Do you throw good money after bad?

When I run strategy workshops I often open with a quote from Roger L. Martin: “True strategy is about placing bets and making hard choices.” Good strategy includes gambles because we cannot predict the future with absolute certainty. Sometimes we will get it wrong. We make the wrong decisions. Shopify’s CEO...

Change? You Go First

I’m sitting on a train in Toronto waiting for departure…and waiting..and waiting. Finally, a voice crackles through the speakers. “This train is out of service.” A few people grabbed their bags and suddenly everyone was following them off the train. Everyone except the person I had been sitting beside. I...

A Spooky Graveyard of Projects? 

"Here lies Project WILL-E ... Rest in Peace never to rise again, please!""Project Eagle ... It never landed, or took off, really" Taphophiles are tombstone tourists. They visit cemeteries. Lots of them. An annual visit on Halloween doesn’t count.Sounds morose, doesn’t it? But they’re not there to hunt ghosts or...

The Right Meeting Attitude

Does your team look forward to your meetings? Do you typically end early or run overtime? Do they leave energized or exhausted?When I coach executives, I always begin by asking what motivates and demotivates them. One of the most common demotivators is crappy meetings. Of course, it’s not the meetings...

This Message Will Self-Destruct

You have thirty seconds to deliver your pitch. Are you ready? If I had to pick a single domain where I've shifted my perspective dramatically over the past ten years, it's the use of time. I can't count the number of projects where I needed to deliver an important message...

Your Services Are No Longer Required

Previously I encouraged you to get naked with your team. It’s only fair that I lead by example...  “Jeff, we’ve chosen to terminate your contract. You're finished as of now.” Yes, it's even happened to me.  As leaders, we are hired to make change happen in the best way we can,...

Want Attention? Use Small Words

During a review of my book I received some pretty harsh feedback about my writing skills. When I reviewed my writing, I had to agree they were right. I installed Grammarly and it made a huge difference in my accuracy. But what I really love are the stats it cranks out....

How to Get Naked with Your Team

I want to come across as professional and authoritative. They feel like a good suit, projecting important elements of my self-image. But, the very times I’ve been unprofessional and less than impressive are critical learning points in my career. By sharing them I save my team and those I mentor...

It’s Time to Terminate

"They never pick up when I call and frequently skip my meetings.""Why is everyone so quiet in my meetings?? They're intimidated by Terry.""It's never gross misconduct, just constant surliness and finding ways to go around me." Lately I'm hearing more and more about bad behavior at work. My clients complain...