Business Climate Change

A few years ago, a goofy senator, from the oil-producing state of Oklahoma, backed by the carbon producing lobby brought a snowball into the Senate as proof that the climate is not warming.  I guess Senator Inhofe confused weather extremes with climate change. There is irrefutable proof that the earth is warming. Just as there is irrefutable proof that as I type this on February 20th it is snowing outside. Whether talking about business or the earth, climate should not be confused with the weather. Weather is what you experience when you step outside on any given day. In other words, it is the state of the atmosphere at a particular location over the short-term. Climate is the average of the weather patterns in a location over a longer period of time, usually 30 years or more. - NOAA Legend says that in 1913 Cecil B. DeMille set out from the east coast to film "Squaw Man" in Arizona. The climate in Arizona, warm, dry, sunny. Unfortunately for Arizona, the weather that week was cold, overcast with some rain. Not conducive for an early film industry that required massive amounts of light (sunlight) to achieve acceptable film images. DeMille, kept moved further west and Hollywood became Hollywood. He...

Being Your 24-Year-Old Self

It's difficult to believe a bumblebee can fly. If you just look at the size of the body, the thin, undersized wings, the weight-to-lift-ratio (which is something that just tumbled off my fingertips in an attempt to appear like I know what I'm talking about. Trust me. I don't.)...

Leadership Integrity: Is Integrity A Mandatory Leadership Trait

Leadership and Integrity Of the numerous motivations behind committed loyal followers, developing loyalty via respect and trust in a leader is the most enduring. If humans believe their leader’s goals are aligned with theirs, if they agree on their why or purpose (see post) and that their leader has the skills, intellect, and character to lead the team to its goals… they will follow.  To be sure, loyalty to a competent, leader of high integrity isn’t the only way to lead. Despots lead through fear. There are cases of untrustworthy, incompetent leaders...

Lessons from Machiavelli

Traditionally, at beset calling someone Machivillian meant that person was manipulative and at worst meant they were evil. Whether you believe Machiavelli is the devil or a prophet there is no denying that his thinking on power and influence stands the test of time. Born in Florence in the late 13th century, Niccolò Machiavelli was the epitome of a Renaissance Man, He was a diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright, poet and the number one performing fine collector of overdue books at the Florence library. He was a primary political advisor to the Midici'sduring their rule over the Republic of Florence. His book, The Prince is an examination of methods to gain, consolidate and maintain power. Every leader can learn from Machiavelli. For instance: "It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both." A leader that only panders to gain favor with their flock will not be respected. If you easily forgive bad behavior or lack of performance, exceptional team members will be demotivated to thrive. A great leader holds his team accountable and there are consequences for consistent non-performance. "Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what...

The Power of Culture

Strong Culture Rarely Exists In The Wild [caption id="attachment_78719" align="alignright" width="189"] Ghost Orchid[/caption] The ghost orchid is one of the worlds rarest flowers. Since its first sighting in 1954, it has been found in the wild less than two dozen times. Yet it can be cultivated and grown in greenhouses in large quantities. Like the ghost orchid, a powerful culture of high-performance is rarely found organically grown in the wild. The best leaders build a powerful culture by bringing together the proper conditions for their teams to thrive. Potential leaders who randomly gather groups of individuals in the hope that someday, like a rare, naturally growing ghost orchid, they will find themselves the leaders of high-performance teams are likely to be disappointed. Yet if they intentionally built a cultural greenhouse, planted the right seeds, applied the exact amounts of moisture, carbon dioxide, nitrogen and sunlight to ensure a strong culture thrives, they would have a significantly greater probability of success. To lead a great team with a strong culture it is best to be a great leader and to be a great leader, one must be like horticulturists who presides over a successful greenhouse. Great leaders must be scientific, deliberate...

The Importance of Intentional Leadership

Great leaders are empathetic. They intuitively model the behaviors of leadership that attract and retain loyal, highly-motivated followers. When it comes to leadership, few of us naturally have it, most of us must be more disciplined in our approach. Sure we can read leadership books. We can bury ourselves under piles of books by Tom Peters, Sheryl Sandberg, Ken Blanchard, Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, Simon Sinek, Doctor Suess (Really! Oh the Places You'll Go) and many more (just please don't read any Tony Robbins). All these books speak to our human minds. They are replete with logical frameworks, high falutin language, and abstracts concepts. The problem with that is humans, as in the majority of you who are reading this are not logical. Neuroscience research tells us that the part of the human brain that decides to play follow the leader or to step out of line has no capacity for language, abstract thought or logic. It is hard-wired to avoid risk at the expense of gain. This part of the brain that is the ultimate deciderer in the brain is the same part of the brain we share with alligators...