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'Today', 'Tomorrow' and 'Twenty-Years' - 3 Goals Every Operating Plan Should Have

Posted on August 24, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Twenty-one years ago, student government at the University of Pennsylvania gave me my first formal leadership opportunity as head of the grad student government executive board. For our one-year term, we set three goals that represented one urgent need (the ‘Today Goal’;), one juicy opportunity (the ‘Tomorrow Goal’;), and one impossible dream (the ‘Twenty-Year Goal.’;)...

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8 Lessons from a Great Speech: Steve Jobs

Posted on July 23, 2016 at 11:45 AM

In 1997, Steve Jobs made his famous return to lead a floundering Apple and gave a speech to some employees to describe the turnaround plan. That 15-minute video is the best example of how to communicate strategy I have ever seen. Here are 8 keys to effective communication that he displays in that speech:


Be Insanely Prepared – Jobs did the whole speech without notes...

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7 Values I Learned By Walking the Camino Across Spain

Posted on June 24, 2016 at 5:50 PM

I recently walked the ancient Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail across Spain. Every pilgrim (peregrino) has a passbook to get stamps along the way to prove they are doing the trail. My pilgrim passport hangs proudly on my wall and gives me something more than just memories: it lists 7 values each pilgrim should live by while on the trail. I've found these values useful for everyday, post-Camino life.

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5 Project Management Lessons from Ireland's Kerry Way Hiking Trail

Posted on May 12, 2016 at 11:20 AM

Last month, I checked off a bucket list item and hiked the Kerry Way trail on the southwest coast of Ireland. Beyond the enjoyment I got from the trail, it also taught me five big lessons that will help me better manage projects at work.


1. Don't Let Bad Forecasts Automatically Kill Plans – The weather in Ireland in March is typically bad for hiking but that was th...

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How Losing Star Performers Can Be An Asset

Posted on April 20, 2016 at 12:10 AM

Alex got recruited away from a management job with a small, fast-moving, progressive company to a larger, slower, more conservative company. His role was new, so he spent a lot of time in his first year recruiting a team. At the end of the year, he was pleased with the quality of the team he had built. His first annual performance review noted his ability to attract top talent too.


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3 Ways to See Good News in an Award Loss

Posted on March 6, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Surprise email I received on February 1, 2016 – “We are happy to announce that your book has been selected as one of the 20 top Leadership books of last year and is a finalist in the Leadership Book of the Year 2016 competition”


Expected email I received on February 16, 2016 - “We just closed the public voting for Leadership Book of...

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Leadership Lessons from Former Farmers

Posted on February 26, 2016 at 3:45 PM

I wrote an article on LinkedIn about the lessons I learned as a suburban kid who got shipped out to work on the family dairy farms during summer school breaks. That article hit a wellspring from people who grew up on farms and shared their own lessons that have helped them in their careers after the farm.

Here are the 5 biggest leadership lessons from farming those readers shared.


Seeing the Digni...

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Breaking the Dunbar Barrier - Leading 100+ People for the First Time

Posted on January 23, 2016 at 3:35 PM

Congratulations on the big promotion to your first C-level job. You know you have a lot to learn about things like politics and public-relations at this level, but at least you are confident in your leadership skills. The whole reason you got the promotion was the success you've had leading teams of progressively larger sizes. Your new team is now a couple hundred people rather than the few dozen y...

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5 NFL Draft Lessons for Corporate Recruiters

Posted on December 21, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Every year the National Football League (NFL) stages an event where all 32 NFL teams get a shot at hiring the pool of college players coming out at that year. Every year, top consulting, banking and other firms go to top MBA schools at the same time to recruit from the same pool of students. Being a fan of the first and a veteran of the second, I see surprising similarities between the two annual ...

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What if CIOs Managed Clients Like Restaurant Owners Do?

Posted on November 6, 2015 at 9:40 AM

CIOs are typically faced with demands from internal clients that far outstrip their information technology (IT) team's capacity to deliver. Successful CIOs manage their clients as effectively as they manage their own teams. What would IT look like if CIOs implemented these 10 client management practices successful restaurants use to manage their customers?

  1. Reservations - ...
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