Category: Leadership

A Former NBA Coach Gives Advice on When to Pivot

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary of the Real Leaders Podcast “We all have the superhero power of choice to live this lifestyle through the habits that we build. And it really comes down to just continuing to do it, 1% step after 1% step, day, after day, after day.” David Nurse is a former professional basketball […]

These 4 Leadership Tips Will Turn Your Struggle Into a Good Thing

Covid-19 has affected not just our lives but our livelihoods, too. No industries, businesses or communities have been left untouched. And it’s exhausting. In this article I look at ‘action ready strategies’ to help manage and lead in times of imposed and, with Covid-19, unprecedented change. There’s a big difference between managing and leading in […]

The Leadership Style That Turned Ford Motor Company Around

It’s no secret that many businesses are hurting in 2020. Transportation, hospitality, and brick- and-mortar retail outlets selling nonessential goods and services have been hit the hardest. The last time we were in a similar situation was during the Great Recession of 2008. Although the causes were different, both situations flattened revenues so much that […]

Driving Engagement and Innovation through “Two-way” Mentorship

Attitudes are changing fast. By 2020, half of global employees will be millennials, according to PwC (1), with Gen Z waiting in the wings. As digital natives, millennials communicate, gather information, and purchase much more in the virtual world than previous generations. Better-educated, highly ambitious, and purpose-driven, they are more likely to switch employers in […]

Here’s How to Innovate: Think Like a Billionaire

All billionaires think differently as part of their DNA. They think independently, challenge the status quo, and refuse to accept old truths. Billionaires look for their own truths outside the mainstream. Norwegian property developer, Petter Stordalen (above), advises people to “be scared when everybody is satisfied, and there are only blue skies, and be brave […]

It Takes Only One: The Leaders’ COVID Moral Choice

“As states reopen, and we give the virus more fuel, all bets are off. I understand the reasons for reopening the economy, but I’ve said before, if you don’t solve the biology, the economy won’t recover.” – Dr. Erin Bromage, Infectious Disease Expert, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth A business leader was overheard saying, “I have […]

Authority and Language: What You Say Can Transform Your Leadership

Authority, authorship, and authenticity share the same Latin root, auth, which comes from authenticus, which meant “principal” in the sense of being first or chief. As the root of the words “author” and “authority,” it denotes the chief person who determines how the story goes. “Auth” is also the root of “authentic,” which means that […]

Risk Is Not An Excuse For Leaders to Behave Badly

Risks are not aspects of our personality that we can wish away or pretend don’t exist—they are hardwired in us. They manifest when we feel uncomfortable and stressed, and when faced with pressure or conflict. The dilemma is this: Because our risks have become ingrained behaviors over our lifetime as natural responses to certain stimuli, […]

The Ten Commandments of Crisis Management

You may ask why there are so many crises that appear to have been preventable. It’s a good question. Unlike crisis management, which is mainly reactive, risk management is a proactive process with its goal of crisis anticipation and preparation. It may run counter to individual leaders’ inner nature, but the objective is not to […]

You Can’t Fix What You Can’t See

Most of the CEOs I know are confronting the toughest leadership test they have ever faced — getting their business back to normal in an environment that is anything but normal.   I empathize with leaders who want to restore what was, but the reality is that getting back to normal is not enough. If […]

3 Leadership Characteristics That Will Drive Your Innovation

The proverbial wisdom says that “you can have all the riches and success in the world, but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” Right now, everything hinges on our health. Our work, our wealth, our future. As the sickest nation in the world with COVID-19, the United States is heading towards having […]

28 Inspiring Leadership Quotes

Leaders throughout history have inspired us to take action, to become our best selves, to create a better world, and to ensure a brighter future. Their legacies live on in the quotes they gave us to live by. Here are some insights from leaders across the ages whose words continue to inspire us today. “Never […]

How Much Sway Should Data Have in CEO Decision-Making?

Does a CEO’s gut instinct matter in a world that runs on digital data-crunching? Over the last decade, big data analytics has risen to the forefront as a tool to facilitate smarter, faster, and more effective decision-making in business. Its meteoric ascension into corporate boardrooms and executive offices has displaced our conventional ideas about the […]

Leaders of Hope: Greta Thunberg

There’s a sense of disbelief when you consider that Greta Thunberg was unknown less than two years ago. Within this short space of time, she has grown a global climate movement and is now broadening her activism to include children’s rights during the pandemic. She has been recognized and praised worldwide by heads of state […]

Leaders of Hope: Bishop T.D. Jakes

In 2019, Bishop T.D. Jakes attended a Black Economic Alliance event in Martha’s Vineyard with top executives from Goldman Sachs and the Ford Foundation. It focused on issues affecting the Black community, including the digital divide, where he learned that the majority of future jobs would require a background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics […]

5 Real-Word Triggers That Lead to Burnout (and What You Can Do About It)

Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) redefined burnout and added it to the International Classification of Diseases, organizations and individuals have become more open to talking about burnout’s symptoms and potential causes—which, at face value, seem to come solely from the workplace. Don’t kid yourself. While we can all point the finger at unrealistic […]

My Decision to Move to Rural Zimbabwe – it Just Felt Right!

“What are you doing?” said Marianne Knuth’s friends. “You’re moving in the wrong direction – to Zimbabwe!?” They called her foolish for wanting to move to Southern Africa and start an educational program — Kufunda Learning Village. There was no guarantee of support, infrastructure or financial help to make it happen. The decision to move […]

Legacy Leadership Lessons From Martin Luther King’s Son and Grandchild

As Baby Boomers retire and our world begins the largest transfer of wealth in human history — an estimated $30 trillion — a significant part of these assets will go to the descendants of family-owned businesses. According to the Conway Center for Family Business, the largest portion of wealth in the United States resides with […]

Why Not You? Advice to Live Inspired

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast “Leadership is not a job title or how many followers you have or how many books you’ve read or written. It’s the ability that you have to become a better version of yourself and to lead others forward toward their possibility.” John O’Leary is a keynote […]

Scot Chisolm, CEO of Classy: A Real Leaders Top Impact Company

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast “Companies are at the epicenter of the good and the bad, and I think they can be a massive catalyst for positive change moving forward.” Scot Chisolm is the CEO and co-founder of Classy, a social enterprise technology company serving the nonprofit community. Classy is named […]

How to Scale Leadership During a Pandemic

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we live in a VUCA world – we are experiencing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in unprecedented ways. And we are finally talking about it.  Fueled by ambition, fear, or pragmatism, this pandemic’s massive disruption to the ordinary course of things has led to every organization […]

5 Tools for Navigating the New Normal

The world is chaotic, noisy, and full of tragedy. Many of us know people who have become ill, or worse yet, have lost their lives. Families are separated, businesses shuttered, and jobs lost. The pandemic has changed global macro- and micro-economics, social order and preferences, acceptable business practices, workforce dynamics, and the list goes on. […]

Insulting Your Employees is Costing You Money

This is what I said to a CEO who didn’t understand why they needed to be nice to their employees. In December 2019, I flew to Los Angeles to deliver a full day of training on “How to Build Inclusive Teams” to an executive team at a flourishing tech startup. My point of contact before […]

How to Kill Conformity and Pursue Meaningful Work

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast “Most people have the desire to change. They have the skill but what they don’t have is the permission. What we needed to do was actually create a culture that would allow people to have the behaviors of innovation.” Lisa Bodell is a best-selling author, the […]

Keep it Real Series: A Conversation with Simon Mainwaring

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast “So what does it mean for your business? It means that you show up as a whole human being. You’re not just a job title with a skill set. You’re showing up with your heart and your hands and your head. And your work is an […]

4 Lessons From the Red Cross: How Humanitarian Governance Can Help Your Company

Bridging the humanitarian governance triangle of politics, power, and ethics is a complex task, but one Peter Maurer was destined to achieve as president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Known for its rapid response in disasters and within armed conflict zones, the Red Cross is arguably the largest and most sophisticated humanitarian organization […]

7 Habits For Laying The Foundation for Business Bravery

In our volatile world, bravery is no longer the purview of caped crusaders. Instead, it’s an essential, though unexplored, capability that all leaders must develop. Bravery is the one force that will make a difference in an environment craving changemakers.  For some leaders, bravery challenges them to seek out unproven solutions to familiar problems. For […]

CEOs of Major Corporations Propose An Economic Roadmap to Build Back Better

A new coalition of global leaders including the CEOs of Danone, Mahindra, Philips, L’Oreal, and other companies representing a combined annual revenue of over $100 billion and a combined global workforce of over 500,000 have endorsed a roadmap to “build the economic system better,” rather than merely “building it back.” The goal of the roadmap […]

How Your Conflict Style Is Hurting Collaboration

Virtually every leader of any successful organization will tell you that collaboration lies at the center of what makes an organization successful. So why do so many leaders struggle to get their employees to collaborate? As a conflict mediator, I’ve worked with dozens of organizations over the past 15 years that deeply value collaboration. By […]

Rethinking Business: 12 Ways to Build Resilience in a Pandemic

This pandemic is an opportunity for us to have a forthright conversation about making our workplaces more resilient. Here are a dozen ways businesses can create healthier employees and sustainable companies based on the science of resilience. 1. Structure Offer employees just enough structure to make their workplaces predictable. That means whenever possible, offering secure […]

An Action Plan For Sustainably-Driven Companies

“Possible is more a matter of attitude; a matter of decision to choose; among the impossible possibilities; when one sound opportunity; becomes a possible solution.” ― Dejan Stojanovic The imperative for companies today is to be purpose-driven in how they operate.  The acute health and economic crises we are living through from Covid-19 have beamed a […]

This is How to Lead During a Crisis

The real estate industry is no stranger to crisis. As a sector that heavily relies on in-person interaction, COVID-19 has created noticeable challenges for the industry. However, throughout this uncertainty, we as leaders have learned to find new ways and rise to the occasion to see our businesses progress forward. Due to low consumer confidence, […]

What Award-Winning CEOs Are Reading Now

While we still find ourselves in the era of social distancing, many of us have had to find new ways to pass the time while confined in our homes. Given the circumstances, there’s never been a better time to brush up on your reading. Reading has been shown to improve communication, emotional intelligence, and organizational effectiveness. All […]

40 Top Women Keynote Speakers For 2020

If you’re a leader looking for someone to inspire your team, or for a notable person to motivate your company during tough times, these highly-focused, professional women will help take things to the next level. The list below features just some of the high-achieving women, from across the worlds of business, athletics and entertainment that […]

Leaders Must Learn to Identify Friction to Achieve Better Results

It’s impossible and not even desirable for an organization to orchestrate the actions of each individual—the situation on the ground changes monthly, weekly, or even hourly. The organization’s supervisors and frontline workers want and need to make their own decisions in ways that they interpret to be best for the organization. To create alignment so […]

How to Find Your Passion And Fuel Your Burn

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast “Every single day is this fire and this burn that lies inside of me that I won’t stop, I won’t quit. I want to serve. I want to give everything that I have. One day at a time. And I think for all of us, we […]

Between Grit and Grace: The Art of Being Formidable

“It’s okay to be kind and commanding,” says Sasha Shillcutt (above), CEO of Brave Enough, an organization that encourages women to live authentically and stop apologizing for their strength. Leading an organization with more than 10,000 women, Shillcutt’s mission is to share life lessons learned from falling down and getting back up again. I was […]

How to Move from Paralysis to Entrepreneurship in Unpredictable Times

How do we strike the balance between extreme caution and necessary risk-taking when navigating a crisis? Many of us in the third month of quarantine are experiencing a bifurcation between daily personal and business experiences. At home, we embrace a highly conservative posture. We’ve cut spending to protect our rainy-day fund, organized our kids around […]

4 Crucial Ways to Control Your Emotions in a Negotiation

We often negotiate in our personal and professional life. We negotiate with our children about their curfew time and with members of the family about household chores. We negotiate about rent and when we buy or sell a car or a house. The work environment frequently involves negotiations between employers and employees about important issues, […]

Real Leaders Must Decide, Commit and Execute

We live in challenging times. However, that does not give us an excuse to rest on our laurels, ignore responsibility for our lives, or the opportunity to be a contributor to humanity. The time is now to share our skills and talents and offer insights and solutions from our experience as leaders and entrepreneurs. We […]

NBA Consultant: Coach Your Business like Basketball

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast “My definition of success is inner peace. True happiness is just inner peace. When you trust yourself, you know what kind of value you bring to the world, you know what you want to accomplish in the world. That’s what it is, it’s true peace.” Drew […]

6 Small Sales Strategies That Will Make a Big Difference

One of the environmental factors that influence our behavior and our performance is orderliness. Most of us agree that it is more pleasant to work in an organized, neat room. An organized workspace also saves time since it is easier to find things. But what you may not know is that orderliness is also related […]

Inside the Mind of a Successful Networker

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast “Networking is the most complex and the most beautiful skillset and mindset that we can continuously practice in our lives.” Gil Petersil (above) is a networking guru and international expert on business strategy. His expertise in these fields comes from years of experience living, studying, working […]

How to Thrive in Hard Times by Looking Creatively at a Crisis

Everyone is writing articles, op-eds, and features today on how to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. And most of them are regurgitations of the same analytic approach we see time and time again. But the mindset begins to shift when we look at crisis creatively. What begins to emerge is a view that is different […]

Are You Chasing Fads or Solving a Real Problem?

We are all impressionable to fads. Remember fidget spinners? Just a few years ago, these toys became a craze practically overnight. Forbes once called them “the must-have office toys for 2017”, and at one point, they were so popular that giant corporations like Toys R Us had to airfreight tens of thousands of them to their various […]

How to Be More Creative in Any Field and in Life

Just as IQ is an indication of your share of intelligence and EQ connotes your share of empathy, it is also possible to have a share of creativity or CQ. A creativity quotient is not fixed. It is dynamic and increases as you practice building it and exercising it. What’s more, CQ isn’t reserved for […]

How to Become an Exemplary Leader of Introverts

I was preparing for a program on introverted leadership by interviewing research scientists at a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company when a new word caught my ear.  “Did you say ‘loudership’?” I asked a seasoned manager. Yes, he had. He told me that loudership was a company-wide code word for what it meant to be a strong leader. […]

Why CEOs Plan to Leave the Office Behind in 2020

With news in April that the British economy has shrunk by 20.4%, several business owners became concerned about the recovery of their business and what the “new normal” might look like. Pete Reis-Campbell, CEO and Founder of Kaizen, discusses how he has navigated the pandemic and why remote working is the future for many companies. […]

Why CEOs Need To Be Able To Deal With Conflict

Nobody likes arguments. Except for the most died-in-the-wool troublemakers, we all try to avoid them. Arguments cost time and energy—in any given situation, it’s always a good idea to ask whether an issue is worth arguing about. Nevertheless, people who avoid arguments at any cost will never make an impact or drive change. At the […]

Why Every Leader Needs to Become a Campaign Manager

Now, more than ever, we have to figure out how to get stuff done and how to be smart about it. Both professionally and personally, our lives will inevitably change moving forward, the only certainty is that we must be ready to face it. Thinking differently is part of the solution (mixed table link), but […]

First Female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot: How to Lead Through Adversity

In this turbulent business environment, leadership requires taking bold steps. No matter what challenges your organization faces—a slowing economy, a merger, new rules, and regulations—the pace of change has never been faster. The sheer unpredictability of things can cause fear and anxiety among your team. Your job as a fearless leader is to throttle back […]

5 Ways You Can Lead by Listening

In times of crisis, people need leaders, not heroes, with the confidence required to listen and remain open-minded to expert opinion. This isn’t always easy considering that humans are wired to listen and defend what they already believe and to disregard information that makes them uncomfortable. Stress and uncertainty further complicate the listening process when […]

Top 50 Keynote Speakers in the World 2020

When you’re in a leadership position at a Fortune 500 company or simply want to motivate yourself or a small team of highly focused professionals to rise to the next level, you can learn from some of the top keynote speakers. Actively seeking focused, key messages from high-achieving men and women across the worlds of […]

When a Crisis Ends a Real Leader Asks: “How’d We Do?”

“The Most important Thing About Crisis Management is to Prepare for the Next Crisis.” At this point, some businesses are reopening. Limitations on in-person meetings will be lifted. Some, but not all, employees will be happy and anxious to get back to the workplace and leave the stress of 24/7 home life behind. However, the […]

4 Ways Leaders Can Overcome Fear and Take Control

Scarcity is a feeling of fragility and uncertainty. Leaders cannot let fear determine their decisions, which is why cultivating an abundance mindset is critical to long-term leadership amidst the current coronavirus pandemic. Of all the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus, one crisis has been largely overlooked: our psychological response. A scarcity mindset is induced by […]

Post Crisis Business Ideas: Create New Ways of Thinking With a Mixed Table

“Two heads are better than one,” is an axiom for a reason. In today’s specialized world, we are encouraged to have a laser focus on our individual areas of expertise. Although such specialization is a critical component of our education system; there is a high risk of falling into groupthink and overlooking creative solutions when […]

How to Lead Through Uncertain Times

“If you want to learn to sail, you need to go into high winds,” says John Replogle, a partner at One Better Ventures. “Equally, If you want to lead, go into a crisis.” Replogle has learned much about leadership from the current crisis. Here, he shares some of the critical qualities a leader must consider. […]

8 Great Business Strategies For Times of Uncertainty

This is the third in a series of articles about developing strategy in a post-coronavirus world. The four scenarios for a post-coronavirus and an open-source strategy toolkit can be downloaded here. What do courageous leaders do in times of jaw-dropping uncertainty? They set a vision, make strategic decisions, align teams, and communicate. Our responsibilities didn’t change when the global […]

Why Business Leaders Should Embrace Capitalism and Stop Obsessing over Competition

Capitalism has gotten a bad rap, bearing the blame for corporate greed and income inequality. However, no other market system has the ability to create opportunities and benefit society. The real culprit is how capitalism has been corrupted, associated with crushing competitors and world dominance. Learn how business leaders can move away from competitive advantage […]

How the Coronavirus Could Lead to a New Renaissance

The future has never been guaranteed. Even so, we’ve taken it for granted, and have avoided preparing in government, our businesses, and society in general. We tend to “work in,” not “work on,” managing too many crises and tasks to tackle the tough questions about the reliability of our futures, let alone develop plans to […]

6 Ways to Succeed as a Conscious Leader

Emotional IQ counts for twice as much as IQ and technical skills combined in determining who will be successful, according to a report from Harvard Business School. This surprising finding indicates that emotional intelligence isn’t just a nice-to-have, but a required characteristic to forming successful relationships. It’s arguably one of the essential leadership skills of the 21st century, and […]

3 Communications Basics that Will Build Your Confidence

Communication is ingrained in every facet of life, yet many struggle with fear, insecurity and general ineffectiveness when finding themselves eye-to-eye with someone and presenting ideas, resolving complicated issues, express feelings, or “selling themselves.”  According to Megan Rokosh, a global business communications expert with more than 12 years of agency public relations, media, and creative […]

Create a Better World by Eliminating Rigidity of Thought

In times of tremendous instability, the easiest tendency to fall victim to is retrenchment. “Let’s just go back to how things were before…” many find themselves musing. But the “good old days” crowd has to face some facts. For one, unless somebody creates Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine, we can’t just “go back.” Even more […]

How to Prevent Failure While Working From Home

So many companies are shifting their employees to working from home to address the coronavirus pandemic. Yet they’re not considering the potential disasters that might occur as a result of this transition. An example of this is what one of my coaching clients experienced a few months ago, before the pandemic hit. Pete is a […]

6 Common Mistakes Leaders Make When Making a Decision

The reason Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are so successful is because they have thought so deeply about decision-making processes. Business leaders are decision-making machines. They make decisions all day long, which is, after all, what they get paid for. Nevertheless, there are six common decision-making traps they fall into. And it is no coincidence […]

5 Leadership Lessons From Female Leaders to Power Us Through Difficult Times

The coronavirus pandemic has upended our world, and businesses are facing economic uncertainty. As leaders, we must build confidence while guiding and supporting employees and customers through the storm. But there’s some good news: we can look to female leaders for how they have successfully managed during difficult times. For nearly 20 years, I’ve worked […]

3 Ways to Lead From Home

Are your employees working from home? Leading remote teams without resorting to nonstop micromanaging takes consideration and care. Try these tips to balance your need to allow employees autonomy without losing your managerial right to check in when needed. Amid the coronavirus crisis, plenty of people have discovered that telecommuting is harder than they thought. […]

Pushing the Restart Button: Let’s Rebuild the Future of Work Now

Post-COVID-19, the work culture and the employee experience that we know is going to change, and change permanently. But how exactly? What are the likely shifts, and how can we prepare for them? I work at WONGDOODY, a human experience company, and a creative firm focused on design thinking. As a managing director, I spend […]

5 Ways Real Leaders Act When a Crisis Hits

“How companies respond will define their brand for decades.” — Mark Cuban Whether responding to an international, national, local, or company-specific crisis, positive influence role models are a powerful force for showing us how to do things “the right way.” They provide an example from which we can learn how to be successful.  You may choose […]