9 things your associates and team absolutely need to make the journey towards vision. What Lewis and Clark shows us about effective leadership and the pursuit of vision.

Undaunted Courage is one of the great stories in American history. When Merriweather Lewis and William Clark departed St. Louis in May, 1804 on what was then called the Corps of Discovery Expedition, they actually failed in their stated purpose. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson to find “the most direct and practicable water communication across … 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…

3 leadership lessons I learned on board the USS Midway

In mid-January of this year my son and I spent the better part of a day touring the USS Midway, a decommissioned aircraft carrier berthed in San Diego harbor. I’ve been on naval vessels before but none as large as the Midway. As awe inspiring as the Midway’s war making capabilities were, both Nathaniel and … Read more…

Leadership’s happy family – Vision, strategy, & tactics

One non-profit agency operating in Africa opened restaurants as part of its fund-raising strategy. A charitable organization working on the African continent developed a focused vision and successfully imprinted it upon those who worked in the organization both in the US and in Africa. The board and the organization’s director turned their attention to the … Read more…

6 secrets to keeping your team working for the same goals.

Does your right hand know what your left hand is doing and why it is doing it? In assisting organizations, businesses, and individuals in developing and implementing an effective vision one of my first questions is what is your vision for this company? After hearing their definition, I will ask the department heads, the associates … Read more…

The principle of risk management

Let’s say for the purpose of this article that you have a position open and a slate of applicants who possess approximately the same list of qualifications, what do you do? You start looking at qualities. Certain qualities are important in almost any job but particularly critical when working in a service industry or in … Read more…

The principle of promissory note

You see them too if you ever scan the listings. I am talking about the jobs sections of Craigslist. You can make thousands of dollars working for an unnamed company whose application address is a blind one. This is a common theme of mine. The setting was a private school. The newly installed headmistress faced … Read more…

The principle of foreign exchange – 6 mistakes motivators make

In the first article in my Flipping the Switch series, I wrote about a sales manager frustrated with a top performer on his team (article here). The problem came about because the sales manager and the salesperson in question were after two different things. The article immediately before this one (the Principle of Positive Balance) … Read more…

The Principle of Good Faith

Back when I wrote a series called Power Plays, one of the articles dealt with the practice of authority (read it here). I made the following points within that article: Authority is both delegated DOWNWARD and awarded UPWARD. You authorize someone for a particular job. They grant you authority to oversee and hold accountable. When … Read more…

7 Principles of motivation from the world of finance

Motivation is intensely personal, innately practical, and incredibly fragile. Unlike accelerator pedals or throttle controls which can be mechanically manipulated and malfunctions repaired objectively, motivation is more an art than a science. Humans are predictably unpredictable. We do not always respond the same way to the same stimuli.  But we are unique and there are … Read more…

Flipping the Switch – 7 demotivators

Motivation can often be very fragile. It is usually much easier to demotivate than it is to motivate. Acknowledging that motivation is almost always intrinsic, that it originates within a person and that effective leadership and management can ignite the engine, this series would be incomplete if I did not give some mention to the … Read more…

Flipping the Switch – 7 motivators every effective leader and manager knows well

Effective leadership is the process of persuasion and example by which an individual induces a person or group to take action that is in accord with the leader’s purposes. It is the art of letting people have your own way. Remembering the motivators specific to generations detailed earlier in this series, here are seven general … Read more…

Flipping the Switch – Motivation vs Manipulation

The department manager stepped up to the sales desk, dropped a file on it, and said to Phil the salesman, “Take care of this right now.” Phil objected, “We have already discussed this customer. She has refused to comply with local zoning laws. We cannot proceed with this because she won’t do what has to … Read more…