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  • Are You Chasing Attributes, or Competencies?

    Are You Chasing Attributes, or Competencies?

    There are literally thousands of articles and posts written every week about the attributes of great leaders. Humility, Transparency, Fallibility, Integrity. Although it’s fun and interesting to muse on these attributes, they lack clarity.  If you actually decided that you wanted to take action to develop one of these attributes, where would you start? What […]

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  • Do Your Own Job

    Do Your Own Job

    It’s important to understand that the object of the exercise, at any level, and in any organization, is to get the best results you can with the resources you’ve been given (money, assets, people, time). And, at each new leadership level that you’re promoted to, the term best results is defined differently. In broad terms, […]

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  • It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

    It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

    I know that the phrase, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, is a tired old cliche… but it just seemed to be appropriate for this moment.  And I can speak with some authority on the matter, at least, because I ran a few marathons back in the good old days: I’m talking about the days […]

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  • Leading for long term success

    Leading for Long-Term Success

    If you’re in it for yourself, your people will never be in it for you. Ever.  I observed this throughout my corporate career, and came to see it as a fundamental truism of leadership. Self-seeking leaders can’t get the best out of their people, because it’s almost impossible to rally them to a higher purpose.  […]

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  • Where Stress Meets Performance

    Where Stress Meets Performance

    We generally talk about stress like it’s a bad thing. Putting people under stress is something that many leaders try to avoid. Why? Well, if you put people under stress, then maybe they’ll feel bad and won’t like you anymore. And because of our natural conflict aversion, we want our people to like us. We […]

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  • Why you shouldn't just do it

    Why You Shouldn’t ‘Just Do It!’

    Have you ever questioned your boss about a particular task, and at the end of a brief exchange, he simply says: “Look, just do it, OK?”  I call these leaders “Nike bosses”, for obvious reasons. Although I’m sure no one sets out to become a Nike boss, sometimes it’s simply the product of a leader […]

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  • Success starts when you set expectations

    Success Starts When You Set Expectations

    It can be a little daunting to take on a new role, especially when it’s at a higher level than the roles you’ve previously held.  And it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been promoted internally, or you’ve been appointed from outside the company: you need to set strong expectations right from the get go. It’s really […]

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  • Keep it Simple, Stupid!

    Keep it Simple, Stupid!

    In my experience, simplicity goes hand-in-hand with focus. You’ve probably heard the expression “trying to boil the ocean”. This creates a great visual of what happens when you spread your attention too thinly to try to achieve a broad range of outcomes, and ultimately achieve very little. Do you remember as a child taking a […]

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  • Does Your Education Determine Your Opportunities?

    Does Your Education Determine Your Opportunities?

    Your formal qualifications are your ticket to the dance. You can’t practice as a lawyer, a doctor, or an electrician unless you’ve been accredited by a reputable academic institution, as having successfully navigated a process learning and critical assessment. It tells potential employers two things: the first is that you’ve managed to achieve a basic […]

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  • Does More Information = Better Decisions?

    Does More Information = Better Decisions?

    I love Malcolm Gladwell: his book Outliers is one of my all-time favorites. When Gladwell talks, I listen: even if I don’t agree with his views, they’re always incredibly thought-provoking. You probably know that decision-making is a subject that’s close to my heart: it’s a critical part of strong leadership. So when I heard Gladwell […]

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