Archive | Leadership

Beware of the Leopard Lessons

In the book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, there’s a vignette called ‘Beware of the Leopard’ which explains why it’s critical to provide convenient access to important information. The vignette is a useful way to explain information asymmetry, in which one person has relevant information not known by or available to the other person. Here’s…

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Prepare Three Envelopes Is Bad Advice

There’s a classic story called ‘prepare three envelopes’ which provides advice on leadership transitions. There are versions which apply to business, government, and sports teams but they essentially all have the same advice. Here’s a version: A new executive is hired to take over a struggling business unit. During the handover meeting, the previous executive…

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New Year’s Resolutions Shenanigans, 2020 edition

It’s the time of year when New Year’s resolutions are ubiquitous. In a quick search, I found more than 100 articles published in the last week alone. Apparently, we’ve all resolved to write about resolutions. While they are common, New Year’s resolutions are notoriously difficult to keep – only 1/3 of people who make resolutions keep them…

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You Should Be Using the Eisenhower Matrix To Make Decisions

The most urgent decisions are rarely the most important ones. —Dwight Eisenhower In light of our always-on world, it’s natural we focus on time-sensitive tasks; the seemingly non-ending list of things that have to be done. At work, these tasks include responding to emails or voice mails, generating a report due later in the day,…

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Adaptability may be more important than IQ or EQ

For most of my career, I have favored candidates with high Emotional Quotient (EQ) over those with high Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Just like my mantra that culture eats strategy, I believe situational awareness often trumps pure smarts. Of course, I’ve never known any candidate’s IQ test score let alone their EQ score. (Yes, you can…

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Hockey is for Everyone, Doggonit

Research shows that businesses with more diverse workforces perform better financially and are more innovative. Similarly, diversity and inclusion is good for the business of sports. The more that sports teams embrace the diversity of the community they are in, the more likely their fans will embrace them back. The National Hockey League (NHL) uses the international reach of the…

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The Pygmalion Effect in Business

In 1965 two researchers conducted a now-famous experiment in a public elementary school, dubbed Pygmalion in the classroom. The researchers told teachers that about one-fifth of their students were unusually intelligent (so-called “growth spurters”), based on results of a fictitious IQ test. Even though the gifted students were seemingly chosen at random, these students performed…

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