Archive | Leadership

Spotting Exceptional Talent

If you hire only those people you understand, the company will never get people better than you are. Always remember that you often find outstanding people among those you don’t particularly like. Soichiro Honda Over the last few months, I spent a fair amount of time looking for people to add to my team. Actually…

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Quotes on Saying No

Over the years, I’ve compiled multiple lists of quotes about performance management, technology, and failure. Lately I’ve been thinking about prioritization and how to deal with the unending requests for my time. As I blogged about last year, I’ve had some luck using Tim Ferriss’ advice on 9 habits we all should stop — although I admit…

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Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work

Given that multiple research studies show only a small fraction of employees are engaged at work, I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time talking to people about how  leaders can empower employees and unlock their potential. For those that are interested, Gary Hamel, co-founder of the Management Innovation eXchange (MIX), and I discussed these issues…

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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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