leadership

Leaders vs. Leading

One of my favorite television shows is Inside the Actors Studio. It is a long-form interview show, where a famous actor or actress is interviewed for about an hour. The show is filmed before a live audience consisting of students at a well-known film school. What I like about the show is that it gets [...]

Even Bad People Have Good Ideas

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a dramatic decline in the number of conversations that involve critical reasoning and independent thinking. I’m very concerned by this trend. One obvious place this has occurred is in American politics. I have friends across the full spectrum of political beliefs. I am shocked at how many debates [...]

Your Fault vs. Your Responsibility

I teach the people I mentor that leadership means accepting responsibility for things that aren’t your fault. The individual contributor that stays in that role for an entire career does what is asked, but no more. If something goes wrong, she says, “I didn’t make a mistake. You can’t blame me for that one. That’s [...]

Leaders vs. Followers

A leader leads. A follower follows. The difference between a leader and a follower is the willingness to be wrong. When you’re a follower, you ask the leader what to do. When you do this, you will never be “wrong.” If the leader’s decision turns out to be wrong, your hands are washed of any [...]

The Leadership Vacuum

No organization is perfect. The world changes constantly and it’s impossible to pursue all the right opportunities with all the right resources at the exact right times. Gaps always exist. I’ve made an entire career out of “filling” gaps, and I think you should too. Let me explain. A market gap exists when customers demand [...]

Being Right vs. Being Effective

Many high IQ professionals exhibit a specific behavior that helps them early in their careers but hinders them later in their careers. This behavior is the skill in being right. When you ask a smart person, “What is 2 + 2?” They will say, “4.” If their initial answer was incorrect, then they will learn [...]

The Decider vs. The Critic

Any time a decision needs to be made, two roles often emerge. There’s the role of the decider versus the role of the critic. Anybody can be a critic. If a critic criticizes and is wrong, rarely does anybody go back and blame the critic. For the critic, there is no downside to criticizing. A [...]

The Burden of Leadership

Many people I speak to, from little kids to professionals in their 50s, want to be “in charge.” They want what they perceive to be the perks of being in a position of authority. What most don’t recognize is the BURDEN that comes with leadership. When there’s an uncertain environment, it is the leader that [...]