Thinking About Your Leadership Shadow

I attended a meeting today where an executive urged us to think about our "leadership shadow." It's a neat phrase. Got me thinking. This exec went on and asked us to think about all of the people us business managers are responsible for. There are direct reports, of course, and then the direct reports of … Continue reading Thinking About Your Leadership Shadow

Management Skills: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Manager’

Manager is a just a made up word. Supposedly a manager is a person who controls a portion of a business, but you and I know this is silly, and not a real thing. Any control this person has is an illusion. People don't act because the person called their manager told them to. People … Continue reading Management Skills: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Manager’

The Temptation of Waste and The Fall of Organizations

The greatest trick Waste ever pulled was convincing the Organization it didn't exist. Waste does not look like an enemy, it appears as a friend-in-need. Waste is the extra team member that can lighten the load. Waste is just one more meeting, spreadsheet, or status report that makes bosses feel good. Waste gives us a … Continue reading The Temptation of Waste and The Fall of Organizations

Profit and Loss: My definition of a business and the role of leaders

"Business" is just a made up word for a group of people who decide to work together towards a common goal that they feel will help them achieve their own personal goals. This collective pursuit is only possible if the common goal of this group produces some product or service that meets the collective and … Continue reading Profit and Loss: My definition of a business and the role of leaders

Born Lucky: Playing Warren Buffett’s Ovarian Lottery

Warren Buffett says he was born lucky. Being born in America, in the 1930s, without having to overcome barriers of race or gender, combined with the power of compound interest, allowed Buffett to amass one of the greatest personal fortunes in the history of mankind (which will be almost entirely given to philanthropy). As Buffett … Continue reading Born Lucky: Playing Warren Buffett’s Ovarian Lottery

Management Skills: Praise and Positive Feedback

The other day I read this Wall Street Journal article called "Smarter Ways to Discipline Children." The article advocates the parent management strategy outlined by Dr. Alan E. Kazdin in his famous book The Kazdin Method. Basically the doctors and researchers discussed in the article have found that the only effective way to get desirable … Continue reading Management Skills: Praise and Positive Feedback

Career Survivalism: A guide to surviving an economic apocalypse

None of the unemployed people I have met over the past few years expected to be unemployed. They didn't think their company would ever go out of business or their boss would actually fire them or the new job they had lined up would fall through after they already burned their bridge behind them. Some … Continue reading Career Survivalism: A guide to surviving an economic apocalypse

Having Kids Won’t Kill Your Career, But Seeking Work/Life Balance Might

Kids are generally thought of as little career killers for their parents. I can understand why. Kids take up a lot of a parent's time with their need for attention and supervision, and time is a manager's most valuable and scarcest resource. Kids can also be unpredictable and cause their mom or dad to miss … Continue reading Having Kids Won’t Kill Your Career, But Seeking Work/Life Balance Might

Expecting Perfection is an Imperfect Strategy

I have a tendency to judge others against a perfect version of themselves. I assume people are capable of perfection, and I expect to find everyone virtuously sprinting towards perfection. Expecting perfection from direct reports can be a good habit for a manager. A boss with perfection as a standard can replace a culture of … Continue reading Expecting Perfection is an Imperfect Strategy