Execupundit

For Want of a Knife

Execupundit

I have misplaced the Swiss Army pen knife which I have carried for years. Stop the universe. Now for those of you who are not knife addicts, let me note that the Swiss Army pen knife is one of the world's greatest inventions.

77

Running It By

Execupundit

It is a rare week when someone does not begin a conversation or an email exchange with me by saying "I want to run something by you" or words to that effect These individuals may be personal friends or clients. Often they already know the best course of action but simply want confirmation.

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Find Something Beautiful Today

Execupundit

61

Confirmation, Rescue, and Obstacles

Execupundit

I suspect that many of the executives and managers whom I coach already know the answers to the situations they face but they simply want another opinion. Some are very open and others hold their cards close to the chest but all are seeking either confirmation or rescue.

How Organizations Get Weird

Execupundit

Dysfunctional individuals are hired. They gain influence and power within the organization. They attract, hire, and promote people similar to themselves. Those people do the same. Eventually, normal people leave or are driven off. Anyone remaining adjusts to the new arrangement.

One Biography

Execupundit

If you could have only one single-volume biography to read for insight and inspiration over the next five years, which one would it be

43

Life in First Gear

Execupundit

"Don''t take risks. Play it safe. Always keep your options open. Obey every rule. Follow every precedent. Make no commitments. Avoid passions. Worry about what other people think. Stay on the beaten path." Keep doing that for 40 or 50 years and see where it gets you

The Virtue of Small Groups

Execupundit

An easy question: All things being equal in terms of the mix of talent, which group is likely to be more successful: one that has five members or one that has fifteen? The smaller group is likely to do better because: Fewer people, fewer ego problems. Each member knows that he or she matters.

31 Excuses (Feeble and Otherwise) for Failure

Execupundit

It wasn''t that bad. Others have done worse. We weren''t to blame. We were forced to do it. We didn''t know we were doing it. Our critics are hypocrites. Our critics are unfair. Our critics are evil. We had good intentions. We''re a work in progress. We didn''t have enough time.

A Cadre of Virtual Office Assistants

Execupundit

Amid the sound of waves and parrots, FutureLawyer is hearing voices

28

A Results Orientation

Execupundit

A results orientation can, of course, be commendable and yet. The "and yet" is troubling. Too much emphasis on results can lead to: A sacrifice of ethical standards. A failure to make a statement which may be seriously needed even if it jeopardizes the desired results.

Slow Down. Focus. Review.

Execupundit

Slow down. Get some rest. Move too quickly and you'll make mistakes. Remember, fast is slow, slow is fast. Focus. You can't do it all and you can't multi-task. Do first things first. Have a don't do list. Review. Periodically pause to determine where you are with key projects.

Find Something Beautiful Today

Execupundit

43

The Biggest Challenges

Execupundit

At Larry Winget''s blog : Mark Sanborn, Larry Winget, Scott McKain, Joe Calloway, and Randy Pennington give their take on the biggest challenges facing businesses in the next five years

Blog 42

The Leadership and Management Hats

Execupundit

Many activities fall under both leadership and management. You may conduct a meeting both as a leader and a manager. You may set goals, make decisions, mete out discipline, and measure progress while wearing both hats.

We Love You, Baby

Execupundit

Rob Long looks at the Sony executives'' emails and discusses the strange language of Hollywoodese

Quote of the Day

Execupundit

Being offended doesn't work anymore. Jonathan Pie

26

Life on Stage

Execupundit

Leader and servant, teacher and student, boss and employee, individual and team member, performer and critic, parent and child. Each of us has a range of roles. Many are performed simultaneously. As much as possible, know which one you are in

Team 33

Entrepreneur's Reading List

Execupundit

Entrepreneur lists eight books every entrepreneur should read in 2015. I have not read one. I may read two of them. One of the greatest overstatements in life is "must read

Sins of Omission

Execupundit

Look for it when: You can easily correct a wrong and don''t. You kill a decision with which you disagree by doing nothing or little to implement it. You refuse to do what you can to improve one situation by noting that you lack the resources to improve all such situations.

Life and Baseball

Execupundit

One of the smartest rules in baseball is that a batter does not need to swing and miss or foul a ball in order for it to be called a strike. If the batter does not swing and the pitch is in the strike zone, then it''s a strike. Life is like that. You can strike out by just standing there

52

What Consultants Learn

Execupundit

The problem that you are hired to solve is not always the problem that needs to be solved. It is important to learn early on whether the organization wants a real solution or a superficial one. Keeping clients aware of the status of a project is vital even if the report is that you're bogged down.

Year's End

Execupundit

This year ends with gratitude and the new one will begin with that as well. Thanks to each of you who has visited this site. Special thanks go to those who make it a habit to drop by. I''ve gotten to know some of you over the years and am honored to get some of your time.

40

Stop It!

Execupundit

Stop beating up on yourself. Stop ignoring the basics. Stop tripping over your ego. Stop searching for blame. Stop worrying about things which will never take place. Stop digging the hole you''re in. Stop your paralyzing perfectionism. Stop focusing on When and Then and start looking at Now

39

Super Bowl

Execupundit

Cloudy and rainy in Phoenix. Not the sort of weather we''d want when legions of visitors are here for the Super Bowl but it''s probably an improvement over the frozen areas many escaped. There are hopes that the skies will clear tomorrow.

Miscellaneous and Fast

Execupundit

Cultural Offering : Two views on the Trump change. Anderson Layman's Blog has a lesson from Arnold Palmer. Nicholas Bate points to a jarring page. Who's your double?] Eclecticity Light is building a little free library. Wally Bock : The paradox of leadership control. Salena Zito : Donald Trump and small town America. FutureLawyer reveals his inspiration. Andrew Munro at Burning Pine has some great stuff

Focus

Execupundit

No interruptions. No music. No talking. Just the slow movement from one task to another and the deliberate, careful performance of each task. More will be done in three hours than is normally done in eight

49

In Most Cases

Execupundit

In most cases, it is wise to. be kinder than necessary keep impatience on a leash listen for what was not said think of time as an investment review what you thought was perfect subdue your worries underpromise go for the base hit expect people to be people

An Army of Little Things

Execupundit

The day involved an army of little things which, if neglected, could become serious and so they needed to be done and not in a "when I get around to it" manner but in a cold, knock them off, one-by-one way because if you get too casual with the little things they start to swarm and bite.

34

Never Ever

Execupundit

Here''s something a manager or supervisor will never hear from an HR professional or attorney: "Gee, I wish you wouldn''t consult me so early about these potential personnel problems. I prefer that you wait until after all of the important decisions have been made.

HBR: Working Class Perceptions

Execupundit

Harvard Business Review: Joan C. Williams on " What So Many People Don't Get about the U.S. Working Class

Class 21

Interrupting Procrastination

Execupundit

It is past of the old war between what is being done now and what is not being done now. Not all procrastination is bad. A delay may be sending us a "The time is not right" signal. Still, don't forget that a single form of procrastination is harder to maintain than a smorgasbord of procrastination.

21

I, The Juror

Execupundit

Today's mail brought a summons to jury duty. My wife will be envious. She loves serving on juries. I, on the other hand, have a more nuanced view since, once upon a time, I set an informal record for being rejected for juries.

Get Moving

Execupundit

David Kanigan : Monday Morning Wake-Up Call The Mamas and The Papas : " Monday Monday " Desmond Dekker and The Aces : " Israelites

33

Returning to Action

Execupundit

Life is one long series of interruptions. As a result, we have to return to people, places, and projects and pick up where we left off. To do so neatly is often impossible but having the ability to do so reasonably well depends upon how we left them.

The Commencement Speech

Execupundit

The Hammock Papers has the text and video of the only commencement speech that will really be needed for, say, the next ten years or until I deliver one

Video 28

"Year of the Zombies"

Execupundit

Writing in the Miami Herald , Dave Barry looks back on 2013. An excerpt: Speaking of pathologically narcissistic sex weasels: Also coming back from the dead in 2013 to seek elective office in New York (What IS it with New York?)

The Power of Ten Minutes

Execupundit

In ten minutes you can do a lot. Peter Drucker said that you need usable time for projects, not small pieces here and there, and he recommended a minimum of 30 minutes. That''s reasonable because Drucker was talking about the ability to achieve serious focus.

A Career's Ifs

Execupundit

The Most Toxic Item in the Workplace

Execupundit

I don''t care if you work in a bug spray factory, the most toxic item in the workplace is lack of trust. Take trust away and there will be problems in all parts and aspects of the organization. Morale will be low and cooperation spotty while the role of the trust deficit is overlooked.