Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

In memory of T. Boone Pickens

I am dedicating this week’s blog to a great man, entrepreneur and business icon who passed away on September 11, 2019 at the age of 91, T. Boone Pickens I have met quite a few highly successful and wealthy entrepreneurs and business leaders over the years. Some of them inspired me, some did not. T. Boone Pickens inspired me. He accumulated and lost a great deal of wealth in his life. He was a bold entrepreneur who stayed true to his vision and business values his entire long life. He took bold risks, even in the face of adversity, he reinvented himself a few times in his life, and he was always open to new […]

Do you spend more time explaining or committing?

I was attending a sales planning session of a global service company in growth mode.  Their Head of Sales kicked off the meeting by asking the sales leaders to think big; outside the box, and not let past and current issues and barriers get in the way. Each regional sales leader then had approximately 90 minutes to present their plan and receive questions, comments, and feedback on their thinking. However, instead of first making bold declarations of what they are planning to do and then outlining the barriers and risks and how they were planning to overcome them, the leaders took a very different approach. They outlined their conservative growth plans, and then they spent […]

Do you just complain or actually do something about it?

I am constantly blown away by my observation that people in organizations – at all levels – prefer to complain and whine about the things they are not happy about rather than doing something about it. In fact, when things don’t work effectively, people tend to spend more time covering their behind – i.e., making sure everyone in the universe knows it is not their fault, instead of trying to figure out how to fix the problem. That is why people rarely step up to outright declare, “You can count on me – I will fix this!” Instead, they prefer to copy the entire universe on their self-protection emails…  or as these are referred to […]

Are you tolerating the blame game?

I was speaking with a senior executive in a global company who has a successful division. He described his team in the following way: “I have great, smart and committed people, but we don’t work as a powerful team. Trust is not high, we don’t address big issues well and I am especially frustrated by the fact that there is too much blame.” I’ve known this executive for many years. He is a great leader, he has always had successful teams and he got to where he is by always achieving strong results. This time was no different. His business results were very strong, but he wanted to make them even stronger by getting rid […]

Don’t underestimate the power of intention

I know too many people who don’t have the reality they want personally and/or professionally and they constantly complain about it, blame others or the circumstances for it and overall give excuses for it. In fact, when I asked one of them the question “How are you doing?” their response was: “Same shit different day!” I have heard different variations on that theme from others… Contrast that with a real-life story (no names) with two chapters: Chapter One: A sales team that was struggling with making their sales targeted numbers for a long time wanted a break. They had enough of wallowing in their sorrows. They wanted a breakthrough; they wanted to start winning and […]

Agreeing to disagree is always a cop-out

Too often I see the following scenario: A team meets to discuss issues critical to the organization’s success. The conversation goes on and on without resolution, as different people have divergent opinions about the best course of action. When the leader tries to bring it to a conclusion, they are no closer to alignment. They leave the meeting “agreeing to disagree.” Such meetings are worse than a waste of time, in fact, they can actually damage the organization, which is then no closer to making the decisions and assuming responsibility for them. People stay within their comfort zones at the expense of moving the organization forward in new and dynamic ways. Take as an example a successful […]