Turn Up The Heat

In our new book, Retooling Leadership Development, Michael Couch and I write about the importance of leaders taking on hard challenges as a way to learn and grow. The challenges must have what we call “developmental heat.” They can’t be easy, and they have to create some adversity that forces the leader to think about things differently and to try out new behaviors. Recently I was working with a newly promoted division leader who was focused on being the lead on a key project implementation. He had all the plans and team members aligned but then found out that there was a core disagreement at the between 2 C-Suite leaders about the best way to proceed on the project…or to Read More

Running the Family Business

My first foray into a family run business happened early in my life when I use to help out my mom and dad at their small retail paint store. I greeted customers, helped them find the right kind of paint and even got to work with the paint shaking machine, which was the most fun. There was something satisfying but challenging about running a family business, but it was obviously not in my parent’s genes as they gave it up for successful corporate careers. I’ve been working with a number of family businesses lately and while they face the challenges of every business, being a family concern adds an additional layer of complexity and enjoyment. There is no leaving work Read More

The Skill of Letting Go

Leaders must be good at self-management. It is one of the themes my colleague Mike Couch and I discuss in our upcoming book, Retooling Leadership Development. One area of the “self-management” refrain related to how leaders deal with the daily tsunami of emails that come across their desk. We find that some leaders try to stay on top of them on “as they come in basis,” some on a “3X a day basis,” and some on a “whenever they can get to them basis.” I was working with a leader last week who told me that he had over 5000 emails going back several years and was not sure what to do about them. He frequently obsessed about them, sometimes Read More