Want Courageous People?

I heard from a client who had just complained at length about someone, “Well, that’s just George.” This is one of the most common ways to dodge responsibility. Sigh, shrug and insist that the situation cannot be improved. In this case, I was asking about why someone is allowed to continue to be a human speed bump (the nickname given


Yesterday I spent the morning on the campus of Emory University at the Goizueta School of Business. Named for Roberto Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, it is a beautiful place. I was there with Joanne McRae, a talented photographer, to have photos taken for my forthcoming book. Joanne encouraged me to be enthusiastic and animated. This sort of

How Daniel Kahneman Saved My Life

The week of April 3rd will be remembered as horrific for travelers on the east coast of the US. My flight from Washington, DC was postponed multiple times and eventually cancelled. Knowing the weather system headed up the east coast was ugly I booked a rental car for the next day. Hard rain, fog and hail made for misery and

Today’s Bandage – Tomorrow’s Belief

The first time a situation emerges for which there is no clear resolution, we may well decide to use a bandage. Perhaps some bailing wire or duct tape is involved or bubble gum. You know the circumstance. A customer needs something; they are upset; you feel the heat so you grab the nearest means of “solving the problem.” Crisis averted

The Value of Joyful Work

Dr. Ronald McCurdy, Professor of Music at USC and Director of the Grammy Jazz Choir and Combo The leaders I find most interesting are those who generate great value and have an obvious joy in doing so. Enthusiasm is an underrated and at times, derided characteristic, which is a shame. Mistaking enthusiasm for foolishness or irrationality is to misunderstand it

Inertia – The Enemy

This time of year, many of my clients are talking about resolutions. Some are business related, some are personal. Yet, by the end of January, many will have been forgotten or abandoned, even if some small improvement in habit or outcome was quickly achieved. The makers of the resolutions will accept the inevitability of their lack of follow through, some

Seven Things You Should Do To Reverse the Risk In Leadership Succession

Leadership succession is the responsibility of leaders. Executives cannot wait for others to do “succession planning,” because the risk of ignoring it is too great. Ensuring that people are ready, willing and able to fill critical roles is not a once a year exercise, it should be a continuous process. Why isn’t it? Two reasons. First, the framework isn’t usually

The Bride Wore Tattoos

A photo of a wedding ceremony isn’t unusual, except one I saw recently was of a bride in a sleeveless dress that revealed many large tattoos. Indeed, that was the most memorable thing about the photo. Not the faces of the bride and groom, her dress, the adorable flower girl, the setting or decorations. If this bride wanted to be

Don’t Wait

My mother-in-law, Elizabeth Fahy Dierickx, lived a long life, 96 years. She was a strong, smart, no-nonsense woman who knew how to take care of what needed taking care of. Along the way, she had some fun, but not before she took care of business. She and my father-in-law took a month long vacation in Australia and New Zealand the