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.

A Good Leader is a Good Follower

Even as leaders, we all have bosses.  Perhaps, it is a Vice-President.  Perhaps, it is the CEO.  Perhaps, it is the Board of Directors. To move our companies forward, we need to be good (but not mindless) followers to our … Continue reading

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Four Ways To Do Training Right

In corporate America, approximately $100 billion is spent each year on training.  Yet, many studies show that training is only 10% – 15% effective.  As Harvard Business School Professor Michael Beer writes, this is… the great training robbery Yet, training … Continue reading

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Communicate in One Page

Idea Summary To run our businesses more effectively, most documents and reports in our businesses (including summaries, plans, reviews, and analysis) should be kept to one page.   Perspective Businesses are awash in information, specifically reports, analysis, weekly updates or … Continue reading

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5 Key Interpersonal Skills for Leaders

“Abraham Lincoln said that people think that the real test of a person’s character is how they deal with adversity. A much better measure of a person’s character is to give them power. I’ve been more often disappointed with how … Continue reading

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Don’t Believe the Hype

“The world is changing faster than ever before.” “We need to adapt to the change or we will get run over by it.” “The paradigm has shifted and the world will never be the same.” “Robotics and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will … Continue reading

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Experiment… A Little

To move our companies forward, we need to experiment.  We need to try out new products, new sales/ marketing strategies, new processes, and new leadership styles.  We cannot be certain if all of these will work.  But, to not experiment … Continue reading

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Decisiveness

“In a minute, there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” This line from the 1915 T.S. Elliot poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, is a lovely bit of poetry.  It is also a … Continue reading

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Avoiding Micromanagement

Guilty as charged!!  I confess that I do, at times, micromanage. However, soon after slipping into micromanagement, I become aware (yet again) that micromanagement is truly just mis-management.  It would have been far better for me to avoid the trap … Continue reading

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Checklists

Several years ago, a medical surgeon, Atul Gawande, wrote a best-selling book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, that discusses the advantages of using checklists in all types of activities from surgery to disaster recovery to business. As … Continue reading

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Use Words Well to Lead Well

Our words matter. As leaders, we spend much of our time communicating with others through our actions, our body language, and especially our words. Unfortunately, all too often we do not use our words well leading to poor communication and … Continue reading

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Leading When Overwhelmed

It happens to all of us. A direct report either gets promoted, quits or gets fired, and we have to manage his or her direct reports in addition to all of our other duties. We are assigned to a special … Continue reading

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The Whys of Business

Internet entrepreneur, Simon Sinek, has a popular TED talk on asking why.  His primary advice in building a successful company is that: People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Unfortunately, while I admire Mr. Sinek, … Continue reading

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Diversity, Inclusion and Respect

Today’s workplaces are more diverse than ever with more work being done in teams.  To ensure that everyone is working together well, companies need to be inclusive and embrace diversity and individual differences. The core element behind a diverse and … Continue reading

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Optimize the Overall Business

As business leaders, we strive to have each of our areas improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Accounting, Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Operations, Project Management, Customer Service – each of these parts of the business needs to be as effective as possible.  Likewise, … Continue reading

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Think Twice and Do Once

Every Do-It-Yourselfer knows the carpenter’s advice: Measure twice cut once.  In successful businesses, a similar recommendation holds true: Think twice and do once. To so many of us, immediate action appears to be essential: We are just doing it! We … Continue reading

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Public Speaking

The ability to speak well in public – whether giving a sales pitch to a customer, presenting at a Board Meeting, or speaking to a large group of employees – is an essential leadership skill. Public speaking is fundamental for … Continue reading

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10 Ideas for Improved Organization and Effectiveness

Pre-planning “For every 10 minutes of pre-planning you do, we get four to five hours of productivity improvements.” On a weekly basis, schedule the most important tasks and activities first and build our week around them “The best day begins … Continue reading

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Communicate Upward

As managers, we need to encourage each of our employees to keep us informed about what is really going on in our companies, both the good and the bad.  We need to be kept in the loop about the larger … Continue reading

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Write It Down

I have previously written about the fundamentals of communication: The Three Keys of Communication. The focus of that blog was about how we can better communicate with our teams and others by: Keeping the message simple Repeating repeating repeating the … Continue reading

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Continuous Improvement and Lean

Driving continuous improvement throughout our organizations is fundamental to short and long-term business success. Continuous improvement requires daily improvement in everything that we (and our teams) do…even when we are too busy! Are we better today than we were yesterday? … Continue reading

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