Personal Development

2020: Your “Gift at the Moment of Opening It”

One of my favorite books is Annie Dillard’s memoir “An American Childhood.” In it, Dillard captures the exuberance and wonderment of a child on the brink of self-discovery in 1950’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Over the years, I have returned often to one passage in which Dillard masterfully describes a child who for the first time becomes aware of the difference “between…

Leadership

Why So Many New Executives Fail

Are you setting your new executives up for success or for failure? Of course, you say, we do everything to support our new executives and ensure their success. After all, their success is the company’s success. Be honest. How many times have you promoted one of your “rock stars” to a senior position, only to see that person flounder in…

Leadership

Business Lessons From the Orchestra

As a business leader, do you ever feel like you’re conducting an orchestra? It’s hard to get all the people and parts moving harmoniously, isn’t it? On an episode of my podcast Talking Business Now, I talked with Maestro Roger Nierenberg, the founder of The Music Paradigm. Nierenberg believes organizations can learn many critical lessons from orchestras, including insights into…

Business Growth

Everything Has a Shelf Life

Sometimes just a few words can cut through the clutter and bring clarity. I was reminded of that recently while having lunch with a couple of business owner friends. One was still feeling angst over a staff situation that had ended more than a year ago. The relationship had started on a promising note, brought many benefits to the employee,…

Business Growth

8 Lessons I’ve Learned About Business

I get to work with lots of business owners every day. They often share their entrepreneurial lessons with me. A while back I started keeping track of a few of my own. Own a purple crayon mentality. Remember “Harold and the Purple Crayon?” It’s a wonderful story about childhood imagination that holds a powerful message for business owners. Harold, a…

Personal Development

What If Days Were Dollars?

The old saying “another day, another dollar” is often uttered with a shrug by people who’ve spent a good deal of their lives at dull, routine jobs. When I heard someone use that expression the other day, I started thinking, “What if days really were dollars?”  And if they were, how many “dollars” would a person get in a lifetime?…