The Ancient Wisdom of Teams

For a team to be successful, team members must put the interests of the team above their own. It’s necessary for team members, at times, to sacrifice their ego, play a supporting role, and in some deep sense, care more for the success of the team than for individual achievement and glory. These are timeless[…]

It’s Not Who’s On Your Team, It’s How You Work Together

If your boss came up to you today and asked you to form a team for a high-profile strategic project, what would be your first task? If you’re like most people, your thoughts would immediately turn toward whom to select to join your team. After all, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the most important[…]

What We Can Learn from Jeff Bezos about Decision Making

For the past few years Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has shared his approach to decision making in his annual letter to shareholders. Given Amazon’s ability to innovate, and its meteoric rise to retail dominance, there is much we can learn from Bezos and his tips for better decision making. Type 1 vs. Type 2 Decisions Bezos[…]

Innovation, Risk & Failure at Pixar

In a recent interview, Ed Catmull, the cofounder of Pixar, shares his views on risk, failure and culture. The entire interview is worthwhile, but I found Ed’s perspective on these three issues to be especially insightful and applicable to all industries. Taking Risks The nature of innovation requires risk taking. This creates a fundamental tension[…]

To Make Better Decisions, Think Independently

Photo by Rachele Caretti, Licensed under CC by 2.0 One of the qualities shared by great decision makers is the rare ability to disregard the opinions of others and think for themselves. There is a strong gravitational pull to conform to the conventional wisdom. If you’re looking to avoid accountability or even regret (which is[…]

Einstein & Creativity

In 2015 we celebrated the one-hundred-year anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. What Einstein was able to achieve was so astounding and so creative, it is worth reflecting on how he did it. Thought Experiments. Einstein’s intellectual journey toward the General Theory of Relativity did not begin with complex equations and high[…]

A Company that Builds People First and Machines Second

Bob Chapman is not your typical leader.  Take, for example, the mission of Barry-Wehmiller, the $1.5 billion company where Bob is Chairman and CEO: We build great people who do extraordinary things. You might be confused if someone told you that Barry-Wehmiller builds capital equipment and delivers consulting services, because what Bob will tell you is “building great[…]

Marissa Mayer Under the Spotlight: What Can Leaders Learn About Trust?

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, was hired to fix a broken organization. She came into the spotlight recently with her decision to remove the option to work from home. This caused a huge uproar – tweets, blog posts and articles spread like the flu within minutes after a copy of the memo was released. Never[…]

What Leaders Can Learn from Failure

“The most valuable lessons I’ve learned is what not to do. Without those experiences, I would not have learned what I learned and bring that to my company. Silicon Valley is littered with failures.” – LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner told David Bryant in this interview You’re probably nodding your head in agreement with Weiner’s statement.[…]