The PMA Blog

Deb Cullerton

Managing Partner at PMA and passionate about developing leaders
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Become an Influential Leader: Essential Tips for the Workplace

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 2/16/23 10:00 AM

I recently moved into a new house and found myself evaluating a room that's needs painting.  "Is the color close enough to avoid a primer?  It would save time to jump right to a coat of the new stuff.  But would it really if I had to add a second coat because the old color showed through?  Ok, time for a base coat of primer!"

That same day I found myself teaching our Influencing class to a group of front line managers and it occurred to me that the same conversation applied.  You cannot skip the base coat!  All the fancy influencing approaches fall flat if you haven't checked the boxes on these top five fundamentals of influencing:

Read More

Topics: Organizational &Talent Development, Productivity for All, Leadership Matters, HR Executives

Your Resolutions are Not the Problem

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 1/4/23 8:55 AM

I've seen a multitude of blogs and articles citing the stat that the average duration of a new year’s resolution is 19 days.  The gist of most of them is to take the stat as a sign that resolutions are a waste of your time.  I disagree.  I think if you make a list of the most successful people you know and compared them to everyone else, you would find one critical difference.  Follow-through.

Read More

Topics: Organizational &Talent Development, All About Teams, HR Executives

The Cost of Ineffective Teamwork

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 11/22/22 5:18 PM

Ever Experience the Meeting After the Meeting?

It’s the meeting after the meeting. You know the one: the team meeting just ended, and everyone hops on their phones to text and chat about what went down during the team meeting. It’s where you complain about your team leader, that one guy who is always interrupting, and the people who are not pulling their weight. It’s where you talk about what you would do differently if you were in charge, offer suggestions for how things might work better, and share your real feelings and thoughts.  The meeting after the meeting is the real meeting --- where all the truth is. But why?  

Read More

Topics: Organizational &Talent Development, All About Teams, HR Executives

Overcoming your Busy-ness Addiction

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 8/4/22 9:53 AM


Person A: How’s it going?

Person B: I’m insanely busy.

Person A: Yeah, me too. I’m scheduling into next year already.

Person B: I get it. I haven’t taken a real unplugged vacation since before Covid.

Person A:  I hear you.  I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up.

Person B:  I know.  I'm considering leaving.  I'm so burnt out.



And just like that, we are falling back into the patterns of pre-pandemic workplace and homelife imbalance.   2022 "come back to the office culture" has brought with it a pace and volume of both communications and information that would overload anyone.  Financial upheaval, supply chain issues, talent shortages and overtaxed healthcare systems have workplaces feeling more overwhelmed than ever.  So, we respond by trying to simply catch it. How do we catch it?

Read More

Topics: Productivity for All

Avoid Losing Talent in the "Great Resignation" from Change Overwhelm

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 6/21/22 12:01 PM

During Times of Change, Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The flight was just about to take off, when abruptly it turned around and headed back to the gate.  The pilot told us it was a mechanical problem and that they'd get back to us.  And then they didn't.  For the next 15 minutes I watched people begin to spiral into a panic.  Should we call customer service?  Should we get off the flight?  What kind mechanical?  Any time estimates?
Read More

Topics: Organizational &Talent Development, All About Teams, Leadership Matters, Change Happens

Speeding up to Slow down

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 4/29/22 1:29 PM



"She must have that backwards!  For years she's been teaching us to slow down to speed up and now she says it’s the other way around?"

Every day I ask people to invest in themselves and their process improvement.  This requires slowing down, learning, tweaking, changing process, and changing behavior so that they might accelerate their growth and results. 

Today it occurred to me that people are not always truly leveraging their results to move the biggest rocks.  Learning to triage and process email twice as fast has very little impact if you use the time saved to do low priority items.  Only by taking that extra time and using it to slow down will you truly achieve quantum leaps. 

How do you slow down?

Read More

Topics: Organizational &Talent Development, Productivity for All

7 Ways to Improve Your Virtual Team Meetings

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 3/13/20 4:50 PM

With many of us moving to home offices for a while, the number of virtual meetings has skyrocketed leaving many people feeling ill-prepared to run high quality meetings.  Use these 7 tips to improve the results immediately:
1. Do the basics that we all should do whether the meeting is live, virtual or hybrid.  Send the purpose and objectives for the meeting with the meeting invitation, then consider ways to engage your meeting attendees.  Be sure to end with actions committed and decisions made.  Then, you're in great shape to make the transition to hybrid or virtual meeting format.  To double check your meeting fundamentals, download our meeting facilitation job aid for a helpful checklist.

Read More

Topics: Organizational &Talent Development, Productivity for All, All About Teams, Leadership Matters

Accountability - The Missing Link in Executing the Strategy

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 2/19/20 9:57 PM

I've been coaching and working with Senior Leaders across many industries lately, and keep hearing the same concern when we talk about delivering on the strategies they have worked so hard to develop and communicate across their organizations.  Lack of accountability is hurting our ability to execute.

If you've noticed this creeping into your team or organization, it may require some focused attention before it's too late.  Let's review six techniques that can help stem the tide and turn your team into an executing machine!


Read More

Topics: Leadership Matters

Our most popular blog of 2019: Is the People Stuff Getting You Down?

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 1/14/20 9:35 AM

The votes are in for 2019 most popular blog! This blog is full of tips for taking your work relationships to a new level of success. Be sure to take advantage of the download "Know Your Colleagues"!  

I was coaching a client last week and asked about his progress since he went to our WorkingSm@rt class.   He said, "Well, I'm more organized and more focused but I haven't solved the one issue that takes up more time than almost anything else -- the people stuff!”.

I knew he was saying it tongue in cheek, but he winced a little as he said it and I knew there was more truth there than he was comfortable with.  I wish I could say it was the first time I've heard this complaint, but it's not.  It's impossible to focus on people's productivity without consistently running into the challenging people issues that can take up significant chunks of our day.

 So, without ado, I thought I’d outline three people areas that waste significant time in our workplaces with a few solutions that can make a significant impact:

Read More

Topics: Productivity for All, All About Teams, Leadership Matters

Coaching for Transformation not Transfer

Posted by Deb Cullerton on 11/26/19 1:00 PM

It happens all the time.  Two people are using a word and believe they are aligned on its definition, but their different interpretations lead to big misses in execution.  When this happens with a common word like coaching, the results fall short and leave people scratching their head.  I was recently in New York teaching a Coaching for Peak Performance class with a group of front-line managers.

"How many of you actively coach your team members?"  (80% of the hands went up)

"How many of you coach both proactively for development and reactively for "just-in-time" learning?" (60% of the hands went up)

It didn't make sense to me.  I was missing something.  How could they be coaching and still not getting the results? 

Read More

Topics: Organizational &Talent Development, All About Teams, Leadership Matters, HR Executives, Change Happens

Packed with great ideas

Our blogs are filled with ideas for leaders who are committed to growing themselves and their teams but who are always short on time.  

They are:

  • action-oriented
  • practical
  • and worth sharing with others.

(By the way, we hate spam too, so I can promise you we'll never share your info with anyone else.)

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts