Goal Setting is Not the First Step

Miriam crept into the conference so as not to disturb the rest of the meeting. Everyone was working hard on their business plan for 2020. “I’m having a bit of trouble,” she said. “I know all the steps for the plan, but I am just stuck.” “And, from our structured planning model, step one is…

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How to Define Decision Making in a Role

In a role, until we identify the specific decisions to be made and specific problems to be solved, the hiring manager will never hire the right person. This is not magic. For a technician – In this key area, what are the decisions that have to be made? What is the time frame for those…

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Four Power Questions Before the Interview

It’s all about the work. Most managers make hiring mistakes because they didn’t know what they were looking for in the first place. How do you know what you are looking for? How do transform that vague picture into specific deliverables? How do you communicate that to the hiring team, to make sure you are…

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Nagging Questions Before the Offer Letter

You are ready to extend the offer letter, but there is this nagging hesitation in your mind. Is this the right person? Am I making a mistake? What happens if I am wrong? But, you have a 90 day probation period, so if it doesn’t work out, no harm, no foul. And, you will have…

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Trust is a Choice

Based on truth, trust is a choice. Trust does not happen. Trust is not a feeling, it is a decision. Trust cannot exist in a circumstance of deception or ambiguity. The choice of trust is always tested by the consequences of reality. Trust can be broken. Attempts can be made to repair a broken trust,…

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Pompous Poser, Wandering Journey

Much ado is made connecting success to the leader. But the effectiveness of a leader is dependent on the effectiveness of the surrounding team. Without the competent execution of the team, the leader is simply a pompous poser. The most important contribution of the leader to the organization is to build that competent team. Much…

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Instinctual Action, Rhythmic Reflection

Peter Schutz was clear about context and leadership. There was a time to floor-plan the responsibilities in the pit at Le Mans, and a time for the crew to execute in the moment. Effectiveness is determined by the deployment of appropriate leadership skills based on context. It is context that determines which must happen. Leadership…

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Flawless Execution

This continues a dinner conversation I had with Peter Schutz several years ago. “How is it possible, as a manager, to operate like a dictator,” he asked. “The crew in the pit, in the midst of a race at Le Mans, could operate like a dictatorship, heated in the moment, because they had spent months…

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No Pleasant Conversation

“Hey, you! They didn’t care who I was.” Peter explained. I was talking with Peter Schutz, former CEO of Porsche (1980-1988) about car racing. Peter’s stories always had a point. Standing in the pit, as the car came in for fuel and tires, there was no pleasant conversation. All energy was focused on the flawless…

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Remembering Peter Schutz (1930-2017)

Unpacking from my recent move, I found some old notes from a dinner with Peter Schutz. Peter was the CEO of Porsche from 1980-1988. He helped me kick off one of my executive groups in 1996. Peter passed away in 2017, but he was a person you never forget. At our dinner he talked about…

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