Keep an Open Mind

Keep an open mind but not so open that your brain falls out. As part of a recent talk around creating a culture of innovation, I included this quote which is commonly attributed to physicist Richard Feynman. After the talk, a reporter asked me for the source of the quote to use in an article….

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Great Leaders Think Simply

Those of us who are privileged to be leaders understand how difficult it is to lead people. Not assets, not resources. People. Early in my career, I spent a lot of time thinking about what it meant to be a leader. I talked to more seasoned leaders, I read books on management theory, and –…

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Blue Juice, Tarmac, and Other Air Travel Slang

We’re still sitting on the tarmac… Given how much I travel, I’ve used that phrase countless times over the last several years but never thought much about the word tarmac. It turns out it’s short for tarmacadam, or tar-penetration macadam. Macadam is named for John Loudon McAdam who invented an effective and economical road construction method…

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The Science of Social Selling

Social selling is one of the hottest buzzwords in the technology market. Unfortunately, social selling is usually misunderstood as navigating the sales process using only tools like Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook. While technology can help, social selling is about building stronger relationships with potential buyers, based on an authentic sense of empathy and a deep…

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An Aerospace Engineer’s Guide to Winning Tennis

Simon “Si” Ramo is a remarkable person. Ramo is a world-renowned scientist and engineer. He was the chief architect of the US intercontinental ballistic missile system. He was the ‘R’ in TRW, the multibillion-dollar aerospace company now part of Northrop Grumman. And last year, at the age of 100, he became the oldest person to be…

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Vision vs. Mission

“Your mission, should you choose to accept it.” It’s been nearly 25 years but I still vividly remember those words from the television show Mission Impossible. At the time, I didn’t realize it was a remake of the original show which aired 25 years before that. I also didn’t realize the two series might have…

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It’s Hard To Ask Good Questions

It’s amazingly hard to ask good questions. I’ve been in investigative mode over the last month; trying to understand the root cause of a performance issue and also designing a potential new business model. Both projects mean I’ve had to ask a lot of questions. And they also mean I have had to remind myself…

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Three Ways that Simplicity Pays

Remember ‘keep it simple, stupid’? Even though it has been a popular mantra since 1960, simplicity is a hot topic these days. In my previous blog, Is Complex Better than Complicated?, I wrote about two Zen of Python’s 20 design principles: Simple is better than complex. Complex is better than complicated. Ultimately, simple is what we are…

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