What Were You Thinking?

Maybe it's just me, but lately I’ve been baffled by some decisions people make. Quite often I say to myself, “What Were You Thinking?” Dogs making bad decisions, like getting a head stuck in a cat door, now that’s understandable. But managers and leaders have something dogs don’t have, the “ability to reason.” At least that’s what I learned in biology class. A few weeks ago I watched Jamie Dimon’s interview on C-SPAN after Joe Leddy recommended it to me. Dimon is the CEO of JP Morgan Chase and is a great example of a competent leader. Given how most [...]

By |2019-01-24T14:38:36-04:00January 24th, 2019|Leadership Lessons, Uncategorized|

Holiday Wonder – Ugly Sweater or Food?

Why is it we can order an ugly holiday sweater on-line and have it delivered tomorrow, and at the same time throw away 40 percent of our food while 40 million Americans don’t have enough to eat? This is one question I am curious about this holiday season. Ultimately the food problem is a distribution challenge in need of leadership and there is one leadership story on the food front I’ll share in a moment. Package Delivery Innovation. This week I happened to spot this 1931 picture of a New York City post office flooded with packages at Christmas. Since [...]

By |2018-12-20T09:02:07-04:00December 19th, 2018|Change Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Job Quitting is a Symptom of Low Resiliency

One of the problems with low-unemployment is that young workers find it too easy to quit and find another job. What they do not understand is that quality employers recognize this pattern as a symptom of low resiliency and often pass on hiring them. Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder At least that used to be the case. Many employers are getting so desperate today they ignore this symptom and hire candidates knowing they might be short-term solutions. And, of course, all this does is enable the low-resiliency job jumpers unless you add resiliency-building to your work culture. What Can [...]

By |2018-11-30T11:12:24-04:00November 30th, 2018|Human Behavior, Leadership Lessons, Learning Styles & Skills|

Honestly, Are You Trustworthy?

It seems like no one trusts anyone today. Have you recently asked yourself if you are trustworthy? This week on Halloween, my colleague, Marcia, told me how she was listening to the radio and the DJs were focused on how we should start “tricking” little kids. They recommended we suck out the peanut butter in Reese’s peanut butter cups and replace it with spicy, hot sauce. While funny to older teenagers and 20-year-olds, I’m sure, this will not build trust in little kids. Today trustworthiness seems to be a fading attribute even as everything we read about leadership and teams [...]

By |2018-11-01T16:59:08-04:00November 1st, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Do You Have These Four Leadership Traits?

Photo by Tommy Lisbin Just this week I have been thinking about our Company’s future. We are almost 36 years old and have wonderful leaders at every level of our company. Even so, we are trying to develop even more leadership capacity because we know we need to change – and only effective leaders can lead change. As we look to build leadership capacity, I wonder what traits we should look for in people who have the “potential” to be our change leaders? Four Traits that Predict Success. In the December issue of Harvard Business Review I read [...]

By |2018-02-22T14:06:17-04:00February 22nd, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Four Tips for Becoming a Learning Leader in 2018

It is a new year and I wonder if you want to grow this year? By “grow” I mean learn new things or do old things better. Photo by Patricia Maxwell Wood Successful people and leaders resist the inertia to just keep doing the same thing. They seek opportunities to learn even when it requires them to become a novice again and embrace the failure that may accompany new learning. In a moment I will share four attributes researchers have connected to this group of successful learners. Patti Wood, Bird Photographer. My wife, Patti, is a Registered Dietician [...]

By |2018-01-04T14:55:33-04:00January 4th, 2018|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

Five Tips for Writing Short Stories

I only know one Bart Simpson line, “I like Stories.” And I use this line often when someone says to me, “Do you want to hear a good story?” I bet you like good stories, too. Storytelling seems to be hot right now. Why? Because it is one communication strategy that really engages people when done effectively. Storytelling, whether spoken or written, is a skill. And it is a skill that effective leaders need to develop and continuously practice. This week I have done some reading about how to write effective stories. Here are my five tips for constructing an [...]

By |2017-06-01T11:27:44-04:00June 1st, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

Getting to the Point, Do You BLUF or BLAB?

Effective leaders know how to get to the point. Have you ever read a long email that never seems to get to the point? I know I have so I work very hard not to be one of those writers. Recently I read that military leaders train people to practice “BLUF” when speaking or writing. BLUF stands for “Bottom line up front”. My first reaction was that since this acronym did not fit the purpose, it would be easily forgotten. I was wrong. I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I shared this concept with someone I [...]

By |2018-01-02T20:15:52-04:00May 23rd, 2017|Leadership, Leadership Lessons|

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 |2018-01-02T20:15:36-04:00February 23rd, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

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 |2017-05-19T19:54:47-04:00January 19th, 2017|Leadership Lessons|

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