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Use Validation to Succeed

Use Validation to Succeed

Sometimes leaders just need validation that they are on the right track. They don’t always need more advice or to be told what to do. They just need to trust themselves enough to move. I had a tooth flare up on a Friday and made an appointment with my dentist for her...

Consistent investment

Consistent investment

Just like the fact that yo-yo dieters are unlikely to make the progress they want, organizations that are inconsistent about the investments they make in people are unlikely to achieve the success that they want. Companies cannot simply invest in people when times are...

The Discipline of Speed

The Discipline of Speed

It’s not enough to have a great idea. Great ideas only matter if you can move fast enough to make them matter. As of this writing, the US has vaccinated 34 out of 100 residents. The UK has vaccinated 40 out of 100. By contrast the EU has only vaccinated 12 out of 100...

Preparing your Team for Growth

Preparing your Team for Growth

The next chapter of the global economy is unfolding. Many boats will be rising on the new tide, but not all organizations will enjoy the same level of success. And some could even get stuck in the troughs if they do not take the appropriate steps now. Here’s what you...

Don’t Let Ideas get Diluted

Don’t Let Ideas get Diluted

⭐Is your team drifting back to what it knows? There is great risk in ideas getting dumbed down and diluted as time passes and the desire to stay in comfort zones takes hold. 👉Many US and European companies prepared for near-shoring after disruptions to global supply...

How Far are you Willing to Go?

How Far are you Willing to Go?

A team’s level of interaction can be put into one of three basic types: congenial, collaborative, or innovative. Congenial teams work together nicely. There are no overt animosities or frictions. People are polite and civil. These teams get along. Collaborative teams...

Get Judgement-free Feedback

Get Judgement-free Feedback

They say that feedback is the breakfast of champions. I think breakfast is too little. Leaders should try and get as many helpings as they can. Feedback can keep leaders from making simple mistakes because of lack of information. This avoids risk from unintended...

Cultivate Game Changer and Growth Mindsets

Cultivate Game Changer and Growth Mindsets

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

Focus on Discipline

“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....

Make Simple Changes to Improve

Make Simple Changes to Improve

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

Don’t Dismiss the People Part

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...

Mahomes v. Mahomes

Mahomes v. Mahomes

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...

Connect with your Curious Family

Connect with your Curious Family

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,...

Get Organized to Win, not just Survive

Get Organized to Win, not just Survive

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...

Go faster with STRUCTURE + EMPOWERMENT

Go faster with STRUCTURE + EMPOWERMENT

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...

Be 30% Productive by Being More Positive

Be 30% Productive by Being More Positive

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,...

Maintain Focus

Maintain Focus

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...

Resolve to Keep your Life and Work Tidy in 2021

Resolve to Keep your Life and Work Tidy in 2021

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...

People are Messy…and yet

People are Messy…and yet

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...

Stay Alert to Innovative Ideas

Stay Alert to Innovative Ideas

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...

Make your Own Conditions for Success

Make your Own Conditions for Success

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...

The Power of Presence

The Power of Presence

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 instinct that dogs have to...

Hidden Jewels

Hidden Jewels

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...

On Trust and Executive Teams

On Trust and Executive Teams

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...

Does My Dog Have COVID?

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 when their pet is...

A Birthday Wish

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...

Thanks to YOU

Thanks to YOU

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...

Disappointments

Disappointments

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 road. We were hours late...

Watch Me

Watch Me

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 dog’s...

YOUR Path to Win

YOUR Path to Win

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...

Inspirational leadership is a Predictable Way to Win

Inspirational leadership is a Predictable Way to Win

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...

Don’t Get Candy Crushed

Don’t Get Candy Crushed

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

Flag planting

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...

Innovation is a Team Sport

Innovation is a Team Sport

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...

Leading the Band

Leading the Band

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...

Success Systems

Success Systems

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...

Innovation Insights week 6

Innovation Insights week 6

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...

Uncomfortable

Uncomfortable

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...

Innovation Insights week 5

Innovation Insights week 5

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...

13 Real Ideas from Real Leaders

13 Real Ideas from Real Leaders

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 and...

Funny Business

Funny Business

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...

Innovation Insights Week 4

Innovation Insights Week 4

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...

Innovation Insights Week 3

Innovation Insights Week 3

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....

The Love Connection

The Love Connection

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...

Innovation Insights Week 2

Innovation Insights Week 2

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 Insights Week 1

Innovation Insights Week 1

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...

Success: Same Formula, New Answers

Success: Same Formula, New Answers

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...

Getting the Most Out of D&I Initiatives

Getting the Most Out of D&I Initiatives

When I was a kid, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was selling their candy by highlighting that two good tastes were even better together. Anyone else remember those old TV ads? Two people would bump into each other, then one would say “you got your peanut butter on my...

Half-baked Ideas

Half-baked Ideas

In a recent workshop, a senior leader remarked that he had never considered half-baked ideas to  be very valuable. He previously thought that ideas needed to be fully formed before they could see the light of day. The fact is that many valuable ideas don’t look like...

Using Urgency Intelligently

Using Urgency Intelligently

A key ingredient to get high value things done is the belief that it actually matters. And nothing turns up the heat like a shared sense of urgency. REAL urgency can be a savvy leader’s superpower, but it CAN be frittered away. Keep these four points in mind to make...

Seeing What to Save

Seeing What to Save

Visibility about what to support is one of the biggest obstacles leaders have when making tough decisions today. Line item expense numbers are easy to see---and easy to cut. What’s hard to see are the initiatives to feed…and that’s another good reason to have an...

Persistent and Practical

Persistent and Practical

The Boys in the Boat is the story of a collegiate rowing crew from the University of Washington and their pursuit of Olympic gold in the 1936 Olympics, hosted by Hilter’s Germany. While the entire story is epic, one aspect that stands out for me is the optimistic and...

Hard-won Gains

Hard-won Gains

It is a lot easier to stay in shape than to get in shape. And it is ridiculously easy to get out of shape. Nobody needs to hire a trainer to make them sit on the couch and over-eat. When astronauts go to space, they dedicate valuable time to exercise routines to keep...

An Innovation Lesson from the Pool Guy

An Innovation Lesson from the Pool Guy

I recently had a pool professional come and work on my pool. The water had gotten out of whack and it was suggested (confirmed with a second opinion) that the pool was overdue to be dumped, refilled, and started again. The pool guy’s job was to get the pump set up and...

Doors of Opportunity

Doors of Opportunity

These have been times of unprecedented changes, even for dogs. When we moved, our dog Candy went without a doggie door for two months. (We weren’t sure about the risk from coyotes etc and did not want to chance it.) Now she has her own door again, but is  confused...

Today’s Innovation Essentials

Today’s Innovation Essentials

Everybody is being encouraged to innovate these days, but what should a leader actually do right now? I would suggest leaders assess and address today’s three essential innovation areas: leader mindset, team beliefs around innovation, and structure. These three areas...

Accelerate or Hesitate?

Accelerate or Hesitate?

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. Many of our assumptions about how this year will play out have been jettisoned. But while all the protocols to contain the coronavirus (like social distancing and restricted travel) have created great hardship, there is also great...

A Dozen or So Key Actions to Take in the Short-term

A Dozen or So Key Actions to Take in the Short-term

While I am always preaching the value of leaders thinking about the long-term, there are several things leaders can do in the short-term to keep their organizations working the best they can today—and be better prepared for tomorrow. Be mindful that not all workers...

Two Thoughts for Turbulent Times

Two Thoughts for Turbulent Times

The news has been disturbing and many of you are making changes at work while adapting to new changes at home. Below are two thoughts that we should all keep in mind in the next couple weeks. Maintain your performance-enhancing disciplines. These include things like...

Physician heal thyself.

Physician heal thyself.

If the corona virus has reduced your business travel, here’s a suggestion for how to utilize that alone time… 1)Write down 20 pieces of great advice a high performer should do to be dramatically more effective in next 30 days. 2) Pick the top two. 3) Take your own...

The LIMFACs Slowing your Idea Roll: Squelchers and Free Spirits

The LIMFACs Slowing your Idea Roll: Squelchers and Free Spirits

Maybe it was just the group I rode bicycles with, but they called the slowest person on the group ride the “LIMFAC.” It was short for “limiting factor.” The group as a courtesy did not want to leave the last person behind, but the faster people were aware of the fact...

5 Steps to Intensively Boost Innovation

5 Steps to Intensively Boost Innovation

Getting better at anything requires discipline and innovation is no exception. One of the best ways leaders can instill innovation discipline is through an Innovation Intensive. Let’s take a look at what it is, why it matters, and the steps required to make it a...

Over-steering. Are you a Sully or Schettino?

Over-steering. Are you a Sully or Schettino?

Any week of headlines will be full of dire warnings. The last several weeks have been particularly alarming with all the news and speculation surrounding the corona virus. While the risks appear real to some very vulnerable populations, the response in many cases has...

12 Beliefs that Negatively Impact Innovation

12 Beliefs that Negatively Impact Innovation

If culture is a set of common beliefs that determine behavior, then we want to pay careful attention to the beliefs that are helping or hindering innovation within our organizations. Below are twelve common ones I encounter. Look through the list and see if those or...

5 Better Ways to Look for Innovation Ideas

5 Better Ways to Look for Innovation Ideas

Are you looking for opportunity in all the wrong places? We just moved and I keep expecting things to be in their old places (like under a sink) when they are now in new places (like in a closet). If this recent corona virus experience has taught us anything is that...

Threats to Success: On Competition, Cannibals, and Crows

Threats to Success: On Competition, Cannibals, and Crows

Don’t just wonder who moved your cheese, keep and eye on who might eat your lunch. Competitors are always looking to eat our lunch. It is a tough world out there, however you define it. That’s why leaders are so concerned with changes in market share and sales volume....

How to Have Conversations that Lead to Better Innovation

How to Have Conversations that Lead to Better Innovation

“Hey boss, I’ve got a great idea.” This phrase should be music to a leader’s ears, but often the value of the moment is fumbled away and can be handled better than with a simple no or "go for it." These moments are opportunities for exploration and to make sure people...

Intelligent Improvements

Intelligent Improvements

There’s a million things a person could do when they move into a new place. We can remodel a bathroom. We can get new drapes. We can plant new landscaping. The options can be bewildering. The same is true for our options at work. There are a million things we could do...

Is your Organization Bounce Back Ready?

Is your Organization Bounce Back Ready?

Those that recover from setbacks seem to be the ones that have the best capacity to start with. Those who were in shape prior to a hip or knee replacement get their mobility back quicker. Those who had prolonged periods of inactivity will likely take more time to get...

Maintaining the Positive Habits of Moving

Maintaining the Positive Habits of Moving

We have found a new house and I am currently surrounded by moving boxes in anticipation of moving day. Nobody likes to move, but the process of moving is an excellent reminder of key habits that can improve individual and leader performance. These include the...

Golden Ages

Golden Ages

In the not so distant past, discount airlines really were bargains. Today, while $99 fares are still advertised, actually being able to book a cheap deal is a lot less common. Rideshares to date have been both cheaper and often a better quality ride than taxis. Those...

Managing the Appetite for Change

Managing the Appetite for Change

When I was a kid, I’d notice that my dad would often have a random mint or piece of gum on the counter next to his keys and wallet. My kid brain did not understand why he hadn’t eaten it. (It’s candy!!) In this and in other ways I have become my dad. I don’t eat the...

The Pitfalls of Adaptability

The Pitfalls of Adaptability

A popular Marine motto is “improvise, adapt, overcome.” In work and life, people are often good at the first two and less so on the last. They contort and adapt to the situations at hand instead of taking on issues head on. People will talk themselves into a job that...

Leaders and the Mind-muscle Connection

Leaders and the Mind-muscle Connection

Tis the season for fitness resolutions. Many people are hitting the gym to get more fit in the new year. While fitness goals can vary widely, many will say they want to get stronger and have more muscle. But even the people that are very consistent in getting to the...

5 Ways Small Thinking Kills Innovation Efforts

5 Ways Small Thinking Kills Innovation Efforts

Amazing but true: Small thinking can emerge (like relentless weeds in a garden), even when the subject is as big as innovation. And when leaders think small, they cannot expect big results. Based on my observations of leaders (spanning a variety of industries),...

Key Players

Key Players

Key players matter. The Golden State Warriors are obviously struggling without their injured star, Stephen Curry. GE (once one of the bluest of the blue chip stocks) has lost nearly half a trillion in market value under less-than-stellar leadership post-Jack Welch....

Myth-busting leaders

Myth-busting leaders

Roger Bannister (who passed away a couple years back) was the first recorded human to run a mile in less than four minutes. The thinking of the time was that the human body might just be incapable of the feat. The prior record of 4:01.4 had stood for nine years. As a...

Completed but not Finished

Completed but not Finished

In a recorded interview, a prominent artist* of the Southwest US discussed his process and the concept of his works being “completed, but not finished.” In his mind, if he worked at it too much and attempted to make a painting or sculpture perfect, he was in fact...

Being and Doing: The Power of Character Traits

Being and Doing: The Power of Character Traits

I am as interested in who people are being as in what they are doing. You should too. The reason is because behind every laudable action is a laudable character trait. When great traits are exercised, great things happen. The act of helping out a new person on a team...

Wheelhouses

Wheelhouses

The Crossfit Championships are unique in that competitors have no clue as to what exercise challenges will be coming next. The activity, repetition ranges, weights, and duration are all secret until the last minute of competition. Some competitors are happy when they...

Vision Erosion

Vision Erosion

I often talk about performance as that sweet spot between the upper control limit of vision (can’t see it, can’t do it) and the lower control limit of skills/behaviors (under pressure, one does not rise to the occasion one sinks to their level of training). Between...

Windows of Opportunity Do Not Stay Propped Open

Windows of Opportunity Do Not Stay Propped Open

Think you are surrounded by opportunity? You are. Think you are surrounded by static, lasting opportunity? You aren’t. Many leaders are in environments rich with targets of opportunity, but you would never know it from their actions. They fritter and fumble away...

Out and About with Interesting People: adidas

Out and About with Interesting People: adidas

I recently attended a luncheon at which the president of adidas North America, Zion Armstrong (yes they spell “adidas” in lower case) was interviewed. He has an interesting story and some compelling perspectives on business. Below are a few with my takeaways. He...

Boosting Innovation Volume

Boosting Innovation Volume

[Adapted from Ridiculously Innovative: Generating more Ideas Faster to Grow your Business. Available on Amazon.] A key part of success in innovation is creating enough volume. Too many leaders think that innovation is only about breakthrough products. They ignore the...

Leaders and the Posture Principle

Leaders and the Posture Principle

Posture can be immediately corrected by awareness. By seeing someone with good posture or through a simple reminder from a loved one, we can instantly stand or sit up the way we are supposed to. But although awareness can provoke immediate change, those changes can be...

Change. I’ll drink to that.

Change. I’ll drink to that.

When people hear the name Captain Morgan, they are likely to think of the pirate on the rum bottle.  Captain Henry Morgan was a pirate, and an exceptional one at that. Notable exploits include the sacking of the city of Panama. While it is true that he was a pirate...

Nice is not the Gold Standard is it?

Nice is not the Gold Standard is it?

A recent Wall Street Journal article talked about the high value placed on leaders who play nice. Few would argue that being nice is important, but how important? In betting on horses, a person can place a bet on whether a horse will win, place, or show. The “win” bet...

The Two Keys to Finish Strong

The Two Keys to Finish Strong

Success requires a start, but it is the ending by which we are judged. High-speed fiber internet connections between big transmission hubs do not matter if the “last mile” connections to customers are slow. A calm sea voyage of a hundred miles does not  matter if the...

Leader Glue

Leader Glue

As we sailed by Cuba to our port side this weekend, I was reminded of the importance of leadership. Leadership can pull a country up and leadership can push a country down. Leaders I work with will sometimes comment (with a good deal of honest humility) that “this...

Get into High Gear with Strategic Shifts

Get into High Gear with Strategic Shifts

While leaders are often looking for that next new thing to be more competitive, there is an incredible amount of value that can occur if leaders would take the time to consider some strategic shifts. Maybe you don’t need a new wheel. Maybe you can just shift the one...

Top Leaders Show Diagnosis Discipline

Top Leaders Show Diagnosis Discipline

In WWII, injured soldiers and civilians presented vague symptoms of irritated skin and respiratory distress. Baffled doctors simply labeled the cases “dermatitis YTD.” YTD meaning “yet to diagnose.” Unable to receive the correct diagnosis, many died.* The most...

Conquering That One Darn Thing

Conquering That One Darn Thing

Often people will have one (darn) thing that is having an out-sized impact on performance or enjoyment. It’s like the Pareto Principle for problems. One thing can account for a large part of angst or irritation. On the flip side, the resolution of that one thing can...

4 Musts to Keep Your Top Talent from Ghosting

4 Musts to Keep Your Top Talent from Ghosting

We were preparing to get our dogs in the car for a walk. They had followed us out, but when I opened the door, one of those fuzzy knuckleheads was nowhere to be seen. One second she was there and the next second she was gone. We finally found her, but in the interim...

Alacrity Check

Alacrity Check

You have heard of a reality check. Today I am going to suggest an alacrity check. Alacrity (as many of you have heard me say) is moving with speed and enthusiasm. Speed without enthusiasm is robotic. Enthusiasm without speed is daydreaming. No speed and no enthusiasm...

Deferred Innovation? It can be an Active or Passive choice

Deferred Innovation? It can be an Active or Passive choice

Some companies actively choose to defer innovation. They make across-the-board cuts when times (inevitably) get tougher. They cut today with the plan to invest tomorrow. Like deferment of payments of student loans or only paying the minimum payment on a credit card,...

Three Ways to Reduce the Distraction Plague

Three Ways to Reduce the Distraction Plague

We see it every day: people driving with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a phone to read or text with. It’s a plague and not just limited to “kids these days.” Many people old enough to know better do it too.  And do you think that plague of distraction...

Leaders and the Advantages of a Rivalry

Leaders and the Advantages of a Rivalry

Free-market capitalists (yes there are still many of us unabashedly proud ones left) would all agree that competition is good. Competition between rivals is certainly good for consumers, but it is also good for companies too. Of course, if we are targets of that...

You’ve Got Options

You’ve Got Options

Options to improve are not limited to technology. For domestic flights, options for tickets used to be limited to first class and coach. Today, there are many options which (depending on the airline) may include choice of first class, main cabin, basic economy, size...

5 Leader Lessons from Clay Shooting

5 Leader Lessons from Clay Shooting

Keeping fresh is one of the most important things people can do to stay at the top of their game. I recently started a new hobby (clay shooting) and that has reminded me of some key lessons that are particularly important in running a successful enterprise. People can...

Lean Down 25 for Higher Productivity

Lean Down 25 for Higher Productivity

No I am not talking about 25 pounds or 25% body fat. I am talking about leaning down the 25% of things you might not enjoy on a day to day basis in your work. Research by Dr. Dan Harrison shows that people that enjoy 75% or more of their work are four times more...

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