Consensus = Mediocrity

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Surprised: Often, when I’m asked, I might suggest that a decision made by the team was a “reasonable compromise.” I made a similar statement recently but found myself modifying it to be “unfortunately, we reached a compromise.” I was surprised by what I said. It just slipped out that way. The person asking the question nodded her head and moved …

Strategy Team

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Who’s On The Team? Recently, I was having a conversation with a colleague about hiring a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). We were discussing the attributes of such a hire. After my usual statement that what was critical was to hire a person who shared the corporate values, I added that they needed to be a strategic thinker. I managed not …

An Envelope of Trust

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Being Heard: For many of us, the employees we hire are often referred to as “knowledge workers.” The most common definition of that term I’ve come across is, “Knowledge workers are workers whose main capital is knowledge.” In other words, we hire knowledge workers and pay them to think. We hope that they are smarter than we are in whatever …

Mentor and Coach

Coach Only the Coachable

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Smartest Person in the Room: Carol Dweck discusses “Fixed Mindset” versus “Growth Mindset” in her book Mindset: the new psychology of success. I find her definitions and description of the people who have one or the other mindset to be very useful in my professional and personal life. As usual, things with human beings are complicated. Most of us have …

No Gap

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Radical Truthfulness: Allowing employees to speak openly about what they are thinking about the performance of managers, colleagues and employees, ideas, projects, and policies is both scary and challenging. It is also critical to making sure that the best ideas win rather than a compromise or consensus idea. We hire people, especially knowledge-workers, to think, not just be an extra …

Big Brains

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

If We’re So Smart: Lately, there have been many articles on most media platforms about how we humans are purposely manipulated by other humans. On the surface, that seems a bit crazy. After all, we are the most intelligent species on earth, right? Yet, we see suckers being born every day. The Silly Season Let’s start with the misleading and …

Heads Held High

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Saving Face: During my time working with colleagues at a Japanese owned company, I learned how important it was to make sure people left any kind of public or group encounter with their pride intact. I’m pretty sure I knew that was appropriate before joining the company, but it was emphasized within that culture. At first, the most notable practice …

Shaming

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Question: I had an interesting question from a student in a recent guest lecture I gave at a local university. To paraphrase, the student asked, “Why do we say it’s best to criticize in private? I played competitive sports. The coach criticized us in public all the time. The shame caused us to redouble our efforts. So, won’t you get …

Generosity of Resources

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Time, Connections, Knowledge: Leaders and managers are tasked with developing other leaders in the organization. Therefore, they must, of necessity, share the resources they have with their fellow employees. That is no easy task, if only because the press of day-to-day business tends to keep us all focused on tactical transactions. Time Perhaps the most precious thing we have, as …

Strategy Under Siege

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Culture Challenge: Peter Drucker famously noted that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” My experience is that Drucker is correct. One of the more straightforward ways I’ve observed that phenomenon is when a large change initiative is launched by management. For example, installing a new, complex, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. While leadership and employees may all agree that such a …