Tips, tools and thoughts for top performance

Cultivate Game Changer and Growth Mindsets

By |2021-02-22T14:14:06+00:00February 22nd, 2021|

There are two mindsets necessary to be a great executive team or a great leader. The first trait is the mindset to be a game changer. Game changers are dedicated to the idea of meaningful impact. They are bold and do not think small. The second mindset is the growth [...]


Focus on Discipline

By |2021-02-16T14:11:57+00:00February 16th, 2021|

“It’s the discipline that matters, not the desire.” This reminder came from a very successful leader that I have the privilege to work with. His point is that wanting good things is not usually the problem. Most leaders and their teams are clear about what they want. They want the [...]


Make Simple Changes to Improve

By |2021-02-14T17:31:46+00:00February 14th, 2021|

After we moved into our new house, the air return vent in the hallway got progressively louder and louder. The air conditioner seemed to be working overtime and it was starting to sound like a wind tunnel. For weeks, my wife and I were worried it meant a huge repair [...]


Don’t Dismiss the People Part

By |2021-02-11T14:21:56+00:00February 11th, 2021|

Do you need to be a “touchy feely” leader to be successful with people? NO. But assuming that people are robotic or simply motivated by money will undermine “unfeeling” business results like profits, growth, and competitiveness. …and that will make any leader feel bad, no matter how much they might [...]


Mahomes v. Mahomes

By |2021-02-08T16:23:39+00:00February 8th, 2021|

In Superbowl LV, there was a lot of excitement about seeing Tom Brady (“the Greatest of All Time”) versus Patrick Mahomes (“the Greatest Right Now”). Now, I am interested in seeing Mahomes versus Mahomes. Let’s be honest, most of us probably can identify with the post-Superbowl LV Mahomes. Talented people [...]


Connect with your Curious Family

By |2021-02-08T15:54:46+00:00February 8th, 2021|

A recent “reunion” of some old work colleagues (yes, socially distanced and outside….) reminded me how like a family our colleagues at work can be. A curious family to say the least, but (at it’s best) a family nonetheless. At their best, our families support us, celebrate with us, and [...]


Get Organized to Win, not just Survive

By |2021-01-31T16:22:23+00:00January 31st, 2021|

Leaders have spent a lot of time fixing serious issues since last year. They have fixed supply chains. They have created methods to keep their employees safe. They have adjusted to impacts on sales and revenue. Organizations are pretty good at rallying around a threat and getting it resolved. Like [...]



By |2021-01-21T17:14:25+00:00January 21st, 2021|

While governments have been criticized for the slow pace of vaccinations (with some even having to trash precious doses), Israel’s approach is practical and offers a good reminder to business leaders. Israel’s central health system has a priority system and appointments for its most at-risk citizens. AND has empowered each [...]


Be 30% Productive by Being More Positive

By |2021-01-18T17:55:41+00:00January 18th, 2021|

Be 30% more productive by being more positive. This reminder came from former NHL hockey star and current leadership expert Ryan Walter who recently addressed a CEO group I run. He referenced research that shows that employees who are happy (versus being negative, stressed, or even neutral) are 31% more [...]


Maintain Focus

By |2021-01-11T18:05:37+00:00January 11th, 2021|

Over the past two weeks I have learned a lot of things, including: Several start-ups have formed to commercialize private networks of satellites that are cheap to make and deploy. Some of the satellites are as small as a grilled cheese sandwich. A new streaming service (backed by ex-Disney executives) [...]


Resolve to Keep your Life and Work Tidy in 2021

By |2020-12-28T23:32:44+00:00December 28th, 2020|

Japan has the tradition of a deep “Spring cleaning” that occurs at the beginning of the New Year. During that time, they clean everything in the house. Every nook and cranny of a typical house is scrubbed, dusted, and refreshed. (Marie Kondo is famous in the US, but she is [...]


People are Messy…and yet

By |2020-12-21T00:21:13+00:00December 21st, 2020|

People do not perfectly fit into grand plans or simple categories. While roads are designed with the idea of cars moving efficiently like water through pipes, human nature (like being self-centered, angered at getting cut off, or being impatient) still results in road rage and wrecks. Stock markets are often [...]


Stay Alert to Innovative Ideas

By |2020-12-16T23:20:54+00:00December 16th, 2020|

Can you see and hear the creativity in your organization? Like the eternal question about trees falling in the woods, is your organization really innovative if nobody around is listening to the good ideas being generated? If leadership is not organized to listen and act on innovation from within their [...]


Make your Own Conditions for Success

By |2020-12-15T17:28:37+00:00December 15th, 2020|

Conditions aren’t as important as the preparations to handle the conditions. In Alaska, we took an excursion in a small boat with 6 other passengers to see a remote island and all the sea animals one hopes to see in Alaska. The outfitter had us put on bulky “dry suits” [...]


The Power of Presence

By |2020-12-10T20:02:42+00:00December 10th, 2020|

Our dog has a giant mastiff for a friend. When they meet on walks, my dog, who is about one tenth the size of her friend, will often scratch and kick up grass behind her. She only does this around her big friend. I am told the action is an [...]


Hidden Jewels

By |2020-12-07T14:57:49+00:00December 7th, 2020|

High quality mechanical watches have industrial grade rubies fixed in critical parts of the movement. These “jewels” prevent wear of critical parts and provide stability and structure to maintain precision dependability over time. High quality watches may have as many as 21 of these tiny jewels integrated into their design. [...]


On Trust and Executive Teams

By |2020-12-16T23:22:07+00:00December 4th, 2020|

Trust is like rocket fuel for the effectiveness of an executive team. Also like rocket fuel, trust can easily evaporate. Smart executive teams take steps to build trust and also take steps to preserve it. With trust, the team can go far and fast. Without it, they risk being spectators [...]


Does My Dog Have COVID?

By |2020-12-04T14:31:31+00:00December 2nd, 2020|

Our dog was recently and suddenly sick. She got treatment and is better now, but for a panicked moment, I wondered if she might have COVID. (Yes it was a crazy fear, but in my defense, I don’t think I am the only pet owner to suffer from crazy fears [...]


A Birthday Wish

By |2020-11-30T13:33:48+00:00November 30th, 2020|

I was on a zoom call recently as an invited panelist to speak on innovation and leadership in conjunction with an event called Africa Tech Week. Participants attended from all over Africa including Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. In the course of the discussion, it came out that it was [...]


Thanks to YOU

By |2020-11-23T18:51:23+00:00November 23rd, 2020|

This week is the traditional time to encourage people to be thankful. I will not break with that tradition, except to encourage you to be thankful about something that may often go underappreciated by you—yourself. What I am talking about is self-worth. Self-worth is having unconditional positive regard for ourselves. [...]



By |2020-11-16T13:09:25+00:00November 16th, 2020|

Once, on our way to Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house, I decided to take a detour and see an old mining town. Crown King was only 20 miles off the interstate, but I did not factor in that we would only go about 20 miles per hour on the gravel [...]


Watch Me

By |2020-11-08T18:57:52+00:00November 8th, 2020|

Our neighbor has a new puppy of some giant breed. It is full of exuberance and it already HUGE. To get some control, a dog trainer taught my neighbor to get the puppy’s attention with a treat held near her face. The treat and the command “watch me” refocuses the [...]


YOUR Path to Win

By |2020-11-06T13:40:19+00:00November 5th, 2020|

While the US works through the political process of sorting out the electoral votes to win, take a moment and think about yourself. As a leader what is YOUR path to win? Better mastery of your time? A highly functioning executive team? A new strategic direction given dramatic changes in [...]


Inspirational leadership is a Predictable Way to Win

By |2020-11-01T21:18:38+00:00November 1st, 2020|

While many things are uncertain, many things are predictable. The economy will rebound, and many activities (even cruises) will return at some point. Alabama will be dominant this football season and my wife’s infatuation with Coach Saban will continue. Lots of Halloween candy (particularly chocolate, in my case) bought too [...]


Don’t Get Candy Crushed

By |2020-10-26T02:50:39+00:00October 26th, 2020|

A friend of ours is a flight attendant and she’s bored. She’s not bored because she is at home, she’s bored because of how her job has changed. She says her work today is just giving flight instructions. She doesn’t like the fact that she doesn’t get to interact with [...]


Flag planting

By |2020-10-18T18:03:04+00:00October 18th, 2020|

The iconic picture of marines hoisting the flag at Iwo Jima (and the WW2 memorial that it inspired) might lead one to think that it captured the scene of the final victory there. It doesn’t. Putting a flag on top of Mt. Suribachi marked a significant achievement on the way [...]


Innovation is a Team Sport

By |2020-10-13T17:37:23+00:00October 13th, 2020|

As Keith Ferrazzi shared with a group of fellow MacKay CEO Forum Chairs recently, working with teams is one of the fastest ways to improve the trajectory of an organization. His great example is that no pro sports team on the planet works solely on developing individual skills. The team [...]


Leading the Band

By |2020-10-19T13:22:20+00:00October 12th, 2020|

This past week brought the sad news about Eddie Van Halen passing away from cancer. Van Halen provided a soundtrack for the teenage years of millions of people around the world. The band was one of the most successful rock bands in history. Eddie is also reminder is that a [...]


Success Systems

By |2020-10-05T22:31:39+00:00October 5th, 2020|

Do you want to really thrive and the absolutely best leader you can be? Stack the odds in your favor with layers of supportive success systems. The human body has multiple layers of systems in place to keep the body in peak condition. White blood cells protect against microscopic invaders [...]


Innovation Insights week 6

By |2020-10-04T18:21:24+00:00October 4th, 2020|

Innovation Insights is a daily post on LinkedIn to help leaders strengthen those all-important innovation muscles over a period of 30 days. Below is a summary from the week. Are you seeing the signs? Nationally, across the US employment numbers are starting to improve. There is news about consistent progress [...]



By |2020-09-27T21:19:54+00:00September 27th, 2020|

While we wear masks in an effort to contribute to the over-all health of our communities, the experience can feel stifling and uncomfortable. It can give us a new appreciation for a free flow of oxygen. Pre-pandemic, many organizations were operating in an environment with the ample “oxygen” of easy [...]


Innovation Insights week 5

By |2020-09-27T21:04:15+00:00September 27th, 2020|

Innovation Insights is a daily post on LinkedIn to help leaders strengthen those all-important innovation muscles over a period of 30 days. Below is a summary from week 5. Innovation or Inertia? Do you have a culture of innovation or a culture of inertia? Cultures of innovation is what everyone [...]


13 Real Ideas from Real Leaders

By |2020-09-19T18:55:15+00:00September 19th, 2020|

Below are some ideas I have heard recently that I thought may of interest. Some of the ideas are big. Some of the ideas are small. All are being used by real leaders just like you. Take a walk with your direct reports. This leader drives to meet his employees [...]


Funny Business

By |2020-09-19T18:50:37+00:00September 19th, 2020|

I am addicted to the “Bad Dad Joke” contests popular on Youtube*. In these, people take turns telling jokes only a dad could love while trying to keep a straight face. Humor (even that of the corny dad joke variety) is a great distraction and a vital contributor to our [...]


Innovation Insights Week 4

By |2020-09-19T18:20:29+00:00September 19th, 2020|

Innovation Insights is a daily post on LinkedIn to help leaders strengthen those all-important innovation muscles over a period of 30 days. Below is a summary from week 4. Watch your language… Leaders need to watch their language.... For example, is your leader language focused on making cost cuts or [...]


Innovation Insights Week 3

By |2020-09-19T18:34:46+00:00September 13th, 2020|

Innovation Insights is a daily post on LinkedIn to help leaders strengthen those all-important innovation muscles over the next 30 days. Below is a summary from week 3.     The ABCs of Innovation. Confused about “innovation?” Many leaders are and it is not their fault. Innovation is the word [...]


The Love Connection

By |2020-09-07T15:57:07+00:00September 6th, 2020|

I was struck by some thinking that was presented in a webinar hosted recently by my colleague, Nancy MacKay, and thought I would share it with you. Her topic was LOVE (yes, love) and how is can be a game-changer in our businesses. I was a little skeptical, but now…well, [...]


Innovation Insights Week 2

By |2020-09-06T18:12:02+00:00September 6th, 2020|

Innovation Insights is a daily post on LinkedIn to help leaders strengthen those all-important innovation muscles over the next 30 days. Below is a summary from week 2. Innovation is natural, but not common. Positive processes like entrepreneurship, collaboration, and innovation are natural, but not automatic. People generally have an [...]


Innovation Insights Week 1

By |2020-08-30T18:48:53+00:00August 30th, 2020|

Innovation Insights is a daily post on LinkedIn to help leaders strengthen those all-important innovation muscles over the next 30 days. Below is a summary from week 1. Post-it Power. Imagine harnessing the power of all the great ideas that you jot down on a post-it note or scribble in [...]


Success: Same Formula, New Answers

By |2020-08-23T23:22:06+00:00August 23rd, 2020|

Those of you who have worked with me will likely be familiar with Tim Gallwey’s performance formula. His simple, but insightful formula is that our performance equals our potential minus our interferences. It basically means we all have potential, but that might show up, but ONLY if we manage things [...]