Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

In 100 Words: Two Traits of Effective CEOs

Monday, May 2nd, 2022 by Troy Schrock

An aspiring senior leader recently asked me what I thought was the most important trait of an effective CEO.  Two traits came to mind:

  1. They sincerely care about the people on their team and in their organization.
  2. They make decisions.  This involves making both tough and timely decisions.  A clear decision gets resources focused.  You can always adjust if the decision was wrong.

I don’t consider these two traits leadership “laws” or “rules.”  I have simply observed these characteristics in effective CEOs.  How do these two traits resonate with your experience of effective CEOs (or leaders in general)?

“Leadership is not being in charge, it is about taking care of people in your charge.”   Simon Sinek

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In 100 Words: Breaking Inertia

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 by Troy Schrock

Inertia – resistance to change in speed or direction – is a powerful force.  Significant energy is required to break inertia which can be good or bad for leaders.  Inertia works in a leader’s favor when it is built around valuable routines, habits, and attitudes.  The more momentum you build in the right direction the easier it is to maintain.

Conversely, inertia works against you when built around negative routines, habits, and attitudes.  It takes committed effort to break the cycle and restart momentum in a positive direction.

How can you spin your positive inertia flywheels?  Where should you break negative inertia? 

“Leaders must wake people out of inertia.  They must get people excited about something they’ve never seen before, something that does not yet exist.”   Rosabeth Moss Kanter

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In 100 Words: Pausing Along the Path

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Now is a perfect time to reflect on what you and your team have accomplished throughout the year. Leaders naturally look ahead to the future – it’s their job. However, a common refrain is “we don’t take enough time to acknowledge and appreciate what has been accomplished or learned.”

Summarizing the annual highlights won’t take much time and pausing typically leads to a sense of both satisfaction and gratitude. Note the significant accomplishments. Be real about unplanned events which factored into the outcome. Consider top lessons learned. Who was involved in the achievement? How do I thank them?

Enjoy the pause!

“Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many – not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

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In 100 Words: Certainty is a Mirage

Monday, November 1st, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Leaders should become comfortable making decisions with probability-based thinking. The future is uncertain and the environments in which we operate are fluid.

Some leaders get stuck waiting for more information, a better view. It appears certainty is just ahead… one last question, one final piece of information. But, certainty is a mirage. As soon as you receive the information “certainty” evaporates like the proverbial desert oasis shimmering in front of you.

Two dangers of certainty-thinking:
• Decisions bog down and progress slows
• Absolute-outcome thinking closes off to options for alternatives.

There comes a time decisions must be made and actions taken.

“…logical method and form flatter that longing for certainty and for repose which is in every human mind. But certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

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In 100 Words: Double Dips are Hard

Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Double dip: a second recurrence of some bad event or trial outside our control in short succession to the first – e.g., economic recession, market downturn, disease, or viral pandemic. These situations are hard on people physically and psychologically so people can become discouraged. They recently experienced the excitement of getting through the difficulty, then WHAM, the double dip – they are right back in hard times.

Leaders should acknowledge the difficulty of reverting to tighter restrictions and more limited resources. More importantly, leaders should keep people encouraged – acknowledge their efforts, share in the extra work, and provide hope for the future.

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;” William Shakespeare in King Henry V

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In 100 Words: Benefits of Pruning

Friday, July 30th, 2021 by Troy Schrock

Plants perform better with pruning. Proper pruning:

• Improves health and vigor.
• Maintains good shape and structure.
• Focuses the plant’s resources on its best aspects.

Similarly, proper “pruning” in organizations strengthens the whole. Don’t continue adding new and more without figuring out what should be eliminated and reduced. This is how organizations become over-grown.

Consider what activities and costs are no longer producing the desired value. Use segmentation analysis to determine which products, services or customers are no longer a value-fit. Thin down your list of opportunities and potential investments to those which require the organization’s best, limited resources to flourish.

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” Peter F. Drucker

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