Excuses

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11 Oct, 2011

It’s the Culture, Stupid!

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:52+00:00 October 11th, 2011|Accountability, Business Growth, Business Strategy, Corporate Culture, Innovation, Leadership, Results|

What separates the marketplace heroes in every industry from the has-beens and wanna-bes? It can’t be just products, services, or price. Your competitors don’t hire all geniuses and leave you with the dunces. Their computer systems, compensation, and operational processes are not dramatically better than yours. When they discuss strategy, the words on their flip charts are not significantly more insightful than yours. The difference is an intangible. It is a culture where every person at every level is focused on and committed to delivering results that are critical for success.

5 Oct, 2011

Heeding Wisdom – A Guest Blog from Mark Sanborn

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:52+00:00 October 5th, 2011|Accountability, Book Reviews, Business Strategy, Leadership, Personal Development|

Remember the definition of insanity: Doing what you have always done and expecting to get different results? That truth has never been more relevant than today, and yet we are all guilty of failing to heed a piece of wisdom that would help us deliver amazing results. Mark Sanborn has written an excellent new book titled Up, Down, or Sideways. In it, he devotes a chapter to what prevents us from doing what needs to be done to achieve results. I asked him to share his key observations in this this blog.

30 Sep, 2011

Want Growth? Part IV: Try Some Confidence

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:53+00:00 September 30th, 2011|Business Growth, Business Strategy, Government & Politics, Leadership, Personal Development|

The numbers are in, and people lack confidence. Not all people, but enough of them to slow consumer spending and business investment. Lack of confidence changes behavior. Confident consumers spend more money because they believe the future will be positive. Confident sales people make more sales because they trust their ability and the value of their product. Confident companies invest in innovation, talent development, and new equipment because they believe that they will be rewarded for their investment.

22 Sep, 2011

Want Growth? Part III: Raise the Talent Level

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:53+00:00 September 22nd, 2011|Business Growth, Business Strategy, Government & Politics, Leadership, Personal Development|

Your value in the marketplace is in direct proportion to the importance and complexity of the problems you can solve and solutions you can provide to your customers. Put another way, you can’t earn a brain surgeon’s salary with a talent level that qualifies you to be a convenience store clerk.

6 Sep, 2011

Want Growth? Part I: Start With Trust

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:53+00:00 September 6th, 2011|Business Growth, Business Strategy, Government & Politics, Integrity & Ethics, Leadership, Personal Development|

The U.S. economy is in a self-fulfilling death spiral propelled by mistrust. There is a good chance that the same thing can be said of your industry, your employer, and your career. Growth requires investment, and that requires confidence. You can’t cut your way to sustainable growth. When trust is absent, people naturally protect their immediate self-interest. This will occur even if it leads to their long-term individual and collective undoing.

23 Aug, 2011

Town Halls & Buses & Fairs … Oh My!

By | 2014-10-19T22:34:51+00:00 August 23rd, 2011|Accountability, Business Strategy, Corporate Culture, Government & Politics, Integrity & Ethics, Leadership, Personal Development|

Someone recently asked me why I use so many examples from political leaders when discussing effective leadership. Isn’t it obvious? Every week elected leaders and candidates give us something that is simply too good to ignore. This week’s example is the brou ha ha over President Obama’s bus trip through the heartland. In case you missed it, a number of people were upset that the President left his “real job” in Washington to ride through the middle of the U.S. on a new tricked out bus while conducting town hall meetings and visiting the Fair. To the President’s detractors, this was a blatantly political act designed to take the focus off of the two leading Republican presidential candidates, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Governor Rick Perry. Bachmann and Perry were also taking time away from their “real jobs” to ride through America’s heartland on tricked out buses attending town hall meetings and Fairs. The only apparent difference is that they were asking people to give them a new job while on the clock at their current job while the President was accused of asking people if he could keep his current job.

17 Aug, 2011

Let’s Be Honest About Dishonesty

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:53+00:00 August 17th, 2011|Accountability, Business Growth, Business Strategy, Corporate Culture, Integrity & Ethics, Leadership, Personal Development|

Dishonesty is not new, but let’s be honest—our society has raised the rationalization of dishonesty to an art form. When it comes to the truth, we embellish, expand, enrich, soften, shave, stretch, and withhold. We misspeak, pretend, bend, and improve. We are guilty of mistakes, misjudgment, and truthful hyperbole. We exaggerate, spin, filter, and inflate. However, we rarely—or perhaps even never—believe that we are guilty of dishonesty.

17 Aug, 2011

Leadership & The Tea Party

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:53+00:00 August 17th, 2011|Accountability, Government & Politics, Integrity & Ethics, Leadership, Personal Development|

What’s not to like? Millions of like-minded people promoting limited federal government, individual freedoms, personal responsibility, free markets, and a return of political power to the states and the people. How could anyone argue that the Tea Party is a bad thing? Oh wait! That can’t be right. The Tea Party is actually millions of small-minded people who engage in racist behaviors and want to take away the power of the federal government to set policy and help society by cutting the funding to every social program that they don’t like. So which is it? The answer is, “It depends on your point of view.”

8 Aug, 2011

Why Geithner Must Go

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:54+00:00 August 8th, 2011|Accountability, Business Strategy, Government & Politics, Integrity & Ethics, Leadership, Results|

Timothy Geithner must go for two reasons: (1) he’s expendable: and (2) he has become a distraction. Geithner didn’t vote on a single debt proposal, and yet he played a significant role in the crisis. This is what happens when coaches are fired. The coach isn’t on the field making the plays, and you would think that players would be committed enough to play hard for the common good. But when you can’t fire the team, you often fire the coach. You can’t fire an elected official, and the public and financial markets want someone held accountable. It is unfortunate and perhaps even a little unfair. Sorry Tim, you need to go.

3 Aug, 2011

The Love of Humanity

By | 2014-10-19T22:37:48+00:00 August 3rd, 2011|Integrity & Ethics, Leadership, Personal Development|

When I think of a “philanthropist,” I see someone like Bono, Oprah, or Bill Gates. I imagine that they wake up in the morning thinking about opportunities to influence the world for their cause. I, on the other hand, have a mortgage. I would like to spend my day tackling huge social and economic problems, but I have holes in my calendar that must be filled to pay my bills.

4 Jul, 2011

The Return of Responsibility

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:54+00:00 July 4th, 2011|Accountability, Government & Politics, Integrity & Ethics, Leadership, Personal Development, Results|

The trials of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and disgraced self-help guru James Arthur Ray both ended in guilty verdicts. Blagojevich was found guilty on 17 of 20 counts of corruption. Ray was found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide from deaths in a sweat lodge ceremony. And though some would argue that the verdicts in both cases were never in doubt, the results could have gone either way. Here are three lessons leaders can learn from these two seemingly unrelated cases:

21 Jun, 2011

Milestones & Goals

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:54+00:00 June 21st, 2011|Accountability, Business Strategy, Corporate Culture, Leadership, Personal Development, Results|

Seventeen days can make a tremendous difference. The date was May 25, 2011. The Dallas Mavericks became the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference Champions for only the second time in its thirty-one year history. The 17,000-plus fans were anxious for a celebration. The team held up the trophy, smiled, posed for the obligatory photo-op, and then exited the arena – leaving ESPN reporter Doris Burke looking for someone to interview.

25 May, 2011

How Important Are Your Values? What Is Your Number 2?

By | 2011-05-25T18:31:34+00:00 May 25th, 2011|Accountability, Business Growth, Business Strategy, Corporate Culture, Integrity & Ethics, Leadership, Performance Improvement, Personal Development, Results|

Values – every company hangs them on the wall and distributes them on wallet cards. It is the same for individuals. Ask ten of your friends to list their values, and at least eighty percent will use words like respect, integrity, and honesty. So how important are your values? Will you sacrifice them for the results and outcomes you desire? Are they so important that you would lay down your life – figuratively or literally – to protect them?

27 Apr, 2011

Are You in an Accountability Crisis?

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:59+00:00 April 27th, 2011|Accountability, Business Growth, Business Strategy, Corporate Culture, Leadership, Performance Improvement, Personal Development, Results|

There are a lot of factors that could contribute to your lack of results – time, talent, resources – but for most of us the difference between excellence and mediocrity comes down to accountability. Accountability requires courage: Courage to tell and value the truth. Courage to remain keenly focused on results that matter, and courage to be relentless and unwavering as we look at contribution and behavior. The failure to stem a crisis of accountability places us on the path to mediocrity and worse – irrelevance.