Focus on ‘what is’

April 15, 2015
Executive coach Scott Eblin learned something from his son Brad when the two went to sell Brad’s car.

How to remember you’re a manager and not royalty

July 19, 2012
Recently, former FBI director Louis Freeh released the results of his investigation into what top officials of Penn State University including its then president Graham Spanier and the late head football coach Joe Paterno knew about the child sexual abuse perpetrated by convicted felon Jerry Sandusky. Sadly, the report confirmed everyone’s worst fears. Everybody knew it and worked together to sweep it under the rug.

3 steps to avoid an email disaster

July 12, 2012
We’ve all been there. You get an e-mail that makes you angry, disappointed or just generally torques you out. Before you even realize it, you’re typing out a reply that will bring swift justice and retribution to the offending party. It’s at this point that you need to cue the scene from an action movie where the hero is trying to save someone from impending disaster, waves his arms and screams, “Nooooooo!!!!!”

How to get your message out

July 11, 2012
One of the key tasks of a leader is to make sure that everyone on the team is pulling in the same direction. Getting the message out so that everyone on the team hears it at the same time in the same way is critical to achieving that unity of purpose. I heard a great story about how to do that while working with a leadership team from the Department of Defense.

Breaking down Coach Popovich’s perfect pep talk

June 5, 2012
It’s NBA playoff time and, as I write this, the San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost a game since April 11. That streak was almost broken a few nights ago when the Spurs were down big to the Oklahoma City Thunder in game one of the Western Conference championship series. The Spurs turned it around, though, and went on to win after NBA Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich unleashed one of the greatest pep talks I’ve heard in a long time.

3 ways to show respect for your people

May 24, 2012
Even if you’re trying not to pay attention to the presidential campaign right now, you might have heard about Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s comments on “Meet the Press” last weekend. When the topic of the negative messages that the Romney and Obama campaigns are both transmitting about the other side was raised, Booker said he found the whole thing “nauseating.” My guess is a lot of Americans (myself included) agree with Booker on that point.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it

May 22, 2012
So, let me say at the outset that I’m reasonably confident that this is the world’s first leadership development blog post that includes a story about roasted cauliflower. (I Googled “roasted cauliflower leadership” and the top result was this recipe from Northern Michigan’s News Leader.) Here’s my back story.

How to Lead Massive Change: An Interview with Lockheed Martin CIO Sondra Barbour

May 17, 2012
Sondra Barbour is the chief information officer and senior vice president of enterprise business services at Lockheed Martin. She’s a company veteran and change leader who has taken on increasingly responsible positions over the course of her career.

What I learned about power last weekend

May 15, 2012
This past weekend I traveled to Cambridge, Mass., for the 25th reunion of my graduating class at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. (Just writing that makes me feel old.) I had the good fortune of graduating in a year that was the 350th anniversary of Harvard and the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy School (and its predecessor, the School of Public Administration). So, this year, as all of you mathletes have figured out, marks the 375th and 75th anniversaries, respectively.

How to talk with people

May 10, 2012
This is one of those titles that when you read it, you might be saying, “Really?” Yes, really. There’s a big difference between talking to people and talking with people. If you’re the designated leader in your organization, that difference has a multiplier effect that can cut in either direction.