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.

Let’s Be Scientific

As leaders, we are required to constantly evaluate evidence and make decisions.  In doing so, we often succumb to “winging it” and making decisions on the fly, trusting our gut.  While this might work for some decisions, it does not … Continue reading

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Hold Opinions Lightly (While Holding Convictions Tightly)

“When the facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do, sir?” John Maynard Keynes In a leadership position, we need to hold our opinions lightly.  We need to be able to change our opinion or viewpoint when new … Continue reading

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14 Basics to Master

Leadership training focuses intently on high level leadership skills – strategic planning, negotiation, managing stakeholders, projecting charisma, developing and communicating a vision.  These are certainly vital skills.  But, to be an effective leader first requires that we master basic productivity … Continue reading

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Field Centric

As leaders, we can get wrapped up in so many different activities and meetings – meeting with the finance, human resources or marketing department; talking to investors, banks and insurance companies; strategic planning; looking at acquisition candidates or joint venture … Continue reading

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Make Molehills

“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” Unfortunately, too many leaders ignore this wise advice.  Instead, every minor issue becomes a major problem that needs to be addressed and resolved now. Why? Leaders make mountains out of molehills for … Continue reading

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The Four Stupidities of the Smart Leader

To be a good leader, we have to be intelligent: intellectually, socially and emotionally intelligent.  In a previous blog post, I even gave some advice on 8 Ways to Be As Smart As We Can Be.  Being smart, however, does … Continue reading

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Patience

The regular readers of my blog are aware of my focus on Decisiveness and Getting Things Done. But, as in all things in leadership, balance is required.  Good leaders balance this decisiveness with a healthy dose of patience.  There are … Continue reading

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Three Keys to Teamwork

The fundamental determinant of success on most projects and at most companies is teamwork.  Volumes have been written about how to foster teamwork.  My small contribution is to suggest that each of us, when part of a team, keep three … Continue reading

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Don’t Get Angry

The Ancients knew a thing or two about anger: “Whom the Gods want to destroy, they first make angry.” Ancient Greek Proverb “Great anger is more destructive than the sword.” Indian Proverb “The angry man will defeat himself in battle … Continue reading

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A Good Leader is a Good Storyteller

If only I could never open my mouth…until the abstract idea had reached its highest point – and had become a story! Zorba the Greek Since joining my current company, I have been emphasizing several concepts, such as “trust but … Continue reading

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Apology Accepted

As a leader, we will make mistakes or behave (in a moment of anger or frustration) inappropriately.  The usual response is to blame someone else, ignore the mistake or minimize the bad behavior, and then just move on.  “I have … Continue reading

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Humor – A Vital Leadership Skill

“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”  Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President of the United States) Having humor in the workplace is crucial to leadership success and … Continue reading

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Seek Out the ‘Useful Answer’

“When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”  Dalai Lama In my company, as in many others, we have a formal system to review work that we have done.  Whether called post-project reviews, re-caps, or post-mortems, these reviews give the people … Continue reading

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When Negotiating, Selling or Just Persuading, Quality Over Quantity

Niro Sivanathan is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School, who teaches Negotiations, Influence and Decision-Making.  His psychological insights can help all of us be better negotiators, influencers and decision makers.  In this blog, I let Niro’s … Continue reading

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The First Two Steps in Process Improvement

Most process improvement initiatives fail miserably.  First, they do not improve the processes they were supposed to improve.  Second, they waste managerial and employee time, effort and attention.  Or, third, the process may be improved; but this improvement does not … Continue reading

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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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