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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Compensating Behavior: A Leader’s Guide to Finding Problems You Don’t Know You Have

None of your problem-solving skills as a leader will work when the problem you’re facing is a problem you don’t even know you have. Before you can solve problems, of course, you have to identify them. Below I share a simple but highly effective way to do that. And the best way to explain it is [read more]

Does Customer Service This Amazing Ever Happen at Your Company? If So, Would You Even Know It?

When Ray Brook’s flight landed at Portland International Airport on Monday morning, he headed straight for National Car Rental where he had a reservation. He had a meeting with a customer in 30 minutes and a full schedule of visits to warehouses and distribution centers for the next four days. But when he tried to [read more]

Loyalty and Leadership: An Unholy Alliance

Loyalty is one of those things that sounds like a good idea or an admirable character trait, until you think about what it really means in a real-world situation. One of the creepiest moments in my working career was when my team got a new boss and in our first meeting with her, she looked [read more]

Tough Feedback? Talk to My Agent. Receiving Performance Feedback Like a Pro

There’s an endless amount of advice available for how to give tough feedback effectively, but very little on how to receive it well. One person who learned how the hard way is Gail Hollander. Gail has been in the advertising business for 25 years, and has worked in several of the most prestigious agencies in [read more]

Great leaders help people find passion for their work — even for the most unappealing jobs. Here’s how. . .

Ever heard the advice, “You really need to love your job”? It’s usually offered unsolicited by an overconfident boss who thinks the rank and file will find it inspiring, or somehow turn their drudgery into a rewarding experience. Does it work? Of course not. You can’t order people to love their job. That just gives [read more]

A Leadership Guide to Lying

I once hired a consultant, and the first thing out of his mouth was a lie. Seriously. I brought him in to lead a 3-day long-term strategy session for my business unit. When he kicked off the first day of meetings, he introduced himself and started into a story about an experience he had at the [read more]

A dog at the Met? A Creative Way to Live Your Company Values

Sometimes living up to your company’s values requires more than just knowing what the right thing is and wanting to do it. In those cases, a little creativity sometimes helps. Here’s an example that will hopefully give you some ideas for how to respond when you’re in your own pickle of a situation. Martin Nuechtern [read more]

BusinessWeek on Bounty: A Case Study in Turning Bad Headlines into an Agent of Change

In early 2001, the stock market was still reeling from the dot-com bubble and burst a few months earlier. The economy was uncertain, and even many traditional companies were in turbulent times. Procter & Gamble was one of them. It had been less than a year since the company’s stock had lost nearly 40 percent [read more]

“I hate the EEOC!”: A Martin Luther King Day story

Most business school professors know their students can learn a great deal from the practical experience of local business leaders. Dr. Art Shriberg at Xavier University was one of them. He regularly invited senior executives from local companies to speak to his students. And with nine Fortune 500 companies headquartered within a few miles of [read more]

The Most Useless Document at Your Company — The Corporate Values Statement

Every company has them—Corporate Values Statements. Sometimes they’re called Company Values and Principles, or simply What we Believe. But values are only words on a piece of paper until they’re tested. That is, until someone is put in a difficult position of choosing between doing the hard right or the easy wrong. The easy wrong [read more]