Sometimes it’s better lead with your heart rather than your head, and I should know because I tried it. As some readers know I play piano for fun. Over the past six months I have been playing in a local senior center and recently was invited to play at a second senior facility. No big deal except this other facility has a tradition of inviting student musicians from the University of Michigan to play concerts. Such young people have exceptional talent; many will one day make their living playing professionally.
The Red Badge of Courage is a novel by Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound, a “red badge of courage,” to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as standard-bearer.Read More›
When you are faced with a huge problem, sometimes a short-term solution might be the best option.
Case in point is Dr. Mark Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan, asking James Hackett to be interim athletic director after the resignation of David Brandon the previous AD. Brandon had been a lighting rod for criticism about the failure of the football program on the field and the negative publicity for the program off the field.
An organization knows that its values are authentic when employees put them into practice.
Recently I attended an annual sales meeting for Moorehead Communications, the owner of The Cellular Connection (TCC), a premium reseller for Verizon. The meeting took the form of a rally with presentations from senior executives as well as a healthy sprinkling of humorous videos. Day One closed with the presentation of the Employee of the Year Award. There were five finalists; each was interviewed on video. Watching what they said echoed the key messages of the CEO, Scott Moorehead, who had spoken earlier in the day.Read More›
The day is always darkest just before the dawn.
The may be a cliché you have heard or even used. And while it may be shopworn when it comes to leadership it echoes the truth. Never more so than when you examine the lives of successful individuals.
Once upon a time when we admired someone for their grit and determination we said they had moxie. It’s an old-fashioned word popularized in movies of the Thirties and Forties about those who battled the odds. It’s a word that has always stuck with me, and for that reason I decided to focus my newest book on what it means to have guts, gumption and perseverance –moxie!
Not all business strategies require the same degree of change to be considered successful. Many are simply a continuation of an already established path and destination. Others identify change in some areas of the business but those changes do not represent a significant departure from the status quo. Some strategies however require transformational change. These strategies are usually required when companies are either in deep trouble or pursuing significant and new market opportunities.Read More›
What has been top of mind for corporate boards and CEO’s worldwide since 2004? It is not competitive threats, rising costs, innovation challenges, risk management, technology, debt, or even the regulatory environment. Corporate directors and CEO’s identify the need to create and sustain a leadership and talent culture that drives superior operating results as their #1 current and future challenge….and, this has been the case since 2004!Read More›
Robert Plant knows what “if first you don’t succeed” means.
On Raising Sand, a 2007 album that Plant did with Alison Krause, he tried a rendition of the Stanley Brothers classic Appalachian tune, “Little Maggie.” “I think we actually murdered it, to be honest,” Plant told David Greene of NPR’s Morning Edition. “I was trying to work out how to work the vocals, being British. It’s a sense of humor that you need to even get anywhere near that stuff, so we couldn’t make it work.”
In the card game of poker, a bluff is a bet or raise made with a hand, which is not thought to be a winner. The objective of a bluff is to induce a fold by the opponents who hold the better hands. The size and frequency of a bluff determines its profitability to the bluffer. By extension, the term is often used outside the context of poker as in leadership to describe the act of making promises one cannot execute. Having the pokers bluff in mind as it relates to the behaviors of leadership, strategy and execution, I couldn’t help but to think about the hallmarks of change – disruption and the use of Crisis Leadership as a means of disrupting incumbent marketplace decisions.Read More›
“You have to link managing with politics.”
That was the way that Eduardo Campos, who was governor of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, believed that public officials needed to lead. According to his obituary in The Economist, Campos was a technocrat beloved by international bankers but also someone with the common touch who liked to meet and mingle with his constituents. It was on a campaign trip for Brazil’s presidency that he was killed.
Have you ever found yourself frustrated by a problem that, in spite of your best efforts and creative fixes, defies an enduring solution? How often have you implemented new programs or processes only to find the same or related problems resurface elsewhere? Chances are that if you’ve spent any significant time in leadership positions you’ve had this experience, and more than likely the root cause for this is that you’ve been treating symptoms instead of the underlying diseases. Taking an Integrated Leadership Approach brings the holistic, synergistic perspective necessary to break this cycle and look beyond the obvious in order to get to the root cause(s) of whatever problem you may be facing.Read More›