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Thoughts on Leadership


What do you bring to the table as a leader?  Answer: you bring your entire life (hence the company name: LeaderLife).  Who you are as an executive determines what you're able to do as an executive.  There are simply no techniques that compensate for a lack of core strength.   

High achievement and high ambition are inseparable companions.  Truly great leaders learn how to channel their substantial ambition intentionally and specifically.    

Your executive presence within the organization is constantly being exerted through every word, action, and decision.  It's either progressing or regressing.  There is no "neutral."  

The most sure way to attain lasting joy is to add value to people (especially those closest to you). 


Leaders are paid to think.  If you're too busy to think, you're not doing your job.  

Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and everyone in the right seat, makes it more likely that the bus will go in the right direction.  It also makes the trip more fun.  (Jim Collins)

What you believe about people will manifest itself in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways.  

Strength and kindness are not mutually exclusive.  

One of the best gifts you can give to another is hard truth delivered in a caring way.  Flattery and avoidance of difficult conversations helps no one.   

Listening is harder than it looks.

A well-differentiated leader is not an autocrat who tells others what to do or orders them around ... Rather, it is someone who has clarity about his or her own life goals and who is less likely to become embroiled in the anxious emotional processes that are consuming everyone else.  (Edwin Friedman)

Humility is not about pretending we're less than we really are.  It has more to do with being so engaged in a great endeavor that there's no time to worry about how good we look.  

You're a one-of-a-kind leader.  Become the best version of yourself possible; don't waste your time trying to be someone else.  

Hard work well-done invigorates the team.  It is organizational drama that destroys morale.  

A healthy "self" is inherently attractive.  Nothing poisons an organization more quickly and thoroughly than a leader who desperately needs affirmation. 

People are not your greatest asset.  The right people are your greatest asset. (Jim Collins)   

Good leaders get results.  Great leaders develop future leaders whose influence surpasses their own.  

Hard work, high performance, and fun are not mutually exclusive.  You'll find all three happening simultaneously in great organizations.    

When leaders exude anxiety, organizations stagnate.  When leaders exude confidence, organizations thrive.  

Engaging the thing you most fear will likely lead to a major breakthrough.

Two of the most difficult things are talking people into something they don't want to do, and talking people out of something they want to do.  Asking good questions allows people to think through their decisions more rationally.   

Driving is difficult when the windshield is dirty, but it's impossible when the windshield is a mirror.  Executives must be aware of their blind spots, and always careful to remember that what matters most is the success of the organization and the development of it's people. 


Executive success is never an end in itself; it is a by-product of organizational success.  


A well-placed question is much more powerful than the correct answer given

too quickly.

Setting oneself free from craving the approbation of humankind is a difficult but indispensable step on the path toward leadership greatness.  

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