Do You See What You Need to See?

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Take a look at the following image: Would you believe me if I told you that Square A is the same shade as Square B? Probably not. If I told you that you can’t trust what you see, and that indeed the squares are the same shade, would you believe me then? Still, probably not. If I showed you the following proof (the two parallel strips are the same uniform shade…

Why Your Executive Coach is Overrated

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I recently Googled the term “executive coaching” and received nearly 1.5 million hits. Frankly, I was a bit surprised. I was expecting more, because it seems like everyone and their uncle and aunt is a coach these days. (Full disclosure: Count me in; I too have worked with numerous executives and managers, one-on-one, for periods ranging from several months to over a year.) The array of coaches is a bit…

You and I May Not Know We’re Incompetent

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She was completely paralyzed on her left side. And yet if you asked her if she could move her left arm, she would say that she could. Even more interesting, if you pointed to her left arm and asked her whose arm it was, she would tell you it belonged to her mother. If you then asked her, well where was her mother, she’d say her mother was hiding under the table.…

David Moyes Now Truly Goes It Alone

David Moyes Earlier this month, I wrote about David Moyes, the embattled coach of the UK soccer team Manchester United.  Moyes had inherited the most successful team in the British Premier League from one of the most successful coaches, Sir Alex Ferguson.  In fact, Sir Alex had handpicked Moyes to succeed him. Last year, Manchester United won the championship under Sir Alex, but this year Man U is currently 7th, with…

Stop Playing to Your Strengths.

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Photo by Philip Kromer “It’s much easier to play to your strengths than to compensate for your weaknesses.” “You’ll go a whole lot further developing your strengths than developing your weaknesses.” “No one got promoted by improving a weakness; focus on your strengths.” And so it goes. The business literature is filled with articles and blog postings touting the value in playing to one’s strengths vs. developing or overcoming one’s…

Billy Beane became famous for his use of data-based decisions (or sabermetrics) in baseball.  It led to the 2003 book Moneyball by Michael Lewis, as well as the 2011 Oscar-nominated film starring Brad Pit by the same name.  You may not be  a manager of major league team or one of Hollywood’s leading actors, but you can at least make use of some fascinating statistics regarding leadership development.  Click here to learn…

Beyond profits: A more comprehensive model of leadership

“If you have to choose between two models of the company, one only about profit and the other about profit but also about other stakeholders, which would you choose?” asks Tom Donaldson, a professor of ethics and law at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business who has monitored how executives worldwide answer.  Thirty to 40 percent of those in the U.S. choose profit only.  By contrast, only about 10 percent in Japan do. Can…

The Real Dangers of Being a Great Role Model

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One of the leadership and management “truths” is the undisputed value of being a great role model. Not many people would question the value of being a great role model. In fact, I think most, if not all, people would say they would be pleased to be a great role model for others. It goes without question, right? Which is what I was thinking the other day, when I thought,…
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