Recently, I was sitting in a restaurant with a group of friends. One of my friends left his reading glasses in his car. When he strained in a desperate attempt to read themenu, I smiled and offered my glasses. Apparently, his desire to save a trip to the car was sufficient motivation to give them a try. My prescription was less precise than he expected. After a little effort, he was able to make out the words and order his meal. Problem solved. There was another solution. I could have read the menu to him and offered some suggestions. After all, I could see theRead More →

Last weekend I made a trip to the local auto parts store and picked up some wiper blades. I replaced the wiper blades on a beautiful sunny day. There was no threat of rain in the forecast. It was perfect day to replace them. The next time it rains I’ll be glad I did. The perfect time to prepare for leadership storms is before they happen. Practice impeccable communication Don’t wait for a conflict. Begin speaking with clarity today. Clarify your commitments, expectations and concerns. It takes practice. Delivering and receiving impeccable communication is a skill that is learned through repetition and reciprocity. The importanceRead More →

While serving in one of my first leadership assignments, I learned some valuable lessons about what it means to inspire others. I was in my twenties when I met a very special leadership mentor. She was old enough to be my grandmother. She was quite a warrior and I watched her battle. My time with her was brief. But, the lessons she taught me and her inspiration endures. From the time I met her until I watched her transition from this life to the next, I never considered how her courage would affect my life. I carry three enduring lessons about inspiration from her influence.Read More →

As Spring moves toward Summer, many students are ready to put on caps and gowns, listen to commencement speeches, and begin a new journey. It’s a season of change. Some emerging scholars have already accepted new positions and new assignments. Others are riding a wave of momentum into additional education. Most graduates have learned to steady themselves and expect the ubiquitous questions. At the top of the list of questions is the persistent inquiry, “What are you going to do after graduation?” It is a question that blends two stalwart leadership themes. Do you have a strategic plan for the next stage of your life?Read More →

Tom Rosson, Ph.D The other night, my daughter and I watched TV and came across a movie starring Jack Lemmon and James Garner (My Fellow Americans) as feuding ex-presidents who spend most of the movie trying to clear their name from a bribery scheme and murder for which they are being framed. In reality the crimes lead to the sitting president (played by Dan Aykroyd). When the two ex-presidents have figured out who is behind the crime but still lack any documented evidence, Jack Lemmon exclaims, “We have to inform the American people?” “Why will the American people believe us?” Garner asks. Lemmon answers, “Because we’reRead More →

Frequently, the entrepreneurial spirit is admired and praised. It is a deep stirring within to dream and pursue. If you are an entrepreneur or if you have spent any time with one, you know what it’s like to lift your eyes and gaze toward the horizon and dream. The recipe for an entrepreneur calls for creativity, innovation, courage and enthusiastic expectation of a better tomorrow. That’s the entrepreneurial spirit. So, what’s an Intrapreneurial spirit? Jacob Morgan is a futuristic that enjoys painting a picture of tomorrow’s organizations. According to Morgan, it’s one of the guiding principles for effective work in the days to come. InRead More →

There’s an old proverb that states, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” That’s an encouraging thought. It provides some hope for you if you are experiencing bitter cold or heavy snowfall. Better days lie ahead. Although the proverb can lift your spirits on a cold March day, it doesn’t hold true for “marching” into the boardroom. Conflict can become synonymous with stormy weather and entering into conflict like a lion does not always portend a brighter future. Rather than roaring, take a few cues from the end of March. Here are three keys for navigating conflict. First, remind yourselfRead More →

Authenticity has become something of a buzzword in leadership circles. Implications and explanations of leadership authenticity abound. Not long ago, I heard a leader describe the culture of his organization to a newcomer in simple terms. He said, “We keep it real around here!” That’s a pretty good opening line. After giving it some thought, I decided to unpack the statement a little. It turns out, there are few valuable lessons that lead the way for deeper discussions about how to develop greater authenticity. The “we” in authenticity Most discussions about leadership authenticity begin with the individual leader. That’s an appropriate focus. There is noRead More →

This week will provide many reminders of the importance of thanksgiving. It’s hard to quantify the value of gratitude, but among the virtues of leadership, it may be the greatest. Making thanksgiving a consistent part of your leadership will bring out your best qualities, refine the quality of your influence on others and brighten your perspective. Thanksgiving is the ultimate “self-leadership” virtue. Have you recognized how difficult it is to be grateful and arrogant at the same time? Have you ever tried to be thankful and selfish? If you accept the value of being a part of something bigger than yourself, cultivate your appreciation forRead More →

The day has just begun and many messages compete for your time. Honestly, it’s so easy to get knocked off course. There are times that a subtle deviation turns into a U-turn. It’s a two-fold challenge. First, a clear sense of direction is more important than ever. Second, you have to refine your ability to respond to distractions and unexpected challenges. Navigation is a critical leadership skill. It is the ability to stay on course and find your way. How do you find your way? Consider the wisdom of this old French Proverb: If you are going out to sea, you better have a star.Read More →