Real Leaders

Does Your Business Matter? And Can It Matter More?

This is the second of a 4-part series exploring businesses that matter. Read series one here Business is sacred. I recognize that’s not a widely-held view as most employees of most businesses, unfortunately,don’t experience their work this way. But if one allows sacredness into the conversation aboutbusiness, different possibilities start opening up. And so, the […]

A Few Uncomfortable Questions Every CEO Should Ask Themselves

Before strategy, before innovation, before profitability, before talent management, before acquisitions, and before revenue growth, there are two questions a CEO answers (mostly implicitly, unfortunately — my hope is that this piece encourages you to answer them explicitly): 1. What is my ambition for my business? 2. How hard will I strive to achieve ‘optimal’? […]

The Choice to Become a Business That Matters

This is the first of a 4-part series exploring businesses that matter. This is about ambition. Not the kind of ambition that has traditionally shaped businesses (growth at all costs, profit over everything) but a wiser, more profound ambition that reconsiders the very nature of business. Compare the Ford Motor Corporation in 1903 to Zappos in […]

Interrogating the Validity of Your Business

Over the past two years, the business landscape has changed in a material way. The question of people/talent is very fluid at the moment (flexible work, high resignation rate, shortage of skills) Supply chains have been disrupted globally Inflation is on the rise, affecting margins Global access through online channels is fully accepted, which has […]

Two Ways to Evolve as a CEO: Ambition or Obligation

In my CEO coaching practice, I have observed that there are two ways to change: Either the CEO is sufficiently ambitious to chase that change, or the CEO eventually feels enough pain to become obligated to make that change. For obvious reasons, the former is preferred as the latter usually involves an accumulation of pain […]

Don’t Put People First. Put ‘Roles’ First.

The excellent book CEO Excellence shares some research about which roles generated the most value. Their findings were revealing in one instance: 37 people (out of a company of 12,000) generated 80% of that business value.  One role singlehandedly was responsible for 10% of that value. The takeaway is this: hierarchy and value creation often […]

Today’s CEO vs. Tomorrow’s CEO

In coaching processes, the coach – either implicitly or explicitly – works With the idea of ‘old way v. new way’. It’s a way of aggregating the total behaviors of what is not working, and transitioning them to a newly aggregated set of behaviors that is fit for purpose. For example, choosing to be more […]

The Different Ways of Being a CEO

“When I look back on my life nowadays, which I sometimes do, what strikes me most forcibly about it is that what seemed at the time most significant and seductive seems now most futile and absurd. For instance, success in all of its various guises; being known and being praised; ostensible pleasures, like acquiring money […]

What Would it Take to Fall in Love With Your Business?

Those who know me, know that I’m the expressive type. I like language, phraseology, and metaphors and I believe that life can be lived in technicolor. I believe the same to be true of a business. I am relatively alone in this thinking. In fact, sometimes my views are considered to be ‘light’ or esoteric […]

Cracking the Leadership Code: Trader Joe’s – a Remarkable Retail Business

‘Business intimacy’. These two words aren’t often used in the same sentence. Many might argue that it’s not even plausible to use emotive words such as ‘intimacy’ in a business context.My contention is that it’s highly performance-enhancing to develop such a degree of closeness with your business because it enables you to intervene in a […]

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