Author Archives: David Shedd

About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.

Top Three Things to Do Today to Be a Better Leader

To build a better business, we need to be better leaders.  This does not mean we need to rush out and get more training or education or bring in a consultant (absolutely not!!).  Instead, we need to focus on the … Continue reading

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Selling When We are Not in Sales

No matter what our title is, we are all salespeople.  Whenever we are trying to… persuade others lobby for our point of view satisfy a disgruntled customer ask for a raise… we are selling. Below I offer nine suggestions (from … Continue reading

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A Time For Everything

“We all have times when we think more effectively, and times when we should not be thinking at all.”  Daniel Cohen To be effective as leaders, we must do our good work in its proper time.  We need to be … Continue reading

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A Happy Company

The American Psychologist and Author, Martin Seligman, is a strong promoter of positive psychology and well-being.  His five-part recommendation for increased happiness and life satisfaction consists of: Positive Emotion Engagement Relationships Meaning Achievement This prescription (remembered with the acronym ‘PERMA’) … Continue reading

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Best Version of Ourselves

The Australian Motivational Speaker and Catholic Author, Matthew Kelly, focus his message on people becoming the best version of themselves.  This message should resonate with all of us as leaders. As leaders, we have strengths, and we have weaknesses.  We … Continue reading

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What To Think About

Studies from social psychologists have concluded that the media (contrary to common opinion) is not effective at changing how we think.  Instead, it is quite effective in determining what we think about. As leaders, it can be helpful to focus … Continue reading

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Careful: A User’s Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds

Careful: A User’s Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds, written by Steve Casner, is an excellent discussion of safety in our lives, both at home and at work.  It is a straightforward read, and I highly recommend it.  Below I share … Continue reading

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Three Cheers for Foresight

To be successful, leaders need to develop and hone their business foresight.  Used effectively, foresight focuses our attention on the time and space between the immediate, day to day tactical execution and the long-term strategic vision and planning. Foresight in … Continue reading

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The Curse of Knowledge

As leaders we are bedeviled by the Curse of Knowledge: The Curse of Knowledge is the difficulty we have in imagining that another person does not know what we know. The Curse of Knowledge rears its ugly head in three … Continue reading

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Four Ways to Overcome Confirmation Bias

The biggest decision-making bias for all of us is the confirmation bias. Wikipedia explains it well: Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or … Continue reading

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Avoid Fair Fights (But Fight Fair)

Whether we are competing in our core business, starting a new business venture, or looking to win a new, large job or project, we need to focus our energies on areas where we have a competitive advantage. We need to … Continue reading

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The Necessity of a Good Cadence

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, cadence is defined as “the beat, time, or measure of rhythmical motion or action.” In the business context, cadence is used to describe regularly scheduled activities, specifically regularly scheduled meetings, follow-ups, visits or other actions. … Continue reading

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Use the ‘Base Rate’ for Better Decisions

The IT project took twice as long as planned.  The construction project to expand the plant went over budget. Why does this always happen? Too many decisions are made with too much self-confidence and too much optimism.  As a result, … Continue reading

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Flexibility

“Predictions are difficult – especially about the future.” This quote from Yogi Berra sums up the challenges we all face in today’s dynamic and fast-changing world. None of us has a crystal ball that allows us to predict the future … Continue reading

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10 Fundamentals of Continuous Improvement

When continuous improvement is a fundamental part of our company culture, our business gets better every day and will soon out-run and out-perform the competition.  Over 100 years ago, Henry Ford wrote: The competitor to be feared is the one … Continue reading

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Crisis Leadership

As I write this blog, we are in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Each day brings changes to how and where we can conduct business; we have little visibility into what the next month, three months, or six months … Continue reading

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To Improve Our Meetings, We Need to Do Our Homework

The consultant, Stan Sipes, once commented: “The most common weakness I see in organizations is the lack of work that is done in a meeting.”  Today, more than ever, so little work is done in meetings because no one has … Continue reading

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Be Opportunistic

“There are smart decisions and wise decisions. And one form of wisdom is the ability to judge when to let luck disrupt our plans. Not all time in life is equal. The question is, when the unequal moment comes, do … Continue reading

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11 Keys to Better Decision-Making

Successful leaders make good decisions… consistently. Good decision-making is dependent on a number of factors: understanding, experience, intelligence, foresight, and just plain luck.  There is no guide that will tell you how to make the perfect decision.  But, there are … Continue reading

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For Effective Communication, Listen… Really Listen

“It’s not always what we say; often it’s what we allow the other person to say. By listening, we gain trust and make other people feel more comfortable with us.”  Rick Pitino   The ability to listen well, to really … Continue reading

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