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Leadership Thought Series


Thought of the Week- Guard Against the Enemy Within

I have often stated that the biggest competitor to defeat is yourself. Meaning the inner voice that speaks to you and either tempts you to sit on your hands when decisive action is required or encourages you to chicken out when a bold move is required and many more things in between.

Many times in our careers we are faced with challenges, some much bigger than we ever imagined. In those times don’t let the enemy be your lack of resolve or courage to the do the right thing.

Remember that you are the sum of your past experiences and go forward knowing that decisions you make will not always be perfect and that you survive.

Get in to the mindset that you are learning, evolving and becoming better and that one mistake will not finish you nor will it make you. Take action and you will be less vulnerable to and from the enemy within.




Thought of the Week – Don’t Punch Down

Thought of the Week- Don’t Punch Down

As a leader and more importantly as a human being never punch down. Simply put, you should not pile on when others are going through difficult times and absolutely never rush to judgement. From my perspective you carry yourself better by simply moving on undeterred no matter how tempting it is to lash out and defend yourself. Equally important is that we never use our authority, position or circumstance to hurt others and punch down just because we can no.

Instead, moving forward, we would be better served to use our position to be a force for good and make a positive difference. Look for ways where you can aid and abet others to be better and happy in their lives.

This week think of ways of how you can enable people to succeed. Set out specific goals to achieve your “do good” goal and track your progress monthly. One of the best feelings in the world is to see others succeed and knowing you played a role in that success.
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Thought of the Week-Guard Against Career Suicide


One of the harshest lessons in my life is to not allow winning to be all consuming. To allow your competitive nature to overcome your thoughts and actions. It is true winning begets winning but you have to guard against losing perspective, losing judgement and most of all losing your soul in the process.

You have to guard against the thrill of the win, the taste the victory being needed to make you feel all is right in the world. In a sense, it is no different than an alcoholic wanting a drink or searching for that next high of a drug addict.

The lesson for me that I temporarily lost was keeping things in perspective. Balance was needed and I lost my ability to provide it.

I want you to learn through my experiences and I offer the following:

1- Get your sleep. Operating on less than seven to eight hours of sleep is not a badge of honor rather a sign of an impeding disaster.

2- Exercise 5-6 days a week and I don ‘t mean the type where you can read a magazine or paper while going through the motions. Truly exercise your body and push yourself to hit personal bests. Sweat and sweat hard.

3- Eat Well. Spend time understanding the needs of your body and fuel it with goodness not junk food. Have snacks at your desk so you can eat healthily throughout the day.

4- Unplug every night and weekends. You are not a slave to your pda. Demonstrate who is in charge. Turn it off.

5- Limit your travel to no more than 50 percent of your schedule. Burn out is around the corner if it becomes more. Hold your team to the same standard.

6- Finally, limit your alcohol intake. i find the more obsessed I became to win the more I would cut the corners of the first 5 points above and partake more in #6.

For an aspiring leader or current leader it be mindful that Business is a marathon and not a sprint. Don’t commit career suicide by burning out or allowing your blind spots to put you in a position where your failure is a certainty.




Thought of the Day- Never Give Up

In business like sports you are never out of it. How many times in sports have we seen unbelievable comebacks? Teams that play to the final whistle are oftentimes rewarded with snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. They kept their shape, they retained their determination and did not allow their heads to drop. Most importantly they kept their belief, willed themselves back in to the game and never gave up.

These moments are great life lessons that translate into business. Belief, willpower and not panicking when things are not going your way are of paramount currency.

Think about how you react when your back is against the wall? How are you motivating those around you to dig deep, work on your resolve to never ever give up and push through the pain barrier to success.

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Thought of the Week – Don’t Rush To Judgement

The “don’t rush to judgement” trait is becoming increasingly important, especially in the heat of the moment when it takes strong conviction and an even stronger backbone to not rush to judgement. At times the masses will be clamoring for punishment to be metered out. The assaults can be brutal, dishonest and all-out. When the world is spinning out of control you must slow things down and try your best to suppress the urge to rush to judgement.

Just to be clear, anyone abusing others, intimidating others, or using predatory practices should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. However the incessant clamoring to #boycott a brand or person must not be supported until all the facts are in and the final judgement is delivered. Facts and not rhetoric must determine appropriate actions.

Think about how you react when you receive an update? Do you rush to judgement or do you seek to get all the information prior to making a determination? Effective leaders at times take unpopular steps and decisions to insure that getting to the bottom of the situation and finding the real truth and not the convenient truth is found. If you do this then you will be a better leader.


Thought of the Week- Integrity Matters Everywhere

Thought of the Week – Integrity Matters Everywhere

In recent weeks several social media companies’ reputations have taken a hit and rightly so as irresponsible and maybe illegal practices have surfaced. Trust and integrity are bedrock foundations for all companies. The virtual world providers do not get a pass to violate any longer. In my humble opinion this is almost a decade too late and a sorely needed wake up call.


I’d like to begin by stating that this is not a hit piece on social media and that when used honestly social media has the potential to be a powerful force for good. With social media going mainstream we have seen individuals being empowered to make a positive difference. Companies and even countries have been able to get important messages out in real time. These are great examples of the power of social media. To connect people is ways that were not previously possible.


However, from my perspective, since inception, the social media era doing good has been the exception rather than the rule. It has more often resembled the Wild West where there is an anything and everything goes mentality. Pick up a smart phone and in seconds you can see vitriol being spewed on any issue. Was this the original vision for social media?


More often than not, social media is used to attack. Just this week Kelly Rippa was attacked because she wore a two piece bikini and apparently this is something that should not be done by someone her age. How ridiculous!  Unfortunately, this is tragically not an isolated incident for we have also seen lynch mobs popping up by the minute with the sole purpose of going after any citizen or corporation they choose to at will. It has allowed open shaming just because you have a different perspective or viewpoint. If you don’t like a person or their political or social beliefs you now have the weapon to attack at will. What has happened to our society? When and where does individual responsibility kick in?


Shockingly, an internal 2016 memo from a Facebook VP, no less, argues that the purpose of Facebook is to connect people, and that even if that connection means people literally die as a result, the company will not slow down in its attempts at growth. Could you imagine any company getting away with that kind of twisted statement? We have turned a blind eye because we like being connected more than anything else.


The bigger question is how do we the people take back control and help shape behavior? If someone was attacking you daily by newspaper, print or radio would you continue to buy their product? At its most fundamental the social media platform providers are simply a vehicle to get your message out, not their own and they should not be in the business of shaping your opinions. In this sense they should be viewed no differently than FedEx or UPS who deliver your communications. We would not allow either courier to shape your communications or use your data for their personal gain. We must ask the same question of social media. If we want to effectuate positive change then first and foremost these providers should be hit in their pocket. Funding is derived through marketing revenues. We cut off funding and suddenly a new reality I believe would be ushered in. We have allowed social media platforms to have too much authority on our lives. We have allowed them to push their agenda along with their social and political thoughts on us and this must also be stopped. They provide a service and should focus on just that.

However, the very worst of social media is that we have also given away our privacy and allowed those companies to manipulate, steal our identity and hold all our communications for potential future ransom and sold to the highest research company. Just this week it is being alleged that Facebook actually offered up to the 2012 Obama campaign access to their database of customers, meaning “you”. Apparently this as done because leadership supported the views of the campaign. That may be acceptable to you if you support the party but how would you feel if they opened up “you” to a political party you vehemently opposed?   I hope you would be outraged. Why are we allowing this type of behavior to exist? It should be viewed for what it is; reprehensible.


Now as business leaders and individuals we need to take back control from the corrupt, the haters, the trolls and the platform providers themselves. Here is the checklist that I am using to evaluate the value of utilizing social media moving forward:


1- Most importantly, for on going security we are reaching out to each platform provider to insure that all data is secure and not being recklessly, irresponsibly or illegally shared. Today there appears to be a Facebook issue but don’t assume that this is in isolated problem and that everything is okay with the other providers. Be a little paranoid. After all, its your security and personal information at risk here.

2- For internal policies I am making sure that the litmus test for circulating correspondence via social media is; would you run that social media message in a newspaper or circulate in memo form? If not, do not send.


3- Going a little deeper our practice is that no anonymous posting is responded to, liked, circulated or recognized in any way no matter how tempting. We need to starve the haters and trolls of oxygen and only allow only bonafide and identified parties in to our conversation.


4- Political views and social preferences are private to you and should not be shared within the organization or any vehicle that is identified or associated with the company. Again, would you send this via memo or place in a newspaper where all parties are recognized?


5- And finally while we are investigating the privacy and moral policies in place by the social media platform providers we are pausing on all marketing initiatives. We will not do business with any other entity that is using dishonest practices. Just because it is virtual does not mean they get a free pass.


The bottom line is that integrity counts no matter where and how it is delivered. All should be held accountable. Failure to do so should have the severest of consequences. It is time for leaders to step up and demand integrity from all things virtual. Just because you cannot see it does not mean it cannot inflict serious pain.


I hope you look at how you can help shape social media behavior within your organization. We don’t need to wait for congress to act. We can and should take our own action.





Thought of the Week- Be a Builder

Thought of the Week- Be a Builder

In life we can always find things to criticize and if truthful too many times we go out of our way to find an offense. In fact, ranting is the easiest thing to do and has no real significance. The outcome is that we are usually left drained. My thought of the week is to challenge ourselves to become builders.

Think about how you can flip any situation for the better. Where we previously complained about issues build consensus to change the situation to a positive outcome. Instead of criticizing how something got executed motivate your team to be capable of delivering success. In short help all overcome adversity and build mental toughness to be a positive force in life. Think of ways you can support a building mentality and see how the outlook improves across the board.

In short be a builder and not a bloviator. The world does not need more screamers.


Thought of the Week- make every moment count.

This week I read an article spelling out David Cassidy’s last words to his family; “so much wasted time”. 4 very powerful words that we should all take to heart and make sure that we make every moment count.

Embrace every moment, let people know that they are important, don’t be self indulgent and focus on what is truly important. Don’t let your pride stand in the way when you need help and realize that asking for help if a sign of strength and not weakness. Spend a moment and consider how you learn from David.


Leadership Thought