Thought Leadership

As I sit here in my home under quarantine, my thoughts drift toward thinking about thousands of citizens who will be displaced as a result of this global Covid-19 Pandemic. In my lifetime I have lived through multiple recessions, including the global financial crisis of 2008 when the world experienced the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. At the time, things looked really grim but we did recover and bounce back. The one thing I have learned during my long career journey is economic downturns are always temporary and short term. The economy eventually recovers and confidence is again restored. Life does return, but to a different normal.

The Covid-19 virus came on suddenly...

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Is it time for a communications wake-up call? For most of us, the answer is probably yes. We all could learn to communicate better, both personally and professionally. Conversations are a way of connecting with others. In all our conversations we hope we are able to get our message across in a clear and non-threatening way. Unfortunately, it does not always work out that way. As managers and leaders, we often find our awkward communication style getting in the way of success.

From a professional perspective, we spend a significant amount of time communicating with others. In business situations, positive communications are critical to success. Remember that communication is multidimensional; ...

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"The beginning is the most important part of the work." - Plato

Are you someone who looks forward to the promise of a New Year and setting new goals, or would you rather skip New Year's resolutions altogether because "no one ever follows through with them anyway?" Another alternative is to consider making shorter and more attainable goals. Perhaps a Dry January or Veganuary commitment?

There seems to be an overabundance of different New Year proclamations on social and mainstream media this year. Everyone is composing his or her personal take on the subject. The ending of a decade and the beginning of a new one is the reason I suppose.

I have never been one to make a long list of hopeful New Ye...

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"Unless a person has a goal, or a new mountain to climb, his spirt will die" - Richard Nixon

I recently read an article posted on Yahoo Money about retiring early. This article was not discussing retiring at 55 or 60; no, it outlined a goal of retiring at 40!

What! Yes, that's correct...a goal of retiring by 40 years of age.

I also discovered from this article there is a movement of young adults working very hard, even working more than one job, to achieve this milestone. The acronym that describes this movement is FIRE - Financial Independence, Retire Early. The FIRE journey is to save at least 50% (in some situations up to 70%) of one's income to reach the goal of financial independence and n...

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A resume is a resume, or is it? The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on the changing views regarding the classic resume. The article's premise is as Gen Z begins entering the workforce, the old school resume might have gone the way of the Baby Boomer - tired and retired. The new style resume can look like an Instagram post, or even look like a marketing piece with illustrations and icons to denote hobbies. Some Gen Z resumes are even showing one's favorite emoji to express ideas. This approach may work in some situations, but my view is to process with caution! If you want to be taken seriously, a resume that looks like a dating site application will not get the job done!


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"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." - Carl Jung, Founder of Analytical Psychology

Having an executive coach no longer carries the negative stigma it once did. It does not mean you are in the penalty box on some form of remedial plan for poor performance. In fact, many organizations now have internal leadership development programs where promotion into a senior leadership role includes an engagement with an outside executive coach. Some Fortune 500 organizations even have in-house coaches to lead the development of emerging talent. The business world has gone through a profound paradigm shift since the...

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The Carrot and Stick are pervasive and persuasive motivators. But if you treat people like donkeys, they'll perform like donkeys - John Whitmore

What a powerful statement! Management style matters! Employees today have choices; they don't have to work for the boss with anger issues who bully them into submission. Research shows that most people who leave their job quit their boss, not the company. The authoritarian style of managing - the "DO WHAT I SAY" approach - can get results, but it does have consequences. Over time, it will dampen employee's motivation and foster low moral. On the flip side, leaders that show humility achieve better results.

Today's values based leadership has cast a n...

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How to use (or not use) social media in your job search

This message is for all job hunters, and those considering a career transition: Is social media the right avenue to use for your job search? The answer is a resounding yes, but as the saying goes "Buyer Beware." For job seekers today social media allows you to build a brand and expand your outreach, faster than ever imagined. However, there are potential pitfalls in using social media. Understanding how to use, and not use social media, is vitally important to managing your brand. Moreover, it can provide a significant advantage, or disadvantage, if not used in the correct way.

Let's start with LinkedIn. It has no doubt revolutionized t...

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"The best way to predict your future is to create it" - Peter Drucker

There has been a great deal written about the "Gig" economy, highlighting its appeal to workers who desire more flexibility. Companies employing temporary or contract workers characterize the gig economy. In many ways the gig economy is the result of the death of the psychological contract of lifetime employment, which was brought about by the economic turbulence since the 1970's. Moreover, the 2008 great recession threw people out of work in mass and forced them to try different forms of employment. Companies like Uber and Lyft provided a temporary solution to unemployment. The reality of the new economy is the practice ...

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By Jim Ward

May 10, 2019

“The lousy thing about family ownership is, well, family”

Bill Plasachke, LA Times

Recently, a good friend of mine reached out to me for some professional advice. He was considering going to work for a family owned business and was not sure it was the right move for him. He was looking for a third party opinion on the possible merits, or disadvantages, of working for a family-owned business.

Working for a family-owned business can lead to a rewarding and promising career; however, one should be mindful of the possible pitfalls. As I discussed this with my friend, a number of issues arose, some of which include the following:

  • First and foremost, when you join a ...

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