Of Raindrops and Mirrors

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

Bad Decision: I have made plenty of bad decisions in my life. The worst ones are the ones where I know what I’m doing or about to do is foolish, but I do it anyway. It almost always turns out bad. The most recent one involves raindrops, an obscured mirror, my car’s rear bumper, and outside stairs. I’m over it …

Setting a Clear, Compelling Vision

The Vision Thing

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

Inspiration: The voters believed that President George H.W. Bush had the experience, judgment, integrity, and a steady hand for his office. He knew “how” to get things done. However, he struggled with, in his words, “the vision thing.” Every leader knows that to inspire people to follow them, they need a compelling vision. Simon Sinek called it the “why.” Nietzsche …



Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

The CEO’s Job: Leadership guru, David Marquet, notes that the only effective way to change human behavior is to change the environment. The environment is how things get done, the decisions that get made, and how we treat people. That is the culture—and we create a culture based on shared values. I believe that the CEO has one primary task: …

Strategy Under Siege

Dave Kinnear1-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 …

Accrue Respect

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

First Manage: To be a good leader, you must first become a good manager. To do that, you must earn and accrue respect from the folks you manage. After all, the people give you permission to be a leader, not your position on the organization chart. Education Leadership is a learned skill. It seems to me that we forget that …

Accountability Wells Fargo

What Do We Expect?

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

How You Play The Game: When I was a boy, I learned that we play to win, but how we play the game is more important than winning. If I was caught cheating I was out of the game. I learned a similar lesson when negotiating with other people. The lesson was to negotiate the best deal I could, but …

Two half truths doesn't make a whole truth!

These Three Things

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

In a recent leadership group meeting, I was prompted to think a bit more about common leadership traits. I have settled on what I believe to be common leadership traits based on the great leaders I know personally. And of course, I added a few leaders about whom I’ve read but who I do not know personally. I came up …

Alaska Indigenous Artifacts

Tribal Animals

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

Nature Rules: There is a lot of discussion about organizational culture these days. What is it? How does it contribute to or inhibit effectiveness? How do we “manage” it? I define culture as simply “the way things get done around here.” And that means how decisions are made. That includes whether employees feel that the environment is safe for them …

The Unexamined

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

Curiosity: In a previous post, I wrote about curiosity and its importance to leadership. I find that many of our organizational policies, procedures, and cultural norms go unexamined. I want to expand on the topic of curiosity a bit more. What drives me to do so is ruminating on my experience with classes I facilitate for veterans around the topic …

Hire for Attitude

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

Attitude ~ Values: In a recent speech to a group of business leaders, Peter Salvati, CEO of DPR Construction, said that he makes sure his team “Hires for attitude, trains for skills” And of course, he does the same when he is hiring or promoting his leadership team. To my way of thinking, attitude is pretty close to the same …