Wait a Minute, What Did You Say?

One of the most common leadership weaknesses is hearing without listening, to steal a phrase from Simon and Garfunkel’s powerful song Sounds of Silence. As I meet with teams and leaders every week it is interesting how many times I watch people display poor listening skills. I actually find it very helpful to observe others because it helps me improve my own listening skills. Two of the most important times leaders need to practice good listening skills are in team meetings and when meeting one-on-one with team members. So enhancing our listening skills is an area of continuous improvement. Symptoms [...]

By | February 23rd, 2017|Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

Tom Brady – Two Tips for Success in the Clutch

Even some of Tom Brady's biggest critics are in awe of his performance in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Like most of us, they admire two things: His ability to execute at the highest level and stay calm and focused at the end of the game; and to do all this when he is 39 years old. Brady is a great example of a credible leader and I could write pages on why I think this is true, but I will spare you – you saw that yourself. We also know that he keeps himself in incredible physical condition, working-out often longer [...]

By | February 9th, 2017|Credibility & Inspiration|

Effective Leaders are Not Clowns

I was recently sitting in a very nice car dealership while my car was being serviced. While I was there I could not help but eavesdrop on a number of conversations among a sales manager, salesman, and a few customers. While I thought the sales people and sales manager sounded professional to me, apparently the husband of a female customer did not think so. When they were alone he said to his wife, “I like Barry (the salesman), but that sales manager is a clown. I don’t want to do business with him.” As I was listening I was reminded [...]

By | January 19th, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Respect Generations Don’t Label Them

I think it is interesting that we now like to “label” the generations. And, while it does make for some interesting conversations and some fun, I do not think it really does anything to help build healthy work cultures. The only label that does is “mutual respect.” At the end of this article I will share an interesting story about “respect” between the late John Glenn and baseball great, Ted Williams. In two weeks on Wednesday, January 18th from 9-10 AM I will be leading a free Spectrum Webinar called Four Generations in the Workplace – How Could Communication Be [...]

By | January 5th, 2017|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership|

Investigate This – Theft, Deception, Sex, and Extortion

Unfortunately I have had to deal with dishonest and unscrupulous people over my professional career. And their behaviors - including stealing, sexual harassment, false harassment allegations, theft by deception, and extortion – were so foreign to me that when I first experienced them I was left feeling naïve and dumbfounded. What I have learned and do believe is that the “good” people among us far outnumber the “bad” ones. Over 40 years I have come in contact with thousands of people and employees and my list of dishonest and unethical people is short. However, one responsibility is to properly and [...]

By | November 9th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

Fearing Failure is Really Fearing Shame

What are you afraid of? Coincidentally, within just a few hours the other day, I talked with people who were either terrified of public speaking or of having to fire someone or of Donald Trump being elected President. Then I read an interesting article about the anti-fear guru, Tony Robbins. So, naturally, I was curious to explore “fear” a little deeper. Fortunately, I do not have many fears. But I have one fear that I bet I share with you – fear of failing. And, if we do not recognize it and face it head on, this fear limits our [...]

By | October 6th, 2016|Change Leadership, Leadership|

Credibility – Yearn for It, Earn It, Vote for It

If you have been a faithful reader, you may remember a few years ago when I first wrote about how important credibility is to leadership. Given the upcoming election and the two candidates, I thought it might be helpful to review the four qualities of leaders who have credibility. This summer I finished reading the book George Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow, which is a very compelling book on arguably our most accomplished president. When we read about George Washington it is easy to see why he was one of the most admired leaders in history – he had [...]

By | September 8th, 2016|Credibility & Inspiration, Leadership, Uncategorized|

The Power of a Kind Word

Ellen and James "Jim" Labrie Last week I went to the memorial service for a friend and fellow Rotarian, James “Jim” Labrie. Over Jim’s lifetime he became a very successful businessman and quiet, community philanthropist. Jim was one of those special people who had a way of making you feel like you were his close friend in the moment he was talking with you, even though you were not. He cared about you as a person. During the memorial service his son, Mike, shared with us how a single act of kindness early in Jim’s life changed him [...]

By | May 19th, 2016|Leadership Lessons|

Working Moms are Good Role Models

Over the past 40 years one of the most dramatic changes in society has been the increase in working mothers. When I was a child in the late 1950s and early 1960s a working mother was the exception, not the rule. When I went over to a friend’s house after school the mom was there and vice versa - my mother was at home, too. Today for a variety of reasons, including the high cost of living, many women work. For many women and couples they wrestle with this is very difficult decision – stay home with my children or [...]

By | April 28th, 2016|Women Leaders|

Puerto Rico – Is Leadership Failing the People?

View along northern shore from the fort Castillo de San Cristobal (Photo by the author) Last week for the first time I traveled to Puerto Rico with Patti. I am ashamed to admit how little I knew about Puerto Rico before this trip. I did know that one of my baseball heroes, Roberto Clemente, came from there and the United States got connected to Puerto Rico after the Spanish American War and it is a territory of the United States. But that is pretty much it. So here are four things I have now learned that make me [...]

By | February 17th, 2016|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|