Don’t look now, but conversations are becoming increasingly rare.

The fact that there are plenty of attempts at messaging doesn’t mean any real conversations are taking place…

Just because there is measurable attention being paid to a given topic or hundreds of hours of talk devoted to a critical issue is no guarantee of progress.

Need a stark case-in-point?Continue Reading Oh No! Not the same conversation…again!

The sentiment expressed by Vince Lombardi, the legendary former coach of the Green Bay Packers, has reached manifesto status — “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.”

At the other end of the spectrum is the antiquated idea derived from the Grantland Rice poem ‘Alumnus Football’ (1908) — “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”

Though I’m usually up for a spirited debate, let’s stipulate that it is one thing to believe that winning is the point when we’re talking about our favorite competition.

But an almost blind obsession with finishing on top is far more ubiquitous than just in the games we play

The question is — when competitive juices drive the pursuit of a win at all costs no matter the arena, what is revealed about what we value most?

Surely there are important encounters where winning is decidedly not the only thing.Continue Reading With deference to Lombardi, Winning is NOT the only thing

When was the last time you heard (or uttered) this phrase in a moment of consequence?

Reflecting, I’m fairly certain I’ve said “I’m sorry.” But that is not the same thing.

Sadly, I don’t remember backing away from a position, strategy or action, and thoughtfully acknowledging having been flat wrong…though there have been plenty of times when it would have been the most appropriate response. 

This blind spot comes with serious consequences.Continue Reading I Was Wrong

Here are three things to say when your goal is to stifle creativity and bring any conversation about change to a screeching halt.

  • “That {problem / issue / challenge} will always be present.”
  • “You’ll never {gain consensus / get the support necessary} to change that…”
  • “It is what it is.”

There are scores of variations on the theme. But the thesis is the same: discussion is pointless — things will never change / improve — the dye is case.

There is no more poignant indicator of an absence of leadership.Continue Reading Leaders Pursue Solutions, Relentlessly

A compass with text and icons – Principles

If your firm is puzzling over conversations about business development, inclusion, mental health in the work place, succession, stability or any aspect of how to grow, consider that this might be a sign that critical areas of your organization may not be aligned.

Not that these topics aren’t challenging. Indeed, each calls for the best a leader or leadership team can bring to the table.

But if you’re having trouble addressing these challenges, the elements essential to a highly functioning organization are either missing or out of alignment. As a result, the pressure on productivity, profitability and stability is likely to intensify.

An uncertain marketplace only adds to the pressure.Continue Reading Why Leaders Should Focus On A Set Of Guiding Principles

There is still time to give a gift that can change everything in the coming year.

The gift? A fresh start. A new beginning. A clean slate.

Give it to everyone with whom you interact — family, colleagues, team members, clients and customers. Extend it even to those from whom you expect to receive little or nothing in return.

And give it to yourself.Continue Reading New Year. Clean Slate.

There are at least a hundred things a week that will wind up on the desk of every leader. Maybe a hundred every day.

And much of what lands in your lap really does warrant your attention…especially if you serve as both leader and manager. (A bit on this juggling act in a moment.)

But of all the items that vie for a chunk of time, one job belongs permanently pinned to the top of every leader’s priority list: the challenges associated with casting a Vision of the future.
Continue Reading The One Thing A Leader Must Master


I have never been a “morning person.” Anyone who knows me knows I rely on a strong cup of coffee to help shake the cobwebs.

If you share this “condition” I’ll wager we also share an understanding that being slow to wake isn’t the same as not having a compelling reason to greet each day.

A clear vision and its inexorable link to a mission — to the drive to accomplish something — is the reason to consistently show up and bring the best you’ve got.

The more compelling the vision the more it defines our days and gives rise to intentional acts.
Continue Reading What Prompts You To Show Up In The Morning?