Are You Paying Attention to Perspective?

Perspective is defined as, “The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance.”


On a recent flight I was reminded of the value of taking a 30,000 foot view of things.

The ability to perceive the lay of the land is easy in a plane. Unfortunately, when it comes to our lives, most of us grind away on the ground, rarely examining what is really important.

If leaders expect to remain effective it is vital for them to pick their heads up occasionally and assess reality.

How much of your time is spent working ON your business (or life) versus working IN your business putting out fires?

If you want to lead at a higher level, I encourage you to pay attention to perspective.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What percentage of a leader’s time needs to be spent working ON the business?

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Do You Pay Attention to Tension?

A while back I was having a conversation with a respected leader who used an interesting phrase. He said he likes to “pay attention to tension,” whenever he is feeling it.

If you stop and think about it, his philosophy is almost counterintuitive. Most leaders try to avoid tension.

If you want to be a great leader, I suggest you embrace my friend’s practice of giving attention to your tension.

Leadership, by its nature, will always have those moments where your instincts will speak to you. You will have a “feeling” that something just isn’t right.

One leader I know calls it the “cringe factor.” Others call it a leaders intuition. Whatever you call it, don’t ignore it.

I think you will find it is much easier to tackle something head on than it is to let it fester.

Tension can be a good thing. It brings great gain to athletes in the weight room, on the track, and in the pool. It can do the same for a leader in the boardroom.

“Attention to tension.” Practiced by few, but a valuable discipline for anyone who wants to become a better leader.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What are the consequences of avoiding the “tensions” of leadership?

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How Much Should You Pay for Great Talent?

"It Depends on the Player"

Before he died, former Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss had a telling conversation with his general manager, Mitch Kupchak.

Kupchak who had the responsibility of assembling the team, once asked Buss, “What is my budget when it comes to signing players?”

Buss replied, “That depends on the player.”

Hello! … The Lakers did not get to be one of the premier sports organizations in the world by being lucky (or cheap, for that matter).

They made it to the top because of leadership. Buss understood the only thing that separates great organizations from good ones is talent. Ever heard of Magic, Kareem, Wilt, Kobe, or Shaq? You know you are good when you are known by a single name.

Great talent is worth whatever you have to pay for it. So many organizations ignore this truth. They opt for cheap, settle for mediocre, make good their goal, and then wonder why they have average results.

If you want to be great, there is a price to be paid and a team to be assembled. How much should you spend on your team?

“That depends on the player.” 

I can tell you this. If you find the right one, they will be worth whatever you have to pay.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What is your strategy for attracting great talent?

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The World Needs More YOU!

Choosing Values over Success

Last Friday I had the opportunity to speak to a company’s core leadership team on the subject of high performance. To set up the day we looked at several changing market dynamics.

I think we would all agree, from technology to competition, the demand to adapt to the needs of your customer base is enormous. The only thing unchanging is the pace of change, which continues to accelerate. 

With our minds wrapped around the need for change, it was the end of the day that brought us back to reality. The company brought in Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks International for a Q&A after I spoke. What an honor to share the stage with such a great leader … and talk about a guy who is comfortable with change. Howard helped take Starbucks from 28 stores to over 23,000 during his time with the company. 

Howard Behar

But it was what Howard said about not changing that resonated most. 

“I’d rather work for an organization that was unsuccessful, yet true to their values, than one that was successful financially without being true to their values. Never change who you are. Hold to your values!” 

Howard’s words challenged me on many levels. Truthfully I value my values much more than I do financial success. But if I’m dirt honest, I am conflicted at times. Too often it is easy to be lured by the bottom line or to desire approval from those I encourage. 

How about you? Do you set your affection more on your success or your values? Are there times when you compromise who you are to impress others. 

Duplicity is the enemy of trust. You can increase your impact if you will be who you are … define your values and live them out. If you want to win in today’s marketplace and you’re a values driven leader, be willing to change everything except the most important thing … who you are.

The world needs more YOU!

Leadership Begins at Home,


Why do you think so many leaders compromise on their values?

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