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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.

Today is a Good Day to Quaff a Chilled Mug of Amnesia

Get yourself a tall chilled mug of Amnesia and have a seat.

T his is a beverage you should drink as often as possible.

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No calories. Low in carbs … but filled with the protein needed to turbocharge your organization.

Here’s what will happen after one or more of these adult beverages.

First, you will forget about your mistakes and those of others.

If you were properly doing your After Action Reviews, you will have already learned the lessons drawn from those failures and disappointments. Once you make sure everyone learns those lessons, including those individuals who may have fallen short of your expectations, it’s time to move on.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. ~ Seneca

Send the powerful message to everyone that …

Keep reading to get this powerful message

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What’s new in 2016? Let’s start here ….

For a long time, I’ve been publishing new content every week … a quotation on Monday morning and a new blog post on both Wednesday and Friday.

With the New Year, I decided to move in a slightly different direction. You’ll still receive a favorite quote every Monday morning. That won’t change.

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A New Weekly Newsletter

For the rest of the week, I’m going to combine Wednesdays and Fridays and issue a weekly newsletter every Wednesday. The result will be a more robust product that will cover a wider range of interests, and I hope, will be even more valuable to you.

Keep reading to see what’s in store in 2016 …

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Is Your 2016 Plan Alive and Well … Or Dying on Your Credenza?

Completing your 2016 plan does not mean you’re finished.

I t means you’re just beginning and if you don’t keep it alive, it will be DOA.

2016 Highway to Success

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. ~Dwight Eisenhower

I think that Eisenhower’s message that plans are worthless but planning is essential strikes a chord we all can embrace.

The word “planning” strikes fear and pain in the hearts of those who hear that word, but just when you think you’re done … you’re just getting started.

Is Your 2016 Plan Ready?

You’re aware that the commencement address only comes at the end of your school experience … NOT the beginning?

Likewise, your 2016 plan is just the starting line … and the work is just beginning.

Don’t miss the most important part of your 2016 plan

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Is Your Leadership Team at the Top of Its Game? | Take This Challenge

Your Leadership Team is the linchpin of your success as well as your organization’s.

H ave you taken a close look at the strengths of your Leadership Team? If there are gaps, what are you doing about it?

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Thermopylae.

Little Big Horn.

Vicksburg.

The Alamo.

For many, these words conjure a spectacle of clubs, spears and cannons … for others a vision of what might have been.

For me, they resound with will, determination and commitment … AND … they are a compelling reminder of how we can apply limited resources to overwhelming challenges.

Sounds like the role of the CEO in today’s demanding economy, doesn’t it … focusing scarce resources on a few critical initiatives?

Is Your Leadership Team up to the Challenge?

Do you recognize that the gaps in your leadership team are the single biggest obstacle to your success?

Continue and take the Leadership Team Challenge

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Happy New Year! 2016 is YOUR YEAR.

Happy New Year, my friends.

L et’s see what we can accomplish together in 2016!

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Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. ~ Oscar Wilde

The New Year is always a great time for renewal and for a fresh start … but don’t let yourself get bogged down by a bunch of new resolutions that you most likely will never keep.

In fact, just embrace Oscar Wilde’s simple mantra for 2015.

Here are some Powerful Goals for 2016

Continue reading to kickstart your 2016 …

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Want to be more strategic in 2016? Start thinking like a drone.

It’s easy to get stuck trying to find our way out of the wilderness every day.

T ry this approach to gain perspective and think more strategically.

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They say more than a million drones were sold over the Christmas holiday.

Some for fun, some for mischief … but many offering innovative solutions for a wide array of challenges.

They’re being used to check ski slopes for snow coverage … to look for cracks and repair requirements at the top of wind turbines … and to accomplish video rooftop inspections to save thousands of hours and complete repairs more quickly.

If you don’t have a drone …

Maybe Santa left your drone off his list? No worries. You can add it to your birthday list when the time comes around.

In the meantime, there is one critical lesson you can take away from all of the hullabaloo around this revolutionary invention.

Keep reading to learn this technique ….

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Rudolph Made It | So Can You

If you woke up this morning with sugar plums dancing in your head, most likely Santa made it down the chimney … and Rudolph is stretched out on the ottoman with a cup of egg nog in hand.

T here’s a powerful lesson in here for you.

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“Seriously?” my wife said.

“You’re really singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer while you’re getting dressed this morning?”

I’m afraid so.

Honestly, I have no idea how that song got into my head.

Maybe because Rudolph … along with Santa and Frosty … are the most iconic images of a secular Christmas?

Why is Christmas like a day at the office? Because you do all the work, and the fat guy in the suit gets all the credit.

Maybe because Santa brought me some cool loot?

Maybe all that … but for just a moment, I stopped to consider the words … mostly to figure out how to convince my wife that I hadn’t lost it … yet.

It dawned on me that there’s a very timeless message in this simple tune that applies to all of us entrepreneurs … and everyone else trying to find their way in this world.

Keep reading to get the full Rudolph Message ….

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Creativity & Innovation | They’re alive and well and living at USF

Last week, as an Adjunct Professor at USF, I had the opportunity to once again participate as a judge for the Fall 2015 University of San Francisco Undergraduate Pitch Competition.

I f you’re concerned about the ambitions and creativity of graduating students these days, don’t be. They’re on it.

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The Entrepreneurial Studies Program in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco is ranked in the Top 20 of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Research Universities by Forbes (August 2015). An important part of this program is the Annual Pitch Competition which has been held in 31 consecutive semesters over a 16 year period. Dr. Mark Cannice is the Department Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at USF. Dr. Monika Hudson is the principal organizer and presides over this challenging and entertaining event, attended by more than 200 students.

The Spirit of Creativity is Alive and Well and Kicking

The Undergraduate Pitch Competition highlights the spirit of innovation and creativity among graduating seniors seeking a business degree.

In short, the students are graded in these categories:

  • Delivery:

    • Eye contact (looked at/connected with audience),
    • Movement (expressive, comfortable),
    • Voice (rate, pitch, is the volume natural?),
    • Fluency (articulation is clear and smooth).
  • Content:

    • Introduction – does it gain our attention?
    • Is the customer pain defined?
    • What market research/validators can be identified?
    • What’s the marketing strategy and value proposition?
  • Viability:

    • Would you willingly put $100,000 of your money into the concept as presented?
  • Effectiveness:

    • A clear “ask” for a specific investment amount.
    • A specific plan of how the proceeds will be used.

Each team had 90 seconds without visual aids to make its pitch. The panel of judges had two minutes for questions, comments and suggestions.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. ~ Steve Jobs

Keep reading to see the winners and some of the most innovative ideas ….

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Is it worth fighting for? How Committed Are You? Like Rocky? Rambo?

This may seem like a very strange blog post for a site dedicated to leadership. But not really.

N ot if you’re committed to managing your life, controlling your day and fighting for what you believe.

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Recently, I saw a profile of Sylvester Stallone and, serendipitously, stumbled across several articles and interviews about him at the same time. One of the stories was featured on CBS Sunday Morning which featured him and spotlighted his new movie, Creed.

In the process, I learned that Stallone broke through with his own writing and NOT with his acting. After some of his early acting failures, he began writing, relentlessly. He wrote almost 30 scripts.

He says 29 of them were crappy.

Rocky Balboa – Stallone’s breakout role

The 30th script was for Rocky, a $500 Million blockbuster movie … but as interest began to build in his script, he saw this as a unique opportunity to kickstart his career.

How did he do it?

What can we learn from Sylvester Stallone and his iconic characters?

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Turbocharge Your Resources with these 6 Pivot Points of Leverage

Car jack. Nail clippers. Claw Hammer. Teeter-totter. Tweezers. Nutcracker. Scissors.

W hat do these devices all have in common? They create leverage, a simple but extraordinary force that increases the power of everything to which it is applied. (Whenever a word is underlined with a dotted line, there is an accompanying definition when you click on the word. Most of them are used to explain specific financial terms, like leverage in this case.)

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Engineers and financial analysts use more specific definitions, but in simple terms, you need at least three things to create leverage:

1. A fulcrum, or pivot point,

2. A load being moved, and

3. A force that’s moving it.

Leverage has never been more important for a leader.

Leverage is even more invaluable in a demanding economy. Most of us have fewer resources to solve the problems we face every day … so we need as much leverage as we can muster to turbocharge the resources at our command.

Financial leverage may be one the first things that come to mind, but I want to talk about at least six pivot points that can drive your business to greater success.

1. Delegation

Are you doing everything possible to leverage your time? It not only empowers others to learn and grow, but it increases the chance the most important things won’t get overlooked.

Continue reading to learn the 6 Pivot Points to Gain More Leverage

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