Well, that’s a question that I could not have imagined until recently when I participated in a group hug of Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The hug was an idea that Scott Moorehead, CEO of TCC, and Ryan McCarty, director of the Culture of Good at TCC, conceived as a way to dramatize the positive emotions we feel when we do something good for others.Read More›
Does your business need more wolf-type managers to be successful?
Until I read a delightful New York Times essay by Carl Safina, I would have said heck no! Business get in trouble when those at the helm are “alpha wolves”—overly aggressive, dominant and liable to fight rather than listen. That stereotype may apply to humans but not to wolves, as Safina, author of the forthcoming book Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, explains.
You don’t know how tough our business is!
That’s a lament that I hear from executives, be they in software development, technology hardware, finance and banking, or automotive. Even people in my field of human development complain about the effort it takes to generate work.
March Madness resumes tonight and in a pressure packed weekend of excitement, the Sweet Sixteen will shrink to the Final Four. Only the strongest teams will survive and while their defensive pressure, explosive running game or deep shooting might define their style, their success rests on five obsessions. These obsessions are common to champions and may very well help your team in your competitive endeavor.Read More›
Confidence is a cloth with many colors.
That thought came to me as I was listening to David O. Russell speaking to Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air as he was discussing his award-winning trilogy of films – The Fighter, Sliver Linings and the latest, American Hustle. Each film is about characters reinventing themselves because they are not satisfied with themselves. The degrees of self-invention range from a fighter trying to overcome his past, a bipolar man seeking normalcy and a hustler seeking a better outcome.
As a writer and filmmaker Russell himself says he has struggled with re-invention. He once wrote scripts for hire now he seeks to tell stories that he himself connects with and can portray on the screen. That takes confidence. Especially when things fall apart. He says you need to trust yourself.
Tim’s Vermeer is a riveting documentary about inventor Tim Jenison’s quest to understand the genius of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer. The film chronicles Jenison’s discovery of a technique Vermeer may have used to create his photo-realistic paintings prior to the invention of photography.
History offers few clues to Vermeer’s life. Most art experts have cited a genius of vision—the ability to see and paint reflected light in a singular way. Jenison offers a different view; Vermeer’s genius may have been in his technique rather than in his eye. He shows how turning a mirror to 45 degrees, any artist can perfectly match the hues on his canvas to the color of his object. Matching the brush strokes is a bridge too far but Jenison replicates the reflected light that made Vermeer unique.Read More›
Roll the dice!
That’s what leaders must do from time to time. And it is what Ford Motor Company (for whom I have consulted) has experience in doing. In 2006, it hocked itself, including its logo, to raise funding to keep the company going. The ploy succeeded, and today Ford is registering record profits and so it is rolling the dice again with the pending launch of an all-new Ford F-150 pickup. F-Series is truck that has kept the company afloat for decades, particularly when its car sales were flagging. Today the F-Series is the number one selling vehicle in America and has been for more than thirty years. The new truck will feature many new features as well as one big loss – 700 pounds worth. The new F-Series will feature an aluminum body panels that will be stronger and lighter, but will face a perception test with consumers. Truck buyers are traditionalists and whether they will opt for a truck made of aluminum will be a big decision.
I’ve always believed leadership exists to disrupt mediocrity, but I’m afraid in recent times many leaders are losing that battle. Somewhere along the way, they threw in the towel and settled for a weak-kneed, watered-down version of leadership – they have rationalized and justified themselves into an acceptance of mediocrity.
The sad reality is that in many cases, the education, training and development leaders receive today is woefully inadequate. We are producing analysts and risk managers and labeling them leaders. We’ve taught them to be practical, analytical, and risk adverse, but have failed to equip them to lead.
I do quite a bit of work on matters of board composition, selection and succession, and what I can tell you is this; board diversity is simply smart business. You’ll never hear me recommend diversity solely for the sake of checking a box, but when diversity in the boardroom offers so many benefits to the CEO (and to the entire organization) it’s nothing short of irresponsible for chief executives not to place their board composition under the microscope. In today’s column I’ll share with you the top 10 reasons why diversity is good for the boardroom.
Let’s cut right to the chase – the biggest problem all leaders face is problem solving itself. The job of every leader is to avoid, minimize or altogether eliminate problems. When the inevitable problems do arise, it’s a leader’s job to turn said problems into opportunity. The issue is this; most leaders are woefully inept when it comes to problem solving.
Pick any leadership challenge and it boils down to a problem solving issue – nothing more, nothing less. Issues surrounding talent, finance, public policy, operations, strategy, social purpose, execution, competition, litigation, etc., are simply problems to be solved.
Beware of bright shiny objects!
That could be a lesson contained in J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy when we see characters who find themselves in difficulty because they have strayed from their moral center. Today the term “bright shiny objects” is used in reference to organizations that cannot formulate a strategy, or if they do develop one, they fail to adhere to it. As a result such companies end up chasing after things that on the surface look appealing but upon investigation prove to be untenable.
There is little in Donald Rumsfeld newest book, Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life, that anyone in leadership would dispute.
The book is an outgrowth of management and leadership aphorisms that Rumsfeld wrote and put on 3×5 notecards. Now gathered in book form, Rumsfeld’s Rules explores how to serve an organization and how to lead it. There is sound wisdom in these pages.