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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What If We’ve Misjudged CEOs?

In the 1950s, the US was responsible for approximately 30% of international trade. Today, the US accounts for only 10%. After WWII, much of the world was in shambles. They depended on the US to supply capital, labor, services and materials. In the 21st Century, those same countries that depended on us are our competitors.

The CEOs of the 1950s had it easy compared to CEOs of the past 20 years. Business was predictable back then. Market size and customer demand grew at a steady and manageable pace. In today’s global

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We Can’t Blame the Robber Barons

In a past article, I wrote about a conversation with the wise gentleman I know. In that conversation, he suggested people stop funding homelessness. With no surprise, many were offended. Why is that? Is it because helping the homeless has become synonymous with looking good? By that, it makes one look like an honorable person for helping needy victims. Yet, it does very little to empower society and move us forward. In fact, the homeless population continues to grow. 

In a subsequent conversation with this gentleman, he made a number of clear suggestions that would move society forward and provide a long-term solution to eradicate homelessness. It would require funding brilliant people like

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Are We Really Educating Our Children?

Once again, I sat down with the wisest person I’ve ever met. In this conversation, he and I brainstormed about the educational system. As with all of my conversations with him, I experienced the sensation of being educated about subjects I may not have considered. This dialogue was no different. As usual, he leads with questions.

He asked me if I knew the etymology of the word education. That led me to Wikipedia. There I learned that etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Are Good Intentions Hurting Society?

In another conversation with the wisest gentleman I’ve ever met, he expounded on a blind spot of society. This time he kind of made my head spin. And I write this post with great hesitation. He uncovered a societal motive that is intended to be in the best interest of all. However, it has done more harm than good. The challenge, he said, is to undo a wrong which is believed to be right.

He started the conversation by discussing how this mentality works in a corporation. In his example, he stated the following: in any enterprise there can be

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How Might the Wisest Man in the World Address Society?

With the proliferation of talk shows and the Internet, there are far too many resources that provide advice.  How do you distinguish what advice is appropriate for you when different gurus provide conflicting suggestions?  With that said, it’s not hard to understand why so many people are confused and continue to make poor decisions. 

Over the past decade, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with and receiving advice from a gentleman who may be considered the wisest on the planet. While he sees the greatness in all people, his advice confronts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Is It Because of Microwaves or Marriages?

Without question, this article addresses a subject that is rarely, if ever, discussed in the context it is presented. And it is a topic that may not put a smile on the faces of many. Notwithstanding, it is a major problem and it’s time to take the covers off of an issue that may be hurting us emotionally and economically, as well as many other ways that aren’t easily detected.

When you watch the news, it becomes apparent there’s some level of dysfunction in society. Yet, it’s possible to say it’s no one’s fault. In the early 80s we gained access to microwave ovens. It allowed us to prepare or heat food in an instant. What impact did that have on society? Before that, there was the late 60s. That is when divorce laws were changed to

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What Do Organizations Fear Most?

“The things we fear most in organizations—fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances—are the primary source of creativity.” — Margaret J. Wheatley

From her quote, Margaret Wheatley understood abstract thinking. Abstract thinking is often the cause of uncertainty, disturbances and imbalances. For an organization, this may be seen as chaotic. At the same time, it can be a powerful source to induce ingenuity.

In our current social structures, chaos and uncertainty are

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How Leaders Remove Fables from Corporate Culture

Fables are part of US culture. They can even be bedtime stories for children. As a result, we live with fables as though they are an essential part of life. To clarify, a fable is not storytelling, even though there is a story being told. It is not gossip, even though it may be the source of gossip. A fable is a false or inaccurate account of something. When you distinguish it in someone’s conversation, it becomes clear that a fable is an account of an occurrence with an addition that represents the speaker’s inaccurate interpretation of the event or encounter with another. If I say it another way, it happens when we add our version of the story. That version will almost always represent

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How Fables Destroy Corporate Culture

Leaders who make up fables in their mind can easily ruin their chances of success. At the same time, those below the leader can destroy the culture of an organization with fables. In worse case, from recent research, fables can possibly erode the health of a human being.

A fable is a false or inaccurate account of something. Yet, when we are born, we have no idea about fables. In fact, we don’t know anything about

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Is It So Difficult to Become a Great Leader?

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”English proverb

In a way, the quote above says it all. However, I would like to peel this conversation in layers, like peeling an onion. I will take this opportunity to uncover why some people are only comfortable with smooth seas or situations. And others will comfortably sail into the storm.

How we see the world will dictate the

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why CEOs Fail

There are few who acquire the title CEO. Those who do are capable of making a huge commitment and have an abundance of talent and ambition. However, CEOs who lack effective succession plans find themselves overwhelmed and missing opportunities to build thriving enterprises.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What Has Corporate America Done for You?

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. – John F. Kennedy
In the US, corporate America has become the enemy. It is seen as the greed machine that steals money, destroys the environment, imposes its products and services on the innocent and enslaves its workers. Yet, it is the very hand that feeds the nation through jobs, training, income, travel and many other opportunities. Are we

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Three Essentials for Effective Leadership

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” –Frank A. Clark

Leadership is the ability to accomplish initiatives through others. To do that, you need teams. When a team shares the same values and vision, they gel better as a group.  However, with diverse thinkers, religions and so on, there must be effective management tools to keep people aligned. Below is a brief outline of three strategies to lead diverse teams and disperse silos.

1.                  Create a new mindset.
Part of the job of leadership is to engage people in

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why The Journey of Transformation Isn’t for Everyone

Because this article contains many earth shattering counterintuitive insights, it is most difficult to write. I have succinctly outlined a path that contains some of the greatest rewards of transformation. Yet, it is the one that is least traveled. 

“Make no mistake about it – enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the façade of the pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” – Adyashanti

Clearly enlightenment is not for the faint of heart. Enlightenment without transformation is

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why Disagreement Is a Very Bad Approach to Any Conversation

In our society, we are taught to have an opinion and speak our minds. What we are not taught to do is listen. We are so focused on our opinion that we often fail to hear what is being communicated to us.

Sure. We are taught to pay attention to what someone says to us, whether in a public forum or in our most intimate relationships. However, do we really consider what we are listening for?

If you notice, when we

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Do You Have a Career or Profession?

To many, the difference between being a professional or having a career is a matter of semantics. For the professional, it comes down to being able to distinguish yourself in the pack. Therefore, what it takes to have a career is not what it takes to become a professional.

To have a career, you can attend a trade school or university to acquire knowledge about a subject, like finance, carpentry, engineering, etc. You utilize this knowledge to

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What’s More Important Than Love, Sex or Money?

In an era of capitalism, there is one thing that is desired more than money. Yet, when people find it, they fight it, run from it or freeze in a panic. What could be desired so deeply and feared at the same time? If you guessed love, you are correct.

The very thing we claim to want most is the very thing we fear most. This dichotomy has perplexed psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists for generations. And perhaps the solution is

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What Makes the Best CEOs: Passion or High Commitment?

For decades, we have heard the chants: find your passion and only do what you love. Yet, if you observe, there are many people who have a new passion every week, month and year. While they are passionate, their desire to constantly change passions rarely allows them to master what they love. On the other hand, the highly committed person masters their craft and experiences the joy of being the best.

While passion has its place, the desire for passion assumes the

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What Stops People From Creating New Possibilities?

"Out of chaos, comes order?" Nietzsche

In 1983, Steve Jobs introduced the world to the iPad. However, it seems the world was not ready. It failed. Or did it? What if Jobs’ idea was the catalyst for chaos that employees and vendors wanted to avoid?

In every era, there are beliefs that are held as facts. While no one questions the facts, the belief

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Are You Failing at Your Profession?

Whether you’re the CEO or the receptionist, you’re responsible for your professional development. And, if you’re doing the same exact job one year from now, you may be failing as a professional. In no way am I implying you have to get a promotion every year. I am saying each year it is in your best interest to have greater skills and competencies. Or increase your ability to manage greater responsibilities. If you refuse, there is a chance you may be approaching obsolescence. While this may sound extreme, I ask you to consider the following.

In a global economy, we can only

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What Stops Your Organization From Having a Winning Culture?

If the CEO is committed to creating possibilities from “nothing”, he or she cannot transform those possibilities into reality as a lone wolf. If he surrounds himself with the smartest people, it does not mean those people will be comfortable turning “nothing” into something extraordinary. Even the smartest people need to be motivated to produce astonishing results. And, without a culture to support extraordinary, high performance becomes a pipe dream. Therefore, the CEO is also responsible for creating a winning culture.

While there is no silver bullet, the solution is

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Do You Have the Mind of a CEO?

While the job of a CEO has many demands, it is his or her job to create possibilities. Possibility is abstract and requires clear thinking in the face of uncertainty. Notwithstanding, he or she declares a possibility as a future simply by saying ‘this is what the future will be’. It doesn’t matter if it’s the iPad or sending a man to the moon. The rest of the organization is responsible for transforming that possibility into reality. The challenge of declaring an abstract, uncertain future is that there is almost never

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

4 Steps to Developing a Winning Attitude

While there are many ways to develop a winning attitude, there are 4 steps that cannot be avoided. Without these four steps, you may realize accomplishment for a while. Except, eventually the imminent obstacles will derail you if you lack a winning attitude. When you take these four steps, you will discover that a winning attitude has always been part of whom you are. These steps are a matter of uncovering the part of you that has always been there waiting to be revealed.

The four steps are the following:

Train your mind to focus – While this sounds simple, the focus to which I refer is very different than what you may

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How Do You Create a Culture for Breakthroughs?

"The problem, if you love it, is as beautiful as the sunset." – Jiddu Krishnamurti

Is it possible for a CEO to create a new future for their organization?  A big part of the CEO’s job is to do just that.  Yet, many companies don’t invent the future.  They maintain status quo.  As a result, they become casualties of the economy or worse, the competition?  Inventing the future requires one to

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Power & Paradox of Disruptive Leadership

What separates extraordinary leaders from managers?  One way to distinguish the difference is to compare the mindset of leaders and managers.  Managers are great at solving problems.  Leaders, on the other hand, exude their greatness by creating problems.

The Dilemma of Creating Problems

People who are great problem solvers are often presented with the opportunity to become a manager.  However, the keys to the