Leadership Thought #400 – 25 Ways Leaders Get Themselves in Trouble
Leadership isn’t easy or everyone could do it. Some talented people make it look easy, but we often don’t see all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to make it look this way. Most leaders struggle at some point and have to learn some difficult lessons along the way. Experience can be the best teacher if you are open to learning. I’ve observed the following 25 ways (in no particular order) that leaders tend to get themselves in trouble:
Business Advice for Navigating the Current Environment (from a Seasoned Executive Coach)
I have the good fortune of working with over 50 businesses on a regular basis. I get to see the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to leadership challenges. Here are some observations that I hope you will find useful as you continue to manage through these challenging times.
Book Excerpts from The Elephant and The Flea by Charles Handy
I have been a Charles Handy fan for many years and find that his work only becomes more prescient and meaningful with time. It’s amazing how he could envision the world we would be doing business in before it happened. His thoughts on life, business, and leadership are timeless. I had my son revisit his […]
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 […]
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.
Leadership Thought #425 – 10 Ways To Ensure Your Business Success As A Leader
Leadership isn’t rocket science. Creating the conditions for business success is actually pretty basic: be clear about where you are going and why; define what success looks like and track performance; make sure all of your key people on the same page; don’t “wing it” when it comes to important decisions; ensure that every single employee knows how they fit in the big picture and what they are supposed to be doing; create a process for providing on-going performance feedback; hold people accountable for results (including yourself); be careful about who you hire and put in supervisory roles; provide extensive training and support; never stop communicating with your customers; and make sure everyone shares in the success of the business but also feels the pinch of nonperformance.
Leadership Thought #457 – Eight Things You Can Do To End The Year On A High Note
As we wind down another year, I thought it would be useful to share some best practices I have observed over the years by leaders who tend to end every year on a high note:
Excerpts from Jim Collin’s Book, “How The Mighty Fall”
Terrific book by Jim Collins worth reading by every business leader – How The Mighty Fall I just wish he published more often… Five Stages of Decline: Hubris Born of Success Undisciplined Pursuit of More Denial of Risk and Peril Grasping for Salvation Capitulation to Irreverence or Death “The concept of hubris is defined as […]
Leadership Thought #487 – Business is Much Harder If You Don’t Have Passion
In business (and life), patience may be a virtue, but passion becomes a prerequisite. Being a small business owner is demanding work especially for founders and growth-oriented leaders. You truly must believe in what you are doing to overcome the many obstacles that inevitably appear on your path along the way. Most people wouldn’t even […]
Leadership Thought #477 – Eight Mistakes Leaders Make That Get Them In Trouble
Mistakes are a part of life. As the saying goes, “sometimes we are our own worst enemy.” I’ve seen many good leaders travel down a “rat trap” of their own making. Often this is done with the best of intentions, but the results usually have nothing to do with the original intention behind them. The […]
Leadership Thought #377 – Put Yourself Out There
When you opt to assume a leadership role you need to put yourself out there. Like it or not, you job requires ongoing personal and professional development under the gaze of various levels of public scrutiny. Most people shy away from the spotlight but leaders don’t have that choice. You need become comfortable with being uncomfortable. The good news is that courage is often rewarded in life. It’s probably why you have your leadership role in the first place.
Leadership Thought #359 – Believe in Yourself
You have to believe in what it is you are doing before you can fully believe in yourself. Life is a constant search for meaning and understanding. The tragedy of many people’s lives is that they are unwilling to put themselves out there because they won’t put forth the required effort, are afraid of public scrutiny and lack the courage of their convictions. Being the hero of your own life isn’t easy.
Leadership Thought #335 – Navigating A Seasonal Business
Business is hard enough with encumbering it with seasonality issues. I’ve seen many talented and hard working small business owners struggle under the weight of non-seasonal business volume. It’s hard to staff properly, keep good people and manage your cash properly. If you’re not careful it can begin to feel like a “feast or famine” situation which over the years can start to wear you down. Of course there are many people who manage to navigate the “ups and downs” properly, but they are usually pretty disciplined about their business leadership actions. If you are in a seasonal business environment, I encourage you to consider the following:
Leadership Thought #290 – 15 Easy Things You Can Do to Improve as a Leader
Growth and improvement as a leader doesn’t always involve heavy lifting or hard work. Here are 15 relatively easy things you can do right away to improve your performance and results
Leadership Thought #254 – Don’t Be Like Everyone Else; Be Different
Bottom line is that to be successful in business you need still to be willing to take risk and make strategic investments. Simply following and succumbing to market norms is for losers. Industries and markets are often too slow to react to significant events/trends and take far too long to recover. Business rewards those leaders who are proactive about their destiny and make the conscious decision to lead rather than follow. Be different, it pays off in the long run.
Leadership Thought #238 – It’s Okay To Say, “I Don’t Know”
I see people get themselves in trouble all the time by be unwilling to admit they don’t know something. At minimum, they make their lives harder than it has to be. They also make things more challenging for the people around them because someone usually has to pick up after them or cover up the mistake. Politicians are notorious for speaking confidently about things they know very little about (have you watched any of the recent debates). Rather than look uninformed or stupid they prefer to spin the truth or some version of it. Why we continue to reward this behavior in the voting booth is beyond my comprehension.
Leadership Thought #199 – Encourage Constructive Feedback
Many leaders often have a hard time getting real honest feedback about their performance. There are many reasons for this, but fear is usually the primary obstacle. Most people have a hard time commenting critically to others who have the ability to directly influence their work situation.
Daily Leadership Thought #187 – Decisions Have Consequences
There seems to be a dearth of good strong corporate values these days (and basic common sense). While the objective of any business should be to make a good profit, it should also be to build long term sustaining economic value that accurately reflects the risks inherent in their internal and external environments. The best way to navigate these risks is to have a strong sense of who you are and what you will and will not do.