Beware of the Close But Different Trap

In Washington, DC, last week, I presented to over 400 leaders—a rewarding session. However, I want to share with you, not about the event but the subtle changes on this visit to a city I once frequented. Having owned a business with a DC office until 2012, I was a regular here, once even racking…

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4 Gets and 1 Gain from Ideation

Last week, my team and I set aside time to explore our current content development efforts and think earnestly about you, the leaders we strive to develop. You are top of mind for us daily, but this was a deliberate process. We went to Vanderbilt University’s Wond’ry, the university’s space for creativity and innovation. We…

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Turn the Page

Last week, I spoke to a group of executives in New York City. It was the first time since the onset of the COVID pandemic that these leaders had been in the same room without a mask and physical distancing mandate. Everyone seemed excited to visit with one another and dream about the next chapter…

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Win in the Turns

In auto racing, there’s an expression that drivers win races in the turns. Unlike straightaways, where most drivers can keep their vehicles reasonably competitive with one another, curves upset the status quo. When a driver hits a turn, that’s when the unexpected can occur, when people make mistakes, and when a racer can gain an…

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Interview Your People

This past weekend, the calendar turned from 2021 to 2022. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and consider the opportunities yet to unfold. A collective ritual to learn about a wide range of happenings from the past year, including blockbuster movies and celebrity deaths. As 2021 closed, two such celebrity deaths captured…

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Level-up Your Leadership

Have you ever watched a home remodeling show where a dilapidated house is stripped down to the studs and turned into a spectacular home? I’m always amazed by the before and after comparison shots. The contractor manages to turn a cramped bedroom into a luxurious sleeping space and an oddly configured living room into a…

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Where is Your Plimsoll Line?

Business Insider recently reported that “nearly half a million shipping containers are stuck off the coast of Southern California as the ports operate below capacity.” Although many in the industry have seen problems mounting over the years, the COVID-19 global pandemic has increased product demand and caused “shortages of workers, equipment, and a lack of…

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How to Make a Dent in the Universe

I bet I can make a few assumptions about you:  You want your work to matter  You want to make a difference  You want those who work with you to be better because of your presence  You want to get better along the way   Essentially, you want to make a dent in the universe (or…

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Leading Through Trauma

I teach a class at Vanderbilt University called Leading Business Through Times of Crisis. This week we read a 2002 Harvard Business Review (HBR) article titled Leading Through Trauma. In the article, the authors argue that:   “Although the human capacity to show compassion is universal, some organizations suppress it while others create an environment in which compassion is…

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