Archives For joe

What would you say you do hereAs I get older, I tend to get more and more retrospective questions. The one I get the most often is “What do you look for when you hire a leader?”

Sure, there are those things that have been enumerated countless times in countless books by countless authors. Those are table stakes (or as a friend of mine once said, “steaks on a table.”) But there are three things that I don’t see in those books that separate my best leaders from the good ones.

My Best Leaders…

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Vuja De

joe —  Sun 2-Sep-18

Don t Screw Up TodayTomorrow I start my next gig at a new company. Today, I am focused of the four words that can ruin that opportunity. I am serious, these words send a shiver down my spine when I think about how much damage they can do to someone coming into a leadership role at a new company.

As I get older I find these words creeping into conversations with my peers more often. Unfortunately, I am often the one blindly saying them. It’s only four words, a simple turn of a phrase, so how bad could it be?

Imagine you are informing your team of a challenge you are facing, when out of the corner of the room your boss chimes in with:
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Feed the Brain – Starve the Ego

joe —  Wed 29-Aug-18

Grey s AnatomyI’m not big on watching TV. It’s not because of some enlightened state; far from it. I just get bored easily. So when I do catch a show, my mind is wandering to fill in subtext or meaning, often connecting it to something I have learned elsewhere. This can be very annoying to those near me. Such was the case of watching Meredith Gray.

Meredith is a surgeon on Gray’s Anatomy, a TV series about surgeons doing brave and stupid things. In one episode, a woman had brought her son into the hospital because he was not responding to medication from a previous diagnosis. The intern couldn’t find anything wrong other than what appeared to be a classic case of the flu. Casey, the mother of the child, insisted something else was wrong. After reluctantly performing more tests, the intern discovered that the boy had strep and sent them both home with proper medication.

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Building a Mystery

joe —  Mon 13-Aug-18

What to wearI’ve always wondered what the giants of our industry were like their first day at work. Were they different from everybody else or just yet another rookie in the bullpen?

There are countless stories retelling a CEO’s rise to power, each describing situations where some critical trait of the soon-to-be giant propelled them past their challenges. If you were to sticky note (yes I made that a verb) all of these traits from all of these stories, I don’t believe there is a wall large enough to accommodate them. I do believe, however, that there is one trait every single one of them have in common.
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On (a)gile Leadership

joe —  Sat 14-Jul-18

I’m not much fun at the movies or even watching TV. For some reason I lose interest in the main plot and find myself more interested in what happened to Little Bo Peep in Toy Story 3. She was Woody’s gal for the first two movies and now no mention of her?

Same thing happened when watching this wonderful two minute video. Take a look and tell me who the hero of this story is.

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Synchronized swimmerA friend once asked, “What is the dumbest question anyone has asked you?” I didn’t have an answer then and still don’t. Though done in jest, my response of “That one?” wasn’t taken well.

Like many, I have been programmed with the mantra that there are no stupid questions. I believe that. Every question has a potential to strip a way a little varnish of ignorance that runs deep in ourselves. That doesn’t mean every question uttered was a wise one, though.

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How About McDonalds?

joe —  Sat 23-Jun-18

I don t careIf you are like me, one of the more inane and frustrating conversations you might encounter involves the simple question, “Where do you want to eat?” This seemingly innocuous question feels like a game of tic-tac-toe that is easily won or at least tied, but in reality it often requires the skills of a Chess Grand Master to resolve.

I am going to give you two lifehacks that will help you not only solve this question but also solve a whole series of related frustrating conversations. In the end, this same technique demonstrates why I am such a fan of early prototypes.
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