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Corey Olynik
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Corey Olynik

About the Author

A sought-after professional facilitator and mentor since the 90’s, Corey works with difference-makers* in a number of different fields: entrepreneurs, political figures, not-for-profit leaders. “Most find themselves trapped ‘in their organization’ and unable to work ‘on their organization.’ Helping people make that transition (that leap!) is my passion.” Corey is a former broadcast executive, political strategist, pastor and corporate ladder-climber. He is an author, speaker and mentor/coach for business, non-profit and faith community leaders. Author of The Mentor’s Mentor, he also co-founded (with Wayne Stewart) Executive Directions, an innovative capacity-building program for high potential leaders in the non-profit sector. His next big project – The Tomorrow Institute – is being designed to encourage leaders to become thought leaders in their industry and their community. He has been publishing a weekly leadership question for over ten years that appears in in-boxes worldwide every Monday morning prompting difference-makers to look at life and leadership with fresh eyes. And his column “Time Out with the Coach” appeared monthly in Calgary Inc. magazine. Raised in Moose Jaw and educated in Saskatchewan and Kentucky, (plus some Executive Education at the Harvard Kennedy School), Corey is President of the Board of Directors at the ALEX Community Health Centre, an active Rotarian, a member of First Alliance Church, CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) and Mensa. Corey uncovers excuses and demands progress. As he says: “I love being in the room when someone’s lights go on.”

What If?

What if a key person were immediately and permanently unavailable? What would you do? It’s not a “who’s going to cover for” situation but “who’s going to take over?” Many leaders tell me it will take months, even years, to get someone ready for a key position. Yet they don’t prepare. Then when something happens […]

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Single Tasking

Smartphones are indispensable for today’s leader, yet smartphones get us off track as well. On the plus side, multitasking is phenomenally enabled by those handhelds. However, focusing on one thing for an extended period, without electronic interruption, significantly impacts our results. Leaders must learn to balance multi-tasking and [...]

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Yesterday Once More

Most changes we contemplate and enact aren’t poorly designed. When change goes sideways it’s likely due to poor presentation and communication. We can’t forget that our people love yesterday; yesterday is safe. Tomorrow is scary. Let’s consider forging the link rather than emphasizing it. Questions: What’s different when you present [...]

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Skip What They Skip

The late, great Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty) was once asked why so many people like his novels. He answered, “I leave out the parts readers skip.” Wow. Don’t you wish more business speakers took that advice? Can you? [ecko_alert color=”gray”]Pause and Reflect: Are your presentations crisp, concise, focused? Or, are they [...]

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Let It Go

We’re moving into summer vacation season. Rest. Relaxation. Rejuvenation. Concocting. Brooding. Scheming. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No. No. Most leaders I talk with are working too hard; they never shut it down. No wonder they run out of ideas. This year, please, take a couple of weeks off … really off. Cut yourself off from [...]

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What Did I Expect?

Five years ago most of us had plans to grow our leadership ability and capacity. Are we meeting our expectations? This week’s question: Do you expect more or less of yourself than you did five years ago ‒ longer or shorter hours, greater span of control or less, higher trust in people and processes or […]

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Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

What happens in your organization when something goes wrong? If you are like most, the first question is often, “Whose fault is it?” Recently, I’ve begun challenging myself to think to think instead, “What is it about us that gave room for the mess to develop?” Quite possibly the error is merely a symptom of [...]

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What Do They Whisper?

Like it or not, employees talk about the boss. Yes … about you! I wonder what descriptive words your people use for you. Do their words match your intentions? One attribute many leaders desire but clumsily execute is “supportive.” This week’s question: What can you expect from your direct reports when your everyday question [...]

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Waiting … Waiting

I don’t know why it happens. Every once in a while I see leaders hesitating to act –  for no apparent reason. Probing, I’ve found a number of leaders seem to be waiting for permission ‒ permission from their board, their client, a team member, their partner. What keeps them paralyzed is that those expected to […]

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Loosen the Ropes

Boss: “I wish my people would take more initiative, be more creative, get outside the box.” Employee: “I wish my boss would turn me loose, untie my hands, let me show what I can do.” This week’s question: If you mean it ‒ if you want different results from your people, how will you change […]

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Hidden Insight

We’ve all seen this in our meetings. Some people will begin speaking and keep talking until something valuable comes out of their mouth; they engage their minds with their mouths open. Then there are others who remain silent until they have something meaningful to contribute; the consequence is often times those perspectives never [...]

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Harmony Through Discord

Many leaders believe that good organizational culture means the absence of discord among their people. Their focus is on agreeing and getting along. But productivity remains elusive. Results happen when everyone leans in to a shared objective and talks passionately (even argues) about processes, about projects, about approaches, about [...]

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