Leadership Thought #466 – Do You Have A Plan?

Without a plan your business is a like a tumbleweed blowing in the wind. You don’t know where it will end up and the course it takes to get there is subject to the whims of other forces. Unfocused effort only ever leads to frustration, miscommunication, wasted effort, poor financial decision making, unnecessary stress and less than optimal results.

Leadership Thought #428 – There Will Always Be Naysayers; Move Forward Anyway!

If I had a $100 for every time sometime told me something couldn’t be done by me or others, I’d be a rich man at this point in my life. The cold reality of life is that most people are followers and more comfortable with the status quo than the prospect of changing anything. There is also a big difference between rhetoric and action. I’d be equally wealthy if I had a $100 for everyone I met who talked a good game but then failed to follow-up with any real action. It seems as if a majority of people are content to sit on the sidelines of the game that is their own life and leave their fate to the actions of others and then complain about it. Like most fans, people have strong opinions about what should or should not be happening, but then they don’t have the courage, talent or fortitude to play the game themselves. It is a vicious circle and misery does love company.

Leadership Thought #427 – Weakness Is Infectious (and Dangerous)

At the risk of sounding like an old codger (which I am not), I can’t believe how worked up people get up over common issues these days. It’s almost as if any level of adversity is intolerable. You would have thought the end the world was near the way everyone especially the media reacted to the recent winter storm. We were bombarded with worst case scenarios and impending doom. People raced to stores to stock up just in case they lost power for a few days. My goodness, can’t we handle a few days of discomfort if required? As a friend said yesterday, “Why the huge interest in toilet paper, can families really not survive a few days without TP?” Are they that close to the edge of hygienic catastrophe? I’ve seen it happen in families, businesses, schools, and communities: if you are not careful, weakness and worry is infectious. Like all significant change, it all starts with small symbolic gestures and begins to gain momentum elsewhere.

Leadership Thought #398 – You Need To Run The Race To Win It

There is a great song by the band Psychedelic Furs called “Love My Way.” One of the lines goes, “you can never win or lose if you don’t run the race…” Grammatical problems aside, it is a great thought. One of the things I admire most about Olympic athletes is that they are committed to being the best in the world at something and then go about doing the hard work to make it happen. They literally run the race or compete in the event that will define their athletic existence. Most of us prefer to stay on the sidelines and watch others excel why we rationalize our own inability to do the same thing in our own lives. So many people dream big but act small.

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 #252 – Know When To Move On

Giving up on an idea isn’t failure. It can be basic common sense. Both time and resources are finite. If you spend them on something that has little chance of working out, then for all intensive purposes you are wasting your efforts. This doesn’t mean you give up on the idea of taking risks or pursuing long shots, but it does mean you do so carefully with your eyes wide open and a willingness to pull the plug if and when needed.

Leadership Thought #248 – Don’t Talk Yourself Out of Success

More often than not, the biggest barrier to our success is ourself. I’ve noticed that people can talk themselves out of just about anything. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes it is not. When it comes to limiting your perspective on what’s possible for you in terms of your work life I find this to usually be a bad thing. Happiness and self-fulfillment in your career shouldn’t be viewed as optional. The history of the business landscape is full of ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things.

Daily Leadership Thought #195 – Take Responsibility For Your Own Success

Unless you win the lottery or are born into it, wealth doesn’t just land in your lap. Passively pursuing success never works. Far too many people are waiting for their ship to come in and they haven’t even chartered a boat yet. You have to create the conditions for success for it to happen. And, it all starts with YOU and your willingness to believe in and bet on yourself.

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.

Daily Leadership Thought #127 – Learn From Your Mistakes

All successful people that I know learn from their mistakes. In fact, it is often a big mistake or two that ends up being a pivotal point in their career. If you aren’t making mistakes then you aren’t taking enough risks or pushing yourself hard enough to get a true understanding of your potential.

Daily Leadership Thought #111 – Diversify Your Product/Service/Market Risk

We’ve all heard the saying that “…you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The same thing could be said about betting everything on one major product/service line or depending too much on a small group of clients. Just as diversification is essential to managing financial investment risk, business leaders need to hedge their bets and manage their financial vulnerabilities.

Daily Leadership Thought #108 – Why I Like Entrepreneurs

I’ve always enjoyed the company of fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners. It is inherent in their nature to be risk takers and problem solvers. They are rarely satisfied with the status quo and are regularly looking for new and better ways to do things.

Daily Leadership Thought #85 – Redundancy Is Important

A sign of a mediocre leader or manager is an unwillingness to let go of responsibilities and trust that others will get the job done as good as or better than they can. These individuals feels it is what they know and control that makes them important and ultimately irreplaceable.

Daily Leadership Thought #52 – Be Courageous

In life most people quit before they reach the summit. They find themselves on the brink of achieving everything they’ve worked for but give up because they just don’t have the personal resolve to see it through. Achieving any significant level of success is usually hard work and often tests your physical and emotional capacities.