“It’s What You Do, Not What You Say...

…If You’re Not Part of the Future, then Get Out of the Way.”Whenever I see these words to John Cougar Mellencamp’s song, “Peaceful World”, it reminds me that one of the biggest challenges leaders face is painting a clear picture of the intended future of their team, department, business or organization. This is the time of year where many leaders are doing just that, visualizing the intended future produced by strategic plans, budgets and resource allocations now ready to be executed in the upcoming new year. However, these documents aren't enough to dictate success as they are typically created by spreadsheets and analytics. Visions are realized through emotional engagement by members of an organization so having more than logical plans and budgets to achieve success is necessary. What is the story? ~ Before leaders share the picture of the intended future, they have to have a clear idea of the story...
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“What we see…

…depends mainly on what we look for.”It seems that everywhere we look in business writings these days, you will find multiple posts and articles on the importance of culture to business success. With all the expertise being distributed, you have to wonder why we haven’t figured it out by now!  The truth lies in the definition of culture combined with the accelerated speed of change we now find ourselves in as 21st Century leaders. A common definition I use with clients and my graduate students is where culture is the shared beliefs, values, attitudes, behaviors and norms that guide members of the organization. Based on this definition, we can conclude that culture exists in every organization large or small. While every organization has culture embedded in its DNA, the real question is whether the culture can support sustainable success through the vision and strategy of the business. How does a leader...
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The Missing Piece for Entrepreneurs

Achieving Sustainable Growth through Business Alignment As we wrap up Small Business Appreciation Month, I reflect on the many entrepreneurs and small business owners I have worked with in the past as well as those who I currently work with. It is these innovative, hardworking, sometimes frustrating and all the time inspirational business leaders who motivated me to publish, “The Missing Piece for Entrepreneurs – Achieving Sustainable Growth through Business Alignment”! It provides a framework to help the many current and future entrepreneurs and small business owners successfully thrive as a key component of a growing economy. In the book’s Foreword, Joe Abraham, noted entrepreneur and author of “Entrepreneurial DNA” wrote about three groups of entrepreneurs. Of the third group he wrote, “Then there’s the minority – I call the elite – that have invested the time and energy to go through the process you are about to go through. The...
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If the Economy has changed...

...has your Business Model? Leadership is about managing change and there is no more significant change requiring authentic leadership in recent history as now.  We still see many businesses large and small not coping well with the necessary changes needed to keep their businesses viable.  A vast majority of companies must continue to leverage their ability to change on their own and reach into the leadership tool kit for some never before used tools. Understanding how to manage change involves first recognizing that a change is needed. Recognizing the skills and knowledge that brought your business to this point may not, will not guarantee your success going forward. More importantly, has your attitude changed with the new economic reality? What are you customers asking for now? What are your suppliers telling you now? What are your own sales and operations people saying about their ability to succeed now? What is your...
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