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Leadership Thought #419 – The Problem of Attention Deficit Leadership

Leaders have far too many tools to distract them these days. It's easy to default to hyper-activity mode where action and movement trumps everything else. For example, it's impossible to properly listen to someone or fully understand a situation if you are constantly checking-in and out of the conversation or thinking about what else you could/should be doing. It worries me that as business and life gets increasingly complex our leaders are losing their capacity to focus and think. More often than not, there isn't a simple answer or quick fix to issues that end up on the desk of the chief decision maker. While it has become popular these days to espouse the benefits of learning by failing, some failures are hard to recover from (and completely unnecessary). You can't just plough forward and believe that courage, confidence, speed and resilience are the primary secrets to success. The quality of your thinking, application of your experience, soundness of your judgment, and consistency of your effort are equally important.

Memorial Day Thoughts

Memorial Day - Remembrance, Honor Hailing Back to US Civil War ...

Another Memorial Day is here although under somewhat strange circumstances. I hope your loved ones and you are safe and healthy.

Thankfully, some things become clearer with aging.  Maybe it’s because we start to realize our own mortality and vulnerability. You begin […]

Expertise Matters, Opinions Are Easy

Expertise Matters! | Nathan Magnuson

Now more than ever, listening to experts and thinking through our opinions before pushing an agenda may be critical to our short and long-term survival and success. It troubles me greatly when people make blanket statements like, “you can’t trust the media,” or “experts are often wrong, “or “you […]

Timeless and Timely Quotes by M. Scott Peck

M. Scott Peck had a big impact on me many years ago.  I often look back to the writers who have influenced me in the past to help navigate the present.  There is a lot of natural fear circulating around these days.  The Coronavirus/COVID-19 is a scary threat, as all threats are that are randomly […]

People Are Complex (Especially In A Crisis)

People are complex especially when under duress.   I am always reticent to give simple answers to difficult questions.  Not because I think that there are never simple answers that suffice, but because it often shows a lack of respect for the person in need of help.  Before you dive in and offer guidance to someone, […]

In A Crisis, Be The Leadership Lighthouse

“A lighthouse can symbolize various things, such as overcoming challenges and adversity or guidance. It is most commonly used to symbolize a way forward and help in navigating through the world. … The first is of the lighthouse itself, which can symbolize salvation and safety, especially in the face of adversity. – source: reference.com”

The simile I like to use with my clients is that […]

Leadership Thought #424 – The Example of George Washington

Today is George Washington's birthday. There are very few people (and an even a smaller number of Americans) where you can honestly say that their birth ended up changing the course of human history. Not only did he lead the upstart Continental Army to victory against of the most powerful military power in the world at that time, he also walked away from supreme power when he refused to become king of the newly formed United States of America, and voluntarily gave up his position as our first President. I think sometimes we forget how unusual, risky, and selfless these two actions were at the time. You can seriously argue that if George Washington had not existed, the U.S. experiment with democracy would have never had a chance of taking flight and much of modern history could have turned out differently.

Martin Luther King As A Leader

Donald T. Phillips in his wonderful book, Martin Luther King on Leadership, does a nice job providing significant detail as to why Martin Luther King (MLK) was a great leader. We often focus on the rhetoric and powerful speeches that he gave, but there is so much more substance to the man than just what he had to say.

Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

I am always drawn to the romantic view of the first Thanksgiving.  Not sure this is fully accurate, but the story informs, nonetheless.

A group of people new to a foreign land begin to build a community completely out of nothing.  They didn’t arrive well-versed in how to do this, but instead figured it out as […]

Leadership Thought #286 – You Either Hit Your Goals Or You Don’t

As we finish off the final accounting on 2011 it's a useful exercise to reflect on the past year and how we actually performed against the goals we set out at the beginning of last year. I believe you start by being honest with yourself about whether hit your goals or you didn't. There should be no wriggle room or rationalizations. Progress is certainly good, but it is no substitute for achievement. Too often in business and life we accept less than stellar results.