Leadership | How to Keep Smart People from Killing Each Other

How to Keep Smart People from Killing Each Other

This phrase is powerful in so many ways.

Smart people can often be prima donnas – I’ve heard those accusations myself … the first part, of course, not the second (and typically disguised in less elegant terms) … but the brilliance of some people is often more blinding than enlightening.

Fortune magazine recently asked Dr. Mehmet Oz about the best leadership advice he had ever received.

Keep Smart People from Killing Each Other

As a Chief Resident associated with Columbia University, Dr. Oz’ mentor told him that the hardest part of being a leader was “keeping smart people from killing each other.” (more…)

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Leadership Obstacles: No execution? No results!

Strategy and Execution
If the execution of a company’s plans is an avowed priority, critical to the success of both the CEO and the business, why aren’t CEOs spending enough time on it to make it successful?

Why is it that every time the Conference Board surveys CEOs to identify their Top Ten Challenges, “consistent execution of strategy” or “excellence in execution” is invariably cited as being in the top two or three “greatest concerns”?

Yet, when CEOs are asked about their greatest disappointments or failures, they routinely list their company’s inability to execute?

Conundrum … Mystery … Enigma


How is it that a subject among the top three goals of most CEOs is the very one where the CEO has the least amount of success? Is this simply a conundrum tucked inside a mystery hidden inside an enigma … or can we sort out some of this ambiguity? (more…)

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Leadership Obstacles: There’s no one to blame … except yourself

Entrepreneur with binoculars looking to future

Déjà vu all over again?

How often have you heard that phrase banging against your skull … and how often was it telling you …

“I’ve been here before” …

“Didn’t we already solve this problem?” …

“Why does this subject keep coming up all the time?”

Why do these issues keep resurfacing?

Late last year, I embarked on a retrospective of my first 100 newspaper columns from the last four years. You may recall that I emphasized how often so many of those issues continue to be the same challenges year after year.

They’re constantly resurfacing, often in disguise as a different issue altogether … but really, the same ‘ol, same ‘ol.

Have we become dumb and dumberer?

I promised you then that we would attack the litany of reasons that these same issues keep popping up like whack-a-moles. I don’t think we’ve gotten “dumb and dumberer,” so what’s going on? Why are we tackling the same problems over and over again? (more…)

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Leadership Lessons: Hope Springs Eternal … but it’s not enough!

Nothing but LEADERSHIPFor most of us, this is the time of the year when hope springs eternal.

We’re revved up for an exciting new year, determined to change all of the things that didn’t work last year so we can pound the ball out of the park in 2012.

Nothing wrong with any of that. Commitment, momentum, focus … these are the energies that will fuel our engine and help us jumpstart 2012 with the vigor and rigor that we need to make this year the most successful ever.

Does your gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

Yet, like most New Year’s resolutions we’ve made, the “gum loses its flavor on the bedpost overnight”.

We soon discover that it’s much easier to start than to finish.

We struggle to keep the engine stoked with the same energy that propelled us into the New Year.

We begin to feel some of the air already coming out of the tires, and begin to wonder … “where did that new-found energy go”?

What’s that whimpering sound?

It comes back to that whimpering sound of “hope springs eternal.” (more…)

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It’s not about stuff – it’s about them!

 To tell the truth, I really just wanted to cry.

That was my reaction as I scanned the dining room at the Assisted Living facility into which my 93-year-old mother just moved.

Not because it isn’t a terrific facility.

It’s one of the nicest I have ever seen, visited or heard about, with a wonderful and genuinely caring staff. No, it’s not that at all.

It wasn’t weariness, either, although it did follow on the heels of a draining four-day transition, including a crushing array of painful and tedious sorting, organizing, shopping and hauling to massively downsize and, sadly, to discard even more memorabilia from a rich life of living.

[pullquote]This article was originally intended as my holiday message to you. It was published in the December 26 electronic edition of the North Bay Business Journal, but published in the print edition on January 9. Its spirit, however, is eternal.[/pullquote]

Not all of it mind you.

There’s a lot of important family history to preserve

Two big boxes of family history are headed my way, as I’m the last stop for any chance to digitize and preserve almost a century of living so it can be shared throughout the widespread family.

All of the forthcoming scanning and cataloging will be a dose of dullsville … invited and welcome, yes … but infinitely time-consuming nonetheless.

It includes hundreds … more likely, thousands … of photographs, yearbook pages, commencement programs, newspaper articles, announcements and the collective minutiae that memorialize a life, two lives really.

My father, who passed away 10 years ago … as one who never let a piece of paper slip through his hands … successfully squirreled away records and magazines from as far back as the 1940s and 1950s that escaped our notice in the decade-earlier downsizing round.

It’s not just sentiment or nostalgia

You might figure that the tears are sentimental or nostalgic. I wish it were that simple. (more…)

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