February 2018

Are you a tad dull? It’s OK — you can still lead!

By | February 19th, 2018|

Good news for those who have more stuff than fluff! “More is better” is a flawed assumption when it comes to charisma in leaders. Moderate amounts of charisma can benefit those in leadership, but at a certain point, too much charisma is a detriment to effectiveness.* I’ve worked with and coached many leaders and have [...]

You Cannot Be Helped!

By | February 11th, 2018|

There are numerous blogs and columns about how to find a good executive coach — many of them thoughtful, many of them self-serving. I’d argue that, yes, the coach should’ve been thoroughly trained as a coach, but if you’re a CEO or senior executive, you should have a coach who has been in your shoes [...]

Strategy Isn’t Problem Solving!

By | February 5th, 2018|

I received a notice from a well-known university for a strategy workshop to “master strategy consulting skills,” which they say is the skill of “structured problem solving.” Using templates and tools, they’ll teach you how to develop recommendations for clients. Problem solving isn’t strategy, and telling people what to do is rarely effective. Does it [...]

January 2018

IBM: I Be Movin’ or Interminably Bad Management?

By | January 29th, 2018|

IBM, one of the most storied companies on the planet, just had its first quarter of year-over-year growth in 23 quarters! Market cap, as I write this, is about $134 billion, so still a significant organization, but down from $210 billion in 2006. Many investors have bailed on IBM, growing impatient as Big Blue gives [...]

The War For Talent: Beyond Compensation

By | January 22nd, 2018|

In interactions with a large number of executives over the last several months a majority listed the “war for talent” as the major issue that they are concerned about in the coming year. I’m only a closet economist and too often the door is closed and the light is off, but I’ll bet the last [...]

Requirements For Business Reinvention: Guts, Capital and Support

By | January 15th, 2018|

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the different yet intertwined paths of Xerox and Fujifilm. Xerox, once one of the world’s most admired companies, now has a market value that is less than 20% of what it used to be. As a former executive at Kinko’s, I used to rub elbows with [...]

Collaboration Is Bad Business

By | January 8th, 2018|

A recent article in Inc. magazine (“Collaboration Kills Creativity, According to Science”) highlights the challenge of collaboration. The gist of it is that if you want creative ideas, don’t have people collaborate, let them come up with them on their own. For example, I just read Walter Isaacson’s book on Einstein, and it turns out [...]

Words Matter

By | January 2nd, 2018|

Whether it’s your inside or outside voice, what you say to yourself and others deserves considerable thought. As someone who occasionally opens his mouth before it’s connected to his brain, I can vouch for the challenges that can cause. A fellow executive coach whom I respect recently said something interesting to me. He was on [...]

December 2017

The Dark Side of Success

By | December 18th, 2017|

Startups pine for profits, predictable cash flow, a sustainable competitive advantage, and the personal wealth and comfort that come from success. Not many will get there. The ones that do are mostly deserving of all those accoutrements previously mentioned. The leaders of that organization toiled and stressed and made do and sacrificed a great deal [...]

Peter, Where Art Thou?

By | December 11th, 2017|

The first book I bought for my first graduate school class decades ago was “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices” by Peter Drucker. He wrote it in 1973, and it’s 800 pages of pure genius. I’m not sure I needed to buy another business book. Seriously. I was reminded of this when I recently read “The 250 [...]