Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I was at a YPO event yesterday morning.  The speaker was prolific author Richard Barrett.

He wrote a number of books including The New Leadership Paradigm - Leading Self, Leading Others, Leading an Organization and Leading in Society.

His company has done extensive research and come up with tools on how to measure individual values and beliefs and company values and beliefs.  He has impressive statistics on the success of companies that are high alignment compared to others.

He talks about a hierarchy - similar to Maslows from basic needs through goals.

One thing Barrett said that made sense to me "Company culture is to a company what character is to a person". 

Barrett is a passionate speaker.


I read Leaders Ought to Know - 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership by Phillip Van Hooser.  I love books that distill everything down to a finite number of rules.

I have long thought that common sense is not very common.  So perhaps a book to lay it all out makes sense.

Each chapter covers one rule.  Explains why it is a rule and how to live and thrive with is.

For example, rule one.  "Leadership is a choice - reinforced by individual effort".  Essentially, anyone can be a leader, they just need to choose to do it and choose to do the work required to learn, grow, try, practice, study etc.  I know I believe anyone can be a leader and there are not born leaders.

Rule 7.  Leaders Can't Predict Followers Behavior - so they need to figure out what motivates and how to inspire that motivation that is within everyone.

I know one mistake novice leader make is to think everyone shares their motivation.  This is simply not true.  Everyone is unique.  

It is good, simple and inspirational and reinforces much of what I know about leadership.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Cowardice

I am greatly saddened by the act of cowardice at the Boston Marathon.  Any attack on the innocent and unarmed is cowardly but doubly so when there is no political agenda at the marathon.   It is not even a target that could possibly be hated like some people might dislike Wall Street.

Thanks to all who asked about my wife, Elizabeth Waywell who was there.  She is fine.   She even had a spectacular run at 3:10 to come in 5th in her age group.  But the terrorism overshadows all.
I have mixed feeling about even blogging and being positive as I usually try to be.  I think it is best to do so though so the terrorists do not win twice.  Normalcy must return.
I spoke at a TEDx last week.  My part starts at about 6 minutes on this video.   I have done hundreds of speeches but a TED talk is different.  Scripted and timed to the minute.  No audience interaction.  Exciting and I will do it again if asked.

And this is a good article on procrastination at work you can read later.


One of the Canrock companies Organimi has a blog post up on what they do for org charts.  Interesting company.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Nice Companies Finish First

I am speaking at Tedx Times Square next Wednesday.  One of my fellow speakers is author and social media guru Peter Shankman.  He has over 300,000 twitter followers!  I had the opportunity to hear a preview of his speech and he is entertaining and interesting.  Worth seeing.

I also happened to have just read his book - Nice Companies Finish First - Why Cutthroat Management is Over - and Collaboration is in.

I loved the title.   I have long thought of myself as a nice person and thought one of my company's values was niceness.  I have known some business jerks who are highly successful so it is reassuring that this is not the only type that can win.

The main thesis is - the power of the press now lies with with customer.   Social media like Twitter, facebook and blogs allow the consumer to influence many more people than they previously could.  Any degree of jerkness or niceness is now amplified by the crowd. 

Being a "nice" company is now the lowest cost way to market.

In speaking to Peter, he believes in being authentic.  He also applies the niceness principle to life in general - not just business.  In short - it is less stressful to be nice and you get just as much result so you may as well be nice.

This is one of those books that cites examples of companies going above and beyond for customers. I always find those inspirational.

And a quote used in the book:

"The most powerful leaders are almost always the role models for the change they seek." 

And of course no blog post is complete without a picture.  My grandson Josh and granddaughter Victoria.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

What are you Thankful For?

People often say "How are you?".  This sometimes opens up the chance for someone to lay out their aches, pains and woes.  Asking "What are you thankful for?" invites a different reaction.  Test it and see.

I have long believed in having an "attitude of gratitude".  I have much to be thankful for.

My daughter Laura married her long time boyfriend atop of a mountain in Victoria, British Columbia last week.

I wish them a long a prosperous life together.