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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

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Intentionally Creating Problems Creates an Innovative Culture



By Ted Santos and Deborah Brown

Is innovation the result of long arduous trials and errors?  Or is it a practice, which can be divided into parts and learned?  Does your company know how to effectively position its innovations and differentiation in the marketplace in order to drive sales and increase market share?

Rocking the Boat

Good managers solve problems. However, great leaders create

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Does A Corporate or Personal Identity Help Or Hurt?


Corporations can form an identity, just as individuals do. This identity can be a source of strength. It becomes the brand by which others recognize you. However, too often a strong identity can be a source of weakness. It can constrain us during periods of growth, and adhering too tightly to an idea of ourselves or of our organization can cause us to overlook opportunities.

For instance, an employee may distinguish himself as someone who

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

How Leaders Jumpstart Their Legacy




At some point in most companies, the CEO and Board of Directors have an initiative or legacy process to implement. However, many hesitate for a variety of reasons:

  • Staff will not understand
  • Staff and management are not ready
  • The initiative is too disruptive
  • It’s just not the right time

Why should a breakthrough initiative that could drive new revenue and create a competitive advantage be delayed? According to

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Why Diversity on Boards Can’t Happen



For decades, we have heard about the benefits of diversity on corporate boards. Yet, only 18% of Fortune 100 organizations include women or minorities. The argument is that 50% of the US population consists of women.  And 50% of the US population is made up of Hispanics and black Americans. Therefore, boards should have a proportionately higher percentage of women and minorities. Since we clearly are not there, why the disparity?

While it is true, women and minorities make up a significant portion of the US population, the push for diversity on boards has

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why Leaders Should Create Disruption



When many people think of leaders, they imagine the person who brings peace and happiness to followers. In that environment, people are content with life as it is. Peace and happiness reduces the need for the kind of satisfying growth and development that uncomfortably stretches you well outside of your comfort zone. In other words, it creates complacency. Therefore, if a leader, especially a CEO, wants to build a thriving organization, he will intentionally create problems. If he isn’t doing that, the company lacks

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How To Destroy Any Relationship



When 2 people meet, they assess one another to determine the value the other brings. They are both hoping the other will enrich their life or, in business, the corporation’s ability to fulfill its mission. The one who appears to lack value will eventually be dismissed from the relationship or fired from the company. Yet, many people spend more time setting themselves up to be dismissed because they focus on the wrong end of the relationship.

The 3 ways people destroy relationships are the result of

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Next Social Revolution Will Be Quiet and Invisible



The most rebellious generation in US history was the Founding Fathers. By declaring independence, they revolted against British rule. The second most rebellious generation would be baby boomers. They protested the system and Vietnam War. The next generation to rebel may have a greater social impact than the Founding Fathers or baby boomers. That generation would be

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Who Am I?




Who am I? is one of the longest standing questions entertained by mankind. It is so poignant that the answer to it shapes your choice of career, home, friends, spouse, etc. More importantly, it shapes your thoughts, conversations and actions. The inability to answer that question can send you on an endless journey of empty paths that may never provide fulfillment. 

Perhaps many people venture on the endless journey because they are asking the wrong question. Perhaps it is not important to know 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top 4 Reasons Charismatic Leaders Are Not the Best Leaders



When serving as a leader, being human is important. Leaders are not directing and guiding machines. Peter F. Drucker said, "Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people,’ that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations."

To pull the best out of people, you sometimes have to

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Getting Back to Basics: Road Rules for The Board of Directors & CEO




Much has been written about the legal responsibilities of the Board of Directors. However, the ways in which the Board can be most effective in contributing to the success of the CEO, the management team, and the enterprise never receive enough attention. It is a two-way street and some road rules do apply.

First, the role of the Board is to

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Has Change Become Too Robotic?



We spend so much time and money trying to make machines more human.  Yet, we spend an equal amount of time trying to make humans more like machines.  If you leave the human element out of change initiatives, you will usually have a lower success rate. 

In business, there is a belief that if you tell people they have to change

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What’s Wrong with Narcissism?



Narcissism is derived from Greek mythology. It is the story of a hunter named Narcissus who had renowned beauty. He was lured to a river where he saw his reflection in the water and fell in love with himself. He died staring at himself while unable to have the object of his desire.

When some people think of narcissism, they immediately think of a psychological disorder that needs to be diagnosed and medicated. While there are others who believe a good

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Paradox of Your Identity



From the day we’re born, we’re instructed on how to build an identity. We’re told our gender, race, socio economic class, religion, etc. Our identity is so important that without it some people may find it difficult to communicate with another until they can surmise it. At the same time, our identity is a

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Does It Mean to Be a Leader?



One of the biggest challenges of leadership occurs when you try to understand what it means to be a leader. Whether you’re a manager, head of a movement or the CEO, you are bombarded with leadership principles that may or may not have merit. Those principles are categorized by time period, title, what’s good, what’s bad, gender, etc. I ask that you consider all of these categories are simply

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Corporations Need People



To say every corporation needs people is an obvious statement. Yet, every balance sheet shows people as an expense. On the other hand, buildings, land and equipment are considered assets. In an era of knowledge workers, has this mindset become obsolete? Why aren’t people considered assets as well? You can’t have a company without people. 

When the US was an

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why Is Everything Difficult?



Whether it’s learning to walk for the first time or solving complex quantum physics’ equations, it’s difficult. Yet, most people can be considered experts at walking and there are people throughout the world who are great at solving fascinating mysteries through quantum physics.

If you and I go down the list of difficult tasks like tying shoes, riding a bicycle or learning a new language, it will become apparent that