Teams get off course. It happens. Even with good people and the best intentions. Sometimes a new CEO comes in and needs to turn things around to boost profitability; sometimes a C-level executive needs to change the product mix or the team can’t get its head and heart around the new approach; and sometimes the team (for an unknown reason) is simply not as productive as they could be and needs to improve results. In these and many other cases like them, it is not so complicated.
Whether it is a pharma company, a software company, or any other… Read the full article >
Executives are under considerably more pressure than executives of 10 or 20 years ago. Markets change with remarkable rapidity, as do technologies. There is increased regulatory pressure and a workforce that in many ways is different from that of yesterday. At the same time, CEO tenures are a couple of years shorter than they were 20 years ago. In other words, CEOs are expected to produce results and do so quickly.
Pressure on CEOs to perform from day one is higher than it’s ever been.
On top of this, trust… Read the full article >
Most leaders are under the delusion that a successful year happens over the course of 12 months. Setting goals and then giving an ongoing effort on a daily basis, creates success. This is not true. A breakthrough year comes fom a combination of team building efforts which start in January. Top performing leaders understand this intuitively and use January to make December great.
“Fantasizing about the future is one of my favorite pastimes.” – Richard Branson
Branson understands the old adage “start with the end in mind.” I met a top performing SWAT team leader who understands this, too…. Read the full article >
Most leaders, despite the myths they tell themselves, are not great. In fact leadership research shows that CEO’s are more optimistic than the average person. This often applies to their self assessment. They cannot see their limitations or how they are undermining their team. Additionally, people around them wont give them honest feedback on their leadership skills for fear of retribution. They can live in an inflated bubble, believing their own spin. There is only one way for a leader to know the truth of their leadership greatness: look at what your team is doing.
My brother-in-law, a corporate… Read the full article >
It is a little known fact that the best wine grapes grow in the worst, most inhospitable soil conditions.
How is that possible? Stress. The grapes are under pressure to survive. They are forced to seek nutrients deep in the soil for sustenance and to direct what little water there is for the grapes as opposed to the rest of the plant. Interestingly, surviving through this crucible of sorts helps to shape them into best-of-breed varietals.
The same thing… Read the full article >
The new movie now headed to your local theater—Steve Jobs—sets out to make the point that the man who created arguably the greatest company in the world was slightly off his rocker. Or perhaps he was a nasty, crazy man in disguise.
Rather than indulging in that pointless debate, let’s step back and look at a broader and more meaningful issue: virtually all great leaders are in fact lunatics in part.
It is the very oddity of their thinking and personalities that lets them see and develop what passes the rest of us by. The fact is, I have… Read the full article >
Research continues to show that the people who rise to the top, who inspire the most people, and who tend to take charge are the tallest. But since you can’t grow taller, what does this mean for the average (heighted) leader?
One would think in the year 2015 we are past Leadership Trait theory. It originated in late 1800’s, and it says traits such as height, age, social economic background, inborn personality, etc.—which can’t be changed (rather than behavior which is learnable)—will determine leadership success. It is related to the idea and practice that you are born into leadership… Read the full article >
Most leaders’ natural reaction to low team performance is to take charge. They view this as their job: to set direction and lead. However, in many cases, this is actually the completely wrong approach. Sometimes the strongest and smartest approach is to sit back, stay silent and say nothing.
Being the strongest voice in the room is a typical success strategy. Leaders have a way of getting heard, above all others, even when they are not formally in charge. And this is not bad. There is a place for setting direction among the many… Read the full article >
A friend of mine told me that his friend, a top leader at a top company, actually said: “I am great leader, but my team sucks.” We laughed hystertically! It is so absurb. Yet there are many leaders out there that think this.
Jim Collins’ extensive research in Good to Great tells us that great leaders of long term financially successful companies are the opposite of this leader. They are humble. They credit their success on how lucky they are to have such a great team working for them.
Yet I can empathize with this frustration of a leader who feels his team… Read the full article >
Legendary NCAA football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant said, “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” And you can’t prepare to win without taking an honest look at your weaknesses.
How honest are you with the person you see in the mirror?
It’s not easy to admit to weaknesses, let alone bring them into the light, but humanity has long known of the importance of doing so. Most major religions include purification rituals and holidays… Read the full article >