Leadership: Can Executives Be Happy?

By | March 12th, 2018|

Several times in my coaching sessions, I’ve asked CEOs and other senior business leaders to rate themselves on a 10-point scale on numerous factors, including fun, and they froze. “OK, call it happiness if you’d like,” I prompted. Still no response. That ain’t right! Executives should be many things: competent, strategic, kind, decisive, communicative… and [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Two-Headed Executive

By | November 27th, 2017|

I’m always befuddled when a company appoints two people to one job. Oh, I get the job-sharing thing. If two dogcatchers work 20 hours a week, there’s one full-time dogcatcher (plus some additional administrative overhead). What amazes me is when a company puts two senior executives in one job (e.g., co-presidents), usually to identify which [...]

The Gift of Time

By | November 20th, 2017|

As I write this in late 2017, Walmart is successfully competing with Amazon online. It’s about time! No, really, it is about time. Walmart didn’t snap its happy fingers last quarter and find a solution; it started working on the “internet thing” years ago with some false starts and many headlines saying it was failing. [...]

A Reasoned Approach To Passion

By | November 1st, 2017|

“Reason is a slave to the passions.” —David Hume Many executives innately prefer thinking over feeling. It serves them well in many situations and fails them in others. Students of Carl Jung and users of the Myers-Briggs personality assessment know, however, that doesn’t mean they don’t have access to feelings as they make decisions. My [...]

Values Aren’t Culture

By | October 23rd, 2017|

I had coffee recently with an executive in a family business. He isn’t part of the family. He’s talented, growth-oriented and extremely frustrated. The owner is the CEO and a wonderful guy. He has a language problem, however, that causes his business (and its people) to suffer greatly. He confused two words — value and [...]