Why Failures are Good for Leaders

Last week I talked with a leader who was going through a very difficult situation and knew she/he contributed substantially to the problem. Today I know some of you reading this are going through a similar difficult situation – one where you know you messed-up and should have done something differently and it is affecting other people, perhaps even people who look up to you on your team. I can tell you personally this has happened to me many times and every leader I know has been through the same situation.

What we know is strong leaders have the courage to […]

By |October 6th, 2015|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|0 Comments

A Safe Home for the Brave

I think leaders are responsible for creating safe homes for their people. This is true whether you lead your family, a team, an organization, or a country. Unfortunately throughout history many leaders have failed at this responsibility and have actually hurt the people they should make safe, usually for personal financial gain and power.

Over the last two weeks Patti and I have had the lucky privilege of traveling around Austria. While the beauty and architecture of this region are arguably unmatched, it is the less visible history of the people and their struggles that has caught our attention.

Two examples of […]

By |September 23rd, 2015|Ethics|0 Comments

Saving in a Group Can Launch a Business

How well do you save money? Imagine you have no credit cards and no other cash resources and you are virtually homeless. You make money from odd jobs here and there. And in the back of your mind you have an idea to start a business, but you have no money. Where would you get it?

A few months ago I mentioned a Rotary – Friends Forever program I was working on to introduce visiting young Ugandan adults to entrepreneurship and we did that last week. Among these dozen visitors were two entrepreneurs – a woman who made women’s handbags and […]

By |September 10th, 2015|Entrepreneurship / Innovation|0 Comments

It Is Your Employees They Want You to Replace

When well-meaning legislators pass laws they usually have no idea what might happen afterwards. Quite often laws create governmental jobs and whole departments that work hard to sustain themselves and create unintended, poor service side effects. In a minute I will share one example with you.

One way to prevent this is to have meaningful “sunset” provisions. In basic terms a law that has a sunset provision means that at a certain date the law ceases. This forces citizens, bureaucrats, and legislators to review the law’s substance and refine and tweak it or the law ceases to exist. In our business […]

By |September 1st, 2015|Strategic Planning|0 Comments

Sometimes You Have to Have Fun with Crazy E-Mails

In my current role I receive and review lots of e-mail messages. Some are written by just plain angry people with dark corners in their souls. Others are obviously computer-generated phishing messages. While I usually just hit the delete button, I have to admit once in a while I am tempted to write back and express what I really think.

I think we all have received one of those e-mails from a prince in Nigeria or from an allegedly familiar person, who is stranded in some foreign country without money. While most of us delete these e-mails, my cousin, Ron, recently […]

By |August 21st, 2015|General|2 Comments

Turn Down That Music

When I was in high school and home visiting from college my Dad often said, “Turn down that music!” Did this ever happen to you? What I did not expect a few weeks ago was someone to say it in a store I was in…here’s the rest of the story.

Last week I was visiting a client work site with other members of our team at the J.C. Penney store in Peabody, Massachusetts. We were standing in the aisle of the kids clothing section looking very much like store management. An older woman walked by and asked us to turn down […]

By |August 13th, 2015|General|0 Comments

Think About How You Can Influence Decisions

You can make a choice right now to read or not read this article. If you choose to read it, I will give you a fun little puzzle to work on at the end. If you do not read it, well, that is your choice.

Recently a manager I was working with needed to make a hiring decision. After meeting this one candidate, who appeared to have basic skills, the manager eagerly decided to extend an offer to the person because the candidate was very likeable and the candidate reminded the manager of herself. She was not going to give the […]

By |August 3rd, 2015|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|0 Comments

Five Tips to Engage the Bystanders

A few weeks ago a colleague at work, Tiffney, referred adeptly to a situation in our Company as a “Bystander Effect.” Since then I cannot get that term out of my mind.  Until that moment I had not applied the “Bystander Effect” to teams and workplaces, only to when people watch bad things happen out in the community and do nothing. For example, this week when Florida State University quarterback, De’Andre Johnson, punched a woman in a bar and no one stepped in to help out.

Behavioral economists, like Richard Thaler, believe the world is made-up of people who do good, people […]

By |July 9th, 2015|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|7 Comments

A Letter from Your Ego

This is your ego writing. Steve has been talking to people about ego these last few weeks and thought it might be helpful if I wrote a guest column – so here it is. I am an important part of your brain and my louder voice controls much of your success. And, when you do not listen to my quieter voice, I can quickly undermine your success.

There are many stories of how my fellow egos have completely destroyed careers, but that is not why I am writing you. I want you to understand me better so you know how to […]

By |June 30th, 2015|Bullies & Misbehavior|0 Comments

Leading Five Generations in the Workplace

Forty years ago this week was my first day at my first professional job out of college and it was at a bank. Yes, that’s how old I am. My mentor and primary trainer was a gentleman about my Dad’s age. His boss, the man who interviewed and hired me, was closer to my grandfather’s age. His first advice to me was to either grow a mustache or wear a conservative top hat so I could look older and look more creditable. I laughed and grew a mustache.

It was fun then to be part of the younger generation in what […]

By |June 8th, 2015|Hiring & Team Composition, Teams & Culture|0 Comments