You’re Smarter Than You Think

Recently I was talking to a CEO who was sharing about how he is working with his leadership team to think about the “value creation” they make for their customers. For him, value creation means improving his customer’s state of being. He expects his team to meet their customer’s needs and also wants them to go beyond that objective to find new and better ways to think about how their products and services improve their customer’s abilities to serve their customers. One of the best examples of a value creation company is the vacuum cleaning company, Dyson. While no one would deny that they make great vacuums, today they’ve redefined themselves as a company that makes high velocity engines to Read More

The American Dream

I visited the coast of Northern California last week meeting with some prospective clients. One of them invited me to go to a “you-pick-em” strawberry field at a local commercial operation. This fellow, who is now the CEO of a thriving technology company shared some of his background with me in response to my questions related to how he built his successful business. He thought it was best if we started at the beginning. He told me he came from Mexico some 30 years ago crossing the boarder illegally. He did not speak English and had no employment history, so he began where many people in search of the American dream began…at the bottom. His first job was in the Read More

Build A Full Head of Esteem

I am not really surprised that so many leaders question their own value and contribution to their organization. Over 20 years ago, author Pauline Clance wrote about her interviews with highly successful business leaders in which they reported feeling like frauds in their work (imposter syndrome). Despite all evidence to the contrary, these leaders were sure that sooner or later, they would be discovered as fakes and their gig would be up. Self-esteem or the belief that we are competent, capable people is something that we can only give to ourselves. It cannot be bestowed by others (despite their best efforts). Everyone experiences bouts of low self esteem and for leaders it can even be a greater challenge as you Read More

When It’s Okay To Micromanage

Nobody likes to be micromanaged and we usually associate it with an overbearing boss who just likes to stick his nose into everyone’s business. Micro-management, however, does have its rightful place in many workplace situations. Recently I was meeting with a regulatory and compliance officer for a technology firm and she shared about the challenges she faces in influencing her colleagues about the importance of her role. Sure, she can be a pain in the butt, she admitted, but her primary job is to manage and mitigate risk. Cyber hacking, stolen passwords, implanted malware are all real and meaningful dangers for her company and any one of them can sink their on-line business and with it, revenues and reputation. Most Read More

The Balance Challenge

A few months ago, I found the room spinning when I went to get up out of bed. It only lasted 15 seconds or so but after 4 days of it, I thought it best to see my physician. He diagnosed me within a few minutes as having “‘benign paroxysmal positional vertigo,” (it’s always good to see benign in a medical diagnosis.) The treatment is pretty straightforward for this form of vertigo and involved seeing a vestibular physical therapist who manipulated my head to help rebalance the otoconia crystals that sometimes become dislodged and migrate into the inner ear tubes. After 3 treatments with Amy, my PT, I was about 90 % better. To get to the last 10%, Amy, Read More

Two National Days of Independence

We’re in Canada this week with our family traveling between Montreal and Quebec City. Canada and the US celebrate independence during this first week of July with our Northern neighbors commemorating the formation of the Dominion of Canada. In 1867, the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Canada (eventually Ontario and Quebec) came together as a “kingdom in its own right.” Full independence occurred some 60 years later. Given the British lost their US colonies 90 years earlier, it was probably not a particularly good time for the United Kingdom. Traveling about with our family, we can easily see the similarities between our two nations (even in this French favoring Province of Quebec.) People look at us in Read More