Management vs. Leadership

I’m often asked, “what is the difference between management and leadership?”  The best answer I’ve ever heard, and the one I usually give is: Management is about doing things right.  Leadership is about doing the right thing. Like any great aphorism, it is short and memorable.  It does a decent job communicating the big concept,[…]

When Your Wave Comes, Ride It

Laird Hamilton surfing Teahupoo on August 17, 2000.  Photo: Tim McKenna   On August 17, 2000, Laird Hamilton was surfing a famous break off Tahiti called Teahupoo. The break at Teahupoo already had a fierce reputation, but on this day, Laird and his friend Darrick Doerner saw a wave approaching unlike anything they had ever[…]

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[…]

Lessons from a 630-Year-Old Family Business

The Cantina at the Antinori Winery. The Antinori family of Italy traces the founding of its family-owned wine business to 1385.  That’s 630 years and 26 generations of business continuity. Consider the risks that a business faces over a span of that period, including war, plague, economic crisis, political turmoil, family health, and sibling rivalries just to name[…]

3 Tips for Improving Decision Making

You walk into the conference room for your fourth meeting of the day. It’s a cross-functional committee and you’ve been tasked with making a big decision. You’re pretty sure the committee made a decision during last week’s meeting, and you’re hopeful today’s topic is focused on execution. After all, a solution was discussed thoroughly and[…]

3 Simple Questions that Drive Business Results

Business is a series of decisions. Often there is no right or wrong answer, only a series of options with varying implications to your department and to stakeholders. It’s easy to lose sight of the goal when navigating these decisions. The heat of a discussion, or the complexity of the issue you are dealing with[…]