Clarity

DEALING WITH INSANITY

I saw someone wearing a t-shirt the other day with the kind of snarky comment that I appreciate with my sense of humor. It read: “I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.” After a chuckle, I wanted to buy this t-shirt to give it to the owners and CEOs of companies…

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CAN YOU PICTURE YOUR BONSAI TREE?

The original Karate Kid movie was released in 1984, a coming of age story of Daniel, a young man, whose mentor and best friend is an elderly Japanese maintenance man, Mr. Miyagi.  The movie is an excellent blend of teen angst, Asian wisdom, and martial arts. One of my favorite scenes is when Mr. Miyagi…

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IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE “NICE” OR “KIND”?

The commercial message for the KIND® protein bar was a smart play on words, “Nice tells you what you want to hear, but kind is honest.” It brought me back to a time long ago that taught me to be kind, instead of nice. I was at a software company, and we were having difficulties finding new…

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A Real Life Leadership Story

A Real Life Leadership Story A college senior I know was the Director of a team of engineering students competing in SAE Aero Design, an international competition to design, build and fly an original aircraft.  I was asked to coach him in leadership and team building. The time came for the competition.  There were dozens…

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YOU ARE WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS SAY YOU ARE

Years ago I joined a company just as they were preparing to launch a new (and expensive) marketing campaign. A focus group comprised of a dozen customers was invited to preview the campaign. As the new executive, I was asked to attend. The central message of the campaign was “innovation.” Its focus centered upon all…

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THE ONE THING YOU CAN’T DO FOR YOURSELF

The one thing you can’t do for yourself… is to coach yourself. Here’s why. You can’t see what you can’t see. Everyone has blind spots. A coach can be an extra set of eyes to assist you in “seeing” and understanding things going on in your organization, marketplace, or even within your leadership team, that…

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Purpose: The Big Why

As a CEO coach, I’m often called on to help address a specific problem. But as the solution is identified and put in place we then turn to how the problem occurred, or more often, why. The answer to why is someone made a decision (or didn’t make a decision) in line with the company’s…

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Herding Cats

Ever and feel like you spend a lot of time “herding cats.” Do you spend time wondering: Why don’t they just do what they are supposed to? Why do I have to do all the thinking around here? Why can’t they just do what they are told? Before you start banging your head against the…

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Are You Leading Or Complaining?

My son played basketball in his teens, and one day I was searching the Internet for a summer skills camp. I came across a video of a coach teaching his players. The coach on the video said leadership is the entire team’s job, not just one person’s. You need to know the play. You need…

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Managing The Two “Black Holes” of Business

Marketing and Customer Service are the two “black holes” of business. Both are critical, but neither is ever complete. Unlike more tangible areas of work there is no “quota” to exceed, there is no “inventory” to manage, there is no “work order” to complete. But no matter how much is invested in Marketing and Customer…

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