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 [...]

Business Strategy: Desperate For Revenue

By | September 30th, 2018|

This is a picture of a monkey backpack my wife bought for one of our grandsons today at OfficeDepot. He’s not yet 1 year old, but as you can see, the backpack is quite small. It’ll probably hold a diaper or two and a tube of mushed pea baby food. It was on sale for [...]

What Is Executive Coaching?

By | August 20th, 2018|

Executive coaching is about setting objectives, questioning, listening, prodding, a little bit of ass kicking, rewarding and supporting. Any other questions? OK, for those who want more detail, let’s explore this for a minute. You can’t throw a rock in a crowd without hitting a few executive coaches. Some are wise old business veterans, and [...]

What Is Strategic Planning?

By | August 13th, 2018|

What is strategic planning? Well … for one thing, it’s perhaps the most misused phrase in business! Let’s start with what strategy is. On second thought, let’s start with what strategy is NOT! It’s not a budget. It’s not a fat document. It’s not that thing you do every November. It’s not a mystical chant. [...]

Failed Leadership: Papa Don’t Work No More

By | July 29th, 2018|

“How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” Papa John’s leadership and shareholders might be saying. If you’ve been following the pizza leadership drama in the news, you’ll note that a bad case of “founder’s syndrome” settled in Papa John’s ovens recently. It became a struggle of overinflated ego versus what’s right for [...]

Leadership Is Not Polling!

By | July 24th, 2018|

Donald Trump’s recent debacle* — lauding Putin, ignoring his own intelligence agencies and blaming America for the poor United States/Russian relationship, and then reversing course after a tsunami of outrage — is instructive for leaders. Here’s the directive: Leadership is not polling! Leadership has obligations, and making tough decisions and sticking with them is one [...]

Organizational Effectiveness: Rules Or Vision?

By | July 16th, 2018|

I’ve been thinking about tariffs as of late. Mostly thinking about them as a blunt instrument. Economics, politics and history would tell us that they are not a very effective way to deal with “inequities”, though certainly they are implemented to try to correct a wrong or even the playing field. If free trade is [...]

Strategic Thinking and Leadership: General Electric’s Lightbulb Dims

By | June 25th, 2018|

It turns out that erasing $100 billion in market value takes less time and energy than bolting together parts to achieve it initially. It doesn’t take the brightest bulb in the chandelier to see that keeping the trains on the tracks, the coal-fired turbines spinning or the airplanes flying all at the same time is [...]

You Must Know The Critical Elements Of Strategy

By | June 18th, 2018|

“Having determined your destination, you set sails, motivate rowers, adjust for winds and currents, avoid shoals and rocks, allow for surprises, and expend finite energy efficiently. You control some things, but align yourself with others. You balance, while never forgetting that the reason you’re balancing is to get from where you are to where you [...]

Leadership: Shining Light On The Dark Side

By | June 11th, 2018|

“Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self interest.” —Napoleon Bonaparte I think of myself as an optimist, but there is a good deal of truth in Bonaparte’s assertion. In fact, if you were starting a business, it would be wise to think about how you might leverage that assertion to profitably monetize [...]