Monday, December 18, 2023


I’m not a big fan of leaders who do not inspire others. That may not be fair; but candidly, I do not care. Serving as a leader, at least to me, requires some level of connection to the broader team (peers, superiors, subordinates) beyond simple authority.

That connection signals you are not only working hard, but you have something engaging about your leadership style that shows others around you that you are worth paying attention to…and following.

Being knowledgeable is obviously important, but is that the most important part of effective leadership? Maybe not. The best leaders I’ve worked for had a fire inside. They made me want to do more, take on more projects, stretch myself, and think bigger about my future. Imagine if everyone you worked with felt the same way? How would your organization perform?

We’ve all worked with leaders who are decent people, know generally what to do and how to do it, yet there is something missing. They could easily be one of a thousand other nondescript leaders.

They are…whelming.

Don’t be them. Find your voice. Get fired up about your people…your organization…your path forward.

Thanks for being here.


Monday, December 11, 2023

Mental Health, Physical Fitness, and Managing it All

The digital world is an interesting place. It has the power to manipulate reality, hide dark truths, or at a minimum embellish our real lives enough to give the impression that all is well, all the time.

That’s not exactly how it goes for me. Sure, I like to share some of the volunteer work I do away from the office, and of course post food pics. Those are fun and well intended.

There are other things I share however that carry much more meaning than simply posting my latest workout or pumped up pic. Yes, physical fitness is important to me; but the pictures I post are not meant to serve as some sort of cheesy ‘look at me’ thirst play.

A few years ago I started working with a trainer to help maximize my time in the gym. What I soon discovered in addition to getting a heck of a lot stronger, was that my mental health seemed to benefit more than my physical health did.

Sharing workout pics has become something different now. They are a reminder…to me…that prioritizing my mental health should come first. 

They come before the never ending task list, meaningless emails, or pressure to “be available for everyone, every minute, of every day.” A few minutes of time for me means I actually do have the strength to handle all of those other parts of my life.

What have you learned about your mental health and how to take care of yourself?

Thanks for being here.



Monday, December 4, 2023

Leadership Stuff I’ve Been Thinking About

I’m sharing a collection of random thoughts that seem to be taking up a disproportionate amount of headspace lately. Not sure what it all means…maybe nothing…maybe a deep spiritual puzzle for me to figure out…or maybe just that overachieving self-talk machine hard at work.
  • Why don’t organizations invest heavily in their leaders when the link between employee engagement, productivity, profitability and culture are almost exclusively based on leadership impact?
  • Why aren’t more senior executives comfortable being vulnerable when we know this demonstrates how human and accessible they can be?

  • Why isn’t kindness a required leadership competency when we know the dramatic impact kindness has on all people?
  • Why aren’t leaders required to be involved in their communities to demonstrate that their organization is focused on more than just revenue and shareholder value?
  • Why don’t we openly talk about faith…all faiths…in the workplace when we know the power of a healthy spiritual life?

Thanks for being here.


Monday, November 27, 2023

What Was Once Will Soon Be Once Again

The good old days.

How things used to be.

Everything has changed.

We’re moving too fast.

Things were better ‘back in the day’.

Sometimes it feels we’re all chasing something that was good (or at least we’ve chosen to only recall the good parts) instead of embracing the goodness around us right now.

The good news here is that we can bring forward all those good feelings and experiences and blend them into our world today. No, we can’t go back and re-live what was once; however, we can integrate those experiences, memories, and feelings into what we’re doing now.

Encourage the power of growth and change with your teams. We’ve all tried to stop forward momentum at one time or another, particularly when it’s an unclear path ahead. Instead, let’s pull the good parts from our history forward to make tomorrow even better.

Thanks for being here.




Monday, November 20, 2023

The Power of Context

Context may be one of the most powerful leadership tools available. 

Think about it…not only sharing news with your team, but adding significant additional information about what the drivers are, how people reacted, and what forces are at work on a workplace issue can be game-changing. 

Let’s contrast this approach briefly with those who prefer to horde information (and believe, power, over the team). What is their internal brand? 



Zero credibility.

For me, the old-school command and control style of leadership was useless the day it was first used. 

No one will follow that leader.
No one will feel connected to that organization if they are forced to suffer under that manager.
No one will stay.

One of the fastest ways to connect your team to the organization (and you) is to overshare and explain the real reasons behind the ever-changing world of work. 

No one ever complained they were too informed or communicated with too effectively at their job.

No one.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, November 13, 2023

Building Your Leader Brand in a Cancel Culture

Are you concerned about speaking your mind, sharing your opinion, or standing up for what you believe in due to the current external environment? 

There has always been criticism and healthy debate when we disagree, but things have changed. It’s easier than ever to hide behind a computer screen and attack. Seems like a pretty cowardly approach to me.

Real leaders have a take. They share their opinions, particularly on the sensitive and complex issues facing their organizations. The best leaders have a vision and share it…with everyone. 

Here’s the rub. When leaders are bold (read here: requirement of the job) they are immediately open to attack. The play-it-safe crowd who long for yesteryear “when things were much better” feel tremendous pressure to change. 

Playing it safe = stagnation = death.

Too harsh? Uh, no.

Think about the bold visionary leaders you’ve worked for. Imagine if you were now viewed as that person? What could you do to transform your organization? New thinking? New services? New ways to deliver value at a truly world-class level?

Don’t let the cowards hiding behind their screens get you down.

Be bold.

Share your vision.

Execute, despite the noise and naysayers.

You’ve got this.

Thanks for being here.



Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Accessible Leadership

I had a conversation with a colleague recently and we were discussing leadership styles. More specifically, I was sharing what I thought was one of the most important aspects of my journey….making myself accessible.

What does that mean?

As she and I talked I was reminded of an early moment in my career when I was hired to fill a human resources management role that was a backfill due to the promotion of the previous leader to VP. I was going to be his direct report, and he was going to mentor me.

One of his approaches was to attend health system leadership meetings and return to update his team…but with a redacted version of the updates.

I didn’t quite understand why we would hold back general information from our team, so I decided to share everything (except for anything that was expressly identified as confidential.) The team (his former team) loved it. They felt more connected, understood more fully why decisions were made, and had a real sense of where the organization was headed.

A valuable lesson for me early on.

Another approach that has served me well…far more than I ever could have imagined, is rounding. This is certainly not new, yet there’s a reason it has stood the test of time and not become cliche…

…it works.

Getting out of your office (physical or virtual) and intentionally connecting with the team is powerful. Ask questions about their work, their family, their stress, their hobbies, their self-care ideas and strategies.

Engagement means a hell of a lot more than good scores on a survey. Engagement means that you make yourself accessible and human. Engagement means you demonstrate that your team members mean more than productivity metrics and revenue. 

Delivering these messages in a kind way will accelerate you past the stigma of ‘corporate check-ins’ or ‘a leadership drive-by.’ Building kindness into your approach means that you actually believe the leadership hype you’re talking about all the time.

How do you make yourself accessible? There are many more ways to go about it…and I’d love to hear yours.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, October 30, 2023

Arsenal of Kindness

In the early phases of World War II President Roosevelt described America as the “arsenal of democracy” as he pushed to supply our allies with the necessary war materiel to fight Nazi Germany. He knew the impact our leadership could make on the world.

Effective leadership always makes the difference.

I wonder how leaders today could be an arsenal of kindness in a world of division, violence, ego, prejudice, and fear?

This isn’t a routine “be good to people” post. Rather, I’m wondering if kindness…as an intentional and mandatory behavior…is something that should be infused into leadership expectations at all levels?

A bit radical I know. Maybe a bit on the sappy side as well. I don’t care. When you’ve been treated kindly you know it. When you treat someone else with kindness and experience their reaction it hits differently than flexing your leadership muscle.

Leadership is the dynamic combination of what we say and what we do. When those things align in a positive way, something special happens.

How do you build kindness into your leadership practice?

Are you intentional about staying calm?

Are you intentional about not overreatcting?

Do you go out of your way to connect with others and express genuine kindness?

Or, is business all about revenue and productivity? Both are critical and deserve tremendous focus…but the great thing about the world of work is there is still plenty of room left for us to unleash that arsenal.

Thanks for being here.


Monday, October 23, 2023

The Awareness Gap

Polls tell us the gap between employee and leadership expectations is wider than ever. The endless quotes describing eroding engagement levels, dissatisfaction, third party activism and work stoppages all point to the end of the world as we know it, right?

As the pressure mounts on employers to stay quiet, stand on the sidelines in their own organizations, and simply watch the chaotic post-pandemic world of work play out, I feel strongly that it is time for leaders to call, in the most sensitive and thoughtful way… 


One of the driving forces in employee engagement is based on survey feedback that emphatically states employees want to be developed, supported and grow their careers. Yet the push on employers is to stay at arm’s length while employees figure it out on their own?

This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Our employees are looking to us to share information, mentor, develop and help them achieve their full potential. True engagement happens when leaders are actively engaged with their employees on many levels. They are counting on us to have their back, listen, challenge, and yes, educate them on all aspects of the world of work.

Shame on us if we allow the ‘external noise’ to block our responsibility to our valued colleagues. Stop listening to those who would like leadership to step aside. Our candidates don’t want that, our employees don’t want that, and our organizations will be better because we stepped up and delivered on the privilege of leadership.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, October 16, 2023


 “A fatal flaw.”

What exactly is a fatal flaw outside the world of epic heroes and heroines? More importantly, what is mine? I’m actually not sure I want to know; however, if I’m going to understand and confront my demons, it makes sense to try and answer the question.


Yes, I have them. I’m guessing you do too if you’re honest with yourself. Most I’ve known about for a long time; others recently decided to enter the arena. 

Sometimes that’s rough. 

It’s interesting to reflect back over the years and recognize how the pieces fit together. The moments that seemed to be one-off events were actually part of a larger and prolonged struggle.

Self-reflection can be rough too.

So, does all of this new found self-awareness answer the hamartia question? It’s beginning too. Looking deep into my own choices, mistakes, and self-talk (that can be quite critical) is an important step. In addition to understanding my struggle, it is clear that I must be ever more present for those around me who are also struggling. (Remember, the ones who seem to have it all together might be struggling the most.)


Simply writing this post in some small way has helped shift the momentum of the battle in my favor a bit. Something I had not anticipated. Maybe writing could help you too?

More on this later…for now…it’s time for reflection and processing of it all.

Thank you for being here.




Monday, October 2, 2023

Judge Not…is Not That Simple

I have a strong faith perspective, at least I hope I do. It’s part of my daily life, and is something I’ve nurtured, shared, and worked hard to integrate into my leadership style as well.

And yet I find myself continuing to struggle when it comes to judging others. Sometimes I try to deflect blame by saying “it’s just human nature” or “it happens automatically.”

I can’t tell you how awful it feels to type those words, knowing that I’ve said them too many times.

Why bring this up here? Well, leadership and faith can be a powerful combination, particularly when we’re talking about building a culture based on valuing each employee’s contribution, trusting others, and creating a place to flourish professionally.

Now the connection becomes more clear. Focusing on faith-based values (whichever faith perspective works for you) almost unilaterally supports being kind, supportive and a positive force for others.

Isn’t that what the most effective leaders do? 

Yet…that demon…judgement…persists in my mind. Perhaps it does in yours too? Do you find yourself being critical of others when you’re in a “safe group?” What about the other “safe groups” that you don’t belong to? I wonder who they are discussing?

The good news is we can continue to challenge ourselves to be better. When we integrate faith from houses of worship into the workplace, we create a continuum of values that cross all parts of our lives. That consistency creates positive environments at home and at work.

As for me, I’m going to keep up the fight. I don’t want to be known as someone who was always judging others behind-the-scenes. That would be such a sad legacy.

Thanks for being here.


Monday, September 25, 2023

Be You

Fairly early on in my career I realized I didn’t want to fit it. Sure, I wanted to be respected for what I brought to the organizations I worked for; however, the thought of being a clone with respect to my look, speech, behavior, and perhaps most importantly, how much of ‘the real me’ that I shared, needed to be different.

As I reflect on that decision, one that I have continued to stay true to, I now recognize how great the risks have been. Risks that persist even today.

A quick example, I have a very high energy personality and approach to life in general. I get excited about things, and everyone around me can tell. It’s not something I try to do…it is just a trait that is baked into my DNA as a leader and person.

Showing that over-the-top enthusiasm however can occasionally be seen as unprofessional or an attempt at being humorous. The reality is when there is a good idea, a good result, or a great meeting that brings people together, I get pretty excited!

Beyond being super enthusiastic, I am a big proponent of sharing a lot of information with the team that works with me. After all, they are the ones that allow us in leadership to have the time to stay out of the weeds and focus on the biggest ideas we can possibly imagine (and then push ourselves to think even bigger.)

I’m also committed to being the same person at work that I am in my personal life. I love the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club, Formula 1 racing, loud heavy music and tattoos. I’m also deeply committed to my church and sit on the board of The Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

Do you get fired up about things in your work? Would anyone notice? How much of the real you do you share? 

Thanks for being here.



Monday, September 18, 2023

The Right Throat to Choke

Accountability is a tricky concept. Leaders often use it to describe how they’re going to drive execution of various strategies to achieve a specific goal…hit a budget…launch a new idea…or simply maintain connections with key stakeholders or clients. It is often focused too heavily on team members exclusively.

So easy to describe in a sentence or two. Much more difficult to implement effectively.

The full name of this blog is NoExcusesHR - holding ourselves accountable. That last part isn’t mentioned very often, yet it is intended to be a central component of the messages I share. 

Why? Simply put, leaders hold all the power in organizations. They hire, fire, set strategy, approve budgets, establish communication norms, etc. 

Leaders decide everything.

So then, where does the real accountability lay? Surely our team members need to have clarity about their roles, responsibilities and work. However, pushing the focus on accountability nearly exclusively to those who work on our teams is, in my view, misdirected.

Real accountability starts and ends with leadership. Juggling an ever-growing list of priorities can be extremely challenging, at least it is for me, particularly when the pressure continues to grow.

Yet, that pressure creates an opportunity to expand the roles our team members play in support of that never ending list of priorities. Bonus here…in doing so we are trusting our colleagues as we give them greater responsibility and allow them to actually grow and develop versus the standard lip service many leaders give but never deliver on.

Letting go is difficult. It’s also worth it. After all, the one who really needs to be held accountable stares back at us in the mirror each day.

Thanks for being here.


Monday, September 11, 2023

Hurt, Heal, Repeat

Question for you: what is your first reaction when a leader shares they are hurting, or struggling to overcome anxiety, pressure, stress or some other challenge related to their mental health?

Do you trust they can lead effectively?

Does their credibility erode because they showed a level of vulnerability not normally discussed in the workplace?

Are you confident they’ll be strong in the difficult periods that every organization goes through?

Gut-check time. What were your answers? 

The reality for all of us is that we go through dark times. I’ve never met anyone who is always up, everything is perfect, and they live without a care in the world. Despite what ends up on our social channels (including mine), life doesn’t work that way.

Why then, would we put such unrealistic pressure on our leaders to be perfect and improving at all times when we know that is impossible?

The cycle of battling that inner voice that overwhelms…then subsides…then begins again…is a reality for me. It has been for years, yet I’ve been reticent to share any of those struggles for fear of being judged, losing opportunities to move ahead professionally, or compromising the respect of my colleagues.

At times it feels like a never ending cycle…and candidly…it is. The real triumph is when we accelerate out of the hurt phase and into some sort of healing. We find that the road ahead doesn’t always have to be a traffic jam…it can be wide open full of possibilities.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, August 28, 2023

Which Leaders Influenced You?

Leadership can at times be a heavy burden. At least it feels that way for me. The pressure to not only meet budgets, drive revenue, be creative, take risks, etc. are enough for any sane person to question their career choices.

The extra challenge of ensuring that you deliver for your employees is a whole new level of pressure. They depend on us to have a vision, drive new business opportunities, and grow the organization. They are literally counting on us for their livelihood.

That’s a lot.

When that all feels a bit too much for me I turn to those who have inspired me on my journey. Some of these leaders I’ve had close personal relationships with; others I’ve only studied and admired from afar.

Those role models are important. To assume we can simply figure everything out on our own is ludicrous, and is a sure-fire way to toss your credibility out the window.

“Beware the leader that believes he or she has all the answers”

Tell me about the leaders who influenced your development as a leader? Who were they, and what made them so important in your journey?

Perhaps most importantly, how have you tried to bring those important traits into your leadership style? Admiring other leaders is one thing, integrating their strengths into how you grow in your leadership practice is very different.

Oh, and here’s a quick peek at several of my most important role models: my Father, Reverend Gary Kuhns; The Reverend Dietrich Bonhoeffer; The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thanks for being here.



Thursday, August 24, 2023

Safety Nets

“Hey bro, do you have a couple of minutes to talk?”

“Any chance we could grab a coffee this week?”

“I could use some time with you…how about we meet for dinner?”

As the course of my leadership career continues to evolve, change, and morph in new and expanded directions, I’m finding it increasingly important to connect with other men in my world. I’m blessed that my partner is an amazing support, and she’s willing to listen for as long as I need to talk.

However, there is another need for support that is somehow different, and just as important. Sadly, most men are caught in the stereotype that reaching out to other men is a sign of weakness. I was caught in that bizarre trap for decades.

Not anymore.

What are the changes I’ve made? There are several actually. 

- I helped start a weekly men’s bible study in August of 2022 that is going strong.

- I started a small men’s covenant group on the GroupMe app to connect several of my close friends who live all across the country. We check in with each other on Friday mornings.

- I was invited to join a small group of eight businessmen in Tampa. We meet quarterly and discuss ethical business practices, life issues, and whatever else happens to come up.

- Lastly, I’m trying to be more intentional about staying connected to my close friends and connections. The pace of life sometimes gets in the way; however, I’m not accepting that excuse. I keep pushing.

These steps have helped me. They may not be a good fit for you, and that’s okay. Finding what works is the most important thing. I’d love to hear what you’re doing to take care of yourself.

Thanks for being here.



Thursday, August 17, 2023


In my last post I talked about taking NoExcusesHR a bit deeper. Leadership messages should not only be about behaviors that propel us forward, they should also demonstrate how leaders are vulnerable people who struggle too. At least I think those messages should.

The last few years have been quite a journey for me. Outwardly, it’s been business success, travel, great food, an incredible new relationship, and my wonderful growing family around me. I am blessed beyond words with all of these things coming into my life at this stage. 

Sharing what we want others to see is powerful...and incomplete. 

What doesn’t get shared however is my old nemesis. We’ve actually been doing battle for a long time. It challenges my confidence, my self-image, and my big vision for the future. It speaks to what I’m not. 

Sometimes it’s very, very loud.

Why share this with you? I’ve asked myself the same question a hundred times. Is it just ‘normal’ self-doubt creeping in once in a while? 

Shouldn’t I be able to just shake it off? Well, no. The weight of the struggle feels heavy and is not something I can simply decide to toss aside. These feelings don’t work that way.

Will this deeper dive into leadership vulnerability resonate with someone? Maybe in some small way it will make a difference.

We’ll see.

For now, I’m hoping that progress comes as I pry open the lid on the raw emotions that are part of any epic battle. Although I’m not clear what progress looks like at this point, I hope it will be worth the effort.

More soon.

Thanks for being here.


Monday, July 31, 2023

The End of the Beginning

This is a famous quote from one of my favorite periods in history. Winston Churchill said it in November 1942 at a time when the allies finally achieved some success against Germany.

“Now is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

In some ways, I feel that way about this blog.

Has this first phase of my leadership message run its course?

Is it time for a major pivot?

How deep do I go?

Is the messaging around leadership so overdone that it’s time for a more bold approach?

And, am I willing to be more vulnerable, and ask some of the hardest questions of myself and others?

We’ll see. I’d love your feedback on all of this. And until then…

Thanks for being here.



Tuesday, July 25, 2023

I’m Just Asking

 Why is it so difficult to…

- voice our opinion when we know it isn’t the popular one?

- express our faith?

- say a kind word to a stranger?

- enjoy the moment?

- challenge racism when we hear it?

- drive change in our organizations even if we’re viewed as disruptive?

- be ourselves in all situations?

-  volunteer our time?

- acknowledge that mental health struggles are real?

- lead courageously?

- think beyond ourselves?

I’m just asking.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, July 17, 2023

Checking In

About a year ago I was thinking about my struggles, my imposter syndrome voice that creeps in every once in a while, those around me that are probably experiencing the same self-doubt, or are generally going through episodes of struggle themselves.

I decided to do something about it, and started reaching out to check in on friends, colleagues, and in many cases people I haven’t met yet but have gotten to know through various social channels.

The goal was to reach out to at least one person each day, though I’ll admit I haven’t gone a full month yet intentionally checking in on someone consistently. However, I log my check ins as a sort of private accountability tracker, and it’s amazing to see how many times I’ve connected.

So despite the fact that I’ve failed to hit a daily goal, I have succeeded in connecting with many more people who wouldn’t have heard from me otherwise.

Some are going through public challenges. Others are struggling with very private issues that I happen to be aware of. Still others have shared subtle cues on their social networks which I’ve taken the risk to inquire about…and the flood of emotion comes out.

This process that I now hold close has given me far more than I believe I’ve done for others. For me, it is a way to live my faith without pressuring anyone about religion. It’s a way to take action instead of seeing one more “if only someone had reached out” posts. And most of all, isn’t that what friends and colleagues are supposed to do?

Who are you going to check in with today?

Thanks for being here.



Monday, July 10, 2023

Still the Same

If you look back on the last five years of your career, ask yourself what has changed? The pandemic aside, ask what you’re doing differently today vs the past.

How have you upped your leadership style?
How do you focus differently?
What new priorities matter to you that weren’t on your radar five years ago?
Do you have fresh new goals that you didn’t consider previously?
Who matters most in your professional life now?

Growth, lifelong learning, and constantly challenging ourselves to be better is not only fun, it ensures that we do not become old and stale (regardless of our age.)

So today it’s all about a bit of reflection; and hopefully, new thinking for your future. 

Remember, you can never think big enough!

Thanks for being here.


Monday, July 3, 2023

Greatest Strength = Greatest Weakness

Becoming self-aware is hard; and then elevating our self-awareness enough to appreciate, leverage, and act upon our strengths is a powerful leadership skill. 

I hate to break it to you though, we can’t be good at everything. Understanding how we can play to our unique skill set and move our organizations forward is what savvy leaders do. But there are risks.

Our strengths can become our leadership super powers…or something quite the opposite.

Our unwavering focus on ‘what we have convinced ourselves is the right thing to do’ can end up looking like we’re playing with corporate fire. Our strength of conviction, and blind commitment to taking chances based on those convictions can come at a high price.

The strengths that we’ve relied on for many years sometimes become a blind spot and morph into our greatest weakness.

So what is the message here? Do we simply ignore our vision for the future and settle into the morass of mediocrity that plagues so many executive teams?

Not at all.

The real challenge is to integrate humility into our self-awareness leadership style. Easy, right? I’m guessing the answer is no for most of us.

Balancing our vision and desire to make our organizations better with the reality that we can’t always make the right moves is difficult to internalize. Only the truly savvy leaders can pull this off.

Is that you?

Thanks for being here.



Monday, June 26, 2023

Confidence and Solo Projects

Confidence is a curious thing. Sometimes we have so much of it we believe we can conquer the world. At other times, it’s as if we don’t have the courage to start the day.

Maybe it’s just me?

Over the years I’ve learned how to manage that inner voice that attempts to erode my self-esteem and confidence.

But it’s difficult sometimes.

Once in a while I post positive messages about taking control. Most of the time those messages are for me. If they help someone else too that’s a nice bonus.

Inspirational posts aren’t what matters most though. The hard work to maintain our confidence and self-esteem is always a solo project.

I wish you nothing but the best as you face your solo project head on, and if I can be a resource to you in any way, please reach out.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, June 19, 2023

Return to Office = A Compliance Power Play

Just in case employers haven’t noticed, the ENTIRE world of work has shifted post-pandemic. Productivity, innovation and collaboration remained high, while employees enjoyed the benefits of working from home, fewer or no commutes, and a sense that their personal needs were actively supported by their employers.

Until the ‘new’ trend of returning to a command and control management style reappeared.

Really? Have we learned nothing since 2020? 

Trust. This elusive goal that you might have had for your culture quickly evaporated when the “return to the office” memo was released. 

Gone in an instant.

The good news for your competitors however is that there will be a fantastic group of talented professionals on the job hunt who I’m quite sure will be hired faster than you can say “we made an error in judgment.”

Am I being a bit harsh today? I don’t think so. 

In my opinion a blanket “return to the office mandate” is such a big misstep that a strong leadership voice needs to offer a reality-check to this corporate blind spot.

Where are you on return to work?

Thanks for being here.



Monday, June 12, 2023

Developing Your Internal Brand

The word brand gets thrown around a lot lately. Candidly, I do a fair amount of that throwing. Why? Because your brand matters.

And just so we’re clear, you already have one whether you’ve invested any time into developing it properly or not.

One more thing, your employees and colleagues are fully aware of your brand regardless of whether or not you are.

So, here’s a quick set of action steps you can take today to improve your internal brand.

1. Schedule regular meetings with important colleagues on a recurring basis. The best professional relationships are built on much more than just meeting deadlines and being a collaborative team member.

2. Start using (or finding) your leadership voice. Simply being on the team is not enough. Demonstrate your expertise, insights, and opinions. Be someone who matters to the overall progress of the company.

3. Take risks. Don’t make every decision based on the safest move. Be bold, and watch how others gravitate toward you.

What else have you done to improve your internal leadership brand?

Thanks for being here.


Monday, June 5, 2023

Leading in an Age of Transparency

How comfortable are you being truly transparent?

It’s not a trick question. The issue of transparent leadership is all the rage now, particularly with the workforce no longer buying into the tired, and candidly, lame management speak that has been used for years.

Employees are bright, well-informed (sometimes), and know what they want out of their work experience. Oh, and they also don’t really care about the cliches managers have used for years about paying your dues or sucking it up and keeping your head down.

Did any of us ever truly believe that talk?

So, I’ll ask again…how comfortable are you sharing information with your employees about what is happening in your organization?

I’m reminded of one of my early leadership jobs. I reported to the VP of HR, and he attended health system wide leadership meetings, but modified the notes he shared with his team…and he expected me to do the same.

Um, no. 

I simply shared everything. Good news, bad news, financial information…everything. A funny thing happened. My credibility immediately grew. You see, my VP had been the leader of my team previously and they never received as much information as I was passing along.

I guess I was into this whole transparency thing back in the 90s before COVID and the world turning upside down and demanded it.

How much do you share with your team? 

Do they know you are honest with them?

If you’re holding back, or trying to be “smooth” I have news for you…you’re not. None of us are when we try to pull one over on our people.

Let’s all be better.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, May 22, 2023

Stop Chasing Process Glory

 I’m so busy.

You’re so busy.

We’re all so busy.

Doing. Stuff.

We revel in the glow of sharing how much time we have to devote to…well…everything. Here’s the problem with focusing on the process: burying ourselves in the process and not the outcome is the perfect formula to erode your credibility.

“No one should be process rich and outcome poor.”

There are some voices that advocate we should all “trust the process” as a strategy for success. Certainly we all need to have a plan and execute that plan. However, if the desired outcome is never achieved, that effort has been (mostly) wasted.

Controversial view? Maybe. But think about how you’ll sound explaining that you were so committed to the process that you didn’t achieve anything.

Being busy doesn’t sound quite as important any longer, does it?

Thanks for being here.



Monday, May 15, 2023

Finding Peace

The ever elusive goal of ‘being at peace.’

With so many changes in the world of work (and candidly our post-pandemic personal lives) I’m not quite sure how to define ‘peace’ anymore.

Is it feeling satisfied with your work life?
Perhaps it’s a special location that helps you unwind?
Maybe doing something you love brings you peace?
Could peace be achieved through someone else…your partner, children, friends?
Is it something we must continually pursue and “find?”
It could be just about us?
Does our faith or moral compass equate to our level of being at peace?

I’m not so sure it’s one thing or another. 

I think peace is about…all of these things. Our lives, and certainly our mental health is far more than a sound byte or catchy phrase.

We are complex individuals. Why wouldn’t our experience of peace be equally as complex?

I rather like that perspective actually. It speaks to me being so much more than a clever phrase of inspirational quote.

So perhaps finding peace means we accept that there are many pieces to who we are, and thus our journey will have lots of stops and starts along the way?

What do you think?

Thanks for being here.


Monday, May 8, 2023

Into the Fire

Running to problems vs. hiding and hoping you won’t get caught up in a mess is a major differentiator for your leadership brand. And just so we’re all on the same page…literally everyone in your organization knows which way you play it.

I’ve been in a bunch of messes over the years…and that’s because leaders are supposed to be in the middle of the action. We are the ones that have the authority to fix issues. We shouldn’t be concerned about playing it safe and avoid the risk of getting involved and then somehow defaulting into “owning the problem.” 

If there is a problem…it’s every leader’s problem to some degree. For executives, it absolutely is our problem.

That’s how it’s supposed to work, right? An issue comes up and we all rally together to think through it and execute changes that resolve things.

Am I too optimistic here? I hope not. A truly collaborative leadership culture is so powerful. 

For those that believe they are the smartest one in the room, and if everyone would just do what they say all would be right with the world, are actually modern day dinosaurs in today’s world of work.

If it’s all about you…you have failed.

When was the last time you jumped into the fire? It may not be a comfortable feeling, but it will absolutely send your credibility to new heights. Not a bad outcome if you ask me.

Thanks for being here.



Monday, May 1, 2023

Is That All?

Life moves fast. One minute you’re a high school senior on top of the world and the next you’re a grandfather, publishing a book, pouring your energy into your job, launching a little side gig, and becoming obsessed with paying it forward.

The lesson here: life will never stop giving you opportunities, regardless of your age or job. Doors are opening all around you. Have you noticed; or, are you too caught up in the mysterious “grind” that everyone complains about?

The grind yields some results.

Your open mind yields greater results.

The support of others will help you achieve mega results.

So, what are you waiting for? What have you always wanted to try but it was either too risky, too far out of your comfort zone, or you were simply afraid that others wouldn’t believe in you.

Well, I believe in you.

I think it’s time for you to get started.

Thanks for being here.