Stuck in 1st gear – is the impediment to progress you?

It happens easily enough and usually innocently enough. You start a business or organization then endure what is often a long and expensive learning curve. Along the way you learn…you learn a lot. You discover the competencies and incompetencies of those working with you. You learn how to manage cash flow challenges. You learn the … Read more…

5 phases of your role as leader

The expectation that leadership can be a singular role is unrealistic. We wear a lot of hats. We manage, we motivate, we correct, we monitor, we inspire, we facilitate, we coordinate, we focus, we bark, we growl, we whisper, we articulate, we define, and we execute. A couple of posts ago I wrote about our … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – Charismatic

They stand out, those charismatic leaders. Larger than life and more enduring than time, their names remain known and their works referred to yet today.  People like Jesus, Caesar Augustus,  and Charlemagne anchor ancient history.  In the more recent past it is Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln, Henry Ford, Aimee Semple McPherson, Churchill, Hitler (despicable but … Read more…

6 Bases of Power – Coercive

There was a time when this type of power was common. It is the first resort of bullies, manipulators, and thugs. It is the last resort of everyone else. The Business Dictionary defines it as “Authority or power that is dependent on fear, suppression of free will, and/or use of punishment or threat, for its … Read more…

3 Ways to really piss off your associates and employees – When power is abused and misused

Matt was a high-volume sales associate in a large retail store. He sold custom-built products that required a significant amount of time to prepare estimates and proposals. On one Thursday evening he was working  alone at his desk in his department when the manager from another department in the store came to Matt and asked … Read more…

Power Plays – Getting the job done

A friend once remarked that “It is amazing how much you can get done if you just do it.” A look at a jobs offered column on line or in a newspaper will inevitably turn up several with the qualifier “Must be a self-starter.”  Why? Because you hire people to extend your reach, multiply your … Read more…

The Gentle Side of Force – 8 skills of leadership Iearned from my friend the horse whisperer

My friend Steve is a horse whisperer, was one long before Robert Redford made the label famous. Steve’s been a cowboy forever, a genuine, sure ‘nuff, tall in the saddle hand-me-that-rope cowboy. He’s knows his way around a horse, knows how to care for them, and knows how to handle them. If you’re interested you … Read more…

Churchill and Hitler were both effective leaders. Here’s why.

Leadership as a topic can be completely separated from concepts of good and evil. Leadership in its execution has been used for both. There is perhaps no more certain contrast of this than in the parallel administrations of Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill. One used his considerable skills of leadership to bring most of the … Read more…

Keeper Trait #15 – Initiative

Many potential employers put it directly in their ads – “must be a self-starter.” It is, apparently, an all too unusual trait. Perhaps more than any other trait, it separates the successful from the failure, the winner from the loser, the prosperous from the poor. A person with initiative does not wait to be told … Read more…

Management 101 – Part 4 – Control

The first three installments in this series covering management’s most basic principles addresses Planning, Organizing, and Training. Once those have been done, or more realistically, once those are being done, the final principle is that of controlling action. If nothing is moving, the first challenge is to get things moving in an orderly manner. One … Read more…