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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: 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, ...
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 ...
Leadership and Decisioning
Go! The Most Powerful Two-Letter Word! As leaders we make decisions.  The words we use and the conviction with which we approve and make decisions matters.  It matters a lot! Go! There is something very different and powerful about the word “go” versus “fine,” “yes,” “approved,” “move forward,” or whatever. Top leaders build cultures where the team believes that they are GOING in the right direction, someplace great, and that the team ...
Disruptive Leadership
My wife always tells me that I “love to hire the crazies.” Yes.  I do.  They change the world. There has never been a more exciting time to compete and to do business in our world than today—opportunities, new technologies, competitors, and threats are everywhere! Therefore.  Disruption! It’s impossible to create disruptive advantage without hiring disruptive talent.
Leadership and Risk
Real leadership is not for the timid. As a leader, to do your job, to really do it, you have to be willing to lose it.  Therein lies the rub.  Too few of these leaders exist. Leaders have a fundamental responsibility to put their teams and enterprises ahead of their self-interests, to place their jobs at risk on behalf of creating excellence and meaningful (spectacular) growth. What does this really mean? It ...
The New Boss: Ten Rules For Getting Off To A Great Start!
Who doesn’t want to get off to a great (not a good, but a great!!) start with the new boss?  Following these ten rules will help you get off to a winning start with the new leader. If these rules help you, pay it forward. Rule #1: Don’t Create Stories—Creating stories in your head about what kind of person the new boss is or will be is a dangerous waste of ...
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