When in Doubt, Rehearse!

Lately I’ve seen several leaders trip over the unexpected outcome of a grand plan. They failed to anticipate the mistakes and mishaps that happen in all organizations.  When I see an outcome surprise a leader, I’m reminded of a lesson I learned years ago from my Dad. He had been a great football coach and when I expressed interest in playing quarterback, he agreed to teach me how.  He taught me…

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Leadership Is About Leading

Leadership is about leading. Leadership is a 24-7-365 endeavor. In fact, I'd go so far as to say the best leaders view what they do as a calling and not just a job. If you're a leader, what you do in public or private, in silence or in word, and in thought or indeed will be observed, evaluated and critiqued - count on it. There are simply no free passes for leaders. Don't believe me? Just look…

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Why Your Leadership Is Overrated

How are your leadership skills? Likely not as good as you think. There’s no shortage of independent empirical data generated over the years supporting the fact most people tend to overrate their leadership ability. The best leaders the world has ever known had room for improvement – so do you. I've always said leaders need to get over themselves and get on to the practice of leadership. In…

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Extreme Makeover – Leadership Edition

The fastest transition from inept to adept occurs when leaders turn the topic of change on themselves. When was the last time you changed something about you? Not someone or something else, but your thinking, your philosophy, your vision, your approach, your attitude, or your development. Most leaders are quite skilled at embracing change – except when the focus of the change initiative happens…

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Leadership Is About Breaking Things

There's often a very subtle difference between those who lead and those who lead well - those who lead well are very forward focused. If you're more interested in protecting what is than you are finding the answer to what if you might be in a leadership role, but your likely not leading well. Order isn't all it's cracked-up to be. In fact, I'd go so far as to say routine is the great enemy of…

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Unleadership – A Crisis of Identity

The most popular piece I authored last year was a column I wrote for Forbes on the art and science of what I refer to as pursuitology. As of this writing it had been read more than 260,000 times, had more than 5,000 Facebook shares, and more than 3,000 ReTweets – it clearly struck a chord with the leadership community. As I thought about why this short article resonated so strongly with readers,…

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Training Isn’t Dead – But it Should Be

In the text that follows I'm going to poke holes in a process generally accepted as productive, when it rarely is. In this piece, Training Isn't Dead - But it Should Be, I'll likely take some heat over this, and while this post works off some broad generalizations, in my experience having worked with literally thousands of leaders, they are largely true. According to the American Society of…

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Leadership – What’s Next?

There is no shortage of debate surrounding leadership when it comes to philosophy, style, definitional distinctions, nuances, complex theory, etc. That said, I believe most reasonable people would agree leadership is nothing if not personal. Leadership can represent a pursuit, discipline, practice, passion, calling, skill, competency, obligation, duty, compulsion, or even an obsession.  I've…

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Looking For Leadership

Really? Identifying leaders? Have we really degenerated to this point? News Flash – If you have to look for leadership it doesn’t exist… Today’s post is not going to sit well with many in the leadership profession, but then many of my posts seem to have that effect. My premise is a simple one - Leaders need no identification as they instinctively and inevitably make their presence very well…

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Leadership & Veterans Day

Today's post is part tribute, part rant, and part leadership tutorial. The tribute is to comemmorate the celebration of Veterans Day, the rant to vent some of my pent-up frustrations about what I view as some disturbing trends, and the leadership tutorial to share what I believe our business leaders can learn from their military counterparts. While my thoughts may seem to be a bit fractionalized…

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Who’s In Charge?

"Who the **** is in charge around here?" This question left an absolutely indelible impression on my mind since I first heard it more than 30 years ago.  Our unit was experiencing its first inspection by a Sergeant Major whose reputation definitely preceded him...It took him all of about 3 seconds ask "who the **** is in charge around here?" He then proceeded to communicate in no uncertain terms…

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Leaders: Born or Made?

Leaders: born or made? While there is a very simple answer to this question, most people are so entrenched in their beliefs no amount of reason or logic will alter their opinions. But that's never stopped me before... For my part, I would actually like to make an attempt at putting this useless debate to bed once and for all. So, what's the answer? Both - some people are born with innate…

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The Leadership Vacuum

The biggest problem with the leadership industry is found within the ranks of those who call themselves leadership advisors. There is nothing short of a voluminous amount of leadership information being published on a daily basis. The number of books, blogs, tweets, videos, webcasts, podcasts that are being pushed into the market is reaching truly overwhelming proportions. It's been my experience…

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15 Traits of Great Leaders

Today's post will make the case for leadership development. While much has been written about the traits and characteristics that form great leaders, the truth is that leaders come in many different varieties...there is no one-size-fits-all formula for leadership. That said, all good leaders possess certain core qualities, and great leaders simply develop said core qualities to a higher level…

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Are You A Thought Leader?

Thought Leadership…What is a thought leader, and what does thought leadership mean in today’s business world? As much as some people wish it wasn’t so, a thought leader is not someone who simply restates someone else’s views and positions. Furthermore, beyond uniqueness of thought, a true thought leader’s positions also challenge established norms and conventions. Moreover, the true litmus test…

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Leadership Development and the CEO

A CEO by definition must have some level of leadership ability. Regrettably, many CEOs will never develop their leadership skills to their full potential. Put bluntly, those CEOs who fail to become great leaders will inevitably fail to become great CEOs. Part of being a true leader is having a commitment to developing not only your own skills but the skills of those around you. One of the fastest…

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