Authored Articles   

Helping Others Cope With and Endure Adversity
This article offers six principles drawn from the qualities, behaviors and practices that distinguish true leaders to help confront and deal with traumatic, high-stakes, negative events that impact other people in your life more than you.
Growing Leaders
An essential part of any chief executive’s job is enabling desired annual results: customer satisfaction and retention, employee engagement and retention, and organizational performance, among others. But the mark of a true leader is as much about what happens after he or she leaves as it is about performance while on the job.
Are Leaders Born?
Leadership is the most powerful human force. It can be the spark, fuel and engine to do good, correct wrongs, unite people, effect positive change, unleash human potential, ignite breakthrough ideas, create better tomorrows, and leave footprints on other people's hearts. Does becoming a leader require certain innate talents and attributes?
Trust's Many Facets

Trust is foundational to building strong relationships and achieving results. Without trust, small issues become big issues and ineffective relationships lead to inefficiencies, wasted time and energy, conflict, missed opportunities and ultimately failure. With trust, small issues become non-issues and big issues become opportunities for mutual problem solving and learning. Trust deepens relationships and unleashes tremendous human potential. As a result, trust boosts productivity, lowers costs and improves individual and organizational performance.


The Seven Things That Only a Board of Directors Can Do

Many factors will determine whether a volunteer board can successfully overcome both inherent and situational challenges, but one stands out: how and on what the organization's board, as a unit, spends its time. Either explicitly or by default, a board decides how to spend its limited time together. It determines what to commit time to, and what to delegate, defer or altogether dismiss.

Building Cohesive Teams

With few exceptions, teamwork is an important ingredient to success in any work environment. With teamwork, we work together as individuals and organizational units towards a defined goal. Good teamwork is a result of individual skills and behaviors around cooperation, collaboration, effectiveness, efficient processes and, ultimately, successful collective execution.

Cohesiveness is a higher state of teamwork. Cohesive teams comprise individuals who are united in purpose, possess common values and develop shared meaning. As a result, their efforts are multiplied rather than summed.


12 Distinguishing Qualities that Define True Leaders

Developing and possessing requisite skills and knowledge may help you attain a sought-after position of authority or power. But it is your character – the sum total of your values and beliefs reflected in your behaviors, actions and decisions – that others will judge before they truly agree to be led by you. Those who earn an invitation to lead others answer the question of character by choosing and exemplifying certain essential, non-negotiable qualities.


Leadership Revealed

True leaders are revealed in two sure ways. The first is by what they inspire in others. By inspire, I mean being able to elicit positive emotions, behaviors and actions in others without the promise of reward or the threat of punishment. The second way is by what they enable. In the context of leadership, to enable means being able to produce tangible outcomes through others. So whereas inspiration is governed by the heart (feeling) and followed by the brain (thinking), enabling is governed by the brain and followed by hands and feet (doing).             

Leadership Lessons From Mom - BusinessWeek

Another Mother's Day is here, and I can’t help reflect upon how much my mom has been a source for my leadership growth over the years. From that statement you might conclude that my mom has held a formal leadership position or management job. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve often thought about Mom’s instinctive actions and decisions, and the leadership lessons she unknowingly imparted to me. Here are five of those lessons.

We Need Real Leaders at Major Companies - Not Just Lofty Titles - Crain’s Chicago Business

Despite the many factors that have contributed to the economic crisis, one towers above all else: the lack of true leaders in many large companies. In the wake of the damage already done, this deficiency is now causing our government to take unprecedented actions that will further harm businesses—not to mention taxpayers—for decades.

When CEOs Aren't Leaders - BusinessWeek

The problem’s roots lie in the fact that “CEO” and “leader” have mistakenly become synonymous. Nothing could be further from the truth. CEOs are measured by quantitative results. Leaders are shaped and defined by character. CEOs are expected to boost sales, improve profit margins, and make money for shareholders. Leaders set expectations of themselves to inspire and enable others to do excellent work, make valuable contributions, and realize their utmost potential. As a result, they build great, enduring companies.


Tough-Minded Optimism

In 1993 I came across a one-page, badly copied document titled “12 Traits of Tough-Minded Optimists.” It was from Alan Loy McGinnis’s The Power of Optimism published in 1990 (it is now out-of-print). Reading that one-page document had a real impact on me. It reinforced some of my own beliefs. As importantly, it gave me some insight regarding principles to be practiced and values to be lived. Below are those 12 traits with some of my own thoughts and interpretations. See how many resonate with you.

Your Most Valuable Professional Asset

I often say that two of the most valuable business assets a company can possess are strong partner relationships and the goodwill of others. As an individual professional, the most valuable asset you can possess is a network of relationships built and nurtured around trust, respect, confidence and loyalty. I say this because your opportunities, successes and fulfillment in the business world are invariably and intricately tied to other people’s actions, reactions and decisions toward and about you. These “other people” include clients, bosses, peers, people who work for you, industry or professional associates, service providers such as attorneys and consultants, and other professional acquaintances and friends.