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

Family Matters

For the last post of the year I decided to update a piece I published earlier this year - I also consider it to be the most important work I authored this year...it applies to all of us.  Over the years I’ve come to believe that there is only one sure-fire litmus test for measuring leadership success, and to the chagrin of many reading this post, it has little to do with what happens on the job.…

Read More

Success vs. Significance

As one year draws to a close and another begins, I can think of no better time to dust off an old post and ask you to ponder the difference between success and significance. Some would say that any discussion along this topic line is nothing more than a semantical debate. However, it is my opinion that those who hold this view truly don’t understand the difference between the two, and are simply…

Read More

Guest Post – Kevin Eikenberry

Leadership absent perspective is little more than an exercise in frivolity. Today's guest post by Kevin Eikenberry (@kevineikenberry) really resonates with me because it's chalk full of leadership perspective. For those of you not familiar with Kevin,  he is a two-time best selling author and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company that has been…

Read More

To Blog or Not to Blog?

I think you'd be shocked at how many people still struggle with the "to blog or not to blog" dilemma. Most of you who have been following this blog know that I've been a strong evangelist of social media, and perhaps even more so of blogging for several years now. So why is it that so many people still seem paralyzed when it comes to taking the plunge? Let's look at the numbers...While the…

Read More

Stop Selling and Add Value

I was subjected to one of the worst "sales" presentations I've ever witnessed yesterday. In fact, so much so that I decided to author this post as a reminder to those who still don't understand that generating new business relationships is not about selling - it's about establishing trust, rapport, and the creation of value without selling. What I'm about to espouse will cause many an eyebrow to…

Read More

Social Media Responsibility

My wife pointed me to an LA Times story today that made me cringe…The article recounted how TV personality Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) suddenly passed out while speaking at USC. While this caused a tense moment, he appears to be okay now. However, what incensed me was how the crowd reacted. Witnesses noted the crowd did nothing, they did not come to his aid, and they were of no help to Bill…

Read More

The Benefit of Dissenting Opinion

I love vigorous debate and generally have an open mind, and I actually enjoy having my thoughts and opinions challenged. If everyone always agreed with me then conversations wouldn't be very stimulating, and acquiring new knowledge and insight would certainly be more difficult. That said, there is a benefit to dissenting opinions... Here's the thing, I only really have the patience for…

Read More

How Dumb is Your Business?

How dumb is your business? At the risk of drawing the ire of corporate elitists, I submit to you that the dumber your business is, the better off you are. The truth is that great companies are those which can thrive and prosper in the absence of sophistication. As odd as it sounds, businesses that are not dependant on smart talent, capital, or technology can scale faster and easier than those…

Read More

The Problem With Coaching

Today's rant has been building inside me for a while now. The text that follows is not going to sit well with a number of those in my profession, but hey, that's never stopped me before. During a recent interview, I was asked how I felt about the coaching profession - I jokingly referred to myself as a coaching heretic and went on to say that I really don't like the word "coach" as a descriptor…

Read More

Confidence vs. Arrogance

Confidence vs. Arrogance...is it merely a question of semantics? I think not. While confidence can be mistaken for arrogance, and vice-versa, they are clearly not interchangeable terms. When you think of yourself as a leader do you view yourself as having the quiet confidence of David or the boastful arrogance of Goliath? In today's post I'll describe the power that resides with the truly…

Read More