Monthly Archives: July 2016

Flat Bottlenecks

Having a flat organization is a goal for a lot of business leaders. In many cases, they may not be sure why they want a flat organization, they just know that they do because they have heard it’s a good idea. Organizations become flat by reducing levels in the hierarchy. The fewer the steps between […]

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Analytical Thinking is Not Just For Accountants

Good leadership requires multiple styles of thinking. Lots of people only have one style in their toolbox. This is not a good thing. There are plenty of different ways of thinking about problems and opportunities at work, but for now, let’s consider two: “Warm and Fuzzy” and “Analytical.” “Warm and Fuzzy” sounds dismissive, but it’s […]

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Not Everybody Knows What You Mean

You walk into the local outlet of a major sandwich chain restaurant and they start rattling off the options quickly in a monotone voice, while doing other things. They have a pretty efficient assembly line, and they need to keep it moving. The problem is, you have never been there before, and you need a […]

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Happiness Can Be a Goal, Too

Leaders rarely have just one goal for their firm. “Profit maximization,” of course, is the biggie. (defining “profit” depends on what you do, of course; if you work in the public sector, you may define it as “doing as much good in the world as we can while minimizing costs”). Focusing purely on the numbers, […]

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…One Giant Leap for Mankind

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(Yes, we first published this post a year ago. So what? We think it’s a story that should be repeated every year on this day!) 47 years ago today, the first men walked on the moon (though according to Michael Bay, the Transformers were there earlier). The US manned space program took nearly a decade […]

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It is What it Is — But You Control “It”

Many years ago I worked for a division chief at the Pentagon whose division was not run very well, and her team knew it…and complained about it. A lot. Her typical response in division meetings was to shake her head, smile a little bit, and say “hey, it is what it is.” The problem was, […]

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Get ‘em While They’re Young

One challenge that’s getting tougher and tougher in various markets is recruiting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) employees. Forward-thinking organizations are figuring out how to reach the next generation of employees (that is, the folks coming in behind the Millennials) in order to make sure the talent they need is available in the coming years. […]

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Don’t Be a Roadblock

Nearly 20 years ago I was in an interesting role as a US Air Force officer, developing new concepts for the role of military power after the end of the Cold War. During my first year in that job (which lasted 2 years, 8 days, and 3 1/2 hours) I had a fantastic leader. Not […]

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Hitler Never Took a “7 Habits” Class

We talked the other day about a growth mindset among your employees. Though we like to think employees inherently have a growth, rather than fixed, mindset, that is not necessarily the case. Things change, and you need to remember that your team can always be learning and developing, even if they happen to forget that. […]

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Fixing a Fixed Mindset

Do your employees really know everything? Or do they just think they do? If it’s the latter, they may be stuck in a fixed mindset, and if so, that’s no good for you. Dr Carol Dweck of Stanford University is a leading researcher studying the idea of “mindset.” She suggests that Mindsets are beliefs — […]

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