You are what you learn. As a business advisor who has worked with hundreds of businesses over the past 25 years, from startups and community-based nonprofits to large established organizations, I’ve observed patterns of behavior and thought that are recurring roadblocks for many leaders. After countless meetings, strategy sessions, and heart-to-heart discussions, here are the […]
Words Matter In many workplaces, the aim is clear communication, but achieving it is another ballgame. We might think that industry terms or company lingo are understood by everyone. However, even a straightforward word like “accountability” can take on different meanings depending on an individual’s position or background. For a team leader, it could mean […]
As a business owner, you’ve likely heard the saying, “The buck stops here.” This phrase, popularized by President Harry S. Truman, encapsulates the fundamental essence of business leadership – the responsibility to make the tough calls. However, this responsibility goes far beyond your immediate team or your traditional products and services. It reaches out […]
Executive coaching is a powerful tool that can help leaders and executives develop their skills, overcome challenges, and achieve their goals. However, like any investment, there are costs associated with coaching. In this blog post, we’ll explore the costs of executive coaching and the expected return on investment. Costs of Executive Coaching The cost of […]
It has certainly been an interesting time to be a in a business leadership position these last few years. Every time you thought you had something figured out a new challenge arose. It was hard enough dealing with COVID-19 then we had to deal with a broken employer-employee model. In addition, economic conditions have been […]
I am asked all the time if there is a simple CEO success formula that every leader should follow. I believe there is and unfortunately few leaders have the discipline and commitment to consistently stick to it. The first thing you must clearly understand and mange to is your CEO role. Far too many leaders […]
The struggle is part of the journey. I’ve always been a fan of the John Adams quote, “People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity.” Collectively and individually, we learn little about ourselves when things are going well. In fact, we tend to take our success for granted. The more comfort and […]
Time is short and markets are uncertain. As a leader, the time to act is now. Of course, you need to be thinking about the long-term and how your industry is changing. You also need to be building the foundation and pushing for these changes now. Every leader should constantly be asking themselves, “What is […]
Making the leap from entrepreneur to CEO isn’t always an easy journey. I’ve seen many people struggle with this transition. The ability to lead is not something you are born with; it is something you must constantly cultivate. And, the more success you have, the more leadership will be required. It is one thing to […]
We need leaders to reclaim the positive leadership narrative and model responsible behavior. We need leaders in charge who genuinely care about other people and want to make the world a better place.
By Glen Calderon In January 2014, McKinsey & Company conducted a study that examines the 4 main reasons why leadership development programs fail: 1. Not allowing for context. Simply, leadership development training is unique. One size does not fit all regardless of a homogenous company, management or culture. An organization should ask why do we […]
Regrettably, I am in a profession where there are minimal barriers to entry and just about anyone (within reason) can claim to do what I do. Just about every week, I meet another person who is billing themselves as a business coach or executive coach and charging a considerable amount of money for something they have no business doing in the first place. More often than not, it is someone who has been downsized from an existing position or exiting a failed business endeavor, an individual who has hit a career brick wall themselves, an academic with free time on his/her hands, an independent consultant looking to supplement their income, or a psychotherapist who has figured out they can charge more money if they change the title of what they do. I shutter sometimes when I think about the bad advice which is regularly disseminated to executives and business owner by often well-intentioned, but under-skilled or poorly trained business coaches. Here are a few questions I recommend you ask before working with someone in this capacity:
The right technology can make an enormous difference, but it needs to be put in the proper perspective. I remember when cell phones were a bit of a novelty but then became a regular everyday tool. It was as if the world couldn’t have existed without them (but it did). Many technological tools have arrived […]
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 is not for the faint of heart. It certainly has its ups and downs and can test anyone’s emotional fortitude. However, this is the very reason so few people can do it well. If you take every small slight and failure personally, the job will eat you alive. Whenever you assume a position of responsibility, you automatically also assume a roster of critics and malcontents who aren’t always aligned with your leadership vision. Since you can’t realistically fire everyone who disagrees with you (nor is this advisable), then you need to figure out other ways to handle the pressures and scrutiny.
I find that one of the most recognizable traits of an effective leader is that they bring positive energy to a room. You can feel it the moment they walk through the door. I have been in banquet halls far from the entrance and felt the presence of certain people as they arrived. It’s almost as if a small electrical jolt works its way through the crowd. While most of us aren’t blessed with this type of “rock star” aura, we can certainly notice and work on the effect we have on others. You are either adding energy to the group dynamic or diminishing it. It really is this simple. Leaders must be a source of consistent positive energy if they want to get the most of out of their people.
Far too many organizations are dependent upon far too few people to be successful. I often ask my clients, “What happens to your business if something happens to you?” The answers more often than mot are less than satisfactory. One of the key jobs of a leader is to mitigate risk and one of the biggest risks you have in any company is people risk – starting at the top. It may feed your ego to be critically important to your company but it is no way to build an enduring successful organization.
We all get in our way sometimes and leaders are no different. Just because we know we shouldn’t do something doesn’t always mean we won’t do it. However, not all mistakes are created equal. There are fifteen things a leader should strive never to do:
Leaders should be in a constant learning mode. Once you think you know it all give up the reigns of power because you will become detrimental to your organization. While some basic fundamental beliefs may remain true regardless of the circumstances, most of what takes place in business is in a constant state of flux. Your goal should be to stay ahead of the change curve not fall behind it. One way to do this is to keep asking questions and seeking answers. You can never be smart enough.
It’s very important to celebrate your accomplishments! It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day to day aspects of running an organization and forget why you are working so hard in the first place. Being in business can be a bumpy ride especially these past few years. However, if you’ve been in business for any prolonged period of time you must be doing something right. And, it’s important to recognize those events, milestones and people who helped you get here and increase your likelihood of continued success in the future.
It is surprising and frustrating how many business leaders simply make it up as they go along. Entrepreneurs typically start with a core idea and then if they are lucky have some initial success which requires them to actually build a business delivery model. Most of them then get bogged down in the day to day operation and fulfilling their product/service promise to their customers. Since most companies typically start out undercapitalized and growth eats cash, they also get caught up in basic financial issues which can be a major leadership distraction. Next thing they know they have a company on their hands and employees who expect to have a boss with a clue about the future and a strategic plan of action. It can all be very challenging and easy to fall into a survival rather than success mode.