This Simple Approach to Strategy Makes You a More Effective Executive

Strategic PlanningA friend of mine is an avid mountain biker. He’s a big guy. A tough guy. Imagine the Incredible Hulk on a bicycle. Except not green. But probably the same intense, unhappy look on his face.

He stands out in the skinny, biker-short wearing crowd. He doesn’t ride a bike. He challenges it to survive.

Some time ago, he showed me a video that he had made with his new GoPro camera. In the video you see that he is in the mountains, in the tundra, mostly above the tree-line, riding a narrow trail. ... READ MORE »

Why Doesn’t Character Matter? How to Make Sure Yours Does.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
― Abraham Lincoln

Leadership Team

I received an e-mail that included a request from a magazine writer. She was looking for thoughts on how male leaders, who were allies to women, could support women in the workplace. This was written in the context of the recent accusations toward Harvey Weinstein and others in Hollywood and Washington. ... READ MORE »

Why Do Most People Fail to Accomplish Their Goals?


Pushing toward your goalsSometimes, it is very difficult to complete goals.

I’ve always been an athlete. I love training hard. But I’m not a huge fan of distance running. I’m not even a little fan of it. ... READ MORE »

Answering One Question Will Free Your Staff to Do More

TeamworkWhen my oldest son, Elijah, was three he loved to have me draw pictures for him.

One day, he ran up to me with a sheet of blank paper and a marker. “Draw, Daddy!”

Usually, he’s specific about what he wants me to draw: A snake, a spider, a duck. This time he didn’t seem to care what I drew. He yanked the paper away from me just as I began to draw. ... READ MORE »

Way Too Busy? How to Get Off the Hamster Wheel.

Busy executive on Hamster WheelWhen coaching leaders, one of the most common complaints I hear is, “I’m too busy.”

Too frequently, they insist that they are too busy to become less busy.

So, they are choosing to be too busy. ... READ MORE »

How to Protect Yourself So You Can Lead Others

overwhelmed businessmanA drowning man may drown you as well.

When learning water rescue techniques, the first lessons are how to keep yourself safe. To not become another victim. The next lessons are how to defend yourself from someone who is drowning. From the person you are trying to rescue.

When someone is drowning, they will often panic. The panic can be so extreme that they become frantic. This may lead to a wild thrashing, trying to climb onto anything that appears to float or grabbing onto a rescue swimmer in such a way that the rescuer can no longer swim. ... READ MORE »

What If You Are The Source Of Your Frustration?

These 3 Mindsets Lift the Limits of Leadership Success. I’ve consulted and coached leaders for 14 years. I’ve consistently been in some kind of leadership or supervisory role for over 25 years. This has included business start-ups, non-profits, and boards.

Over those decades, I’ve had many opportunities to discover my limits. My personal ceilings for my own growth, achievement or success.

I’ve also had the opportunity to observe when others hit their limits. All leaders eventually encounter their limits. ... READ MORE »

How to Build a Magnetic Executive Presence


Executive PresenceTwo people walked onto the stage.

She walked in confidently. Gave a warm smile to the audience. Her posture was straight and looked relaxed. Her humor was soft. She seemed like someone you’d like to know. ... READ MORE »

The First Four Things A New Executive Should Do

The First Four Things A New Executive Should DoIn high school, I played basketball. Our varsity team had won State two years, back to back. Then the head coach moved away. A new coach was hired. From the way he related to us, it felt like he saw himself as Gene Hackman’s character in Hoosiers. He was going to be the tough coach that whips his group of losers into shape.

Except we were already champions.

Within a few short months, he managed to whip us into a place of such low morale that the entire starting five threatened to quit. I actually did. We didn’t even place at Regionals. He killed the team. He killed his credibility. For reasons unknown, the school retained him. He was never able to rebuild the team. ... READ MORE »

How to Avoid the Most Common Leadership Rookie Errors

New LeaderThere are many paths to executive leadership. However, when beginning a new role, most people tend to use one of four different approaches. Each of these tends to fall short and ultimately creates more work for the leader later.

The Four Typical Approaches for New Leaders


Approach #1: There’s a New Sheriff in Town

This phrase is derived from American, or at least Hollywood, lore of the Old West. A town is controlled by the baddies. There is corruption. People don’t feel safe. There’s lots of mud and shooting and people getting thrown out of taverns. ... READ MORE »