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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.

Hope Springs Eternal … but it’s not enough!

How’s that strategy execution coming along?

I ’ll bet things are starting to drag about now, aren’t they? Summer’s here, you’re dialing it back a little, taking some well-deserved vacation. You launched the year full of promise … but many of your initiatives seem to be stuck, people have too much on their plates, the plans you made may not quite make it to the finish line …

How do you get your initiatives back on track?

The gum does kinda lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight, doesn’t it? Even though you’re about to round the clubhouse turn toward year-end, you’re discovering that it’s much easier to start than to finish.

You struggle to keep the engine stoked with the same energy that propelled your launch at the beginning of the year.

You may be feeling some of the air coming out of the tires, and begin to wonder … “where did all of our energy go”?

What’s that whimpering sound?

Keep reading …

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The past offers no forgiveness for today’s transgressions!

What’s missing? Why do we keep wrestling with the same issues that we’ve examined and discussed throughout our careers?

T hat’s what makes it both fascinating … and painful … to be reminded about our timeless journey and our ongoing struggle to find the right balance to fulfill the lives we envision for ourselves.

“To be or not to be that is the question.”

I’ve always been intrigued by Shakespeare’s line … not only because of its famous lineage, but because so few know the words that follow and give the phrase its power:

“Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing, end them.”

I recently sent a note to a few of my former partners, accusing Yo-Yo Ma of hijacking for his new album one of our frequently-invoked phrases: “Goat Rodeo Sessions.”

In those days, we applied it to all manner of things that appeared as a super-cluster of mayhem and chaos. What I’ve learned is that poor project planning and organization is the hallmark of many of the failed projects on which we have all served.

what should be on your routines list? Keep reading …

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More Timeless Leadership Lessons | Why are some challenges so hard to kill?

This week, our magical mystery tour continues with another retrospective about some of the timeless issues that of us face.

M aybe we can figure out why some of these challenges are so hard to kill?

I’ve grabbed a few quotes to re-introduce those concepts (and give you collective access to a bunch of them at once.)

What are Some of the Most Important Leadership Concepts?

None of these issues has gone away. We’re continually battling the same challenges … occasionally finding temporary resolution or respite, but often juggling so many of them because we don’t take time to resolve any of them.

“Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.” Andrew Grove

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” George Bernard Shaw

Keep reading for more timeless leadership lessons …

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Timeless Leadership Lessons and the Quotes That Go With Them

Most of the articles I have written over 30 years have climbed around the monkey bars at the intersection of Leadership, Strategy and Productivity.

A ccording to several keen observers, I’ve also listened in on their boardroom conversations.

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Others have said they recognized themselves in my examples … I’ll never tell … and some have even said, “stop writing about me”. We’ll never know if it was intentional or accidental, will we?

What are Some of the Most Important Leadership Concepts?

From that platform, I decided to take a moment to summarize some of the timeless issues that beset executives … and since so many of you have remarked about how much you love the regular quotes … and have liberally “borrowed” them … which you should … I’ve grabbed a few to re-introduce those concepts (and give you collective access to a bunch of them at once.)

In most cases, time has only strengthened my conviction about the importance of these concepts. Most of them deserve to be regularly refreshed and repeated as the touchstones of Effective Leadership and successful businesses.

Keep reading for timeless leadership lessons …

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The Power of the “Elapsed Time Effect”

Time is the one thing we want more of … and yet more of it dissolves every day.

H ere’s one more way to get the most out of your day … every day.

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Don’t we all know there are many tasks or projects that require us to wait for something else to get done first … or for someone else to get something done before we can continue?

We know that “waiting for” stuff is a critical piece of our personal productivity program because it’s the linchpin of the critical “follow up” that we must always be doing.

So, that part is pretty obvious.

But, have you ever prioritized your tasks to make sure that you’re taking account of the “elapsed time” that something requires?

Here’s the simple hierarchy I try to use. See if it makes sense to you.

1. The 2 Minute Rule

If you can get it done in 2 minutes, do it, get it over with, move on. I think we all know this one.

Keep reading to put the Elapsed Time Effect to work for You …

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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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