Mental Laziness

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost, Blog

Curiosity: One of the attributes of strong leaders is curiosity. But curiosity takes much work. And brain work takes energy—science tells us that the human brain consumes about 20% of our total body energy budget. That’s why another common trait for solid leaders is keeping themselves in good physical condition. They pay attention to their mental and physical health through …

Crisis Management

Crisis Planning

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

This Is Just a Test: In a panel conversation this week, one of the panelists noted that a lot of companies, who thought they have solid emergency plans, discovered that they did not. That’s the bad news. Of course, the good news is that for many, the pandemic is a reasonably straightforward way to test our systems without real structural …

The Farmer's Horse Ran Away

We Must Wait and See.

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Good News and Bad News: Recently, I again heard the oft-told story about the Chinese farmer who suffered several setbacks. Each time an adverse event happened, the neighbors complained about how bad the situation was. Each time, the farmer said, “Perhaps. We must wait and see.” I know the story as “The Farmer’s Horse Ran Away.” The link will take …

The Story Counts

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

History: I’m not big on history, usually. However, for reasons I do not now remember, I found myself reading two books about the history around the founding of our country, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. I started reading before all the present political drama. And I’m glad that happened since it gave me a way to put context …

Consensus = Mediocrity

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

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 …

Heads Held High

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

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

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

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

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 …

A First Step

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership

Business Roundtable: According to the reporting I’ve seen, the Business Roundtable has declared that they are changing the focus of their business from maximizing shareholders’ returns to improving the experience of all stakeholders. Stakeholders are made up of individuals or groups that have an interest in the success and progression of a company. External stakeholders comprise vendors, customers, neighboring companies, …