About Todd Ordal

Todd Ordal is President of Applied Strategy LLC. Todd helps CEOs achieve better financial results, become more effective leaders and sleep easier at night. He speaks, writes, consults and advises on issues of strategy and leadership. Todd is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000. Follow Todd on Twitter here. You can also find Todd at http://www.appliedstrategy.info,  303-527-0417 or todd@appliedstrategy.info

Effective Leadership: Is “Fairness” a Good Value?

By | January 15th, 2019|

I just finishing reading a book that a friend recommended, "Principles" by Ray Dalio, a wildly successful hedge fund guy who also has some interesting thoughts on leadership.  One of the things that he articulates that I agree with is the challenge of “fairness”, particularly when it intersects with generosity. For example, if you provide [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Working Faster

By | January 8th, 2019|

Little’s Law says that the amount of work completed is a function of the number of projects and the average time it takes to complete a project. In other words, the line at McDonald’s has 11 people in it and each person takes, on average, 30 seconds to be served, therefore, if you are gal [...]

CEO Leadership Traits: What Can We Learn From McCain and Bush?

By | December 10th, 2018|

I’ve been blogging for 14 years (and written a book, of course!), and I stick primarily to business strategy, leadership and organizational effectiveness. Those are the challenges I help CEOs with, so it makes sense! There’s a topic, however, that I’ve had numerous conversations with CEOs and other executives about that’s broader than business. With [...]

Business Strategy: When to Take Your Own Path

By | December 3rd, 2018|

It’s early season and I’m skiing on a Tuesday, which is a luxury. Weekend traffic in Colorado ski country is soul robbing. (If you’re planning a trip, think about Utah!) We have a better-than-average snowfall, and on my first chairlift I notice that a snowboarder ducked a rope and got a great line right under [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: CEO as Gardener

By | November 26th, 2018|

I’m not much of a gardener. The only green thumb I’ve ever been accused of having is when I’ve stuck it in pesto. I’ve noticed, however, that my efforts to have my lawn match my wife’s well cared for flowers are only rewarded when I combine the right amounts of enabling and prohibiting—the right conditions [...]

Effective Leadership Skills: Focus on the Win

By | November 19th, 2018|

“I have had lots of troubles in my life, most of which never happened.” —Mark Twain If I had a dollar for every time I worried about something that never occurred, I wouldn’t have Bill Gates’ fortune, but I might have a better wine cellar.  It shouldn’t be surprising that a seasoned coach has his [...]

Effective Leadership Skills: Ask Better Questions!

By | November 12th, 2018|

“I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned.”  —Richard Feynman, Nobel physicist I never took a physics class—not in high school or college or grad school. Hell, I couldn’t spell “physics”! So it’s amusing that I’m drawing lessons from people who work in quantum mechanics, nuclear fission, or [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Shared Fate

By | November 5th, 2018|

A commonly overlooked element of a highly functional team is shared fate. If you lose while I win, I can’t expect you to support my position. The objective may be clear (“Take that hill!”), but if I have a pile of money at the peak and you have a bag of rocks that you must [...]

Effective Leadership Skills: Outsmarting Your Board

By | October 28th, 2018|

The strange dance between CEOs and their governing body (in my for-profit world, typically a board of directors) is interesting. Not quite swing, not quite polka — there’s often confusion about who’s leading, causing bruised toes.  Over my many years of being on boards, working for boards as a CEO, coaching CEOs and working with [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Grinding To A Halt

By | October 22nd, 2018|

Do you have school age children? If not now, perhaps in the past? Do you remember those nights when your daughter or son—or perhaps both—had a boatload of homework, not just in one subject but in several on the same night? How did that work for you? If your household is anything like ours was [...]