” while clicking your heels thinking “There’s no place like work”. https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/10-phrases-smart-people-use-in-workplace-conversations.html?cid=hmside2 Using phrases suggested in…

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From the desk of… Amy

I have read this Washington Post article about Google’s analysis of its employees at least five times now. Who would ever think in this day and age where most employers expect and demand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills from graduating students (and therefore expect and demand parents and teachers to push their students in…

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Celebrating 15 Years

Dear Friends, Clients, and Colleagues, Thank you for joining me in wishing Riverbend a Happy 15th Birthday of our Founding! We are thrilled to be celebrating this milestone today and are grateful to each of you for the support over the years. As I sat down to reflect on the last 15 years, I searched…

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Introducing : Riverbend Returns

  During this season of Thanksgiving and counting our blessings, we are pleased to introduce a formalized initiative around something The Riverbend Group has been doing for many years. You may have noticed on the bottom of the “who we work with” page, that we mention something called Riverbend Returns. At Riverbend, we are committed…

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Dorothy Vaughn

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-story-of-nasas-real-ldquo-hidden-figures-rdquo/ Have you seen the movie Hidden Figures?  If not, it needs to go to the top of your watch list …now.   In the meantime, I’ll tell you why I love this movie.  I love this movie for uncovering a true story – for bringing history to life on the big screen from which…

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Q&A with Sarah

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?  Gatherer You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? a combination Blue/Green/Seafoam/Grey … It’s a paint color called Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore, I found it about 6 years ago and now use it, and make everything match it, almost…

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What is Legacy?

What is Legacy? For Horses… its Head, Heart, and Hooves. Horses on average weigh 1000 pounds, which means, when a horse dies, it takes a significant amount of effort for a full burial. Because of this, the tradition to bury only the head, heart, and hooves of a racehorse, began. Only for the highest symbol of…

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Q&A with Haley O’Brien

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?  GATHERER You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Rainbow- accepting all and working together for the betterment for a completed masterpiece What was the last gift you gave someone? A hug What inspires you? The next generation, young people What’s…

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Small, but mighty.

I recently was sitting on my back porch losing myself in the majesty of my resident hummingbird — a Ruby-Throated female to be exact.   She had me completely mesmerized and I could not help but be in awe of her small but mighty presence, which led me to reflect upon what she can teach us…

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Were their ears ringing?

After reading this article, I wonder if MickeyD’s was listening in on our chat on change last week? Onsite with a client last Wednesday, we had a healthy discussion around what organizations, departments, teams, or individuals do when faced with change. We explored how, ultimately, they have one of two choices: seize the opportunity or…

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The Light Side

Due to Hurricane Irma, I was without electricity for 5 days last week. So, “light” has been on my mind.  Being without “light” threw my routine off and was unsettling.   We need light. We are drawn to light.  I was even “craving” light. This train of thought led me, again, to this HBR article…

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Yes! We should be Leaders Leaving Loudly

WOW! I am passionate about this article! I absolutely attribute much of our success at The Riverbend Group to a culture that values flexibility.  Giving your team the flexibility to live their life and pursue their interests outside of work is not only the right thing to do for them, but the right thing do to for your business. Happy, balanced, and appreciative team members increase in their gratitude for your company. Their loyalty and their commitment to help your company thrive increase simultaneously.  Your people become so grateful for a place to work that not only encourages but celebrates their lives outside of work, then in return they work harder and smarter for you to ensure the company thrives — it becomes a virtuous circle.  There is no doubt that workplace flexibly has directly led to our year-over-year success — a happy, passionate team directly impacts our quality output and client satisfaction.

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From the desk of…Sarah

I recently began reading Radical Candor by Kim Scott, after a client recommended it to me during a multi-week Management Development Program we’ve developed for his Sales Managers and Vice Presidents. At Riverbend, we think a lot about what makes a great manager so great. Early on in the book, Kim Scott shares her insight…

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Q&A with Amy Tyler

1. What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? I was an All-Star Softball Shortstop in Jr. High and High School. Most people today wouldn’t know what a huge tomboy I was growing up. I did much to develop my tomboyish ways from playing football with the neighborhood…

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