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Wednesday, July 27, 2022


When we, as leaders, choose to engage in condescending behavior there are some guaranteed results that can be expected:

  • Others will feel devalued
  • Trust in us will plummet
  • Polarization will ensue
  • Our message will be throttled
  • Our impact and influence will be diminished
Kinda hard to see how any of those things move us toward betterment.

Condescension might be tempting. It might feel good. It might allow us a sense of self-righteousness. It might score a few short-term points. It might even get a few laughs.

Perhaps we should step away from the microphone and think twice -- or 100 times -- before engaging in condescension. Doesn't look like it pencils out.............

Monday, July 25, 2022


Clarity and simplicity are NOT one and the same. The consequential problems we deal with, as leaders, are rarely simple. Thus, clarity is elusive. Rarely, if ever, are the solutions to our complex problem(s) clear. 

While we strive for simplicity and clarity, wise leaders understand that both are illusory. 

A similar dynamic tension exists between curiosity and knowledge. BOTH are necessary in our efforts to gain better grasp of the problem(s), and the potential solution(s). While curiosity + knowledge bring us deeper understanding, they almost always are accompanied by the unveiling of previously unbeknownst circumstances, motives, variables, history, etc.  

Beast mode LEARNING is the requirement for effective leadership. 

Whenever we hear someone (especially in leadership) say something like ..."The solution is simple and clear"... that is our cue to begin backing slowly toward the exit. They are either delusional, or they're trying to sell us something (that will likely NOT solve the complex problem we're dealing with).

learn >> Learn >> LEARN!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


Our impact as leaders -- in our families, in our communities, in our workplaces -- is the downstream effect of our influence.

Our influence as leaders is the downstream effect of the TRUST others have in us.

The TRUST others have in us as leaders is the downstream effect of what they conclude from their interactions with us.

What others conclude from their interactions with us is the downstream effect of decisions we make (either consciously or otherwise) about what we believe, why we believe it, and how we communicate it.

Evidently we should be paying purposeful attention to what we are doing upstream.

Sunday, July 17, 2022


We wish things were better. So much so that we frequently craft elaborate strategic plans to that end. Channeling my high school football coach, the best strategy in the world is meaningless unless we execute it. Execution comes down to a disciplined commitment to the "fundamentals" of that plan, at the micro and personal level. 

Plans almost always exist in the abstract. It's the execution -- the concrete enactments -- that move us toward the outcomes we desire. Execution moves us from the Thinking/Talking to the DOing. 

Our habits -- personal and organizational -- created our current state. Changing some of those habits is the first step toward our aspired outcomes. While we can't "eat the whole elephant in one bite," we CAN change one thing today.

As my friend Dr. Glen Shinn is fond of saying, "It's easier to behavior yourself into a new way of thinking that it is to think yourself into a new way of behaving." Wise counsel.

Today, I think I'll adopt (or abandon) the behavioral habit of.................

I and We can get better today -- one habit at a time.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


Managing energy is a key task of leadership.


  • Inflated egos
  • Fails and losses
  • Ambiguous goals
  • Micromanagement
  • Bureaucratic inertia 

  • Self-care
  • Delivering
  • Team synergy
  • Reflective practice
  • High levels of alignment
  • Worthy and noble aspirational goals
Note to leadership self: 
Maximize the Energizers, and minimize the De-energizers.

Bonus points go to the leaders who identify and elevate team members who embody the Energizer elements.

Sunday, July 10, 2022


We ALL have values, whether we know it or not. Some of us simply adopt the values we were raised with, giving little thought to them. Others of us spend a great deal of time and thought examining our values, then carefully articulating them for clarity (both for ourselves and others).

Then............Uncertainty enters the picture, like the villain in a western movie. Uncertainty tends to unsettle us, to disrupt our flow, to generate doubt.

Uncertainty does NOT alter our values. Rather, Uncertainty exposes our values.

If we don't like what we see in ourselves when Uncertainty storms in, it might be time to reassess what we believe, and why we believe it.

Sunday, July 3, 2022


Leaders are like prospectors. Some seem focused on looking for gold. Others, however, seem busily intent on digging up dirt, detritus, and dung.

Both kinds are mining in the same medium. The difference is in the leader's perspective. 

De-energizing leaders look for (and almost always find) the following:
  • Mistakes and misses
  • Shortcomings
  • Scapegoats
  • Self-aggrandizements
Energizing leaders look for (and almost always find) the following:
  • Praise-worthy effort
  • What's working
  • Opportunities for improvement
  • Collective discernment/analysis
  • Results-oriented thinking and behavior
Two questions to consider:

Which kind of leader would I prefer to work for/with?

Which kind of leader do I choose to be?

It is a choice, you know.