Blog: Leading & Living Courageously

Are you living in and enjoying the moment?

A powerful quote by Alfred D’Souza, which I have shared in the past:  “For a long time, it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last, it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life”.   Have you ever had the frustrating or upsetting feeling that you are moving too slow, or you are behind in achieving your life and/or professional goals? I had a conversation with a senior executive who has had a very successful […]

Complete 2019 in a meaningful way

Effectively completing a chapter can be a meaningful and powerful endeavor if you approach it with a deliberate and conscious mindset. Unfortunately, most people tend to focus more on starting a project and executing it, and when it reaches its end, they just move to the next one. We tend to underestimate the power and value of completing things effectively, not merely finishing or ending them. The dictionary defines ‘Finishing‘ as ‘Bringing a task or activity to an end.’ It defines ‘Completing‘ as ‘Making something whole or perfect.’ You don’t have to do anything for something to end. It is the nature of any cycle. Things begin, go through their evolution and end. A year, […]

Are you energizing and inspiring your people?

Some time ago, in a meeting I was facilitating, people were going around introducing themselves. One of the long-time veterans of that organization stood up and introduced himself in the following way: “My name is Bill. I don’t remember how long I’ve been here, but I have 64 months to go!” You would think that Bill represents a small minority of cynical people. However, my experience says otherwise. Unfortunately, I find cynical and resigned people at all levels of all organizations. When I ask senior executives, “How are your people doing?” I often get a stock answer of, “My people are excited and in great shape.” However, when I interact with the organization, I often […]

Success through Rigor, Clarity, and Responsibility

Often when managers and employees feel frustrated about other’s lack of accountability, and they describe the reality as: “They promised to do X and didn’t deliver!” there is more to the story than that. I have seen many times, in situations of conflict or dispute, person A insisting that person B promised to do or deliver something and simply did not do so, while person B denies ever having made the promise in the first place. Both parties feel frustrated and resentful. Each one believes their version of the story represents the facts and truth. However, in many cases, when both parties step back, look a bit deeper, and try to view the situation more […]

Are you driving outcomes or activities?

So often, when teams define their strategy, they tend to target activities instead of outcomes. For example, they promise: ‘Installing a new order shipping tracking system’ instead of ‘80% of our orders are shipped on time’; ‘Create a process that gives visibility to post-sales issues’ versus ‘all post-sales issues are resolved within 24 hours’; and ‘All sales employees have gone through our sales training program’ instead of ‘we have raised the average productivity of the sales team from 2 million per person to 3 million.’ While activities are essential for executing and delivering the results, they should not be the starting point of any strategy. The job of leaders is to make strategic choices about […]

Can you tolerate brutal honesty?

There are two types of leaders – those who can only tolerate brutal honesty and those who cannot tolerate brutal honesty at all. Leaders who are relentless about driving a culture of open, honest, and courageous communication around them are typically extremely committed to high performance. They have zero interest in, or tolerance for, internal drama or politics. They operate at a high level of personal integrity, authenticity, and ownership. And, they expect and demand the same from people around them. They make it difficult – if not impossible – for people to get away with doing the things that undermine and weaken the organization, such as pointing fingers, adopting a victim mentality, indulging in […]