Archive | Leadership

How to Make Better Decisions

I always ask aspiring business people: How do you beat Bobby Fischer, the renowned chess champion of the 1970’s? The Answer: Play him at anything but chess. This excerpt is from the second chapter of Seymour Schulich’s book, Get Smarter: Life and Business Lessons. Schulich is a self-made billionaire and one of Canada’s greatest philanthropists, having…

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Self-Renewal and the Courage to Fail

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities – brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. February 16 is the anniversary of the death of John William Gardner, the author of that quote. Gardner was Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the late 1960’s, founder of two influential U.S. organizations (Common Cause and Independent…

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What I Learned From The Platypus

Throughout my career, I’ve relied on story telling to reinforce abstract concepts or make announcements more memorable. Whether it’s oxen, elephants, monkeys, or camels, stories about animals are easy to remember and therefore more likely to be repeated. I’ve always want to tell a story which involved a platypus but I never really had a good rationale….

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Fun with tenure metrics: 2014 edition

People seem to be obsessed with executive tenure. Executive search firm Spencer Stuart reports the average tenure for a Chief Marketing Officer is now 45 months, based on analysis from the top 100 advertised brands. This is a significant improvement from five years ago, when studies showed that the average CMO tenure was anywhere from…

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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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