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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.

The Single-Word Concept You Can’t Live Without

PREPARE to Win … or get ready to get your butt kicked!

In our travels, we’ve seen plenty of obstacles to success, from making the tough decisions to staying focused on execution.

As if all that isn’t enough, there are still a few more barricades around the corner.

Lack of preparation is one of them.

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Do you hold your nose when you hear the word Training?

Some of you probably want to hold your nose when you hear the word training, but you couldn’t be more mistaken.

Training may not be the sexiest term, but when you think of it as education and learning … it equates to Preparation, one of the key differentiators among the most successful companies.

How many people have the will to lose?

Keep reading to embrace the key to success

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What’s Keeping You from Making the Tough Decisions?

One of the most pervasive challenges that arises in my coaching sessions with CEOs and other business executives is the struggle to make the tough decisions.

It’s a deadly disease that cripples personal productivity.

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It’s usually a decision that’s already been resolved — silently, often deep in the psyche — but we don’t announce it, we don’t execute it and no one really knows the decision has been made at all.

What’s the impact of indecisiveness?

This is a high stress point for executives. These delayed decisions constantly beg for attention, but as we drop these pebbles of indecision in our backpack, it gets heavier with each step.

Carrying around the burden of these unexecuted decisions is a malignant tumor that can be fatal to both executive effectiveness, productivity and health.

Jack Welch said it best:

“You gain nothing by showing uncertainty and indecision”.

You’re squandering valuable time

These agonizing delays also hijack valuable time from the organization.

Keep reading to Learn How to Overcome Decision-Making Paralysis

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What Would You Do on Captain Flint’s Ship?

Your Decision-Making Style will determine a lot about the success of your decisions.

A re you able to make the tough calls when you need to?

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In an episode of Black Sails, a compelling saga about the Golden Age of Piracy in the early 1700s (S3/E3), the feared Captain Flint was piloting a pirate ship that was becalmed following a vicious storm. The sea was still.

Rations and water were alarmingly limited, and while the men’s rations had already been cut, an even deeper cut was required so the remaining rations and water would last for the additional week expected before the currents would bring them to landfall.

While the captain’s advisors objected and feared the effects of another reduction for all of the men, Captain Flint had a different idea.

What did he do?

What Was Captain Flint’s Decision?

Flint knew that unless the men who were essential to sailing the ship were strong enough to do so, no one would survive.

keep reading to learn the 5 Signs You’re Ignoring the Tough Decisions

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How Are You Doing with that “Vision Thing”? Got One?

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?

Do your customers clearly understand who you are and why you’re here?

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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 this:

When you think of advisement and transmission, it’s more about talking than conversing, isn’t it?

With connection” and conversation, dont’ you you expect a collaborative, two-way exchange?

Is it Talking or Conversing?

Keep reading. How do you communicate why you’re here? …

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Can You Prevent the Toxic Flavor of Public Discourse from Infecting Your Culture?

Do you think the the Presidents we most revere are repulsed by how we have dispatched decency standards from the public conversation?

I sure do.

Have I got your attention?

I debated using the image alongside, but I decided to include it so that you’re clear I’m not sugar-coating this subject. It’s probably not the first time you’ve seen this gesture. Probably not the last.

I did it because I want you to pay attention so you don’t let the vulgar and disrespectful standards of our public discourse bleed into your culture and damage everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Setting high standards and strong values is a cornerstone of a successful company.

Why do I bring this up?

In large part because the now concluded impeachment trial of Donald Trump, juxtaposed with the rabble-rousers that find space in the news every day, confirms in vivid colors the anger that separates so many people and the abandonment of civility in our public discourse.

How Do You Prevent this Toxic Behavior from Infecting Your Culture?

We expect people to know the difference between right and wrong, don’t we … even though we also know that such a high standard makes it even more difficult to clearly spell out every single instance of that conduct.

We’re usually invoking the same sentiment when we say that something doesn’t pass the “smell test”. Likewise … the classic case of the “I’ll know it when I see it” observation.

The challenge is that we understand the spirit more than the letter of this code of conduct. Each of us sees these infractions through the prism of our own experiences and we each adhere to a different set of standards than someone else.

What do you do in situations where the conduct of an employee or colleague seems misguided or inappropriate even though there may be no specific written standard that prohibits it?

Read more about creating a Code of Conduct …

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