Lead_with_a_Story_podcast_cover 2Lead with a Story Podcast Series: Lessons in Leadership, one story at a time Based on interviews with 100+ executives and leaders at dozens of successful companies around the world as they learned their most important leadership lessons - sometimes the hard way. Featuring stories from executives at Procter & Gamble, Dollar General, Hewlett Packard, Kellogg's, Dun & Bradstreet, Saatchi & Saatchi, Verizon, and many more. Each episode brings you an important lesson through a single compelling story.  

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My 6 Favorite Leadership Metaphors and 2 Methods to Create Your Own

When my then son Matthew came home from his first day of fifth grade, he announced, “I’m going to learn to play the euphonium!” I said, “That’s great!” Then I sheepishly added, “Uh, what’s a euphonium?” In response, he just matter-of-factly said, “It’s like a small tuba that makes higher notes.” All I had left [read more]

Long-Term Strategic Planning Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Sometimes a long-term vision is so lofty or so aggressive it comes across as an unachievable dream, instead of a realistic vision. If that’s the case with your vision, congratulations on having such a worthy idea! But if people don’t believe your vision will ever happen, they won’t be motivated to help you deliver it. [read more]

Un-Stuffing the Stuffed Shirts

It’s lonely at the top. Or, so I’ve heard. And the reason is that senior executives are often viewed as unapproachable and impersonal. And in a military setting where officers have to send troops into deadly combat, that irreproachable stature is probably necessary. But in a business environment, it can do more harm than good. [read more]

You’re a Leader, Not a Comedian — You Can’t Get Away With That

It’s okay to be funny in the office. In fact, I think a sense of humor is critical to success in life and work. But at work, you’re a leader, not a comedian. You don’t have the same latitude as a stand-up comic on stage. And to confuse the two can be costly. To sort through the [read more]

What To Do When the Unwritten Rules Rule

Every company has two different sets of rules: the official rules written in the policy manual, and the unspoken rules that everyone actually follows. A classic example is working hours. Company guidelines might say that quitting time is five o’clock. But if everyone else works till six and looks at you funny when you leave [read more]

The Monthly Challenge: How to Solve Tough Problems and Build Collaborative Teams at the Same Time

A friend of mine we’ll call Tom was a partner at a big consulting firm. One day, he showed up at one of his client’s offices and heard this: Sorry, Tom. We’re going to have to cancel your retainer—at least for a little while.” Now, to a consultant, those are about the worst words you [read more]

Marketing 101: Lower-Tier Shouldn’t Always Mean Watered-Down

In the late 1990s, Titleist had a 75 percent market share of the golf ball market among the best golfers in the country (those with a handicap of 15 or less). But that only represented about 5 percent of golfers. It only had a 20 percent market share among the other 95 percent of golfers. [read more]

Getting Personal at Work: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Is it a good idea to share your most personal struggles, thoughts, feelings, and stories at work? Tom Gartland thinks so. Tom is the former President of the Avis Budget Group, North America, and the author of a new book called Lead with Heart: Transform Your Business Through Personal Connection. Tom joined me on my podcast [read more]

The 8 Types of Leaders in the White House (and Which One Are You?)

Are certain leadership styles more prevalent than others in among Presidents of the United States? Which Presidents fit into which categories? What attributes of leadership do those types have? How can we find out which type of leader we are? And how can knowing that help us be a better leader?  Those are the questions I [read more]

In-Home Research: What a 6am Breakfast in Mexico Taught the CEO of the World’s Largest Cereal Maker

It’s 6 A.M. in Queretaro, Mexico, about 130 miles north of Mexico City. Most of the residents are just waking up. But one woman is already dressed and has visitors in her kitchen. No, this isn’t the time of day nor type of guests she usually entertains. These are senior executives from the Kellogg Company [read more]