Leadership Favorites, Collaboration & a Sendoff for Arnie
September At C-Level

Is it just me, or are things kind of crazy right now? Media obsession with politics is drowning out important news; concerns about public safety and whose lives matter are adding to the volatility; lame duck governance is breeding uncertainty in all sectors; Brexit made the markets more jittery than normal which is adding to budgeting complexity; and we're not even sure who should use which bathroom.


We're nearly 3/4 of the way through 2016. September is almost gone. You've got about three months to rock the world, and that doesn't include taking time off for Thanksgiving, Christmas and/or year-end holidays.

If you haven't started bringing a dose of reality to your 2016 plans, you need to. Are you 3/4 of the way to reaching your goals? If not, let's either re-energize around a revised plan, or redouble our efforts. Always remember -- deciding to do nothing is a leadership decision.

And usually not a good one.

Plans are seldom the issue. Most of us have plans (or should) reflecting where we would like our business to be at some point in the future, and we know they need to be revised along the way.

No, the issue is usually execution. And I don't mean hanging and/or beheading. Well, sometimes I mean that, but... no, we mean taking purposeful, planned actions to achieve known objectives. If an employee doesn't reach an attainable goal, we have a performance problem. If employees (plural) are struggling collectively with significant objectives, we have a leadership problem, and that means it's your problem.

Speaking of plans, have you started thinking about 2017 yet? Are you dreading the upcoming strategic planning offsite? Is your plan really just a forecast based on past and current trends or does it actually create actions to reach the future you envision for your company? Before you embark on your next strategic planning journey, check out Applied Strategic Planning: The Corporate Reality Show from our article archives for some ideas on making it really strategic.

If you'd like to know how we can assist you, your organization, or a colleague of yours, please fill out this form, and we'll send you some specific information, articles, engagement results, and so forth.

Featured Articles
Leadership and Playing Favorites
- It's what good leaders do!

by D. Kevin Berchelmann

There's this string of advice that oft-times permeates otherwise thoughtful organizations. In a misguided effort to avoid conflict, tough conversations and tense performance discussions-and the ubiquitous "prevent lawsuits"-many will advise leadership to treat all employees the same.

What a load of crap.

Leadership is tough. Wear a helmet. Darth Vader has a cool helmet.

by Kevin Ross

Late in my Air Force career, I had the great fortune to command a fantastic group of diverse, talented Airmen. The only downside was that we lacked sufficient personnel and resources to be fully capable of executing our assigned mission, which pitted me against my peers in a competition for more - more people, more money, more equipment, and more priority. I thought it was the perfect job for me, because I'd spent most of my career competing for more.

Unfortunately (for me), my boss cared more about getting along and collaborating with each other. After a little attitude adjustment, I found that working with the other commanders, cross-training and developing people, and sharing the awards and recognition when their folks were involved made us all more effective and successful.

Leaders & Laggards
In this section, we take a look at recent news and events, and make a gut-reaction determination for three categories:

Demonstrating Clear, Personal Leadership
Leadership Milquetoast
Mediocrity in Leadership
Usually an Opportunity Not Taken, or Similar

Leadership Has Its Idiots, We Show You Who They Are
I was an Arnie fan. A soldier in Arnie's Army and damned proud of it. When I grew up, you affiliated with a particular golfer; Jack Nicklaus if you were textbook methodical (Mack, in my H.S. golf team), Gary Player if you leaned toward the flamboyant; Lee Trevino if you were a hustler; and Arnold Palmer if you swung hard, took risks and left everything on the course when you played. You led. Hard.


What exactly is Eddie Lampert, Chairman and CEO of Sears Holding Corp, trying to do to Sears and Kmart? Did he learn nothing at Yale about Montgomery Wards? He must have missed that case study.

In brief, Lampert brought (or bought) Kmart out of bankruptcy in 2003 through his hedge fund, ESL Investments.

Culture starts at the top. So does accountability.

Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf's protestations that the two million (2,099,713 to be specific) fraudulent bank and credit card accounts created over the last five years were the work of individual rogue employees - some 5,300 of them - are laughable.


Personality Trait Assessment
Who are you, really?

We can help you answer that question. Take a complimentary (yes, free) assessment yourself, or use it to find out more about candidates. Create a benchmark for skills in your organization, or use it as a template for coaching efforts. Click here to take the assessment and receive a complimentary Personality Profile report.
Triangle in the News
LinkedIn Pulse

Courageous Leadership - No One Wants to Follow a Coward

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Oil + Gas Monitor 

Kevin Berchelmann's article Oil & Gas Executives, Talent and $30 Problems 

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Our Thoughts