At my college commencement ceremony, the speaker reminded us of something – that failure is inevitable.  It happens to everyone.  Everyone has to face it at some point in their life.  But eventually, failure is going to become a part of your success.   Marti Wronski reminded me and the rest of my graduating class that baseball players are considered great if they can bat .300 for a season or more – that means that they fail seven out of every ten times they are at bat.  Failure is going to happen throughout life, and especially throughout careers.   Failure impacts everyone differently, andRead More →

Executive Retreat

“Man is so made that if he is told often enough that he is a fool he believes it. By telling himself so often enough he convinces himself, because when he is alone he carries on an inner dialogue with himself which is important to keep under proper control.” Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)  Leadership integrity is about alignment. Integrity aligns what you know with who you are and what you do. When you lead at your best, the connection between the three aspects of your leadership conveys authenticity. Consistent alignment over time builds trust and credibility. It defines your character. If you have ever taken yourRead More →

Effective leadership requires accurate information. That’s obvious. It seems that most conversations about information have shifted toward complaints about quantity. It’s understandable. Digital engagement often leads to an overwhelming torrent of attention grabbing messages. However, when you sift through your proverbial inbox, you need to sharpen your focus. Are you receiving the right information? The quality of information you receive is critical for your success. When it comes to accurate information, the climb up the corporate ladder can feel like a journey toward isolation. Your destination is an island where impeccable communication is limited. Some have referred to this malady as CEO disease. An acuteRead More →

It’s winter and the weather seems to grab the headlines on a regular basis. Some parts of the country have had more than their share of snow, ice and cold. Harsh weather conditions affect some more than others. Some cities are able to take a couple of feet of snow in stride. In other places, schedules are adjusted at the mere threat of a few flurries. But, whether harsh weather is the norm or rare occurrence, most areas have a similar guiding question. Is it safe to venture out, or is it wise to stay in? Safety is always a concern. Whether real or perceived,Read More →

There will be a lot of talk about decisions today. It’s the morning after Super Bowl XLIX and there’s plenty of talk. If you are into statistics, it might be interesting to determine the percentage of Monday morning quarterbacks and coaches among the millions of viewers who watched the game last night. Listening to all the buzz stirs my thinking about how decisions are evaluated. There’s no shortage of evaluation today. As I listen to the break down of plays, players, coaches, commercials and entertainment this morning, I have distilled a few questions of my own. It all begins with a two-word question.   WhatRead More →

For the next few weeks the media will flood your mind with lists. You can discover the top news stories, the top songs, the biggest winners and losers for the past year. You can learn about the athlete of the year, the most influential person, the man of the year or the woman of the year. It’s a popular way to reflect on the year and categorize some big events. North American culture seems to have a love/hate relationship with lists. You love to guess who will show up on the list. You love to read the list and see if “they” got it right.Read More →

It’s hard to ignore the calendar. Just this morning I heard someone comment, “This year’s almost over.” Whether you say it with a sigh or a sense of expectancy, 2014 is almost in the books. The end of the year is a complicated time. Your mind is getting mixed signals. Frequently, December cranks up busyness on the personal side of life while simultaneously marking a bit of a slow down for many business sectors. No matter what your calendar looks like, don’t miss 3 unique opportunities to sharpen your leadership. People. The holiday season brings a number of opportunities to connect with people. Thousands ofRead More →

You can probably think of a number of occasions when you have been asked a simple question, “What did you learn today?” It begins early in life. You trudged home from a long and arduous day at Kindergarten and your mom popped the question, “What did you learn today?” After a mistake in judgment during the tumultuous teenage years you were confronted with another iteration of the question, “What did you learn from your experience?” It’s a good question that carries forward into your life as a leader. To be sure, the best leaders are lifelong learners. Most leaders scramble to keep up with aRead More →

Not long ago I was planning a short trip. So I did a little homework. I checked Google Maps for the “best” route. As usual, I was given a choice. For this particular trip, I had three options. That’s not unusual for Google Maps. However, for the first time, I was given two routes, differing by 34 miles with the exact same time estimate for travel. Obviously, the longer route provided more time on major roadways and the shorter route included some scenic opportunities. Have you ever tried a “short-cut” that ended badly? It’s Monday and the clock is ticking. The time estimate for yourRead More →

So, what’s your take on Mondays? Maybe you show up humming, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” If you’re too young to know the tune, you might want to check it out. Although we live in a 24/7 world and leadership does wait on a signal from a calendar, Monday remains the moniker for the symbolic beginning of the workweek. As such, it’s a great time for a leadership self-check. How’s your attitude? Did you begin the week with energy or dread? Is the vision forecast clear, partly cloudy or are you straining to see through a dense fog? A little variety inRead More →