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Category Archives: Executive Advisory

Big Decisions: Limit Input From These Inadequate Advisors

Do you tend to base your major life decisions on the pretext that anything is possible? Or, are you like the vast majority of people who immediately rule out a great number of possibilities based on what they think the outcome will be?

The fact of the matter is that most of us limit our options considerably base on these three inadequate advisors:

  • fears
  • insecurities
  • emotional baggage

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To Face Unafraid, The Plans That We Made

This past week, I was on a regular call with a client who heads a fast-growing small business. During the call he communicated that he was feeling a bit stressed due to the upcoming year-end board meeting, his recently hired high-level executives, and the challenges that come with the busy holiday season.

In response, I said that a lyric written by a 33-year-old named Richard Smith came to my mind.

When he asked what I meant, I replied, “…to face unafraid, the plans that we made…”

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Is a Multitasking Culture Actually Lowering Productivity?

My friend McKeel Hagerty shared an article with me this morning that discusses the effects of multitasking, namely through an over-abundance of emails and texting, on the brain; how it affects our stress levels, and, our brains ability to carry on sustained levels of concentration. It’s right along the lines of some of the work I’ve been reading and following lately. It’s an important concept, not just for leaders to understand (see tips at the end of the blog), but for anyone working towards greater success in their personal and professional lives. The article is also a great read for parents, as you look to limit screen time or the number of devices your children use as their young brains are still growing and forming.
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The Art of Advising (or Giving Advice)

My job is to advise very smart people, some of whom are at the top of their field in their subject matter expertise. The core of my work is to help them think differently so they can create optimal outcomes for themselves and their organizations. Is there a secret to giving advice?

Through the years I’ve learned that how one advises is at least as important as what one advises. How one advises determines whether or not the recipient hears and considers the advice, and ultimately takes action (changes behavior) based on the advice. Outcomes change only after they have taken action based on the new thinking. This is why merely giving advice (even if you’ve been asked or paid to give it, and even if it is good advice) is not good enough. The advice must be delivered in an effective manner that stimulates new thinking that is so compelling that it creates a change in behavior.

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What is the Value of a Trusted Advisor?

One of the Most Expensive Mistakes a Business Leader Can Make

Don’t Neglect the Fifth Column, aka, the Culture of Your Organization

Emilio Molo was a general with the rebel forces during the Spanish Civil War. He predicted in a radio broadcast that Madrid would fall – not only through the efforts of the four columns of troops approaching the city, but also by the efforts of an additional column of supporters hiding within the city, poised to join the invaders.

On October 17, 1936, William P. Carney, a New York Times correspondent, alluded to these supporters as “The Fifth Column.” The term became even more popular in 1937 when Ernest Hemingway used it for the title of his new play about the Spanish Civil War.

Business has much in common with war (also see: The Four Rules of Engagement). Both require great leaders, loyal troops, a well-defined chain of command, as well as sound strategy and execution.

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“Content is Still King”, Says Dorian Gray, But…

What do the following big industries have in common?

  •   Broadcast Television
  •   Broadcast Radio
  •   Movies
  •   Newspapers
  •   Recorded Music
  •   Textbooks
  •   Traditional Education and Training

All of the above industries are historically driven by an own-and-control business model and they all follow the old mantra, “Content is King”.  This saying is the basis for businesses whose model is based on the fact that they own and/or distribute particular content and therefore derive profit from the content.

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Are you hiring a skill set, or a person?

Hiring People And Their Expertise: Are you hiring a skill set, or a person?

Strong leadership teams create a strategy to address both BEFORE making hiring decisions.

Hiring the right people requires a well-thought out process. By the right people, I mean the kind of people who will drive the company toward its goals and whose personality, style, and professionalism will positively contribute to creativity, communication and the general culture of the organization.

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Heard Any Good New Music Lately?

Heard Any Good New Music Lately? Chances are it sounds like something you’ve heard before.

How sameness affects our identity

It may come as no surprise that our brains are more likely to enjoy new music that is more familiar, than new music that is vastly different from what we usually listen to. The same goes for new ideas, thoughts, and considerations…and even news channels.

Think about it – when you hear a new song, or a new band, do you immediately try to make associations to other music or bands? “Hey check out this new band, they are a mix between Neil Young and Elvis Costello.”  Isn’t that what the music genome project is built upon? Some of you might experience it regularly as Pandora, which builds playlists based on common characteristics of songs. A recent article from Smithsonian Magazine, which ties our music preferences with the way our mind works, got me thinking about how inextricably linked this is to our own sense of self.

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Assess, Accept, Adjust, Advance

For years I have been both applying and encouraging others with this simple Success Strategy:

Accept, Adjust, and Advance

As many personal development success strategies inform and improve professional development as well, I wanted to share a process that I have been honing and developing with clients for many years. In our businesses and organizations, we are steeped in processes – how we do things, how we decide what to do…even how we approach what we decide to do. With all of these processes, I suggest that there is one Quintessential Process to guide organizations through the best way to impact outcomes and improve the bottom line.

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