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...

The Acquired Taste

I'm an acquired taste. Many people try me once and gag. Some come back again, give it another try and eventually, I become a habit. Huh? Mr. Cranky...

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...

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,...

Intentional Leadership – Leading Through Neuroscience

What is Intentional Leadership? It's understanding how people really make decisions and modeling the behavior that instills confidence in your followers. Intentional Leadership is developing a leadership checklist of values and being true to those values. The Intentional Leadership Video is a 40-minute video of the keynote I gave at the StarWest Leadership Summit, October 2017.  If you can't see the video, you can link to it here. Intentional Leadership - The Neuroscience of Leadership  Outline of the Presentation: Intro - What is the Difference between Management and Leadership and why is that important The Reptilian Brain - Humans Make Rational Decisions Irrational The Reptilian Brain's Influence on Choosing Leaders A Construct for Modeling Leadership Behaviors and Values Creating a Leadership Canvas/Check List Summary If you'd like to explore how you can become a better leader, schedule a complimentary, no-obligation, online coaching session by pressing that little button below. if (window.attachEvent) { window.attachEvent('onload', loadSoeJs); } else { if (window.onload){ if (typeof isSeoFunctionLoaded == 'undefined') {isSeoFunctionLoaded = false;}if(!isSeoFunctionLoaded){var curronload = window.onload; var newonload = function (evt) { curronload(evt); loadSoeJs(evt); }; window.onload = newonload; isSeoFunctionLoaded = true;}} else { window.onload = loadSoeJs; }}function loadSoeJs() { var head = document.getElementsByTagName('head').item(0); var js = document.createElement('script'); js.setAttribute('type', 'text/javascript'); js.setAttribute('src',...

Startup Grind Business Focus

Mr Cranky Talks – Business Focus

The importance of business focus On September 25th, I discussed business focus during a fireside chat with Chris Haug of Startup Grind. For those of you who don't see the video, you can link to it here....