As a parent, I’ve often wished for a user’s manual to clarify my job and help me troubleshoot in emergencies. Ever feel like that as a manager or leader? We have. It’s one of the reasons Larry Sternberg and I wrote Managing to Make a Difference. And it’s the reason we’re highlighting Leadership Toolbox on our most recent podcast.

Leadership Toolbox is a day-long seminar for anyone who works in a supervisory role. Participants walk away at the end of the day with eight specific tools and techniques they can put to work right away. These are proven best practices for:

  • Relationship building
  • Coaching
  • Recognition and appreciation

This specific set of turnkey tools helps you put our users’ manual for managing to make a difference into action right away. And our next seminar is coming up on October 5.

Listen in as Larry and our moderator Kyle Bruss interview Leadership Toolbox expert, Abby Christensen, about the ins and outs of Leadership Toolbox. Abby shares some of participants’ favorite tools, along with specific examples, including:

  • Appreciative Inquiry: What is it? How is it the foundation for all the tools in the toolbox? Why do you need it in your toolbox?
  • Observational Screener: How can this tool help you find people with the right potential to succeed in a job they’ve never done before?
  • Career Investment Discussion: See a sample of this tool on our website and hear how it works on the podcast.
  • Strengths-based 360: How does this tool turn the traditional 360 upside-down, and how can it enhance your effectiveness as a manager?

On all our podcasts and blog posts, you have an opportunity to talk back to us through comments and emails. We hope to hear from you! Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!

+ Larry Sternberg, J.D. and Kim Turnage, Ph.D.


This post highlights Chapter 19 of Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Click here to see posts on previous chapters. Next up: Emphasize the Why. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

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