May 2, 2019

The Power of a Digital Mindset

If you want to be a great leader, you absolutely have to develop a digital mindset. It’s the only way you can help your business leverage data and information technologies in the pursuit of growth and profitability.

Why, you ask?

Digital Mindset

Digital Mindset

Digital technology and media are omnipresent in business nowadays. We use it to perform tasks, communicate, collaborate, solve problems, share content and build knowledge. It’s the backbone of effective, efficient and flexible execution.

Every company needs leaders that understand and appreciate the potential of the internet of things, social media, big data, artificial intelligence and data analytics. Not only that, a solid leader must have a propensity to package together these digital technologies in order to drive desired outcomes and unlock hidden value within their companies.

Anything less from its leadership, and a business misses opportunities and risks losing ground in the marketplace. My firm actually developed a digital mindset assessment for that purpose, and I believe such a tool should be part of any hiring or promotion program.

An appropriate digital mindset doesn’t ensure success. However, it does position you to be a great contributor. Similarly, any deficiencies identified through the assessment enables the individual (and organization, if appropriate) to create a development plan that can address the weak spots.

1. Inquisitive

The digital mindset requires open mindedness. Today’s leaders need a thirst to understand all the capabilities that technology has to offer and get energized by the art of the possible.

When first entering the workforce, I had a mentor with an inquisitive mind who was always open to new ideas and nonjudgmental of a person that offered one. He always asked me, “How can technology be applied to make this better?” The technique informs my approach to this day.

2. Ambiguity Amenable

Digital technology is continuing to evolve. Consequently, there’s a lot of uncertainty and opacity that comes with the territory. Today’s leaders need to be comfortable operating in the grey area, constantly pioneering new ways to use technology to enhance employee engagement, drive customer satisfaction and unleash competitive advantage.

Steve Jobs was very at home in grey areas. How else could he have endeavored to create something as seemingly preposterous as a phone that could play music, take pictures and access the Internet–and make a go of it?

3. Technology Adept

There’s no need for leaders to be early adopters of technology, though that would be great. However, they must be practiced in the use of technology and not harbor any fear of it.

I get comments from my team about my fearlessness using technology that I’m not familiar with. They think it’s really something that I’ve designed websites and architected AI-based tools for use in our practice. I don’t consider that particularly pioneering, It’s an important part of leading in the digital age.

4. Digitally Informed

Today’s leaders are expected to be contributing architects to new digital solutions for their businesses, so they must be cognizant of what’s available, what it delivers and how it can be applied to drive business transformation. It’s the only way for leaders to proactively integrate the technology into the daily workflow.

I’m working with a client right now who may be the most digitally informed person that I’ve ever met. He has all the latest gadgets and apps at his fingertips, and knows how to use them in the most unobstructed way. It makes him a terrific leader for the digital age–always on the look-out for how technology can be tamed to drive value for the business.

Likewise, understanding the value of data and how it can be synthesized is key to unlocking additional business potential. It’s by combining digital technology and new information insights that create game changing solutions for companies. Today’s need to be information savvy to do the work needed tomorrow.

5. Future Fixated

A leader with a superior digital mindset possesses an unwavering focus on tomorrow. They keep delighting the customer top of mind and are always thinking of better ways to exceed all expectations through the proper use of technology.

Jeff Bezos is clearly fixated on the future. He’s always looking ahead and determining how technology can be used in new and interesting ways that delight. His startup Blue Origin has a vision of millions of people living and working in space. That’s future fixated!

All told, these six characteristics indicate the underpinnings of the “right” digital mindset to be effective to today’s ultra-competitive business world. You need to identify, develop and place innovative, entrepreneurial, critical thinking leaders who thirst to pull the future forward on behalf of their businesses.

They’ll define tomorrow by combining and harnessing digital technologies in new and exciting ways.

Note: Originally published by Inc. on April 1, 2019

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Apr 3, 2019

You Be You – And Become An Authentic Leader

5 Ways to Stop Talking and Start Being An Authentic Leader

Leadership is about setting direction and managing change. Leaders determine the goal that needs to be achieved (i.e., setting direction) and navigate the path to get there, defining ways to overcome any obstacles that spring up along the way (i.e., managing change). Set direction and manage change, be an authentic leader, that’s really all there is to it.

Leadership gurus like to complicate matters. However, if you’ve ever read this column, you know that I like to keep it real. The overarching theme of most of my articles is something that I preach to my kids: Don’t talk about it, just be about it. That said, let me share some ideas for how you can stop talking about leadership and start being a leader.

Here are five ideas to help you become the leader that you want to become:

1. Be honest.

Nothing kills a leader quicker than a reputation for being untrustworthy. Conversely, if you are unwaveringly honest all the time, you won’t run that risk.

Consider Richard Branson for a moment. He is widely recognized as an inspiring leader that consistently “walks the talk” and takes full responsibility for his decisions–the good, and the not-so-good. Anyone remember Virgin Digital? It was supposed to overtake iTunes. It didn’t. But Branson took full responsibility for his company’s foray into the space.

2. Talk straight.

Keep your communications simple and to the point. Convoluted messaging just leads to confusion and misunderstanding. Talk straight and your people will know exactly what you mean.

Think of the frustration that most Americans feel when listening to our political leaders. The doublespeak, so common in political circles, is so bad that a recent poll conducted by Pew Research Center suggests that only 3 percent of Americans say that they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always.”

Don’t be the kind of leader who prefers rhetoric to simply stating the facts.

3. Be real.

Would you follow someone who is disingenuous? I wouldn’t!

Steven Jobs was seen as brash and conceited. But his people adored working for him. They knew that they were always going to get Steve being Steve. It was reliable and true. So be yourself.

You being you should be enough to inspire others to follow your lead.

4. Be decisive.

People want decisiveness in their leaders. Sure, take some time to gather insight and review the facts–then make the call. Your business will suffer if you delay.

In 1972, for example, Ford announced that all of its new cars would run on radials. Firestone, which sat atop the U.S. market at that time, didn’t have a radial tire when Ford made their announcement. Seeing the rise in radial tires’ popularity in Europe in the 1960s, Firestone was still contemplating whether they should make the necessary investment in this new kind of tire manufacturing. It was then that French company Michelin entered the U.S. market with their radial tires, and began to dominate the world market as a result.

Don’t let analysis paralysis keep you from making the call.

5. Be in it.

The best leaders work right alongside the people they’re leading.

Famously, Tesla CEO Elon Musk  (an authentic leader) has an undeniable work ethic, one that his people can only aspire to achieve. There are countless stories of him working so long and hard that he has to crawl into a corner somewhere in Tesla’s facility to catch a nap. He sets the example for his team.

Don’t be above doing the work. Be right in it with your people, and they will bust through brick walls for you.

To close, there’s no need to overthink leadership. Just be an authentic leader. It’s simple: set direction; manage change. That’s it. So stop talking about leadership and start being an exceptional leader.

NOTE: Main content of this piece was originally published by on March 18, 2019

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Mar 5, 2019

I Did Personality Tests on Some Vision Stories. Here’s What Happened

Anyone who regularly reads my column knows that I’m a big proponent of top leaders’ developing engaging and compelling vision stories about where they intend to lead their organizations in the future.

As compared with the more traditional vision statement, which tends to be blasé and uninspiring, a vision story, which provides rich and vibrant detail about how the organization operates and what it feels like to be a part, serves to inform and stimulate commitment to change on the part of staff members who take the time to read and understand it.

As a person who has worked with countless leadership teams in developing and crafting their vision stories, I often wonder just how the resulting vision is being perceived by those we intend to inform and motivate. I often wonder what the persona is of the organization we’re describing through our vivid visions.

To scratch that itch, I just put a recent client’s vision story to the test.

My firm’s proprietary automated personality test, one we use in our top management coaching, leadership development, and executive search work, was used as a means to analyze the vision story content. Centered on examining the “Big Five” personality traits (i.e., extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism), our tool applies linguistic analytics and personality theory to infer the attributes offered in its findings and analysis.

Interestingly, among all of the detailed analysis and data analytics provided, this personality summary was produced:

You are imaginative and motivated.

You are assertive. You have a tendency to take the lead in most situations, and you are seen as a natural leader. You are energetic. You revel in a fast-paced, environment. And you are trusting of others. You expect people to deliver their best effort.

You are driven to overcome obstacles.

You are notably unconcerned with tradition. And you are more interested in charting your own course than following what others have done.

You opt for activities that serve a greater purpose.

This analysis means that if this client’s future company were a person, that person would have, among others, these characteristics: imagination, natural leadership, drive, high trust, and an interest in serving a greater purpose — the very same characteristics that you would want your organization to possess in pursuit of growth and profitability.

Of course, there’s some good news and some bad news that comes from this analysis. The good news is, together with my client, we’ve constructed a vision story that conveys exactly the tone and sentiment that we were aiming to establish. The bad news is there’s a ton of work needed to move the firm, or any organization for that matter, from its current state to the achievement of its vision.

However, this kind of analysis — characterizing how your business is being presented and perceived by others — provides insights and perspective that you might never gather if you don’t venture to discover the persona of your organization.

To close, I will state that I intend to continue to do work in applying linguistics analytics and personality theory in the strategic planning and vision space. I think that combining the two disciplines has groundbreaking potential, and I am convinced that it will lead to meaningful outcomes for any business interested in disrupting its industry and capturing market share.

Note: Contents of this piece was published by on: Feb 12, 2019

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Feb 5, 2019

Why Performance Reviews Based on Individual Efforts Are a Waste of Time

In the final analysis, no one cares about your effort, results are all that really matter in business. That’s why I think Performance Reviews (Based on Individual Effort) are a waste of time. Of course, every company must operate at the highest level of integrity. I’ve written countless articles the topic in this column. I believe that integrity is the bedrock on which a business is built and flourishes.

My point here is simple: your customers and other important stakeholders are not interested in understanding the level of difficulty required to delight them – they just want to be delighted. Delight them and your business grows, disappoint them and your business fails.

The message is clear. We should stop applying metrics that measure individual effort and place an unyielding focus on the establishment of measurements that lead to desired results. As we do, business outcomes will improve. Here is why:

You see, when you start to track desired outcomes (instead of each person’s individual performance), your team will begin to recognize ways to improve its execution. That’s not to say slackers, now, have a place to hide. Rather, staff will learn how to keep one another honest. When they can’t, you will certainly hear about it and that will be your cue to address an individual’s specific behavior.

Here are some steps that you can take to get started in transforming the ways in which you measure performance:


Being in Business Means Being a Difference Maker

It is inherent in the very nature of what you do as a business owner. Learn how different leads to better.

Measure for Outcomes, Not for Outputs

For example, I’m working with a client who has made “do whatever it takes to delight the customer” the overarching goal for everyone in the organization. Consequently, the firm is recasting its metrics to better align with this goal. For instance, a standard measurement like, “the number of complaints handled per month per customer support person” is being replaced with “average time to complaint resolution.”

While subtle, the difference is hugely important. The desired outcome is to resolve customer problems quickly. It is not to handle more complaints in a day. The metric now reflects this fact. Be sure that your metrics reinforces expected outcomes, and doesn’t simply count how much is being accomplished in a workday.

Provide the “Why”

This was critical to achieving the business results that my client was seeking. We had to help staff understand “why” putting the customer first was essential to business growth and maturity. Once the reasons were well understood by her team, my client could encourage her team to participate in identifying the best path to get to the outcomes that mattered most and to devise the right measurements to track achievement.

Let the Performance Measurement System Fade to the Background

Once measures are properly aligned with desired results, the need to use a system to track performance isn’t half as important to improving an individual’s performance as is providing hands-on coaching and additional training and development. So, let the performance system take a backseat. Instead of worrying about filling in the systems tracking forms, encourage your leaders to regularly coach and teach their teams. The performance system can become a place where meaningful leader/staff interaction is recorded for posterity.

To close, measure for results, not performance and you will see your business outcomes improve. Reshaping your performance measurement criteria in this way will not only simplify your performance tracking systems, but will enable the delivery of better business results. For the measurement of a specific individual’s effort is often far more challenging to quantify than the business results by a team.

Note: Content Originally Published on Jan 18, 2019

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Jan 15, 2019

Talent Development 101 – 4 Ways to Create the Next Generation of Leaders at Your Company

Leaders are not developed overnight. Rather, leaders develop competencies across a continuum over time. It takes a commitment to Talent Development. Indeed, leaders mature along a curve based on experiences and the skills and competencies that they develop along the way. That said, it is good business to develop talent continuously so that you establish a pipeline of leaders at various stages of readiness that can take the lead whenever circumstances deem necessary.

Most of my clients have talent development systems of some sort. Most of them do not have leadership development focus, per se. Instead, most in-house training programs offer a curriculum full of one-off skills development offerings, like “How To Be An Active Listener” and “Interactive Presentation Design.” This kind of training has its place, but they do little to prepare the organization for tomorrow’s leadership challenges. A proper leadership development program is needed to ensure businesses don’t come up short when needing to fill leadership positions.

Here are four foundational elements to look for in any leadership development program. Think of these combining to form the four legs of a stool — you need all four of these characteristics to establish a well-rounded leadership development program — skip one and the program may not produce results that you can count on:

1. Data to make better placement decisions.

This is provided through the use of an intense battery of assessments instruments. The data derived from these instruments provides additional insights needed to make better choices in placing future leaders in available positions.

The assessment data also helps the staff, which take them, to better understand where their opportunities for growth and maturity lie; insights that can help them to commit to driving the changes that they need to make to become better leaders.

2. A focus on fundamental leadership competencies.

These are skills participants will cultivate, and practice, enabling them to evolve along their own individualized maturity curve. Done right, staff will maximize their potential to achieve at the ‘next‘ level by better understanding the performance expectations required to excel there.

For example, we have a leadership academy that we bring to clients interested in instituting leader development programs. The backbone of the academy is an entire suite of leadership competency modules, which can be mixed and matched to deliver a tailored experience for each client. Modules focus on such topics as inspiring others, driving resiliency and finding your leadership ethos — all fundamental leadership competencies.

3. Mentorship for staff.

Be sure that your leadership program includes a formal mentor program, where each participant is assigned a senior leader mentor with whom they can meet and discuss key concepts brought out through the training.

My clients, for example, find it is through regular reinforcement and engagement with senior leaders that staff will gain valuable perspective and feedback needed for navigating their own leadership maturity journey. Additionally, mentorship creates powerful networking opportunities that prove useful as new leaders take their positions within the business.

4. Experiential learning.

Your leadership program should be rich with experiential learning elements. You want your people to learn how to be more vulnerable and open with one another so they gain mutual respect and trust. After all, since these will be the people leading the company, it is important that they trust each other.

Clearly, a compelling case can be made for the need to extend the leadership continuum of any business with the provision of ongoing leader development. By combining the elements outlined above in forging your leadership development program, you can ensure that the next generation of leader in your company is ready to assume the helm.

NOTE: Content was originally published by on: Oct 3, 2018

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Dec 15, 2018

Holiday Gifts for The Motorcycle Enthusiast

RANDOM MOTORCYCLE GEAR BUYER’S TIP: How ’bout some bike bling!

The Holidays are a great time to get with family and friends.  Nothing celebrates the season more than giving (and, receiving) a thoughtful gift — or motorcycle gear!

I know a lot of you aren’t necessarily motorcycle riders, so I thought I’d make your gift giving adventures a little less adventurous by providing you a short list of things that every rider would appreciate getting as a Holiday present.  Here’s my Top 10 list for this season (BTW – they’re in no particular order, I just like Top 10 lists:

10.  Doc Bailey’s Leather Clear Detail Kit:  Designed to clean, condition and waterproof all colors of finished leather and vinyl. Rider’s love shiny seats!

9. Hot Leathers Apparel works for men and women who like to walk on the wild side!

8. Riding Goggles: Gotta look cool and you can never have too many!

7. Joe Rocket Motorcycle Jackets: They have one for every rider’s taste and style.

6.  Tourmaster Battery Heated Womens Vest: Something to keep the lady riders toasty warm on cooler riding days.

5. Stockton Roadside Tool Kit: It will give you piece of mind, just in case they break-down.

4.  Alpinestar’s Oscar Rayburn Gloves just feel right. Splurge a little!

3. Women’s Motorcycle Shirts are something the lady riders are sure to love!

2. Cycle Gear Gift Cards: Who doesn’t want a gift card and Cycle Gear’s has lots of cool biker gear to purchase. So, you can’t go wrong.

1.  Scorpion’s  Covert Moto Flannel shirt is great for cool days. I wish I had a 2XL in black plaid for those winter days when I take her out for a ride!

I think I covered items that fit a wide-range of budgets. I hope this guide helps you with your holiday shopping.

(PS – If you are a rider and you think a friend or loved one is stumped about what to get for you, why not send them a link to this blog post. It can only help you both!)

Originally published on December 8, 2018 by the |Bike Bandit, Motorcycle Gift List, Cycle Gear, Gerbing Vests, Alpinestar Gloves, J&P Cycles, Joe Rocket Jacket, motorcycle house, kuryakyn, Revzilla, Dennis Kirk, Motorcycle Reviews
Nov 25, 2018

It Takes Emotional Intelligence to be a Great Leader

Working with people who challenge you, and from whom you can learn, will make you a better leader…one with Emotional Intelligence.

What is one thing you can do to become a great leader? Find people who will challenge you. If you surround yourself with the best and brightest, and create a safe environment for them to test your thinking, void of career limiting repercussions, you will become a better leader.

It takes an emotionally intelligent leader to forge a work environment where diversity of thought is promoted. These kinds of leaders implicitly understand that their title does not mean they have all the answers, all the time. Rather, they recognize that having a team around them that feels comfortable challenging them will enable better thinking and vastly improve business outcomes.

Whether you’re high in emotional intelligence or less so, here are three ideas that you can use to shape your team to challenge you and make you a better leader:

Be deliberate in building a team that provides a variety of perspectives and is rich in diversity of thought.

Don’t just hire or promote people who seem like carbon copies of you. Instead, look for people who think and operate differently.

It is here that backgrounds and life stories can play a big role. One of the things I counsel my clients to do is to ask job candidates about their life stories. A candidate’s responses to questions about how they got to where they are can be telling. Seek to add people to your team who have different life narratives and experiences.

Call on people who are not from your inner circle to offer an opinion, and don’t be afraid to skip level when seeking fresh perspectives.

I’ve seen this technique work well at a recent client site. The manager whom I was coaching wanted to breathe some fresh ideas into her product development team. She had heard of an up-and-comer from logistics and asked him to participate in a product development brainstorming session she had scheduled with her team.

He wasn’t there 10 minutes before he introduced a design concept that, once implemented, would significantly lower the cost of packaging and shipping. Because he had no formal product design experience but understood package and shipping processes, he could think differently about the product than its designers. Consequently, he could suggest a product design change that saved the company money and one the team would have never identified on its own.

Don’t be the leader that inadvertently tells the team that they’re tone deaf.

We’ve all seen those kinds of leaders in action. They’re the ones who seldom concede a point of debate and often dismiss new ideas by suggesting that they’ll never work in practice.

Instead, create a collaborative work environment so that the best ideas can be shared and leveraged. You can do this by acknowledging new ideas when offered by your team and encouraging colleagues to challenge your thinking whenever they believe that a better idea can be had.

There is no doubt that people who can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to your team are very valuable. They can help you see where some of the biggest issues and greatest opportunities exist. Yes, you must seek to hire people who are experts in needed specialties. However, be sure they think differently from you. Once the team is in place, empower them to speak their minds. In this way, you will be building a team that can offer unique insights to problem solving and help you become the best leader you can be.

Note: The contents of this piece was first published at on November 9. 2018.

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Oct 6, 2018

Leadership Cop-Outs: Top 10 List

Here are 10 ways leaders justify not providing the leadership needed to propel their organizations forward.

Organizations tend to take on the very likenesses of their leadership team. Find a firm that is resolute and steadfast in their pursuit of perfection and you’ll find leaders that are unyielding and firm in their insistence on excellence in all that is done. Similarly, a company that is sloppy and inconsistent in their service delivery and you will find leaders that accept sub-par performance.

Why do some leadership teams operate this way? It’s a phenomenon that I see quite often in my work as a leadership coach and management consultant. When hired to help fix a leadership problem, inevitably we find that leaders choose to justify their lazy or haphazard leadership practices with a wide-variety of excuses.

Here are 10 of my all-time favorite leadership cop-outs:

  1. I don’t need to understand the details; I expect them to know their stuff. You want leaders that are sincerely interested at the work at hand and can inspire their team to be routinely raising the bar.
  2. Who needs a vision? My vision is to make money. You want leaders who understand the need for, and are comfortable articulating, a vivid and compelling vision story – one that gives people something to aspire to.
  3. I paid my dues. I don’t need to spend time dealing with irate customers. You want leaders that put the customer first and have the poise and confidence to be effective in all circumstances.
  4. I’m all for taking short-cuts, if the situation warrants it. You want leaders of high integrity and model the kinds of behaviors that you expect from your team.
  5. The work is boring. I’m not going to motivate people here. You want leaders that people want to work for and with.
  6. My people know what they’re doing. Why should I get involved? You want leaders that are always pushing their people to be better.
  7. My staff knows what I expect. You want leaders that can communicate effectively, so that there is no doubt about what is important.
  8. I expect my team to reach-out to me if they need something. You want leaders that are involved and connected to the people that they lead.
  9. They don’t need me to give them compliments. We already have the best comp package in the industry. You want leaders that recognize talent and reward people based on results, and, not on effort or out of favoritism.
  10. I don’t have the time to bring everyone up-to-speed.  You want leaders that can teach people how to be the best that they can be.

To close, these 10 cop-outs are heard from leaders all the time. If you ever find yourself using any of them, please take a moment and re-calibrate your thinking. It’s precisely at the moment that you find yourself making an excuse that your people likely need your leadership the most.

If you need some help getting the “right” leadership culture in place, please reach out to me. We have some tried and true approaches that will get your organization right back on track.

Note: This article’s content was originally published by Inc. on April 24, 2018  

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Sep 25, 2018

Gen-Z and Me — How to Lead The Next-Gen

Having trouble attracting Gen-Z staffers? Here is an approach that can work.

There is no doubt you will need to cultivate Gen-Z talent to achieve your vision. Gen-Z, who makes up 25 percent of the U.S. population, represents a larger group of potential employees than do the Baby Boomers or Millennials. Gen-Z includes 69 million people born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s.

While it will require thoughtfulness and great understanding to build the “right” culture to bring them in, we had better figure out ways to attract and retain this talent or jeopardize the future of our businesses. After all, a workforce void of Gen-Z personnel will grow stagnant in short order.

Here are some steps that you can take, right now, to begin the necessary transition needed to attract the best Gen-Z talent–and keep them.

Leverage Your Gen-Y Talent

Identify and gather your high potential Gen-Y talent (the preceding generation to Gen-Z, known as the Millennials. People born between 1980 and 1994). Schedule and conduct informal meetings to engage them in discussions about what they think is needed to attract and retain next-generation teammates. After all, they are only a few years older–who better to ask about what motivates and inspires their younger “brothers and sisters.” Use that insight to inform hiring specifications.

Deliberately Meld Your Staff

Establish ways for older and newer team members to interact and learn from each other every day. We’re already seeing firm employ formal mentoring and “buddy systems” to assist in new worker assimilation. Fold those kinds of programs and practices into your everyday work environment. It will make new talent that much more likely to stick.

Rethink How Work Is Done

Think through how you can adapt your work processes to utilize the unique strengths and talents of the Gen-Z worker. To the extent possible, begin to redesign workflow that takes advantage of smartphones, apps and cloud-based applications that will be easier for Gen Z team members to understand and use.

Become a Workplace of Choice

Tomorrow’s workforce comes into their first jobs expecting to be treated, communicated with and learn in the ways in which they have been socialized with from an early age.

This means that thanks, in part, to them growing up with the Internet and social media already in place, most process information rapidly, are big on individuality and are more globally minded than anyone who came before them.  Be sure to consider this when designing your culture. Otherwise, you may inadvertently turn-off the next generation of worker.

To close, don’t forget that we must work on not falling victim to societal stereotypes about the Gen Z worker. While they may love Snapchat and check social media 100 times a day, it is better to think in terms of how you can make your team flexible and accommodating by engaging in new ways of thinking and achieving. Promote collaboration among all generations of workers in the workplace and you will have the makings of a formula for success.

Note: The contents of this piece was originally published in on September 4, 2018.

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Jun 30, 2018

Leadership is a Choice!

Leadership is a choice — and if you choose to rise to the occasion, you’ll need to approach it thoughtfully and intentionally.

Like many columnists, I am a consultant and business author. I’ve written five books over the past 25 years and am proud of all of them. My latest, It’s Good To Be King, has done well probably because it simplified what many make complex: leadership principles.

There are over 60 leadership tips presented through the text. Let me share with you my top 10 leadership tips from the book. At the risk of being accused of shameless self-promotion, I believe there’s something in this list for every leader, regardless of their ilk.

Here is my top 10 list:

  1. Leadership is a choice. Sometimes the need to lead is thrust upon you. When this happens, you can rise to the occasion or let someone else take charge. Either way, you live with the consequences of that decision. If you choose to rise to the occasion, do it deliberately and with forethought of action. Don’t just wing it.
  2. Dedicate yourself to being open to learn new things. Sometimes leaders forget how to listen and learn. Don’t fall into that trap. You don’t have to have all of the answers all of the time.
  3. Welcome those who can coach and teach. Even world-class athletes have coaches. Surround yourself with people who can make you better. So, accept your Yoda.
  4. A foolish student laughs at knowledge. Begin to look backwards to inform your outlook for the future. Gain a full understanding of where your organization or group is today and how it got there, so that you can define a path forward that is right for the current situation.
  5. Leadership styles don’t discriminate. Poor leaders come in many shapes and sizes. Regardless of appearance, a poor leader will wreak havoc on any group or organization of which they are allowed to lead.
  6. Deceitful leaders will destroy all trust within an enterprise or other group. Once trust deteriorates, the culture becomes cut-throat as each team member begins to
  7. It’s almost never too late to right the ship. Even when the situation looks dire and the challenges insurmountable, there may be a path to success that can be discovered through creative thought and perseverance.
  8. When confronted by setback, good leaders dust themselves off and carry on. It’s the only way to succeed. Surely, not every facet of your execution will go flawlessly! Take difficulties in stride and watch how your people follow suit.
  9. A vision is best presented as a story that people can relate to. From an early age, we have all learned to learn through stories. Present your vision as a story that your people can imagine being part of and personally succeeding through and you will engage them in the process of making that story a reality.
  10. A leadership void will always be filled. If you don’t step-up someone else will and the outcome may not be what you prefer or expect.

To close, thanks for indulging me on this. But, as mentioned, I wouldn’t have offered the list if I didn’t already think there was some value in the ideas. I hope that you do, too. If so, be sure to pass this list onto others who may also see the benefit.

Note: The contents of this piece was originally published by on June 12, 2018.

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