Category Archives: Business Acumen

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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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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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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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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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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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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Three Ways to Develop Strategic Thinking Skills

Strategic thinking skills differentiate middle-level managers from effective upper level leaders.  With excellent strategic thinking skills, the leader is able to make effective decisions that benefit their companies in both the short and long term. Developing strategic thinking skills requires … Continue reading

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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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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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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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