Start Steady…

…Finish Strong! This has been a mantra I’ve lived by since the days of running marathons in the early 90s, to helping get my kids ready for Army and Navy boot camps.  As each was getting mentally and physically ready to attend their respective basic training, I would repeat the phrase over and over especially on our training runs.  Now it holds a place on my triathlon jersey as a constant motivator to keep improving as a triathlete.  It is in this context the mantra was recently put to the test and got me thinking about its relevance in a broader leadership setting. Start Steady ~ In the local sprint triathlon earlier this month, I was even more committed to a steady start in the swim as I have ever been. It was not about talent, rather finding a pace that was in keeping with this being a sprint, but not...
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Guest — Dave Brennan
Rick, must say that I do enjoy reading these! Glad to see you are still swimming, biking and running. I have not yet transitione... Read More
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 11:59
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You Don't Know SWOT!

Of the many lessons I’ve learned throughout my career, one that has generated sustainable success is the effective use of the SWOT Analysis.  For those readers who are not familiar with the SWOT Analysis, it is a flexible tool that helps the leader identify internal S trengths and W eaknesses as well as external O pportunities and T hreats (hence the acronym).  It can be used to assess individual circumstances and/or organizational situations with a very straightforward process.  The challenges for both frequent SWOT users or those leaders just getting started with the tool is that most fail to realize the full value of the SWOT process.  Most only realize half the value by ignoring the most effective part of the tool! In a traditional SWOT Analysis, the leader creates four lists containing the collective insights on the internal Strengths (list #1) and Weaknesses (list #2) along with the external Opportunities...
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Guest — Robyn Rickenbach
Excellent synopsis of how SWOT can be used effectively ... and not just used without really getting the full impact. Thanks for s... Read More
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:53
Guest — RLochner
Robyn, Thanks so much for your comment. My experience tells me it makes or breaks the entire SWOT process. Thanks again. Rick... Read More
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 15:19
Guest — Kathy
I used your SWOT with synthesis for a report given at a recent board meeting. It was fantastic and well received by the board. Tha... Read More
Thursday, 28 July 2016 06:55
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Change the Narrative...

…Change the Culture! I recently attended a lecture that carried the above title and was intrigued by the ensuing discussion around how effective communications can literally change the course of an organization based on the narrative used to inspire it.  In my mind, effective communication is the number one leadership challenge in business (for-profit and non-profit) today supported by an abundance of real-world examples, surveys and professional articles.  Most surveys I’ve read on this topic not only identify the issue, but also identify leadership’s own poor attempts to improve communications within their organizations.  It is this challenge to improve what is a well-known issue that highlights this leadership discussion. Effective communication is defined as the ability of the sender and the receiver to understand the message in the same context.  This implies using clarity in the message itself, choosing the most effective and efficient media to transmit the message and using...
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“Excellence drives Mediocre People away…

…just as Mediocrity drives the Superstars away” One of the greatest challenges any leader will face is putting the right team together and positioning them to excel and achieve desired results!  This is true of businesses large and small, for-profit or non-profit, public or private sector.  What I love about the title quote from Jim Hunter’s book, “ The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle ” is the simple truth it represents for leaders to invest in fielding the right team to realize the Vision, execute the Strategy by achieving their Goals leading to the aforementioned Desired Results.  However, what is frustrating is how many leaders are not addressing the mediocrity and lamenting the inevitable departure of their best team members.  Let’s break down the two issues and address what leaders can do with each one. Excellence drives mediocre people away ~ Of course the first challenge to this issue is defining...
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Guest — Deborah Frey
Brilliant, my friend! (I was traveling when I read this earlier in the week, and sought it out to repost.) Incredibly simple guid... Read More
Thursday, 26 May 2016 17:58
Guest — RLochner
Deb, Thanks so much for your comment. It seems I really struck a nerve with this one as it generated quite a response, especially... Read More
Thursday, 26 May 2016 18:13
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Your ‘Yes’ means nothing…

…if you can’t say ‘No’ It seems the hardest thing to do in business these days is to say ‘No’ to someone else.  We can think of plenty of times we regret saying ‘Yes’ when we knew damn well it was going to mess up our current priorities, or worse, put us in a position to be less effective than we are capable of.  Let me just put it out there now; ‘No’ is a legitimate response in any business if it is, in fact, the appropriate response for the situation.  While most would agree to this fact intellectually, the majority still struggle with actually doing so!  Why is that? As a business leader, part of the art of the profession is making effective knowledge-based decisions.  A crucial ingredient to this decision-making process is listening to insights from those who work for you; including insights that may disagree with your own...
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Guest — Quinten
I agree that the best answer sometimes is NO, but what do you do when the answer NO is unacceptable? You know by saying yes you wi... Read More
Thursday, 28 April 2016 09:32
Guest — RLochner
Quinten, great question and point made about the situational nature of being asked to do things that are potentially not as well t... Read More
Thursday, 28 April 2016 11:23
Guest — Irish Sanders
Rick so true and as always a great article to make us reflect. Over the years one of my hardest training obstacles was getting my... Read More
Monday, 02 May 2016 09:57
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