Ten Things Business Leaders Need to Do in 2023

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 […]

A Simple Formula for CEO Success

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 2.0

  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 […]

Eight Things You Can Do as a Leader to Make an Impact Right Now

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 […]

10 Tips To Help You Become A CEO

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 […]

What Is Leadership Responsibility?

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.

Why Do Leadership Development Programs Fail?

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 […]

Leadership Thought #458 – Questions To Ask Your Potential Executive Coach

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:

Leadership Thought #478 – When Technology Tools Can Become A Liability

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 […]

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 #463 – You Need To Have Thick Skin To Lead Others

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.

Leadership Thought #453 – Are You Bringing Positive Energy?

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.

Leadership Thought #385 – The Importance of Succession Planning

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.

Leadership Thought #362 – Never Stop Learning

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.

Leadership Thought #358 – Celebrate Your Successes!

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.

Leadership Thought #347 – You Must Have a Vision of 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.

Leadership Thought #346 – Are You Listening?

Most people I know aren’t good listeners. They are more focused on what they think and what they have to say about something rather than actually listening to what’s being said. I have a colleague who states that as a leader you need to “listen until it hurts” and I completely agree with him. It’s basic human nature that the level of satisfaction any of us have with a given conversation is directly related to how well we feel the other party was actually listening to what we had to say. Except when we are in a classroom no one actually enjoys being lectured to or talked at.

Leadership Thought #345 – Focus on What You Do Well

Focus on what you do well and then delegate everything else you possibly can. Many leaders spend far too much time on things they aren’t good at. Leadership is about effectively growing, leveraging and deploying assets. If the top personnel resource in the company is being used inefficiently or ineffectively what does that say about the organization as a whole? Time is finite and once it is wasted it is gone.

Leadership Thought #340 – Are You Getting Better?

In business (and life) you are either growing and getting better or going in the opposite direction. Just like your muscles, your brain and natural abilities will atrophy if they don’t get exercise. You can’t stand still and expect progress. I see far too many people who “let up” at the very time they need to “push the envelope” and challenge themselves to do better. It’s also sad when a leader stays on too long and becomes more interested in ego, power and position than effectively navigating change and facilitating progress.

Leadership Thought #338 – Never Allow Yourself to Get Bullied

Never allow yourself to get bullied in business or life. It was true on the playground when we were kids and it is true as an adult in your business dealings. I make it a rule to never to business with anyone I perceive doesn’t have my best interest at heart. Any dealing that is completely one-sided is not a good business deal but extortion. The good news is that once you survive a bad economy, it becomes pretty evident who the worst transgressors are. I sincerely hope that they end being held to account for their actions.