In the CEO Afterlife

A Salute to Book Bloggers

In the CEO Afterlife

Aspiring writers are poor souls trying to break into an industry that doesn’t want them. That may be a preposterous statement to those of you unfamiliar with the publishing biz. Look at it this way: publishers would rather release the next John Grisham legal thriller than take on an unknown author.

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A War-Torn Excursion

In the CEO Afterlife

Yakov and David Ben Efraim are a son and father team of literature aficionados based in Montreal, Quebec. They run the blog Quick Book Reviews , as well as the book review website, Bookwormex.com.

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Ditching the Corner Office for Good

In the CEO Afterlife

Six years ago, Fortune Magazine published my reflections on my rise to the corner office, my life as a CEO and how I coped with the years that followed my exit from the corporate throne. I’ll cut to the chase; my days in the CEO afterlife are as fulfilling as ever.

5 Things I Learned Writing A Novel That I Wished I Knew When I was a CEO

In the CEO Afterlife

I’ve written over a 100 blogs about leadership, strategy and culture. Within that portfolio are several accounts of business reinvention and transformation. Yet it was only a few months ago that I composed my first post on another type of reinvention – personal reinvention. My own.

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“. hard hitting story but humor comes through”

In the CEO Afterlife

Susan Hampson is a prolific reader and one of the UK’s best book reviewers. Here is what she had to say about The Circumstantial Enemy. “War isn’t just about countries fighting each other. It is about people and the choices that are forced on them and the choices they make themselves.

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My Fictional BFF: Forrest Gump

In the CEO Afterlife

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts is a blog that consists of book reviews, film reviews, book articles, film articles, and author interviews. Yesterday, the blog’s founder, Faye Rogers posted her Q & A with me regarding my recent novel, The Circumstantial Enemy.

Literary Homicide with TropicalMary

In the CEO Afterlife

I have to admit some trepidation in reaching out to a reviewer known as TropicalMary on a website named Literary Homicide. Mary describes herself as “a heathen, half-breed, comic book loving, gamer who is trying to understand why jeggings exist.” ” Jeggings? I had to google that.

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“. masterful storytelling” — Stacie Tyson

In the CEO Afterlife

Stacie Tyson is the prolific reader and history buff behind the book blog, Pursuing Stacie. Not long ago, I asked if she would mind reviewing The Circumstantial Enemy. Here’s what she had to say: Alright Friends, you know how much of a total history nerd I am.

Even When It Was Over. It Wasn’t

In the CEO Afterlife

I am delighted to introduce Dianne Ascroft to you. Dianne is a book reviewer, but that’s in her spare time. She is also a historical and contemporary fiction author, often with an Irish connection.

Book Review by Judith Barrow

In the CEO Afterlife

Book reviewer, Judith Barrow is a writer of short stories, poems, plays, and articles published throughout the British Isles. Here is Judith’s take on The Circumstantial Enemy. .

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Book Review from Amy’s Bookshelf

In the CEO Afterlife

Amy Buckle is an English Literature and Language graduate of the University of Reading. I am delighted that this busy lady chose to read my novel. Here is what Amy had to say about it on her Amy’s Bookshelf website. Those who sleep through the night have lost all sorrow. We must go on.

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20 Reasons Why Companies Should Do Less Better

In the CEO Afterlife

Do Less Better is the name of my book. Do Less Better is also a culture and a strategy of organizations and their leaders. Do Less Better practitioners are fanatical about focus and de-complexity; herein lies the secret of their success. Yet, do less better isn’t something most leaders embrace.

Getting Out of Life What You Put into It

In the CEO Afterlife

“If you don’t write it, Grandad’s story will be lost forever.” Those were the words of my daughter 17 years ago. I’ll never forget the yearning in her eyes. Grandad was 80 at the time. He’s now 97. The family had heard his war stories over and over again. Fascinating tales of trials and tribulations.

Hotels 130

From CEO to Novelist: Not without Perseverance

In the CEO Afterlife

When my business book Do Less Better was published, I had the pleasure of meeting National Post journalist Peter Kuitenbrouwer who interviewed me about the challenges facing an ex-CEO hell-bent on finding a publisher for his historical fiction manuscript.

CEO 130

From CEO to Novelist: Not without Perseverance

In the CEO Afterlife

When my business book Do Less Better was published, I had the pleasure of meeting National Post journalist Peter Kuitenbrouwer who interviewed me about the challenges facing an ex-CEO hell-bent on finding a publisher for his historical fiction manuscript.

CEO 130

Why Strategy Withstands the Test of Time

In the CEO Afterlife

How often have you heard people say, “Our strategy is to become the biggest and the best?” This is not strategy. Strategy is not the what. Strategy is the how – how will you become the biggest and the best? Of course, within the realm of the definition, there are good strategies and bad ones.

In Praise of the Fast Company

In the CEO Afterlife

Should every company be striving for the form of strategic advantage that has become the hallmarks of Amazon, Google and Facebook? For sure, in the tech world, it’s hard to imagine success without quick and continuous technology improvement. What about your world?

Leading Without Direct Reports

In the CEO Afterlife

Leadership does not begin the when you step upon the first rung of the management ladder. One direct report does not make you a leader; nor does ten. Yet, the moment you have direct reports, you are EXPECTED to lead.

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Corporate Entrepreneurship: Turn Irony into Opportunity

In the CEO Afterlife

(This post first appeared on the Ryerson University Alumni Blog) . Not too long ago, a business professor friend invited me to address a luncheon of university students enrolled in his class on entrepreneurship. I was honored to have been asked, but not sure I was the right person for the task.

Why Complexity Sucks

In the CEO Afterlife

Complexity is in the eye of the beholder. To me, astrophysics is a complex discipline; to Stephen Hawking it is not. People engaged in complex situations fall into two categories: those who accept complexity as a fact of life and work with it, and those who fight it every inch of the way.

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The 2 Most Undervalued Factors in Social Marketing

In the CEO Afterlife

When I was in brand management, social media did not exist. But I can tell you this: I would have had a field day with this exciting medium because I valued the power of ‘big ideas’ to infuse growth into the brands under my wing.

Work That Matters starts with Matters that Work

In the CEO Afterlife

To most of us, the phrase Work that Matters infers job satisfaction. The outcome is lower stress, lower turnover, and higher productivity – in business, a ‘win-win’ for employees, customers and shareholders. The logic is infallible.

What Connects Coca-Cola, Lego, In-N-Out, Intuit, and Nike? Focus.

In the CEO Afterlife

Complexity has many definitions; excessive complication is the simplest. In today’s business, chronic complexity is stifling, stagnating, and bringing companies to their knees. This is why we hear so much about focus from C-suites and corporate boards.

Nabob and the Coffee Kerfuffle: How the 120-year-old brand managed to maintain its challenger status.

In the CEO Afterlife

This article was written by Jennifer Horn for the June 2016 issue of Strategy Magazine. Nabob, you’re a feisty fella. In the ’80s, you famously smashed the paper bags of rival Maxwell House in ads to prove your own superior packaging.

The Decay of Brand Differentiation

In the CEO Afterlife

There’s a host of reasons why great brands decay. High on the list is weak marketing, weak management, and weak strategic discipline. I could add a dozen more. I won’t. I will say that the crux of the matter is the incessant pressure on management to maintain or rediscover corporate growth.

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Charismatic Leadership: Style or Substance?

In the CEO Afterlife

Have you ever watched a charismatic person “work” a room? At the outset, they assess the collective mood. Then they advance to the gathering with a demeanor that suits the environment and their desired role within it.

Culture Doesn’t Trump Strategy

In the CEO Afterlife

In the last 40 years of the 20 th century, strategy was the champion of business supremacy. As a critical success factor, strategy turned into a lucrative industry for a host of consulting firms such as McKinsey & Company , and the Boston Consulting Group.

Taking a Step Back Doesn’t Always Move You Forward

In the CEO Afterlife

Think about this. You are engaged in a lively discussion with a group of business colleagues. Maybe there’s a problem that needs immediate attention, or perhaps the group is contemplating the best way to pursue a new opportunity.

Talent without Leadership doesn’t count for Diddly-Squat

In the CEO Afterlife

Every company wants TALENT. But not every company is bestowed with the LEADERSHIP that unleashes talent’s power. Talent without leadership is as good as spitting into a gale-force wind. . I learned that lesson growing up in a working-class district of Toronto in the 1950s.

Knowledge Is Power. Data Isn’t.

In the CEO Afterlife

How many times have you heard that “knowledge is power?” I’m guessing that without much thought, you readily nod your head in agreement. In every vocation, from academics to business to politics, the knowledge theorem and its power corollary is seemingly undeniable. .

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Why Leaders Believe that Tomorrow is a Better Place

In the CEO Afterlife

To every one of us, the future is important. Maybe it’s because the future is where we are going to spend the rest of our lives.

Leadership Lessons from Nine-Year-Olds

In the CEO Afterlife

Five years ago, I became a blogger.

Suri 141

Leamington, Canada: The Little Town That Could

In the CEO Afterlife

Leamington, a little town in the province of Ontario is the tomato capital of Canada. The town earned the honor by farming vast acreages of tomatoes in fields and greenhouses. Their tomato expertise caught the attention of the H. Heinz Company who erected a factory in Leamington in 1908.

Charismatic Leadership: Style or Substance?

In the CEO Afterlife

Have you ever watched a charismatic person “work” a room? At the outset, they assess the collective mood. Then they advance to the gathering with a demeanor that suits the environment and their desired role within it.

Why Great Brands Lose Their Way

In the CEO Afterlife

Never in the history of marketing has there been so much talk about branding. The conversation in the world of branding is well beyond product and service brand discussion by marketers and ad agencies.

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The Anguish of Complexity: A Reflection

In the CEO Afterlife

Times. Places. Some remain etched in our minds no matter how many decades come and go. Thirty-five years ago at a ceremony in Vancouver, BC, I accepted AMA’s Marketer-of-the-Year Award on behalf of Nabob Foods.

In Marketing, the “C” Word Cannot Exist

In the CEO Afterlife

Many years ago I read Theodore Levitt’s The Marketing Imagination. In the book, the renowned marketing professor said there was no such thing as a commodity, only people who think like commodities. Suddenly, a light went on in the corner of my mind.

Three Words. One Big Idea

In the CEO Afterlife

3 WORDS. 1 BIG IDEA. The word “DO” represents resolve and action. It is an expectation placed upon us at a very young age. LESS” is the noun that contradicts everything we see and hear in this busy world. BETTER” is the adjective that expresses our desire to do well at whatever we undertake.

Stubbornness and Strategy: Birds of a Feather

In the CEO Afterlife

From as far back as my days in brand management, I have held a deep affection for strategy. This might have something to do with the fact that I can be stubborn. Good strategists are also stubborn, even pigheaded. Why is that?

Linds Redding’s Short Lesson in Perspective

In the CEO Afterlife

Last week, Mathew Creamer of Advertising Age said Linds Redding’s ‘Short Lesson in Perspective’ was the best piece of advertising writing you’ll ever read. As an ex-ad man and a lifelong aficionado of great creative, whether it is art or copy, I could not resist the urge to check it out.