Category: Leadership

CEO Coaching: Resisting Normative Pressure

Most of my blog readers don’t wake up every day and think, “I want to be only as good as most other people.” I know that many of you want to leave your mark on the world and succeed versus just survive. (There are many ways to succeed, well beyond money and status.) Conformity and […]

CEO Leadership Traits: Jerks and Wimps Need Not Apply

Intuitively, most people would agree that CEOs shouldn’t be jerks or wimps. No one wants to work for either. However, some jerks and wimps make it into the C-suite. I’ve run into many, as have some of you. If you have jerklike or wimplike tendencies yourself and are an executive, pay attention. If you’re on […]

Family or Team? Can You Be Both in Business?

Many years ago when I was on the board of Kinko’s, we had a pointed conversation about our future initiated by John Davis, a board member and Harvard professor who specialized in family business. He believed we needed to change our culture from family to team. Even though we were a multibillion-dollar business, we were [...]

Effective Leadership: Is Failure An Option?

“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” —Thomas Edison I just spoke with a mid-level guy in a firm who is in charge of hedging. Let’s pretend he’s in the airline business (he’s not) and that his job is to protect the firm against increases in jet fuel prices. […]

CEO Leadership Traits: Healthy Culture With a Weak CEO?

Not for long. Once a company decides where it’s going and why customers will buy from it versus its competition (vision and strategy), the next big question is how to align a strong team in pursuit of those objectives. For eons, managers and HR departments have focused on creating dream teams with star players — […]

CEO Leadership Traits: Speak Your Mind (If You Have One)

“You’re betraying your whole life if you don’t say what you think — and you don’t say it honestly and bluntly.” —Charles Krauthammer, American political columnist Not everyone is as articulate as Krauthammer. Saying what we think can get us in a bit of bother when the thinking part is ignored before the saying part. […]

CEO Leadership Traits: The Real Work of the CEO

It’s 7:30 a.m. on Monday. You’re the CEO, and you just arrived in your office. You run a rapidly growing organization with 500 employees. Your choices for the top priority to focus on that day are: (1) fixing a nagging production problem, (2) finding a new banking relationship, (3) attending a senior leadership meeting on […]