10 Steps to Productive Meetings

If you’ve ever watched an episode of NBC’s “The Office” you know exactly what unproductive meetings look like. The tragic news is many real world meetings too closely resemble a fictional Michael Scott get together. Stories of "death by meeting" are a well represented part of corporate folklore for good reason - unplanned, unnecessary, uninspired, or otherwise unproductive meetings are a colossal…

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10 Steps to Creating a Talent Advantage

Creating a talent advantage begins with smart hiring. That said, it never ceases to amaze me at the number of people who are charged with hiring who possess absolutely no skill at doing so. While I rarely meet a CEO who is completely comfortable with the administration of the hiring process, most of them still seem to accept the status quo..."Who should do the hiring?" is a question more CEOs…

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Leadership & Loyalty

For those of you not familiar with the two characters from Band of Brothers depicted above, they are polar opposites in terms of their approach to leadership. Captain Soble (left) represents a leader in rank only, whose efforts to intimidate his men are a classic example of fear based leadership. Shown at right is Lt. Winters, who leads by example and inspires the loyalty of his men by…

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Leadership Interview – Doug Conant

Many people discuss transformational leadership, but few can point to a modern day CEO who is an example of a transformative leader. Douglas R. Conant is the President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company, and he epitomizes just such a leader. When Doug took the helm at Campbell's 10 years ago, he reversed the trend of declining earnings and employee engagement. In 2010, during a down economy, the…

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Memorial Day Leadership Lessons

Although a year has past since I originally posted this piece on Memorial Day and Leadership,  I thought is was worth re-posting this year. Even if you read this post last year, I would encourage you to read it again. Moreover, at the end of the post I'd ask you to leave a comment and thank our active duty military, veterans, and their families for the sacrifices they make for all of us. There is…

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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…

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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…

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The Leadership Line

 I had an email yesterday from a CEO who described himself as "constantly being sucked down into the weeds." In helping him walk through the logic of why and where to allocate his time, I used the information in the video above as a baseline illustration for discussion purposes. The constructs of this video compose a visual I developed more than 20 years ago, and the interesting thing is that…

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Should CEOs Have Term Limits?

I have read some interesting articles and blog posts of late on the subject of CEO term limits, and felt this topic worthy of discussion. You should know from the outset that I fundamentally disagree with the concept of CEO term limits, and quite frankly I cannot really come up with a valid reason for supporting such a regressive concept. Any such argument in my opinion is rooted either in flawed…

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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…

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Leadership & Emotional Control

If the above photo resembles a typical leadership meeting at your place of work then you may want to read this post. FACT: Leaders who lack emotional control won't remain in a position of leadership for long. There has been no shortage of information published on the topic of Emotional IQ or what's referred to as EQ in recent years. After all, being in touch with your emotions, as well as being…

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Leadership Interview – Michael Hyatt

CEOs that make great decisions are rare these days. Humble, authentic leaders who really understand their craft are equally scarce. Chief Executives who actively engage in social media also find themselves in the minority among their peers. Michael Hyatt (@MichaelHyatt - www.michaelhyatt.com) is that rare commodity. As Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing…

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What All Great Leaders Have In Common

All great leaders have one thing in common: They read voraciously. Did you know that the average American only reads one book a year? Worse than this is the fact that 60% of average Americans only get through the first chapter. Contrast this with the fact that CEOs of Fortune 500 companies read an average of four to five books a month. Even more impressive is that some of the most successful…

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Why Consensus Kills Team Building

I read an interesting post by Dan Rockwell (@LeadershipFreak) entitled "Six ways to make teams work" and found myself in complete agreement with Dan on 5 out of the 6 points. Where Dan lost me was on point #4 - Teams Decide by Consensus. In recent months I have observed a decent amount of politically correct discourse on the topic of team building, consensus and equality. The gist of the argument…

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Increasing Productivity

“Finding The Zone” is a concept that most athletes are familiar with, but what about CEOs? We’ve all heard the sportscaster refer to an athlete as being in “the zone,” and so my question is this: “How do you find your performance zone as a CEO?” or better yet, “How do you find and remain in the leadership zone?” What respectable chief executive wouldn’t want to function at their best more often…

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CEO Profile: Brad Smith, Intuit

Brad Smith is the President and CEO of Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU). Intuit is a leading provider of financial management, tax, and online banking solutions with more than $3 billion in annual revenue, and more than 8,000 employees.  While Brad is well known for his strong commitment to innovation, and is worthy of praise for his leadership and stellar performance alone (Intuit has consistently produced…

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