How to Stay Relevant in a Busy World

A client of mine was describing a hotel front desk employee he had recently dealt with. “She was competent, of course, but she couldn’t engage very well with the customer who just came in.” Then, of course, she wasn’t competent, was she? It doesn’t take a genius to see that competence is no longer about […]

The Cookie and the Oven

It seems like the world of business is more fascinated with cookies than the oven that bakes the cookies. And it’s costing us. They eat the cookie, they like it, and then they want more of it. Soon, this cookie is the only cookie they want for the rest of their lives. So they go […]

Developing “Executive Presence”

In my daily work, I’m often asked to help leaders develop executive presence or gravitas. Here’s how I reflect on what to do: In a survey asking CIOs to list the top 20 leadership skills, “Executive Presence” came in second. The post listed seven traits as to what “Executive Presence” is: Composure, Connection, Charisma (ability […]

That Place Where The Streets Have No Name

Last Saturday me and my wife attended U2’s Joshua Tree Tour in Amsterdam. The theme of the tour, and the 1987 album, is the rugged deserts of the southwest United States; a place that I’m very familiar with. When I first visited that part of the world in 1999, I still remember having a transcending […]

Who The Hell Does This Guy Think He Is?

Years ago I was sitting in a leadership meeting in Paris, France. In those days I was responsible for the Sales & Marketing division of this particular company, and my CEO is describing all the beautiful projects he wants to get done in the next year, and he is not holding back. The whole whiteboard […]

The 20/80 Rule Of Forwarding The Action

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein Businesses are addicted to explaining. We want to know why things are the way they are, we want to […]


There’s a guy in this coffee shop, sitting at a table, not on his phone, not on a laptop, just drinking coffee, like a psychopath. Since then, Jason’s tweet has been retweeted 34,000 times and favorited 37,000 times. It seems Jason hit upon an uncomfortable truth about our current reality – many of us don’t […]

How Thought, Skydiving in Las Vegas and Will Smith are Linked to Each Other

A couple of years ago I was in glitzy Las Vegas with my lovely wife. That particular morning she was in an extremely good mood and I wasn’t. While she was very happy, I was thinking “why are we doing this? This is dangerous and ridiculous” and even more horrifying things. As a result I was living […]

Trust Your Instincts: Why Data Isn’t Enough

“There is no prescribed route to follow to arrive at a new idea. You have to make the intuitive leap.” – Stephen Hawking Big Data is hot and it’s everywhere. Every serious company is digging into the possibilities and opportunities that big data can offer them. Last week I was speaking at a conference at the […]

The Essence of Leadership

“Come to the edge,” he said. They said, “We are afraid.” “Come to the edge,” he said. They came. He pushed them. And they flew. – Guillaume Apollinaire Sometime ago I got interviewed and the interviewer asked me about what I think is the essence of leadership. This was my answer: “What matters to me […]