Tag Archives: Leadership

Leadership quotations: Eisenhower, Roosevelt, Lincoln

This week I thought a lot about leadership and ran across these leadership quotations. . . What is leadership? “Leadership is influence” – John Maxwell “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”  – Dwight D. Eisenhower Is leadership inherited or learned?… Read More »

Change Management: Head + Heart + Hand

After reading Switch (affiliate link) by the Heath brothers, I am convinced that successful consulting projects must appeal to the head, the heart and the hand. It’s a simple way to think about change management, but it also makes a lot of sense. We all want to create sustainable change. Head: The logic of the analysis… Read More »

Review: Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016

Deloitte 2016 Global Human Capital Trends was released here (5.6Mb). It is a 124 page manifesto of well-organized thinking on how the workplace is changing, what employees want, and how the old way of thinking about human resource (read: people) just does not work. In real consulting style, the survey is rigorous – interviews and surveys of more… Read More »

Self-feedback: “How do you feel about your work?”

Self-feedback. I ask this of my team all the time. My favorite question to ask on team calls – to discuss analyses, client presentations, work product, or most of anything – is an open ended question. “What do you think? “”How do you like it? ” My thesis: If you don’t like your work, I likely won’t, and the client… Read More »

Without trust, a diversity of opinion is an argument

I was on a strange call recently. The call lacked an agenda (bad sign), involved too many people (bad sign), and was a round-robin style of updating (bad sign). The leaders of the call were frittering at the edges, a bit nervous, fearful and entirely bureaucratic. Disorienting because I don’t know if the angst came from anger, jealousy,… Read More »

Consultant’s or Mechanic’s Motto?

Saw this sign at the car mechanic. It covered an entire wall at the place where I changed the oil on my car. It was about 10 feet tall. Big talk on a big wall. If this the mechanic holds for himself, shouldn’t it be the minimum standard for us professionals – who are billing at $250-$500 an hour? Look… Read More »

Corporate marriage counseling

Organizations have trouble talking to themselves.  Ask any consultant and she will tell you that a good portion of her job is helping one part of their client organization talk to the other part.  Odd, I know.  For those not working with Fortune 500-size companies, you may assume that big companies communicate effectively.  Many times they don’t. Business… Read More »

4 happiness chemicals: endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin

Ran across some articles on the four chemicals that are responsible for our happiness. Sad to think that our happiness is just a bunch of chemicals – but science does a great job of de-constructing our world, for the good of our health, but the death of mystery. Apparently, these are the four ingredients to… Read More »

Good consulting managers coach

I love coaching.  It is one of the most meaningful parts of this consulting job. Sometimes I am more focused on coaching the junior resources than the client. Probably not a good mindset, but that is the part of the job that I get excited about. I am not a certified coach.  No one pays… Read More »

Success = direction + smart people + trust

I know what success looks like. I have been consulting executives for the last 15 years – as an external management consultant, as a strategic planner, or as a organization design project lead. Spent a fair amount of time with CEO, COO, CFO, VP of this, and Executive Director of that. The majority of our clients have… Read More »

Direction, leadership, and trust

Tonight I told a client that I believe there are really only 3 things that distinguish high-performing organizations from losers.  Direction, leadership, and trust. Direction: Too many companies do not know what they are trying to achieve. They rest on their laurels from previous hit products. They acquire new companies. They mimic competitors. They optimize… Read More »

Consulting secret: stories and storytelling

This week I went out to dinner with team mates twice. On each night, I heard inspirational stories from my team mates – 1 personal and 1 professional – that really made me think deeply about how I am living my life. One story was about friendship; staying friends and keeping a beautiful tradition for… Read More »

Kacy, American Ninja Warrior

We all need motivation. Here is mine for today. Kacy Catanzaro completes the American Ninja Warrior course. Just watch it here. 7 million views and counting. The 7 minutes of crushing athleticism will power you through this work week. Uh, no more words needed. Just watch it here. Clearly this takes deliberate practice, and all of this success if… Read More »

Consulting advice: Be, do, say

Be. Do. Say. I heard this for the first time 3 weeks ago. It resonated. In the overly-marketed world we live in, there is incessant advertising noise and not a lot of authenticity. Through the clutter, which brands and people can you really trust? Companies and products all purport to have the solution. They talk about unique selling propositions,… Read More »

Stop whining, consultants focus on options, not problems

I listened to a lot of whining this week. It was partly sad, partly frustrating. New consultants – unaware of what we really do – have a list of reasons why it is hard: I can’t get the data, so that’s why I am behind I sent an email; don’t know why they won’t answer ABC told… Read More »

Consulting advice: Help your clients save face

Save face. This is a simple concept that is critical for consultants and sales people to understand. Never put your client in a situation where you are directly and publicly disagreeing with them. Never box them into a corner where they might be ashamed of the situation. Never embarrass them. It’s a very Asian business culture… Read More »

Why did Detroit go bankrupt?

Detroit’s bankruptcy is sad for 2 reasons. It shows the decline of one of America’s great manufacturing cities, and also augurs what will likely happen to many more US cities, counties, and states in the future. Governments are bankrupt everywhere. Without sounding too libertarian, they over-promise and are inefficient. The Washington Examiner put together a list… Read More »

Consulting Habits: Make Other People Successful

Make Other People Successful. Consultants are in the business of making other people successful.  Yes, consultants make a good salary, and yes, they do have some power on projects. Fundamentally though, it is not about them. It is about the clients.  Good consulting habits. This week, my client got a compliment from one of her peers.… Read More »

Leadership quotations from Maxwell, Drucker, Roosevelt, and Wooden

This week I thought a lot about leadership and ran across these leadership quotations. . . What is leadership? “Leadership is influence” – John Maxwell “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”  – Dwight D. Eisenhower Is leadership inherited or learned?… Read More »

What makes powerful people act stupid?

Hubris. That could easily be the sub-title of a book by Stanford Professor Bob Sutton called Good Boss, Bad Boss. He gives a talk at Stanford Business School here. Prior to this, this he wrote a best-selling book called: The No Asshole Rule (affiliate link). Love the title. Baird & Co (large investment firm named #11… Read More »