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The "Icebreaker" Gone Horribly Wrong that Turned Into a Gift

Posted on September 6, 2017 at 1:10 AM


The year was 2002. When the new Vice President (VP) arrived at my Fortune 500 company, we had an “off-site” meeting to introduce him to his new team. He was a big shot partner from a high-powered consulting firm who was going to ‘take us to the next level,’ according to corporate communications. As a mid-level manager, I was one of the 15 or 20 people who made up h...

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The Story behind my New Book - The Camino Way: Lessons in Leadership from a Walk Across Spain

Posted on August 22, 2017 at 6:50 PM


I'd like to tell the story about my new book, The Camino Way: Lessons in Leadership from a Walk Across Spain (AMACOM, July 2017). I hike and bike long trails on vacations as a hobby, so the Camino de Santiago had been on my list for a while. When I finally got on the Camino, however, I realized it was unlike any other trail. My month-lo...

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The 5 Most Successful "Hacker-Hustler" Teams in US Business History

Posted on July 5, 2017 at 12:45 PM

The “hacker-hustler” team is a common recipe for co-founders of successful new businesses. The “hacker” is the partner who has the technical skills to build innovative products or services. The “hustler” is the partner who has the marketing and other business skills to grow a valuable enterprise around those technical innovations. Based on market capitalizat...

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4 Leadership Lessons from Fed Chairs

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 1:20 AM


The Federal Reserve System (“The Fed”;) was created in 1913. Since then, fourteen men and one woman have served as the chair of the board of the Fed. Their century of leadership has produced several lessons in leadership. Here are the top four:


Stick to Your Tough Decisions – Paul Volker’s two terms as the Fed chair (1979-87) started in one...

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JFK at 100: The Two Techniques Behind JFK's Best Speeches

Posted on May 29, 2017 at 10:25 AM


May 29, 2017 marks the 100th birthday of President John F. Kennedy (JFK). While his assassination cut his presidency and life tragically short, his legacy lives on in many ways, including his speeches. JFK was able to connect with people by explaining complex issues in an easy-to-understand and memorable way. There were two rhetorical techniques he used frequently to do that. 

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5 Management Lessons from World War 1

Posted on April 6, 2017 at 8:50 AM


The United States formally entered the First World War 100 years ago today. Some of the lessons from that devastating war still offer insights to leaders today.

#1 - Update Strategy with Technology – Machine guns represented a game-changing technology that made the war much deadlier. Strategies and tactics built in the days of calvary charges and muskets failed in the f...

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Lessons from the Top 5 Ranked Presidents

Posted on March 18, 2017 at 4:15 PM


The Presidents of the United States are ranked from time to time by historians, and four are always at the top - Washington, Lincoln and both Roosevelts. In the latest poll of historians just released by C-SPAN for the President's Day holiday, a newcomer has broken the top five - Eisenhower.


Each of the top-five ranked presidents had different leadership styles t...

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7 Keys to Success in First 100 Days: Lessons from FDR

Posted on February 16, 2017 at 8:50 AM



President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (FDR) accomplishments in his first 100 days set a bar against which every subsequent US president has been measured. It is an unfair bar in many ways, as the situation FDR inherited 84 years ago is much different than modern times. It’s also not clear FDR even intended 100 days to be a bar against which to measure his own adminis...

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7 Event Management Lessons from the 2009 Presidential Inauguration

Posted on January 8, 2017 at 9:40 AM

On January 20, 2017, the city of Washington DC will host the most sacred ceremony in the US democracy - the peaceful transition of power from onepresident to another. The last transition in 2009 attracted an estimated 1.8 million spectators from around the country. At about 3x the population of the city of Washington DC, it was the largest crowd in DC history, and probably the largest in US history. Thr...

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How Rescuing Greyhounds Made Me a Better COO

Posted on December 11, 2016 at 9:55 AM


I adopted two retired racing greyhounds several years ago. Despite their fierce racing image, greyhounds are gentle-natured and don’t need much exercise. Their ability to sleep all day has earned them the nickname “40 mph couch potatoes.” Because of their careers as racers, however, they do require unique care to adjust to life in a home. That experience transitioning them to a ne...

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