Above Header Navigation

Exkalibur – In the News Library

Top 5 Reasons You Will Love the Exkalibur.com Transformation

The Transformed Leadership Web Site at Exkalibur.com

This is one happy visitor!

Practical Strategies to Help Leaders Get Real Results

In truth, I realize you really don’t care that we transformed our web site.

You shouldn’t.

You should only care if you can find what you want when you want it.

I only care about what will really help YOU!

Yeah, I know that’s easy to say and you probably hear it from almost everyone.

But, think about it. I don’t need to visit my own website to find articles I’ve already written … and probably no one knows my website more intimately than I do. And, with the administrative dashboard, I can find virtually anything I want, anytime.

So, this really is only about you and I hope we’ve been successful at creating a rich and appealing experience … to help you find what you’re looking for … and to discover new and valuable materials you didn’t know we had.

We worked hard so that Exkalibur can become an even more valuable and trusted resource for you … just as you work hard to become a more effective leader and build a successful business.

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. ~ Albert Einstein

Practical Strategies to Help Leaders Get Real Results

You might have noticed that we also changed our tagline. Check out the Top 5 Changes …


Leadership | Why I changed the Exkalibur Facebook page to “Building a Business”

 The Exkalibur Facebook page is now

 “Building a Business”

For years, I have used Facebook simply to replicate the articles I’ve published on Sword Tips, the Exkalibur blog.

I rarely provided anything else on the Facebook platform to help you and other business leaders solve their everyday problems … even though that’s what I do every day everywhere else.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

That’s not really what I intended, but it was early in the Facebook lifecycle and I wasn’t sure what I should be doing differently on the Exkalibur Facebook page.

Maybe you’ve faced the same questions as you’ve surfed the Internet waters, uncertain about what you may find where and what you can do to more efficiently to find just that exact piece of information to help you with a particular issue?

Don’t you think we’re both trying to figure out how to manage the information tsunami flowing from blogs, RSS feeds, Facebook pages, twitter feeds and a host of other sources? (more…)


Leadership Lessons | Are you only a legend in your own mind?

What Does It Take to be a Great Leader?

Nothing in life travels in a neat formation accompanied by bugles and cavalry. A lot of it shows up filthy and unkempt, prominent in the mess we’ve made around our foxhole. These lessons are typically the offspring of hubris, naivete and ignorance … or from overlooking the land mines hidden beneath our feet.

Every Tuesday, we’ll share valuable and practical leadership tips and tools to help you BE a better leader so you can BECOME a better leader. Remember … you won’t BECOME a better leader until you start BEING a better leader  … implementing NOW the changes necessary to adopt the proven strategies of successful leaders. You might start by building on the communication matrix and making sure you’re defending the castle to get done what only you can do. Make some time so you’re thinking past today.


It’s Almost Midnight. Do you know where your cash is?

Okay, I admit it, I’m cheating a little this week … but I’ve got a few good reasons. Well, I’m calling them reasons anyway.

For one, I’m working hard to get ready for our Cash Flow Workshop, “It’s Almost Midnight. Do You Know Where Your Cash Is?” scheduled for May 25th. If you live in the San Francisco bay area, are not a financial executive and want to advance your business finance knowledge, our workshop is tailored for you.

Every successful business executive needs a solid grounding in the principles of cash flow … (more…)


King Arthur: The Power of the (Exkalibur?) Legend

How could I NOT share this email with you?

Seriously? Isn’t this all about Exkalibur … really? Pretty cool, huh? Maybe somebody’s looking out for us? (BTW, I might have to “borrow” the image of that sword handle.)

How many of you know of The Teaching Company and their terrific Great Courses catalog? If you’re a lifelong learner … and you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t … it’s a great resource that provides access to the great teaching professors from prominent universities. They offer more than 350 titles … in innumerable subjects ranging from the fields of science, fine arts, history and archaeology, philosophy, wine, music, mathematics … there is nothing really outside of their realm. You should check them out. Their stuff is really good.

By visiting King Arthur: The Power of the Legend, you can watch the free video yourself and get an idea of some of the wonderful offerings from this great company.

The Power of the Legend

So, maybe there are even more lessons in store from the legend of King Arthur? I’ll take a look at the video and report back to you. If you get a chance to watch it, let me know what you think.


Warning: Sell Wine? Ignore Cash? Adios!

New here? Get more useful information by subscribing for free via email or our RSS feed. Let’s get started.


Why is this so hard? We find ourselves entrenched in the quagmire of a lingering and painful recession … more companies than ever need stronger financial management … and yet so many of them remain painfully slow to recognize it. Sure, many have trimmed costs and are paying closer attention to nickels and dimes, but few of them have a comprehensive financial strategy.

Business Finance? Meet the Wine Industry!

So, in some misguided way, I guess it feels good to have some company … because the need for financial discipline was a common refrain among wine industry cognoscenti at this year’s Symposium, Competing in a Rapidly Changing Global Wine Market. The economic shock waves of the last 24 months have rocked the wine industry, dragging many of its members, in some cases kicking and screaming … into an era where professional management and greater financial discipline are demanding front row seats alongside the entrepreneurs and artisans that have reigned over the California wine industry

Stronger financial management is overdue in the California wine industry.

Building a bridge between the financial community and the wine industry is one of the founding precepts of the Wine Industry Financial Symposium formed in 1992. Last Monday, I was privileged to lead a 90 minute workshop devoted to Practical Strategies to Improve Cash Flow, in which I shared a few “diamonds in the rough” about how to get more juice into your bank account … and how the California wine businesses can integrate Strategic Finance into their everyday business decision making.

Wine, Wisdom and Stronger Finance. Drink up!

During the preceding From Survival to Prosperity – Strategies for Transition session, (more…)

1 Comment

Business Finance workshop at the Wine Industry Financial Symposium

For at least 18 years, the Wine Industry Symposium Group, an organization of California wine industry professionals, has held the Wine Industry Financial Symposium to “develop a communications bridge to the financial community.”

This year, I will be conducting a 90 minute workshop to help companies in the wine industry revitalize their free cash flow. Here’s the exact title of the workshop scheduled for Monday, September 20, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. You can find the program and registration details here.


Cash Flow has never been more critical as we face a clouded andunpredictable business landscape. Learn about the power of Strategic Finance and how you can extract cash from your operations and pour the juice into your bank account.

For the wine industry, this event is the kickoff for our Financial Adrenaline series, (more…)

1 Comment

Vol. 50- Why punt? Go for it on 4th Down!

The North Bay Business Journal, a publication of the New York Times, is a weekly business newspaper which covers the North Bay area of San Francisco – from the Golden Gate bridge north, including the Wine Country of Sonoma and Napa counties.

This page provides the Print-Friendly Version of the article, as published.

Any related materials or articles referenced in the column, or otherwise applicable, will also be referenced below:

The electronic version of the article, as published, may be found here.


Article published -October 5, 2009larykirchenbauerhdr


Building a Business: Do you punt on fourth down because you always do?

Sure it’s normal, but what’s normal about his economy?

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I … I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

– Robert Frost

Several years ago when my father was in his final days, his bonhomie in full bloom, I sat in the room while the doctors administered a few basic tests to assess his cognition.

“What country do you live in,” they asked and Dad answered correctly.

“What city do you live in,” they asked. Dad answered “Grand Rapids,” correct again.

“What state do you live in,” they continued. Dad, ever alert, laughed and responded … “Discombobulation.”

I think my father would agree that the “state of discombobulation” is still a pretty good word choice today. So, maybe it’s also a good time for some fresh thinking … to shake things up, tip them upside down, to innovate … in other words, take a few calculated risks to see if we can generate some new ideas.

I read recently about Kevin Kelly, a high school football coach in Arkansas, who has developed a few football rules that most of us would find ludicrous, to wit:

1. His team hasn’t punted since 2007, when it did so as a sportsmanlike gesture in a very one-sided game.

2. They don’t kick field goals. (more…)


Building a Business: Vol. 42: The high-and-inside fastball and other sports analogies

The high-and-inside fastball and other sports analogies


Who can say it better than Yogi – “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore” … “I always thought that record would stand until it was broken” … “I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question.”

Yes, I know, you’re disappointed this week that I’m not talking about Newton’s Third Law of Motion, but my brain needs a rest … and I’m still straining with every molecule in my body to understand what Newton’s talking about. When in doubt – sports. (more…)


Hope is not a Strategy: FREE Live Webcast

On Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. PDT and on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. PDT, we are hosting a FREE Live Webcast for CEO’s and business leaders in the middle market.

I believe middle market businesses need to do 2 things immediately:

  1. Evade the distractions of contradictory economic news and focus on what they CAN control, and
  2. Kick the “credenza food” to the curb and create a 12 Month S.M.A.R.T. Action Plan to implement those actions!

Our FREE Live Webcast is presented in in collaboration with SuccessFactors, a recognized market leader in performance management software. It will be moderated by Brad Bollinger, Editor in Chief and Associate Publisher, North Bay Business Journal, a New York times publication.


V39: Government Intrusion can be fatal!

For almost two years, I have been writing a regular column for the North Bay Business Journal, a publication of the New York Times, a weekly business newspaper which covers the North Bay area of San Francisco – from the Golden Gate bridge north, including the Wine Country of Sonoma and Napa counties.



Article References

Article published – April 13, 2009

BUILDING A BUSINESS: Government’s awkward, costly intervention in economy

Only better corporate accountability, innovation can lead American industry

by Lary Kirchenbauer

I can’t help myself this week. The mounting encroachment by the federal government across the terrain of American enterprise is very troubling, so I hope you’ll join me as we take a slight detour to address a few of these issues.

I understand the outrage over the egregious pay packages, bailout bonuses and inscrutable investment products of many of the nations’ major financial institutions. I also understand the unsettling power of the lender of last resort. Yet, to ignore the federal government’s track record is like overlooking a cliff when climbing the Matterhorn. Two recent and provocative reports serve as vivid reminders of the federal government’s woeful track record and ineptitude at managing large-scale enterprises. (more…)

1 Comment