Executive leadership is not as simple as doing what you did in the last job. If it was simple, I wouldn’t see so many people over the past 15 years who were promoted to CEO and suddenly can’t perform. I have come to the conclusion that success at these top levels is very personal. Let me explain.
When you reach the highest levels of any organization, you’re there because you are smart and capable and… Read the full article >
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 >
Most people have no idea who Mordechai was. Yet, if you are in a leadership position, or a consultant to leaders, he is your professional ancestor. He facilitated important organizational change in 600 BC, improved and saved lives, enabled a significant promotion of someone, and was instrumental in the firing of a corrupt senior leader. His story reads like an overly dramatic version of my work life, and probably yours.
Mordechai is a character in the biblical story of Purim. Purim is a Jewish holiday this weekend that celebrates the success of Esther and Mordechai. The parallel of Mordechai and… Read the full article >
Forget everything you have read about succeeding in a new leadership position. Forget about making the first 100 days a success. Forget about having the right team in place – that is not what is going to make you succeed. Forget about leveraging all that you know from your time in the industry.
Christopher Mikkelsen – Founder and CEO, Refugees United
Forget all that because executive… Read the full article >
2016 was the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Leaders can learn a lot about how to create a year with a “happy ending” from Shakespeare.
What does it really take for a leader to create a happily ever after at work? Is it even possible?
If there is no problem, then there is no story!
Tragedy or comedy, a good story always has a problem to overcome. What makes Romeo and Juliet as… Read the full article >
One of the reasons our mind gets fooled with optical illusions, like the picture below, is that there is a .1-second delay between seeing an object and your brain being able to decipher it. While that seems like a short time, it is enough time for your brain to fill in the blanks with what it thinks it sees. Even if it is not really there.
Many leaders do the same thing with their… Read the full article >
Constantin Stanislavski said, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” It’s a way of saying that you get out of a role what you put into it. That “bit part” could end up being profoundly influential, so it’s important to give your best, whatever is required of you, big or small. Many top leaders believe in a similar concept, that there aren’t “bad” teams, but that bad teams are the creation of bad leaders.
If a team consistently underperforms, leadership may be to blame.
Much… Read the full article >
No matter how elevated your position in the corporate hierarchy, you can’t make the day longer than 24 hours. But there are plenty of leaders who try to tamper with Father Time (and perhaps, Mother Nature) by creating more work hours by giving up sleep. Rarely does leadership training address the importance of the well-rested leader, but studies of sleep deprivation have, for decades, linked inadequate sleep with poor performance, and even with effects similar to those of alcohol consumption.
Being sleep deprived is similar to being… Read the full article >
For a person to successfully take on a management or leadership role, certain skills and accomplishments must be evident. But to move on to a C-level executive position, “ordinary” leadership qualities – valuable as they are – are no longer sufficient.
The highest leadership levels require more than ordinary leadership skills.
Being, for example, head of the engineering department requires a different set of skills and experiences than does being the Chief Technology Officer. To make it to the executive suite, a person must go above and beyond demonstrating leadership. How… Read the full article >
Usually, companies hire or promote people into leadership roles because they think they are smart. They have demonstrated through previous jobs that they know how to deploy their smarts to solve business problems, and then they are given a leadership job. This is not true at Google, Apple, or Facebook. They appoint leaders who are in fact the dumbest people on the team.
This is not a political strategy so that they can let others make decisions and then… Read the full article >