As some of you may know, back in 2014-2015 I hosted a weekly “live” Internet radio show on Voice America. What follows are some of the key learning highlights from these shows. The learnings then from my great guests are just as valuable now as they were then—read, learn and apply. Continue reading
The single most important factor that will determine the success of your company is the quality of your team. Specifically, how you select, develop, utilize and measure them. To me, these four functions represent one of a leader’s key strategic responsibilities. Yet, many business leaders/entrepreneurs seem to go out of their way to self-sabotage their people efforts. How do they do this? Well, consider the following: Continue reading
This week, I extended an invitation to my son, Stephen Ruisi to be my “guest blogger” and share with us an excerpt from a book he is writing about one of the most challenging experiences in his life. In this piece – written for his son – he uses the “27 Outs” in a baseball game to help his son build a path for a successful and meaningful life. Read on, enjoy and learn.
I last played organized baseball when I was slightly older than my son Jonah. I was 13 and in the 8th grade and it was in the local Babe Ruth league. In the span of a year, I went from playing on a little league field to a major league field. My growth spurt would not happen for some time whereas most of my teammates had grown exponentially in size and strength. Needless to say, I encountered a lot of difficulty and frustration.
Despite being in “retirement” from baseball for nearly 30 years, baseball remains one of the great loves of my life. I love everything about it – the way the bat feels when you hit the ball hard on the sweet spot, the sound the dirt makes when you slide under a tag, the popping of a catcher’s glove from a hard fastball. Baseball appeals to my intellectual curiosity as I love the strategy of game management. As a father and little league coach – the look of my children’s face when they get a hit or make a great catch. And recently – watching Olivia, the only girl in our league, throw heat and strike out the side (as a side note, I enjoyed the look of shock and bewilderment on the face of the boys she struck out).
One of my favorite elements is the fact that unlike other sports, baseball games are not governed by the arbitrary nature of a clock. To win a major league game, one team needs to get 27 outs. And, even though a team may be down to the last strike of the last out, the game is not over until the last out is recorded. So, in turn, that means that until the game is over, anything and everything is possible.
But more significantly, baseball permits a last strike, a last out comeback, particularly when it looks like the prospect for victory is all but extinct.
Given how baseball facilitates the comeback, one might assume this is the reason why I choose to write about baseball instead of something else (say track, a sport in which I competed for over 10 years). While that’s a big part of the reason, there is more to it that this one-dimensional view. Continue reading
Most leaders “say” they want feedback. Yet, leaders today struggle with how to get others to provide it in an effective and constructive way.
Just in case you are wondering, no organization does the “feedback” thing perfectly. However, every company, including yours can do a better job at soliciting it and then deciding if and how to act on it.
Just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you don’t want or need feedback from your team. If you are a trusted leader, they will willingly offer it in a professional and meaningful way. In fact, if you are a trusted leader, you are doing a good job of encouraging it. If you’re not sure how to ask, try this approach; ask periodically: Continue reading
This classic line from Cool Hand Luke has often been used to address communication issues in personal and professional lives. Chris discusses how good communication breaks down friction and keeps everything moving forward and as smooth as possible.
It’s Memorial Day! As a result of the current three-day weekend arrangement and activities associated with it, we can become easily distracted from the day’s original meaning and the traditions aligned with it. One such tradition, conceived by poet Morina Michael, was to wear red poppies on Memorial Day “in honor of those who died while serving the nation during war.” Continue reading
Every day you can find an article, blog or book on how to be the best leader you can be. To be the best (at anything), requires clarity, focus and self-discipline.
Let’s face it, it takes hard work to be the best. As such, it should come as no surprise that some make the choice not to accept the “be the best” challenge and end up at being the worst leader they can be. But we can learn something from those who are the “worst” leaders they can be. Here the top 7 worst I have observed over the years. Continue reading
The single most important factor that will determine the success of your company (and you!) is the quality of the team you have in place to execute your vision and interact effectively (and successfully) with your buyers or customers – Period.
An important business concept, it doesn’t get any simpler in terms of an area of your business that should demand the most of your time and focus. To modify a key phrase used in the 1992 Presidential election, “It’s the people stupid!”
The key point that every business owner needs to understand is that no one is that good that they can pull their company over the finish line all by themselves. Continue reading
When asked, “What is the job of a leader?” the standard response is to, “Get things done through other people.” Sounds simple, right? But there is much more that goes into getting things done through people. In fact, getting things done through other people is the result of what I believe is the real job of a leader.
The real job of a leader is to develop other people – their team – to successfully execute the vision they have set for their organization; whether it be a free-standing organization, a department within a larger firm or a small business. Simply stated, the job of a leader is to have the right people with the right skills in the right roles at the right time. Yet, despite its simplicity, developing people still does not get the attention it should on many so-called leaders’ radars. Continue reading
Managing the boss is best done openly, not subversively. Smart executives communicate to the boss what they are doing and why they are doing it. If you were writing a memo to the boss about why you were managing him, you would address these ten reasons why a boss should want to be managed by a direct report: Continue reading