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Can Leadership Skills Be Taught?


Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a leader?  Are leaders born, bred or brewed?  Does it take a certain personality style, environment, or natural talent to lead?  What’s led to the crisis of leadership that we see today?  I woke up early this morning pondering these questions.

I’d recently finished reading an eBook called “The LeadChange Revolution,” which documents the insights and commitments of a small group of people who attended a leadership unconference earlier this year, the Leader Palooza.  I found it inspiring, encouraging, and engaging.  But I was left with a big question burning in my mind…  Why are there so few character-based leaders out there?  In my decades spent in and around corporate America, the majority of the leaders I’ve encountered are driven by the bottom line; profits matter more than people, no matter what they say. Continue reading

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Leadership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Musical Chairs and Slippery Slopes


Musical Chairs Pictures, Images and PhotosIn the fall of last year, I found out that I would be losing my job working for a family-owned company that I loved. My job loss was due to no fault of my own. The company was restructuring, and in the game of musical chairs that took place as a result, I lost.

I had a counterpart in another country that I had worked with very closely throughout the six years I’d been there and I was grateful that, if one of us had to go, it was me.  While we lament the 10% national employment rate we’ve been experiencing in our country of late, his country had dealt with 16% in recent years.  He’d also been with the company much longer than I had, so his experience working in other companies and adapting to distinct corporate cultures was much more limited than mine.  To me, it seemed that I’d have an easier time redefining my career yet again.  Why is that?  Well…  I’d had to do it before, many times.

Prior to this last job, I’d owned my own small consulting firm for 16 years. That had been my first “real” job, started at the age of 19. As a result, I’d been in and out of a variety of companies in totally different industries. So, my exposure to corporate cultures and small businesses alike was vast compared to many other people. I counted more than 30 companies as my clients, ranging from your large, international corporation to the small local utilities company to the even smaller local garden club. Continue reading

April 28, 2010 Posted by | Employment | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leadership Thoughts from “How to Train Your Dragon”


I had the pleasure today of going to the movies; one of my favorite luxuries.  Thankfully, I have children.  That means that I get to see any movie I want, without being embarrassed by being an adult alone in a “kid’s movie.”  This works well for me because I’ve found that most PG-13 movies are too much for me.  I much prefer the creativity and inventiveness found in many G and PG movies.  In the past 5 years, I’ve seen one R-rated film (on a flight home from a business trip), and I was frankly appalled, not only at its content, but the lack of creativity that inspired it.

So, what did I see today?  A PG-rated film called “How to Train Your Dragon.”  Would I recommend it?  You bet!!  Let me tell you why… Continue reading

April 17, 2010 Posted by | Leadership | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

   

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