Execution

  • Can You Trust Your Brain? – Three Decision Risks Your Mind Creates

    right_wrong decisionUnderstanding risk is at the core of management and board effectiveness.  Every day decision makers consider options and make choices based on their expert judgment and analysis of probable success.

    But there is one business risk that can lurk outside leaders’ awareness.  In fact, this risk comes from inside their own heads in the form of mental biases.  And no one is immune.

  • What Makes a High Definition Leader?

    Today’s headlines are replete with words like “disruptor” and “reformer” in describing the behavior of high profile leaders.

    But how does a leader prevent change from becoming chaos? Or reform from prompting revolt?

    She needs to be a High Definition Leader (HD Leader) and surround herself with a top-flight team that also possesses HD Leader qualities and capabilities.

    THE PAST AS PROLOGUE

    I first discussed High Definition Leadership almost a decade ago when we were in the depths of the Great Recession. Back then most of my CEO and director clients faced unprecedented business and personnel challenges.  Uncertainty and fear reigned amidst economic contraction and red ink.

    I urged them to lead in “high definition” as a way of keeping their stakeholders engaged and focused during turbulent times.

  • Crisis Management: Five Winning Tactics

    Remember when electronics giant Samsung was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2016?  Its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone overheated and caught fire, creating a safety hazard for owners. 

    After more than a month of product malfunctions, failed replacement phones, and furious customer complaints,  the U.S. Consumer Safety Board forced Samsung’s hand.  The Korean-based company announced a total product recall , killing production of the Note 7 altogether.  Samsung took a significant earnings hit that year.

    Cases like this remind us that leaders may need to react to any number of crises – man-made or natural – that deal with stakeholder or public safety and well-being.

    I addressed common reactions and behaviors to crisis that leaders need to avoid  in a previous post, Crisis Leadership: Five Deadly Leader Behaviors.

    If you find yourself in a major crisis situation, here’s what you need to do.

  • Making the Tough Call with Poor-Fit Talent – Winning Actions, Not Costly Traps

    Worried woman_crop “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”        – Maya Angelou

    The realization may come over time, or it can occur as the result of a single critical incident. You have a poor-fit player in a key management or project position.

    Consider the many ways poor-fit talent can make their presence known. For example:

    • Under-performance due to skill deficits
    • Inability or unwillingness to act on performance feedback
    • Counterproductive – or toxic – personality traits
    • Lack of alignment with the organization’s core strategy or culture
    • Increased interpersonal or departmental conflict

  • Toxic Certainty – When What You Know Isn’t So

    “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”
    – Will Rogers

    Certainty is appealing and comforting. It makes us feel confident and powerful, especially in uncertain times. But it also has a dark side that I call “Toxic Certainty.”

    Toxic Certainty occurs when a person (or group) develops an unshakeable conviction in his/her interpretation of the facts and decision-making, and is immune to contradictory information.

    We see the negative effects of Toxic Certainty in political gridlock. We recognize it in religious extremism. But often Toxic Certainty goes unnoticed when it occurs at headquarters or in the boardroom. Unnoticed, that is, until disaster looms as a result of misguided thinking and actions.