Fortune Favors the Offensive: 5 Principles of speed and aggression from history’s greatest generals

One of the great regrets of my life is not having served in the military. I've become painfully aware of my lack of service since moving to the D.C. area, where it feels like everyone is either active duty or retired military or a "defense contractor" or an FBI/Secret Service agent. They're all way way … Continue reading Fortune Favors the Offensive: 5 Principles of speed and aggression from history’s greatest generals

Strategy: Cortez the Killer

In 1519 Hernán Cortés the Conquistador led a flotilla of 11 ships to the eastern shores of Mexico against the direct orders of his superiors. You see, power and hubris had driven Cortés mad, and whether he realized it or not (everyone else did), his mutinous power quest, fueled by bloodlust, was indeed insane. Cortés' fleet would … Continue reading Strategy: Cortez the Killer

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

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

Of Personal Strategies, Deliberate and Emergent

How did I get to where I am now? To what extent can I plan the future of my career, or my life? These are some questions I asked myself this week after reading this profile on Clayton Christensen in the New Yorker. Christensen is a Harvard Business School professor who became famous as a … Continue reading Of Personal Strategies, Deliberate and Emergent

Management Skills: Be Strategic

In three weeks I'll be finished with my last MBA class, the strategy capstone. I never thought of strategy as something limited upper management. Sure, big decisions are made in the big offices, but I always felt I could affect the big company through little actions in my part of the organization. Strategy begins with … Continue reading Management Skills: Be Strategic