You Cannot Be a Smart Asshole

alt text image of a donkey's ears

There is no such thing as a smart asshole. You can’t be both of those things at the same time; and if you are the latter, then you are not the former. There are lots of different lines of intelligence. Howard Gardner of Harvard wrote a book making the case that cognitive … [Read more...]

The Leadership Playbook: Relentless Accountability

alt text image of a leader with a legal pad

I watched an interview with Jamie Dimon, famed CEO of Chase. The interviewer had heard about a list Dimon carried with him in his pocket. It was handwritten, and he carries it with him at all times. The list is pages long, and it is a record of everything that any of his direct … [Read more...]

Stop Saying “Losers”

alt text image of a businessperson making an L on his forward, ironically backwards

I read a magazine article this week in which the author described underperforming salespeople as “losers.” There was a time when I might have used similar language. I’ve heard some well known voices in the sales community use similar language. But underperforming salespeople are … [Read more...]

Leaders Focus On the Future

alt text image of a leader surveying a large city

Leadership is no easy task. To be successful you have to manage a large and complex set of competing priorities. It’s tough to make decisions under pressure. It’s difficult to sometimes know what needs to be done now. And it’s tough to do good work when so many people are … [Read more...]

Leaders Don’t Hire Weak People

alt text image of the weakest link in a chain

There are a lot of things that a leader can get wrong, but not many can cause as much damage as hiring poorly. New leaders, young and old, sometimes make the mistake of hiring people who they believe to be weaker than themselves. Some leaders are afraid that by hiring someone … [Read more...]

Leadership and Two Types of Growth

alt text image of a businesswomen looking at her team in miniature

Leaders are responsible for envisioning the future and executing the plan to make that future a reality. This is growth: current state, new results, better future state. Leaders manage two types of growth. Company Growth The leader is responsible for the growth of their … [Read more...]

If You Feel This Way About Your Clients You Won’t Have Them

alt text image of a person ripping the letter "t" off the word "can't

I’m troubled when anyone really complains about their customers. I am mortified when that person occupies a leadership role. A fish rots from the head, and rot it will. When a prospect presents you with a challenging business problem or a need that is difficult to serve, you see … [Read more...]

On Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses

alt text image with a chain held together by a paperclip

A great leader knows his team’s strengths and their weaknesses. He knows what they can collectively achieve together, and he can see what they are capable of even when they cannot. He can also see where they are likely to be challenged, stumble, and fail. A great leader also … [Read more...]

Leadership Means Saying No

alt text image of a woman raising her hand in protest and saying no

It’s a leader’s job to say no. To be an effective leader, you have to say “no” to all of the opportunities that show up on your desk but aren’t aligned with your goals. Saying “yes” to all of the opportunities that might be interesting or might produce some result dilutes your … [Read more...]

New Leaders Too Fast and Too Slow

alt text image of a turtle and a rabbit

Some new leaders come in like a hurricane. They’re a storm that is strong enough to blow down anything and everything in their way. A new leader knows he’s been hired to make change, and he wants to get busy. But in moving to make those changes fast, he destroys the … [Read more...]