Leadership – No Talent Required

While not all leaders will develop their talents and abilities to the same level, all successful leaders more or less begin with the same foundation. Here's the thing - the foundational elements of leadership require no skill or talent whatsoever. Clearly the difference possessed by all great leaders is that they refine, develop and build from their foundation - they don't ignore it or take it…

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Leaders Stop Trying to Be Efficient

Let's cut right to the chase; stop focusing on being efficient - it's a waste of time. Nobody other than perhaps you really cares how efficient you are, but everyone cares how effective you are. Not only do they care how effective you are, but they also care about the effectiveness of those whom you lead. It's important to remember leadership is a people business, and people are messy. Leadership…

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The Power of Focus

I am frequently asked what it takes to become more productive. My answer is simply become very, very focused. Focus has always been a powerful characteristic that has served me well in all leadership roles alike. Relentless focus results in aligned priorities, order, discipline, and productivity. That sounds simple enough doesn't it? Then why is this so hard for executives and entrepreneurs?…

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How Employee Engagement Drives Customer Satisfaction

Research shows there is a direct correlation between engaged employees and the satisfaction of your customer and ultimately achieving your business outcomes. In other words, employee engagement drives customer satisfaction. Richard Branson says, “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers”. Engaged employees are described as being fully immersed in and enthusiastic…

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Making the Turn: 10 Warning Signs You aren’t Shifting from Founder to Leader

You came up with an awesome idea. Your singular focus has been to make it real. You started a company. You got funding. Maybe you’re looking for Series B or C funding now. Maybe you’re prepping for the IPO. Congratulations! You’re ready to scale or go public. You’ve gotten this far. What could go wrong? Here are 10 warning signs you aren’t shifting from founder to leader. Every founder reaches…

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Leadership and Digital Transformation

News Flash: The #1 thing leaders need to understand is that the Digital Transformation train left the station a few years ago. If you weren't onboard back then, you need to stop looking for the next train and rapidly go in search of building a rocket ship. Businesses simply have run out of time to embark on multi-year transformation projects - that window has closed. In the text that follows,…

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Apple’s Latest Diversity Report A Big “So What”

Last week, Apple released its latest Diversity Report.  Apple claims that from July 2016 to July 2017, half of its new hires in the U.S. were from historically underrepresented groups in tech (including black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian & women).   In the U.S., Apple is 54 percent white (down two percentage points from last year), 13 percent Hispanic (up one percentage…

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Speeding Change by Slowing Down

I have always believed that the fastest path to the future is found through increasing velocity of change. I don’t believe I’ll get much push-back on that statement, but I’m rather certain I’ll encounter some resistance with my next one: Increasing velocity of change is best accomplished by slowing down. Most CEOs feel as if they’re in a race to change the future, and they would be correct. By…

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The “Be Attitudes” of Building Trust in the Workplace

Not to be confused with the biblical reference to the beatitudes shared in the Sermon on the Mount, these "be attitudes" are suggestions that you may consider adopting to help you and your colleagues to establish better trust within your workplace. I hope that you find them worthy to put into practice: 1. Be Real, for it Inspires Confidence: Authenticity goes a long way in establishing trust in…

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Digitalizing Your Business Means Re-Imagining How It Operates

Today's digital capabilities offer great promise for businesses big and small. But, in order to realize that promise, business leaders must be willing to drastically re-think their company's business processes. In fact, all processes must be broadened to include all related responsibilities and tasks, independent of organization design or "chain of command" and they must be redesigned…

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On Being a Leader of Integrity: 4 Ways to Build Personal and Organizational Integrity

Are you a person of integrity? Chances are you and everyone reading this article will answer in the affirmative.  This introduces a massive blind-spot we have in our lives and organizations: self-deception – as none of us can say we have full integrity. So, first, how do we define integrity?

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On Being an Authentic Leader

Wolfgang Beltracchi is the most successful art forger in history. His fake paintings have sold for $46 million to museums, and private collections all over the world.  He says the experts hate him because he managed to fool them for decades - he eventually wound up in jail. Some say what he did was a crime against the art culture and others think it was acceptable because he didn’t hurt anyone.…

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The Leadership Dance

Not everyone will respond to your leadership.  No matter how good you are, there will be skeptics.  Leadership is a human endeavor and humans have choices.  Still, it’s your duty to find a way to lead them. It's the leadership dance. No matter how big your organization, your message, direction, and motivations flow through a handful of people and leadership is like dancing; it is accomplished one…

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Why Your CEO Just Doesn’t Get It

Quality leadership or a lack thereof is easy to spot if you know what to look for. The problem is most people don’t know what to look for in a leader, and according to a recent study by Chief Executive magazine many CEOs don’t seem to know what to look for either. While I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, I will admit to being absolutely stunned as I reviewed the results of a survey…

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Reinventing Vermeer

Tim’s Vermeer is a riveting documentary about inventor Tim Jenison’s quest to understand the genius of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.  The film chronicles Jenison’s discovery of a technique Vermeer may have used to create his photo-realistic paintings prior to the invention of photography. History offers few clues to Vermeer’s life.  Most art experts have cited a genius of vision—the ability to…

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The Leadership Lesson They Don’t Teach In Business School

I’ve always believed leadership exists to disrupt mediocrity, but I’m afraid in recent times many leaders are losing that battle. Somewhere along the way, they threw in the towel and settled for a weak-kneed, watered-down version of leadership – they have rationalized and justified themselves into an acceptance of mediocrity. The sad reality is that in many cases, the education, training and…

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