Suncoast Business Leaders Leadership Panel

This is just a quick note to thank Laurie MacDonald from MacDonaldConsultants for hosting a wonderful leadership panel on 18 May at the Centre Club Tampa sponsored by The Suncoast Business Leaders organization.

Continue reading

Three Fallacies of Leadership

To paraphrase the old saying, “LeadershipFalse 1 2 3 is like the weather – everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it.” People seem to accept leadership, good or bad, as a cosmic fate that simply happens. If we benefit, great. If we suffer from inadequate leadership, it is perceived as bad fortune and unavoidable.

I do not accept those premises.  Unlike the weather, we can do something about leadership

Leadership development is one of the single most important strategic activities undertaken by business entities throughout the world. To ignore the need for excellent leadership practices is an invitation to catastrophe.

Here is what the science says:

  • Studies show that 50% of all businesses that fail, fail due to bad leadership
  • Effective leadership can increase net margins 1% – 3%

I think there are three main fallacies that directly contribute to poor leadership development:

Fallacy one – “Real” leaders have charisma. Continue reading

I Hate Bullies

French-US FlagsI hate bullies.

I think everyone gets bullied, in some way, as a child.  You hope you grow smart enough to avoid it or strong enough resist or resilient enough to fight back, but you never forget it.

Terrorists are bullies on a global, deadly scale.

I do not use the word “hate” lightly…

I hate them.

I hate them for the fear and misery they spread.

I hate them for the way they seek to destroy our freedoms by attempting to force us to build barriers.

I hate them for wishing to force misogyny, ignorance, homophobia, a mono-deistic philosophy, and superstition on the rest of us just so they may recall an earlier way of life that, from a historical point of view, may have never existed.

I refuse to bend to the will and intent of bullies. Continue reading

Leadership is Like a Suit, Responses

Feedback (0)I had some interesting responses from my leadership as a suit analogy (posting on 30 July 2015).

I thought the feedback would be beneficial to share because the comments are representative of those informal leadership discussions we have all shared a thousand times at lunch, in a classroom, or sitting in a bar.

These exchanges are characteristic of the general conversation of leadership and is a part of the daily challenge of leadership… how do we just discuss it?

The conversation becomes a little circular, but since it all sounds reasonable we just nod our heads with no path to progress.

I present the comments as written.  I know this post is long, so you can skip to the rant… er… conclusion at the end for a summary.

(A quick note here… please forgive any typos or grammar errors in the comments themselves.  As anyone who has ever left a comment in a comment section, finger slippage can be an occupational hazard.  I made no changes to the comments to avoid the possibility of editing out intent.  Please, overlook the grammar to read the heart of the message.
Any errors on my part at are totally mine, unless they are really stupid, then let’s go with finger slippage…)

(Second quick note… Damn, the first quick note was almost longer than the intro.)

Continue reading

How to Screw-up Leadership Development

microphone (1) graphic pen

<tap> <tap>

CEOs

<tap> <tap>

Are you out there?  Anybody?

<tap> <tap>

COOs?

CFOs?

<tap> <tap>

Is this thing on?

I really want to be that motivator guy.  You know, the guy that runs around and pumps everyone up.  I want to throw those pithy motivational quotes that seem deep and meaningful, but also contradict each other.  I’d sound really wise and clever.  I wouldn’t give actionable advice, but that’s OK since I couldn’t be held accountable.

<sigh>

I can’t be that guy, at least not this time.  Stick with the evidence because the numbers don’t lie.

I hate to do it, but I have to throw statistics at you…

  • In 2012 US companies spent $14 billion on leadership development.
  • In a 2014 benchmark study from Development Dimensions International, corporate leaders and HR professionals were asked to judge the overall quality of their organization’s leadership.
    • 40% of leaders judged the quality as high.
    • 25% of HR judged the quality as high.

If you accept the judgement of the people responsible, then between 60% and 70% of $14 billion is wasted.

In my opinion… you C-suite people are the problem. Continue reading