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

Is This an Inspiring Philosophy?

Exec number 1 (0)“…I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win…” – Donald Trump

I really have no additional comment here because I would veer away from leadership and into politics.  That would be of no use to anyone.

It pretty much speaks for itself.

In my opinion, I think the best way to view Donald Trump’s current activities as not a part of a presidential campaign, but more as an exercise in branding.  He has never had as much press coverage as a businessman than he has had a potential nominee.

I am working on a paper with my daughter this week and we are discussing brand awareness and brand recognition.  It came to my mind in those discussion that even Donald Trump (a very, very , very, very rich man according to Mr. Trump) could not afford to buy the amount of media coverage generated in print, broadcast coverage, Internet chatter, and water fountain discussion that has been created since the start of his GOP campaign.

He really has no interest in politics, his interest is in starting a discussion… any discussion that features his name.  His flame war attacks keep his name at the top of every news cycle.  It is a genius manipulation of the media (well… genius in a way that makes me want to shower).

His return on this investment will be far above even his wildest imagination.

Either way the campaign goes, he wins notoriety.


Kenneth Wrede

<Update Mario Almonte probably said it better than I… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mario-almonte/relax-america-donald-trum_b_7983354.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592&gt;


“I do whine because I want to win and I’m not happy about not winning and I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win,” Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday. http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/11/politics/donald-trump-refutes-third-party-run-report/index.html

About Ken Wrede
Kenneth Wrede

How to Screw-up Leadership Development

microphone (1) graphic pen

<tap> <tap>


<tap> <tap>

Are you out there?  Anybody?

<tap> <tap>



<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.


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

Leadership is Like a Good Suit

(Or The Fallacy of Leadership Style)

Tux + foam fingerThere are a lot of articles and posts written on the subject of leadership style.  Most of it is based on a faulty premise: you are your leadership style and your leadership style is you.

In other words, people are led to believe that they are defined by their leadership style and they should hone that style into a sharp cutting tool.  However, a sharp tool is not always the best for every job.

“One Style to Rule Them All”

Continue reading

I was Interview by Jonathan Pritchard (ALWD)

ALWD 008: Leadership Interview with Ken Wrede

I had a podcast interview with Jonathan Pritchard over at A Life Well Designed. Jonathan uses design principles to analyze challenges in life and business, then applies design techniques to find elegant, effective solutions.
(For some reason I had a tough time enunciating, but I hope the messages were clear.)

I enjoyed the interview immensely, thanks Jonathan!


Kenneth Wrede