5 Signs You’re Not As Smart As You Think

5 Signs You’re Not As Smart As You Think-- My question is this: Is your intellect an asset or liability? All one has to do is watch a very bright person defend their position to understand what I'm driving at with today's post. Observing intelligent people lecture, spin, posture, position, cajole, argue, rationalize, or justify their beliefs in order to "get the win" is oftentimes entertaining,…

Read More

Leadership & The Expectation Gap

When it comes to leadership, I can share the issues of creating and delivering on expectations are no small matter. In fact, understanding how to come out on the right side of the expectation curve can often be the difference between being viewed as an average leader and one held in high regard. Let me make this as simple as I can; managing expectations is gamesmanship - aligning them is…

Read More

Why the “F” Bomb Shouldn’t Be Dropped

I recently read an interesting article on The Wall Street Journal discussing the use of colorful language in business settings. It prompted me to re-post an earlier piece I authored on the same subject. While both perspectives cover some of the same ground, the article in The Journal hedges a bit too much for my taste. You'll find my piece a bit more direct and firm in expressing there is NEVER a…

Read More

Is Blogging Dead?

I read an interesting article in Inc. Magazine entitled "Where Have All the Bloggers Gone?" If you read this article it would lead you to believe blogging is in decline and on it's way out as a marketing tool. The article cites a study from the University of Massachusetts in which the respondents (170 executives from Inc. 500 companies) indicated the use of blogging was down 13% from the prior…

Read More

Managing The Board | 10 Things Every CEO Should Know

I've yet to meet a CEO who at some point in time hasn't been frustrated by their board - it goes with the territory. That said, it should be the exception and not the rule. Ultimately, chief executives deserve the board relationships they develop. As a CEO, your board can be one of your greatest allies. Conversely, and just as easily, they can be a significant contributor to your undoing…

Read More

Is the Customer Always Right?

Is the customer really always right? How far should a company go to satisfy their clientele or customer base? What is the lost opportunity cost associated with customer churn? Is there a point when satisfying the customer is actually harmful to the enterprise, or back to the original question, is the customer always right? In today's post I'll share my opinion as to the validity of this old…

Read More

When to Restructure

To restructure or not to restructure? When to restructure is the question many a business is forced to ask at some point during their life cycle. The mere discussion of corporate reengineering can cause fear, anxiety, and in some cases even panic. This is so much the case that some CEOs will avoid restructuring initiatives at all costs. There are even some business theorists that warn against…

Read More

Contingency Planning

The best leaders always have a back-up plan, so my question to you is: what's your Plan B? My experience with most executives & entrepreneurs is they are totally committed to and focused on success. As a result, many of them tend to have a major blind-spot (translation: weakness) when it comes to the anticipation of setbacks.  While this is understandable, it is nonetheless naive, and it…

Read More

Is Your Message Relevant?

When was the last time you bothered to read, watch, or listen to a message that wasn't relevant to your needs? Great leaders understand the power, influence, and leverage created by relevant messaging. Put simply, relevant messages are engaging because they connect - they add value. Great (relevant) messages usually contain one or more of the following aspects: they are timely, informative,…

Read More

The Downside of Passion

Review any list of positive leadership traits and "passion" will undoubtedly rank near the top - rightly so. In most cases, passion is an asset capable of carrying you through tough times, sharpening your perspective, revealing purpose, and helping you succeed in the face of overwhelming odds. You'll find no shortage of content describing the positive attributes of passion, but few that examine…

Read More

Greatness & Tragedy

Few things highlight great acts of selflessness and heroism more than tragedy. This weekend's helicopter crash in Afghanistan was a horrific loss for the families of our fallen warriors, but also for our nation as a whole. The men who perished in the crash were in fact our nation's best. They were courageous men who placed service above self, who went places and did things that most of us could…

Read More

When Humor Isn’t So Funny

The old saying "everybody loves a comedian" has regretfully given birth to a time where everybody thinks they're a comedian. Sadly, what many have failed to realize is the old saying noted above was meant to be sarcastic...We all love good humor, but the truth is all humor is not good. The timely and appropriate use of humor is an asset to any leader. Likewise, distasteful or inappropriately…

Read More

Rethinking Good To Great

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog you know from time-to-time I’ll take aim at a sacred cow and pull the trigger. I’ve had issues with some of the concepts contained in Jim Collins's book Good To Great since it was first released. Given the legions of those who have drunk the Good to Great Kool-Aid, I realize today's post might be akin to spitting into the wind. That said, it is nonetheless…

Read More

Not All Research is Meaningful

Just because something gets published doesn't necessarily mean it has any value. In fact, misleading or wrong information that finds its way into the public domain can be quite harmful. I just finished reading a research study conducted by Harvard Business School that is nothing short of academic hoo-hah and is a case study with everything that's wrong with business schools today. The HBS…

Read More

Social Media for CEOs

Nary a week passes where I don't hear from a CEO who's grappling with this social media conundrum: should I, or shouldn't I? The inquiry usually goes something like this: "I'm interested in learning more about social media, but my board thinks it's a bad idea, I don't have any additional bandwidth, and I'm not even sure where to start...is social media really effective for CEOs?"  The discussion…

Read More

Entrepreneur, CEO or Both?

Entrepreneur, CEO, or Both? Which hat or hats do you wear? CEO...that title sounds good doesn't it? Okay, so you founded the company, but does that mean you should also be the chief executive? Did you bestow the title upon yourself simply because you had the authority to do so, or are you the right person for the job? Perhaps you were the right person for the job initially, but has the company…

Read More