Make People Mad

Good leaders make us mad. Bad leaders make us mad, too. What’s the difference? A bad leader makes us made at him or her. We get mad about how they treat us, questionable ethics, bullheadedness, going the wrong direction and a plethora of other reasons. They make us mad because they aren’t good leaders. Good…

Leaders Are Readers

You’ve heard that phrase many times. I think I first ran across it in a book by Bennis and Nanus (how’s that for two great names for co-authors?). Not only does familiarity breed contempt; it can also breed neglect. Sometimes we discount the value of an idea because it is familiar. Andrew Carnegie said, “Reading…

Think More

Is it possible too read too much? Yes, if reading prevents you from thinking. Passive reading can be a substitute for the harder work of thinking and learning. We fool ourselves if we think a large input of ideas will necessarily benefit us. Until we digest those ideas and ultimately apply them, then reading is…

Build on Timeless Truths

Thoureau said “Don’t read the Times; read the eternities.” He knew the value of timeless truths. (And I recognize the phrase “timeless truths” is redundant–all truths are timeless, but we need to be remnded of that sometimes).  Circumstances change but truths endure. In an age of management philosophy du jour, make sure the underlying principles of…

When It is Good to be Bad

I had lunch with the mayor of a major city yesterday. He is a democrat. He is also innovative, charming and erudite. He said he targeted getting big companies into his city because he believed they could be generous donors to worthwhile causes and charities. “Mayor,” I said, “that sounds like a Republican sentiment.” “That’s…

Wise Words

Thanks to my friend Joe Scarlett for sending the following: During this political season let’s be reminded of these wise words: You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by…

The Leader’s Voice

We often use “voice” to refer to a leader’s message and style. Today I’m referring literally to your voice as used in your ability to speak. One of my dearest friends has lost his voice. He is a professional speaker in the advanced stages of cancer and side-effects from the disease have left him unable…