6 things you should NOT do when a customer complains

In my last article I recounted the story of Mike (you can read the entire story here). Assuming you are the general manager of the store in which Mike’s story unfolded, we need to discuss what you would and should do. But first, let’s look at what you should NOT do. You should NOT attribute … Read more…

5 things you should do to prepare yourself to lead a strategic planning session

Every company and organization has them…or at least they should if they want to remain relevant and viable. Some conduct strategic planning sessions quarterly, others but once a year or so. There really is no “right” number. We hold them at least once a year, and for most companies that’s probably sufficient. You will need … Read more…

What you see is what you get – measuring your response to others

What good is it? Often the mantra of the obsessively practical or the hopelessly cynical, a “what good is it?” response typically indicates disgust, disappointment, or disdain, maybe all three. Obsessively practical leaders seem to become well, obsessed, with efficiency. Every act, every task, every intention, indeed every suggestion is qualified by its practical contribution … Read more…

Why leadership training programs fall short

The American Society for Training and Development reports that U.S. businesses spend a whopping $170 billion on leadership training programs.  They largely fail or at the very least fall way short of the expectations set for them. Why? Because you do not train leaders; you develop them. Training does have its place. We can train … Read more…

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…

Lessons in leadership and excellence from the managers of Parrot Key

  Christmas in southwest Florida is the beginning of tourist season. While much of the rest of the country shovels snow, we enjoy moderate temperatures and sunny skies. On Friday evening, my wife and I decided to try out Parrot Key, an upper scale seafood eatery in a tropical Caribbean theme down at the beach.. … Read more…

Developing Capable People – Fatal Flaw #3 – Carbon Copies

  The line just under the title in the banner at the top of this page reads “Extend Your Reach, Multiply Your Effectiveness, Divide Your Work.” The objective of developing capable people is to expand your influence, get more done, and do less of the grunt work yourself. It would seem to logically follow that … Read more…

Developing Capable People – Fatal Flaw #2 – Thinking that training is the same thing

In the preface to the paperback edition of Newt Gingrich’s bestseller “Breakout” he quotes from Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard that: “The things that work in the 21st Century will have four characteristics. They will be digital, mobile, virtual, and personal.” In so saying she opened up the #1 problem in leadership development. … Read more…