Cooperation over Compliance

Cooperation vs ComplianceWhen you are in a position of authority, what is the best use of your time?  How do you get more leadership bang for the buck?

One of my leadership principles is to create a healthy organizational culture.  I think the best way to convey the message is to cultivate cooperation from people instead of enforcing compliance. Continue reading

Why are We Assessing Leadership Roles and Styles?

Personality (0)What is the point of all of it?

Millions of dollars are spent each year on personality assessment tests.  But, nobody can express a clear reason why.

“Two and a half million Americans a year take the Myers-Briggs. Eighty-nine companies out of the US Fortune 100 make use of it, for recruitment and selection or to help employees understand themselves or their co-workers.”[1]

Almost 90% of Fortune 100 companies perform these tests.  This is amazing to me.

I have taken these assessments.  After receiving my results, my first thought always is: interesting, but so what?

I see a lot of commentary and articles on how to assess leadership styles and roles.

  • Are you a democratic leader, authoritarian, or somewhere in between (here)?
  • What is your personality type (FIRO-B, MBTI)?
  • What is your role as a team member (Belbin)?

Are these useful tools?  Can we use them to predict behaviors or successes? Continue reading

What Happens When Indiana’s RFRA Supports Marijuana?

Text box, details of vote and signingI called this one.

Back in April 2015, I wrote a long article about my thoughts on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and its impact in a lot of areas.

One of the points I made was the often used legal phrase “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” (it would so much cooler in Latin or Greek).

It was probably the intention of the sponsors of RFRA make some gesture of support to their conservative Christian constituency.  But, they could never draft legislation only for Christian based religions, the law had to be written in broad terms.  They didn’t expect the media frenzy that was the result of the passage of the bill.  I have the feeling they weren’t expecting this question…

What would happen when other religions claimed their rights using the RFRA?

Just over a week since the bill went into effect, we are about to find out:

First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis Files Lawsuit over Marijuana Laws

Continue reading

Is the NSA Really Your Biggest Problem?

Why do we fear the NSA?Bed Shark (0)

Why do we fear sharks?

Why do we fear anything?

Here’s some context:

  • Shark attacks in 2014: 72 unprovoked attacks with 3 fatalities.[1]
  • A 2006 Time article stated that more than 600 people die annually in the US alone by falling out of bed.[2]

Which should you fear more, the creature whose main potential for attack is within swimming distance of shore in salt water or the item that is the featured item in every single bedroom? Continue reading

Leadership – Nature vs Nurture

Nature vs Nurture Balance (0)Leadership, like any human attribute, comes down to DNA and culture – Nature versus Nurture.

I am firmly convinced that every skill necessary to be a great leader can, unequivocally, be learned and mastered by anyone.  Full stop.

That is the “Nurture” part.

The skills and the theory represent a limited field of knowledge.  With the proper structuring and the opportunity to develop experience, any person can become a leader.  Many often are, if not in their work place.

Here’s where “Nature” kicks in…

If you ever saw me play basketball, you’d watch with your eyes wide open as your jaw dropped in wonder… you’d be wondering “is he really that bad or is he just clowning around?”  No matter how much nurture I get, I’ll ever overcome my terrible basketball DNA.

There are two kinds of people who will never be good leaders regardless of the training or nurturing.  The ones who shun the responsibility of leadership and the ones who believe that a leadership development class is a confirmation of their greatness and is their first step toward…


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Indiana’s RFRA is not just an LBGT issue, it is bad for business and everyone else


What’s the big deal?  Text box, details of vote and signing

What is the controversy with recent law signed into effect in Indiana last week on 26 March?

The law is called “SB 101 The Religious Freedom Restoration Act” (RFRA).

In the popular press coverage it is called “Indiana’s Anti- LGBT Legislation”.  How did that happen?

One of the interesting facets of current news topics is how they are reported and their social influence.  Sometimes the influence is well below the media hype and sometimes the media focuses on the best click-worthy aspect and misses the wider picture.

I don’t want to get into the politics of “Anti this or that”, but let’s examine the wider picture of the effect of this public policy on business, business issues, review some history, and who I think it affects.

If you asked any American “Should all Americans have religious freedom?”, I’d bet that you would get a near 100% resounding “Yes!”  I mean, the bill passed 40 – 10, a significant margin.

In the fuzziness of our memories, we all know that it is protected by some Constitutional amendment.  (Don’t worry, not testable, I checked for everyone, it is the 1st Amendment.)

In Western Europe, if you asked the same question, they would say yes too, but they would be puzzled by the question.  Most constitutions in Europe list religious freedom as a basic human right and it is not considered a political problem unless public safety become an issue.

When we see something that seems both complex and obvious, you have to do two things: drill down a little to understand it better and step back to see and understand the context.

This is going to be a loooong discussion, if you stop now, I’ll understand.

Otherwise… buckle in. Continue reading