Blog

Is Your Company Being Sabotaged by Inefficiency? Here’s How to Fix It

One of the most intriguing documents I’ve come across recently is the Simple Sabotage Field Manual, a World War II-era guide created by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor to the CIA. Developed in 1944 and declassified in […]

Unlocking Synergistic Performance: Harnessing Personalities and Strengths for Optimal Team Dynamics

Creating a cohesive, high-performing team is like conducting a symphony orchestra where each musician’s contribution is crucial to the harmony of the whole. Understanding and leveraging the unique personalities and strengths of each person on your team are the keys […]

Game On: Unleashing the Strategic Power of Business Wargaming

In today’s business environment, staying ahead of your competition requires not just innovative products or services, but also strategic foresight and careful planning. Business wargaming can help you with this by offering your company a unique tool to navigate the […]

Operationalizing Strategy: A Practical Guide to Turning Vision into Reality

A strategy without execution is merely an aspiration. For a strategy to be effective, it must be operationalized. What does it mean to operationalize a strategy? It’s about translating your long-term strategic objectives into tangible, achievable operational goals that form […]

Does Your Organization Have a Good Strategy (Or Any Strategy at All)?

In his final hit single, “Any Road,” former Beatle George Harrison sings, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” The key question in this paradoxical wisdom is, do you care where you’re going? If […]

Live in the Gain (Not in the Gap): A New Approach to Goal Setting

Leadership is a constant balancing act, especially when it comes to setting goals. How high should we aim? Should we set easily achievable targets or stretch our teams to their limits? This question has divided leaders into two camps – […]

Trust: The Essential Ingredient of a High-Performing Culture

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the deactivation ceremony for Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 in Miramar, CA. I was honored to serve as the commanding officer (CO) of the “Sharpshooters” 17 years ago, where our mission was […]

Guiding Policy Makers in High-Stakes, High-Uncertainty Decisions: A Strategic Approach

In the realm of organizational policy-making, high-stakes decisions are often characterized by high uncertainty. These decisions can have far-reaching implications, and their outcomes can significantly impact the organization’s success. Research indicates that the quality of the discussion and debate preceding […]

Why Is Change So Difficult?

Change is inevitable. It’s a fundamental principle that governs not just our personal lives but also our professional sphere. As a consultant who has assisted numerous executive teams with their corporate growth strategy, I’ve witnessed firsthand the necessity for change […]

Is Your Innovation Evolutionary or Revolutionary?

More than 2,000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” Today, change management guru John Kotter, author of the New York Times best-selling book Leading Change, asserts that the greatest challenge business […]

Organizational Structure: Is Flatter Better?

I recently had a conversation with a leader in a large technology company that transitioned to a flat organizational structure (and threw out the org chart) in order to create a hierarchy-free environment that would eliminate titles, reduce bureaucracy, and […]

Reviving the Lost Art of Healthy Debate to Ensure Quality Decisions

In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s easy to get caught up in the urgency of making decisions quickly. However, research shows that for high-stakes business decisions, the top predictor of a quality decision is the quality of the discussions and […]

How Can I Make Better Decisions in a World with Too Much Information?

Making decisions with limited information is difficult, but making decisions with too much information can be even more challenging. We think of this as a consequence of the digital age, but the problem isn’t new. In 1255, medieval French scholar […]

How Do I Build the Right Culture for Hybrid and Remote Teams?

As a long-lasting effect of the coronavirus pandemic, the workplace has seen significant changes with the rise of hybrid and remote work over the past three years. Many leaders view the shift to hybrid and remote work as threatening, with […]

Remote Work vs. In-Person: What Does the Research Say?

Companies continue to wrestle with how often their employees should come into the office versus work remotely. Different leaders have different opinions on what the best choice is, but looking at research can help management decide how they want to […]

How Do I Attract and Keep Top Talent?

Due to today’s tight labor market, this question is currently top of mind for every leader. Whether you’re just starting out or are an established business, one of the most important components to success is having a team of talented […]

“How can I delegate better?”

In my recent series of blogs, I’ve been sharing some thoughts on the most frequently asked leadership questions I’ve heard from business executives over the past year. In my last article, I discussed the importance of delegating to help leaders […]

“How can I get a life?”

“How can I manage my time better so I can actually have a healthy life outside of work?” is one of the most common frustrations I hear from leaders. It’s an extremely important question because if you don’t answer it […]

“How can I create better accountability within my team?”

Among the most frequently asked questions I hear from companies regarding effective leadership and management is, “How can I create better accountability within my team?” In other words, how can you get your team members to take individual ownership of […]

“How can I get my team to work together?”

One of the most frequently asked questions I hear from companies regarding effective leadership and management is, “How can I get my team to work well together?” In other words, how can you get all of your team members efficiently […]

5 Tips for Leading Your Team Through a Crisis

In our current world of accelerating uncertainty, one thing is certain: you will face crises as a leader. Why? Because your operating environment is more complex than ever, and people are human. Although we’d all like to avoid crises, they’re […]

The Power of Alignment Over Consensus to Enhance Your Decision-Making

When making an important decision, do you strive for consensus or alignment within your team? You may be wondering, “What’s the difference?” Fair question. If you’re a consensus-driven decision-maker, you want to ensure everyone agrees with the decision. But there […]

The Art and Science of Influence

“Ideas are the currency of the twenty-first century. The ability to persuade, to change hearts and minds, is perhaps the single greatest skill that will give you a competitive edge in the knowledge economy – an age where ideas matter […]

Why Are Difficult Conversations So Difficult?

Across a wide range of industries and sectors in the United States today, 70 percent of employees are avoiding difficult conversations with their boss, colleagues, or direct reports. This is unfortunate because avoiding difficult conversations reduces productivity, stifles innovation, erodes […]

Don’t Jump! A Better Approach to Effective Conflict Resolution

Do you loathe conflict? If so, you’re not alone. Thirty-five percent of managers would reportedly rather jump out of a plane than address a problem with their team. I’m guessing most would prefer to have a parachute, but some might […]

Four Steps to Better Decision-Making

John Wayne once famously said, “What’s the secret of success? Right decisions. How do you make right decisions? Experience. How do you get experience? Wrong decisions.” Although there’s some truth to The Duke’s quip, fortunately people can learn to make […]

Neurochemistry and the Art of Debriefing: How To Build Continuous Improvement Into Your Team’s DNA

One of the most inspiring things I’ve learned by observing and serving on many teams over the years is the consistency with which people rise to the standard that is set for them, especially when their leader holds themselves to […]

Are You a Good Coach?

In 2009, Google embarked on a multiyear research initiative called Project Oxygen. The goal was to eliminate company hierarchy by proving that managers don’t matter. The research team analyzed data from Google employee exit surveys, job satisfaction reports, individual and […]

Listen and Let Go: The Key to Empowering Your Team

I’m often asked, “As a leader, what’s the key to empowering your team?” My answer: “Learn to listen and let go.” The next question usually is, “What do you mean by that?” I’m glad you asked. Every leader I know […]

What’s Your Leader’s Intent?

Do you ever struggle with clarity about what’s important to you as a leader? Is it sometimes hard to generate alignment on your team around your organizational goals and objectives? Could you use some help empowering your team? And do […]

Leading Through the Great Resignation

American workers are quitting their jobs at an astonishing pace. At the end of July, a record 11 million positions were unfilled, and two-thirds of all employees in the U.S. are looking for new jobs – a phenomenon termed “The […]

The Leadership Triad Part 3: Mission – When Failure Is Not an Option

(Part three in a three-part series) Fred Haise, Jack Swigert, and Jim Lovell formed the crew of Apollo 13. Their mission was to demonstrate a precision lunar landing and conduct lunar exploration. It was the seventh manned mission in the […]

The Leadership Triad Part 2: People over Process

(Part two in a three-part series) Bill Crawford was a dormitory janitor at the U.S. Air Force Academy in the 1970s. He took pride in his job, and the dorm was always spotless. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons most […]

I’ve Done a Number of Hard Things in My Life. Then I Wrote a Book.

On September 21st, I’ll be releasing my first book titled, The Substance of Leadership: A Practical Framework for Effectively Leading a High-Performing Team. Having spent 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including flying jets off of aircraft carriers and […]

The Leadership Triad Part 1: How to Develop a High-Performing Culture

(Part one in a three-part series) Over the past three decades observing and serving on dozens of high-performing teams in high-pressure environments from aircraft carriers to combat to TOPGUN to the business world, I’ve learned that the keys to leading […]

Leading Teams Through Uncertainty Part 3: Better and Stronger — the Utility of Resiliency

(Part three in a three-part series) Over the past century, Bell Laboratories has been one of the most innovative organizations in the world. It was founded in 1925 as the R&D arm of the Bell Telephone Company (now known as […]

Leading Teams Through Uncertainty Part 2: “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” – Heraclitus

(Part two in a three-part series) Change management guru John Kotter, a former leadership professor at Harvard Business School and author of the New York Times best-selling book Leading Change, says, “Perhaps the greatest challenge business leaders face today is […]

Leading Teams Through Uncertainty Part 1: The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be

(Part one in a three-part series) One of my favorite “philosophers” of all time is Yogi Berra. As an All-Star baseball catcher for the New York Yankees from 1946 to 1963, he had a gift for making sense of things […]