December 29, 2015

See if you can quickly answer these questions:


  • What would happen if one of your key leaders went away?

  • What if your most prized client left?

  • What if your system was hacked?

  • What if everybody from an entire line of service suddenly quit?

  • What if...

December 21, 2015



The Titanic sinking.

The fall of the Soviet Union.


Did anyone see any of these events coming?


Doubtful. That’s why these and others like them are referred to as “Black Swan” events.


A Black Swan has three characteristics:


  • It is unprecedented in human history

  • ...

November 23, 2015

When a new CEO comes into the organization, the expectations are so grandiose that the person might as well ride in dressed as a knight on a white horse. If you’ve ever joined a company in a highly visible role like this, it’s not unusual to feel an air that you’re goi...

November 13, 2015

In my recent post, “The 5 Scariest Words A CEO Can Say,” I touched on why “I can do it myself” is one of the most dangerous statements a leader can utter. It means they can’t delegate, don’t know their own strengths (and weaknesses) and due to their responsibilities, i...

September 30, 2015

When you ask practitioners why they retain you, I’ll bet sooner or later they’ll say something like “He/she has such expertise.”


It seems to be a normal enough compliment at a glance, right? But let’s be honest here. In the landscape of professional service firms, expe...

September 7, 2015


When I was working at SC Johnson, one of my managers had a marvelous way of making hard decisions seem easy. I didn’t always agree with those decisions, but I had to respect her ability to make them consistently and with confidence.


One day, I asked her if there was...

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