Archive | Leadership

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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Is Complex Better Than Complicated?

Unless you have a software background, you’ve probably never heard of longtime Pythoncoder Tim Peters. In Zen of Python, he suggests 20 design principles including: Simple is better than complex. Complex is better than complicated. How is “complex” better than “complicated”? After all, their dictionary definitions are similar and they are listed synonyms in the thesaurus: Complex – adj. not…

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McChrystal on Leadership

Seven years ago (!) I wrote a blog titled Management by Marching Around which suggested that traditional command and control leadership no longer worked in business – or in the military. Instead, I believe in management by influence (suggesting direction) more than by control (enforcing rules). I also recommend management by exception (tell me about…

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Bring Your Gifts to Work: My Maverick Hangout Experience

Unlocking human potential. It’s a manager’s most important task, but also the hardest to measure and understand. How can leaders empower employees to be free of bureaucracy and top-down management, while maintaining consistency and efficiency across the organization? Gary Hamel, co-founder of the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX), and I discussed these issues and others during…

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Seven Common Sense Principles of Leadership

A few weeks ago, I had a chance to hear former NFL Head Coach Dick Vermeil talk about his seven common sense leadership principles. Coach Vermeil is eminently qualified to speak about leadership, as he was named Coach of the Year on four different levels: High School, Junior College, NCAA Division I, and the NFL….

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I Smell A Rat: Empathy In Business

In collaboration with author Gary Hamel and the Management Innovation Exchange (The MIX), SAP launched a crowd-source initiative which poses the question: What is the one thing you’d change to help organizations unleash and organize human potential across boundaries? As I was researching my own answer around the notion of “empathy in business”, I found a Washington Post article titled: A New Model…

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How Strategy Really Works

The 1993 HBR article ‘Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines’ argued that every company had to become champions of one of three value disciplines — operational excellence, customer intimacy, or product leadership. Since that book was published, virtually every business meeting I’ve been in has used at least one of these phrases to describe strategy….

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Is There An ‘I’ In Team?

Many popular phrases have their roots in sports. For example, the cliché “there is no ‘i’ in team” comes from the idea that a cohesive team of players is more likely to win games than a collection of individual superstars. Players are told to focus on the team’s overall success rather than their individual performance. The…

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