Business Focus – The Video

Business Focus A couple of weeks ago, I sat down over a beer and over an internet connection and about 800 miles of distance with Max Traylor of Beers with Max. We talked about lessons of a Turn-Around executive and why companies fail. Here's an excerpt from the interview on Business Focus. If you're getting this via RSS-Feed or Email, link here for the video. Max:  What would you say was the was the biggest challenge if you did notice any trends in these failing startup companies? What would you say is the biggest challenge and don't let the audience being sales and marketing professionals taint your answer. Mr. Cranky: Business Focus...

Hank O’Donnell on Hero Syndrome

Hank O'Donnell is a Philadelphia-based Business Coach. I met Hank O'Donnell several years ago when I attended a Vistage Coach Training Seminar in Leesburg Virginia and Hank led several of the sessions. I was a relatively new Vistage Coach at that time and O'Donnell as a veteran coach was working with a group of coaches to help us hone our craft. This was back when Vistage still invested heavily in Coach Training (see Why I Quit Vistage). Since then I've moved on as has Hank O'Donnell but I still learn from him via his emails and video blogs. Here's a great example of one of his videos. Watch and learn as Hank drops leadership knowledge. Quoting from Hank: I've discovered a major flaw in many leaders — myself included. I call it The Hero Complex, and it creates what Dr. Stephen Karpman calls The Drama Triangle. I love to rescue people! It made me feel good to solve my team’s problems, but after a while, it became exhausting. I’d become the “victim” myself, and they became the “persecutors.” I’d find myself saying, “Why don't they take responsibility and first try to tackle problems on their own? Why do they always come to me?” What I didn’t...

How Can You Get Better Company Results Next Year?

Want better company results? There is no lonelier person than a leader. I’ve been there. I understand the isolation of leadership. In my 30+ years of business, my leadership teams, boards of directors, and family were all available all the time, and yet I was often isolated. I required advisors whom I could trust, who had no agenda, and who would ask me tough questions. I needed to deliver better company results. As an executive coach, I strive to be that safe, nonjudgmental, confidential, critical thinking partner. I strive to be the cure for the loneliness at the top. I believe in: Asking questions Questioning answers Critical thinking Finding truth Authenticity Integrity Making a difference Caring What Does That Mean to You? Studies show that isolation can lead to missteps, but when business leaders have a safe place to discuss issues, a nonjudgmental strategy partner, and the aid of a quality executive coach, they make better decisions and achieve better results. How do you find out if this will work for you? Find a coach who: Has experience leading companies Has been trained and certified by a reputable coaching organization Follows a disciplined coaching methodology Allows you to try a coaching session because every great...

Driven Forward Business Coaching Methodology

When hiring an executive or business coach a potential client should inquire is there a business coaching methodology? Is there a process that the executive coach follows? About My Business Coaching Methodology Driven Forward Coaching Methodology is adapted from training and certifications Glen Hellman obtained a decade of business coaching. Many people confuse coaching with consulting. Effective coaching, however, differs from consulting in that a quality coach asks questions and avoids proposing solutions. A good coach guides a client to develop an optimum, prioritized action plan through spirited questioning to enable the client to develop a plan that they will commit to execute. Research shows that people have a higher probability of executing plans they develop as opposed to plans that are developed for them. As a coach, it is my responsibility to vigorously question your thinking in order to help the client crystallize the best path forward. Coaches are like gloves...

Harvard Business Review – HBR Business Coach Study

Just completed, an HBR Business Coach Study which is the result of a survey of 140 leading coaches. The data was then reviewed by respondents and "five experts." The Headlines of the HBR Business Coach Study The Bar Must Be Raised - Coaches shouldn't be able to just hang up a shingle and call themselves a coach. Experience and Training Count Fixing Toxic Corporate Culture Major Driving Force - Over the last decade coaches were engaged to fix the toxic behavior of corporate leaders Development of Top Performers - Companies are realizing that offering coaches to top performers is a wise investment Blurred Lines - Coaches and clients should be aware of the difference between a business coach and a therapist Gaining Legitimacy - Coaching is more and more being acknowledged as providing value Buyer Beware - Check out references, experience, training before hiring a coach HBR Business Coach by the numbers   HBR Business Coach Buying Guidelines Other HBR Business Coach Study Findings Ingredients of a successful coaching relationship Is the executive highly motivated to change - the best coaching recipients are gree and growing, lifelong learners Good chemistry between coach and client is essential The C-suite needs must be committed to retain and develop coached executives Shifting focus...

Leading Irrational Humans

Leading Irrational Humans This short 3-minute excerpt from my intentional leadership presentation explains the importance of understanding that humans are inherently irrational. That we must be aware that we are leading irrational humans. If you'd like to lead irrational humans. If you'd like to discuss your leadership challenges. If you'd like to develop techniques to be an intentional leader. Schedule a no-obligation, complimentary, online coaching session by scheduling a meeting here.   The text of Leading Irrational Humans Humans use different parts of our brain depending on how much energy we have. how we feel. The brain is the most intensive energy exhaustive organ in our bodies. It uses an amazing amount of energy and because of that, we try to conserve energy with it. We don't use it to its full capacity all the time and a study that illustrates that took place in Israel with Israeli parole judges. in that study, it found that when an Israeli parole judge just starts working in the morning or comes back from their lunch break or even a bathroom break, if they've have more energy they approve 65% of the parole applications that are in front of them. Two hours later it goes to zero. They approve 35%...

Fire Bad Customers

Giving Bad News

On Leaders Giving Bad News Courage is a prerequisite for leadership and how leaders give bad news speaks volumes regarding their courage. Most of us don't like delivering bad news. Many fear giving bad news. Yet courage is not defined by the absence of fear. Courage is taking action in the face of and despite fear. A recently completed study by BYU linguistics professor Alan Manning and the University of South Alabama's Nicole Amare, indicates that people want their leaders to be direct when giving bad news. No hemming and hawing allowed. The study finds that beating around the bush with chatter like, "This is very difficult for me and I'm sure you know that we haven't been happy with your performance so we are going to have to let you go," are sub-optimal. As is the very direct Trumpian, "Your Fired!" The research found that people prefer a tiny buffer like, "We have to talk. I'm sorry, but we have to let you go." Short and sweet, proceeded with a quick buffer is the way to go. Folks, criticism without compassion is brutality.  I know what you're saying right now, "Wait! What? Did Mr. Cranky just say criticism without compassion is cruelty?"  Yes, he did and if you could just...

Milan Trolley Problem

The Trolley Problem

The Trolley Problem is an exercise in ethics, evolution, and neuroscience. In this presentation, I explain the trolley problem. You can find the script below.   For email subscribers, the video can be found by linking here. The Script: Let's talk about rationality. If I offered you folks a $5.00 bill in return for a $1 bill, would any of you make that trade with me? Would you give me $1 for five? <Everyone in audience nods heads> Okay, good! That's math, it's good, it's a good utilitarian trade so we got that one knocked-off. Let's make that trade a little more difficult. Now, this is called the trolley problem. There's a trolley going down a track and if it continues uninterrupted there are five people tied to the track who will die if the trolley proceeds. Yet, there's a hero, a possible hero who can save those people. It's one of you. You are sitting at a switch and if you push that switch you can make the trolley move to a side track. Unfortunately for another individual, somebody you don't know you, don't know any of these people, you don't know if they're good, you don't know if they're bad you don't if they’re the next savior of the world,...