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Leadership LibraryI have written more than 300 articles about Leadership, about 1/3 of which have been published by the SF affiliate of the New York Times. You can focus here on specific issues including Communication, Compensation, Governance, Entrepreneurship, Performance, Planning, and Recruiting

Please check out the Featured Articles from our Leadership Library to get you started.

Odds of 2 Monumental Events in Your Life on the Same Date? Incredible!

There aren’t too many days so emblazoned in our memories as July 20 is for me.

N ot just for one memorable moment, but two spectacular ones.

So, if you don’t mind, come along with me as I memorialize those wonderful moments and share some of the colorful details that intensify my own memory of those very special days … and maybe help you, as well, to memorialize those special moments in your life.

Jim Bunning

Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame Pitcher


Sunday, July 20, 1958

My father was a minister so weekends were never our own. Saturdays for last minute preparation, Sundays for church.

We lived in Michigan and were huge Detroit Tiger fans. Detroit was several hundred miles away and between school, summer jobs and Dad’s work, we never made it to a game.

That is, until my Dad was hired to teach some courses at Boston University one summer and the family got to tag along for 3 weeks. While Dad was working, Mom dragged us all over town. We hit the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill, Lexington & Concord and an endless array of the great attractions of Boston.

“Hey Dad, look who’s in town?”

Read the Full Article. What happened on July 20?

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Are You Sure You’re Always Serving the Best Interests of Your Customers?

How often do the best interests of your customers and clients conflict with the short-term financial goals of your business?

A re your sure everyone in your organization doing the right thing when no one’s looking?

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You grabbed the last piece of cake before your sister could get it.

The principal called and said your daughter broke a toy because another girl got to it first.

Your son pushed a boy on the playground because that boy got the last place on the teeter-totter.

“You know better than that!”

Isn’t that what our mothers would have said … our fathers, too?

What made them think that we knew better than that?

Are you serving the best interests of your customers? Keep reading …

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The One Big Change You’re Sick of Hearing About … And a Foolproof Way to Fix It.

There is at least One Irrefutable and Universal Truth

I t’s a pretty rare day when we don’t think about changing someone else, isn’t it?

If we could just get other people to change, to do things our way, to see the path as we do ….

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You may not know Tom Allender, but you’d be lucky if you did.

Several years ago, my wife mentioned that Tom had a reputation as a very insightful and heartfelt speaker and was appearing at the local parish in a few weeks to talk about relationships.

I was a little skeptical of getting “preached to” about relationships, but my wife was eager to attend, so I agreed to join her.

He was terrific and wasn’t at all “preachy” … and as he got started, you could see couples beginning to squirm, turning to each other and whispering versions of …

“How did he know that [about us]?”

… or “Have you already talked to him?” …

“I didn’t see him peeking in our window.” ….

What is that One Universal Truth?

It quickly became clear he could pinpoint the universality of the many things we face in our relationships with each other.

What I distinctly remember is his story about the married man who approached him one day to ask about an upcoming couples’ retreat:

Keep reading to learn about the One Universal Truth …

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How Many Times Have You Been Through This Revolving Door?

Remember how Mom used to say: “You know better than that?”

S he knew we could make better decisions. So, why did she have to say this so often?

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It wasn’t that we were ignorant or unaware of what was supposed to be done.

Quite the contrary. We knew damn well what we were supposed to do but we just didn’t want to do it.

Why not?

Why Don’t We Do What We Know We Must Do?

That’s the eternal conundrum, isn’t it my friends? Why don’t we do what we know we must do?

Continue reading to detect the symptoms & learn the solutions for indecision …

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Why is Your Company Even Here? 3 Tips To Tell Everyone Why.

You may think you’re a pretty good communicator.

B ut, have you clearly communicated the purpose of your organization so everyone in your company can recite it?

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Communication is a critical ingredient of business success and we all probably think we’re pretty good at it. We can walk, talk, dictate, speak and even string together a few intelligible sentences.

We chat with our troops, talk to our customers and vendors, share information with colleagues and shareholders. We hold meetings, BBQ’s and off-sites to talk about what’s going on.

We’re all pretty good communicators … aren’t we?

What exactly is Communication?

The inimitable Mr. Webster focuses on the transmission of thoughts and ideas, as if the means of communicating, or the act itself, constitutes “communication”.

Yet, when you peruse a thesaurus for synonyms, you get words like

communion

connection,

conversation, and

interchange, as well as

transmission, and

advisement.

When you think of advisement and transmission, it’s more about talking than conversing, while with connection” and conversation, you expect a collaborative, two-way exchange.

Is it Talking or Conversing?

what is the purpose of your company? Keep reading …

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Do You Follow a Routine – Or Just Full Speed Ahead and Hope It All Gets Done?

If you’re like me, you realize that there are a lot of “little things” you need to do every day that often “leak out” in the maelstrom that surrounds your normal routine.

A re you diligent about keeping track or have you just given up?

imageIf you’re like me, you realize that there are a lot of “little things” you need to do every day that often “leak out” in the maelstrom that surrounds your normal routine.

It’s usually those things we’ve promised someone we would do that day FOR SURE … a small thing, easily done … but then, in the firestorm at the office, we completely forget about it until we hit home and are gently reminded about our oversight … again.

Yes, it could be very minor but it’s often one of those nagging little nuggets that keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.

What is a Routines List?

what should be on your routines list? Keep reading …

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Accountability | What Does It Really Mean?

Accountability comes up as one of the top 3 issues on the minds of CEOs in almost every conversation I have with them.

T hey know, deep in their bones, that unless they build an organization that embeds this elusive concept into its DNA, the chances of achieving their goals will be equally elusive.

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When does Accountability begin?

“When is it no longer my responsibility to get people to complete their assignments … and where does their responsibility to perform begin?” a North Bay CEO asked me recently.

“Your responsibility never ends … and neither does theirs,” I said.

“Your job is to work tirelessly to build accountability into the organization so that your team understands that being held accountable is the cornerstone of a strong, successful organization. It is not punitive.”

Recently, we’ve discussed personal accountability as the “singular touchstone of professional success over which we have the greatest control.”

We’ve also discussed the After Action Review a valuable teaching tool that reinforces accountability and inspires a culture of continuous improvement.

An organization focused on accountability might be seen as the thread that connects our personal accountability

–talking the talk, and, the After Action Review as …

walking the walk.

But what is it, really?

What is Accountability … Really?

In simple terms, accountability is a willingness to accept responsibility for our actions.

It’s being reliable and making certain that the commitments we make, from the perspective of others, have been kept. For a responsible culture to prevail, each of us must make certain that those commitments are honest – and honored.

At the core of accountability is the requirement to set clear expectations.

Keep reading to make sure you understand what Accountability really means

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Accountability | The 4 Key Principles of Powerful After Action Reviews

After Action Reviews are a powerful force to learn from what went right … and what went wrong.

L earn these 4 Principles to make it work for your team and organization.

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Many years ago when we lived in the Midwest, we became very good friends with a young couple down the street.

He was a fellow fraternity brother, from another college, but I remember him as a super bright physician with a unique ability to describe complex medical subjects in layman’s language.

After Action Reviews are for Learning – NOT Blame

One day, he asked me if I’d like to go to work with him on Saturday. He’d show me around, we’d have lunch, hang out.

He couldn’t leave for lunch, but he would bring along some homemade sandwiches, bologna with lots of ketchup, he said, and I could sit in his pathology lab as he performed an autopsy … and while he was cutting and sawing, we would enjoy our lunch together.

It was when he started laughing that I realized why my vision of an overloaded bologna sandwich, dripping with ketchup alongside an autopsy table, was kicking up a firestorm in my gut.

Keep reading to capture the 4 Key Principles of After Action Reviews

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The Power of Personal Accountability

The Power of One concept is not new — it’s the bedrock of everything from motivational speeches to Army One.

S o, why not begin by setting an example of personal accountability that can be emulated throughout your organization?

the power of personal accountability

There’s an entire industry devoted to the power we have over our destiny.

In the context of Becoming a More Effective Leader, you can view the Power of One as a series of concentric circles that ripple outward from the center … from where you stand as a business leader.

God grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference. ~ Reinhold Nieburh

With a jittery economy and an historical presidential election on the horizon, we’ve been inundated with economic data, shards of doubt and glimmers of hope. While we can’t ignore these external forces, we can’t allow them to deter our commitment to reclaiming control of our agenda.

It all starts with Personal Accountability

As a result, there’s no better topic with which to start than Personal Accountability, the singular touchstone of professional success over which we have the greatest control.

Keep reading to learn more about the Power of One ….

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