Friday, September 28, 2012

What's the Problem With Problems?

The problem is not there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.  Theodore Rubin

A problem is not a problem until you call it a problem. Before that, it is an occurrence or simply something that happened. Expecting all occurrences to be void of breakdowns/problems is a formula for disappointment.

From another perspective, think of the times you felt you were

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Never Waste a Good Crisis

When we think of crisis, it conjures up thoughts of instability, danger and abruptness. We are trained to avoid those kinds of situations. Furthermore, when they occur, we seek the scapegoat in order to blame them for our discomfort.

Yet, in retrospect, a crisis can bring out the best in us when there is a clear goal to be achieved. And it often serves to develop us for the better both personally and professionally. In some cases, it brings us closer to the people around us.

If a crisis can serve our best interest, why does the word have such a negative connotation? I am going to ask you to consider crisis from an empowering perspective. 

When we become complacent, a crisis can be

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In Search of Predictability

If you listen to the emerging trends in Corporate America, you will hear conversations about the importance of reading enormous amounts of data. The current belief is that there is so much data that more people in the organization will need to develop skills to analyze it. Currently, those skills have belonged to people in the IT department. However, there are individuals in other business units that may be able to combine their knowledge of customers with the ability to assess data.

On the surface, this seems like a logical step. In the age of knowledge workers, businesses should better utilize the intellectual capital of human capital. This would seem to help leadership better understand and predict customer behavior. As a result, strategy becomes much more clear and predictable.

From another perspective, if companies stop at developing skills to analyze data, it will be the catalyst for

Friday, September 14, 2012

Voltaire Quotes On Why You Can't Get Lucky

"Chance is a word that does not make sense. Nothing happens without a cause." Voltaire

Whether you call it chance, luck or being in the right place at the right time, you are simply talking about myths. Not one of those words is ever a factor in high performance. Too often, people attribute luck to extraordinary success.  

In fact, the Monday morning quarterback can give you rational explanations for how things happen in sports, business or life in general. However, they never give you

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What’s More Important Than Shareholder Value?

For decades, CEOs and boards have had an incessant focus on maximizing shareholder value. However, in a number of recent articles, many pundits have articulated the undermining effect of increasing shareholder value. They now say that it sacrifices long-term value creation for customers. While there are an exhausting number of eloquent discussions about the disasters of focusing on shareholders, no one has clearly stated what CEOs’ primary focus should be. 

As the Chairman of an organization that brings together former CEOs of Fortunes 1000s with current CEOs of midsize companies, I am in a position to engage both sides of the table – the younger and more mature. One of the consistent comments I hear from former CEOs is that the number one job of a CEO is to

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Do You Learn From Your Mistakes?

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” – John C. Maxwell

The mistakes we make can be a great way to learn. However, if we blame others for our mistakes, we are more likely to repeat them over and over.

Admitting our mistakes is a powerful way of taking responsibility for our lives. Reflecting on what we learned is a great way to develop ourselves and to become better contributors to society.  When we can correct and clean up those mistakes, we not only