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The Epic Leadership Challenge: Part 3 of 4
The transformational leadership challenge (part THREE in a four part blog series):  Disrupt and transform an old economy print textbook business into a personalized learning, educational technology and services powerhouse! In the second part of this four part blog series, I wrote about “talent” as the essential first step of three (talent—culture—strategy) to reimagine a company.  When a team forms a habit of losing, the culprit is always bad leadership, ...
The Epic Leadership Challenge: Part 2 of 4
THE CHALLENGE Re-invent an old economy print textbook publisher and build it into a high growth personalized learning, educational technology and services powerhouse. In the first part of this four part series, I established the need to build a leadership “lighthouse” when taking on leadership challenges that are complex and fraught with peril.  In the case of re-inventing McGraw-Hill Higher Education, the challenge was epic.
The Epic Leadership Challenge: Part 1 of 4
THE CHALLENGE Re-invent an old economy print textbook publisher and build it into a high growth personalized learning, educational technology and services powerhouse.   CONTEXT Every business and industry in the world is being disrupted or soon will be, including the college textbook industry.   Unfortunately, nearly all leaders across all industries wait until their businesses are on the precipice before they act and by then it is almost always too late.
Leadership: Water Off a Duck’s Back
People like to give me advice, mostly because I listen and I really try to apply good advice to my life.  I’ve always been that way.  People like to help, especially when they have a willing student. No piece of advice has served me better than a lesson I learned many years ago from my older brother Dennis. Older brothers like to mess with little ...
Leadership: 5 Secrets To Inspiring a Sense of Urgency
Things happen gradually and then very suddenly.  When the suddenly (failure to act and therefore failure to win) happens TO a team, it’s almost always about a leader’s failure to inspire and drive a sustained sense of urgency. If a competitor is beating your team, you can bet their sense of team urgency was more powerful than yours.  It is that simple. If you want to keep the dream (and winning) ...
Leaders – Don’t Lose the Butterflies
“Do you get butterflies before you give speeches?”  My daughter, Kate (11), asked me after I returned from a recent engagement. “Every time,” I replied. “I get butterflies before every speech and throughout every business day!” When we lose our butterflies as leaders, it’s often the first sign of decline… that perhaps we’re losing our edge or just “phoning it in.”  Note:  If you lose your butterflies as a leader, ...
Real Leadership – Requires Graduation from 7th Grade
How leaders (political, private, or otherwise) conduct themselves matters.  What they say about each other and how they go about winning a promotion (or an election) matters.  What they allow their handlers and promoters to say on their behalf matters. Graduating from the adolescent days of the 7th grade matters. Trash talking requires very little thinking.
Leaders Redefine What’s Possible in – 3:59.40
On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister did something that was previously thought to be beyond human capacity.  He ran a mile in less than four minutes (3:59.40). It was the stuff of legend and the biggest sports story in history at the time. Redefining “Possible” Today, as a result of Mr. Bannister’s vision, leadership, and talents, nearly every world-class runner who competes in the classic fifteen hundred meter event has the ...
Leadership and Responsibility – Three Easy Steps That Save Lives and Careers
This morning I read a story about another foolish guy arrested for driving under the influence. In this case, it was a prominent businessman. It’s the craziest thing Despite endless stories of lives destroyed, excellent law enforcement campaigns, and increased penalties, people still do it (DUI) regularly.  To make matters worse, most offenders appear to have very well functioning brains, fully capable of making good decisions. Leadership and zero tolerance After a ...
Leaders Get Out of the Way: 12 Tips
Great leaders understand how to provide visible and involved leadership, while at the same time providing top talent with room to succeed (a lot of room!). How does a leader know if they’re in the way? Your team isn’t winning—Lack of success can stem from a lot of things, including and perhaps most importantly, leadership that is in the way.  Behind many struggling teams or enterprises you will find a leader ...
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