Category Archives: Perform / Execution

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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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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Survival of the Fittest and Leadership Flexibility

Hawaiians and other Polynesians are the descendants of peoples who traveled by boat from East Asia to settle their islands.  Those most likely to survive the long and arduous journey were those with “thrifty genes”.  They were those ancestors who … 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Five Whys of Follow-Up

When General Dwight D. Eisenhower was first elected President in 1952, then President Harry S. Truman remarked: He’ll sit here, and he’ll say, Do this! Do that! And nothing will happen.  Poor Ike [nickname for Eisenhower].  It won’t be a … Continue reading

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10 Ways to Really (and Truly) Be Organized

With all the meetings, E-Mails, objectives and communications in a typical company, staying organized is a never-ending task. Yet, there are a few fundamentals to follow to ensure that you stay organized and focused on the most important tasks each … Continue reading

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Never Split the Difference – Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

Following up on my blog from August 2017, Negotiation – An Overview, I summarize the excellent book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It, from former FBI negotiator, Chris Voss. I highly recommend that you read … Continue reading

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