Business people in a meeting discussing development

Blindsided by Business Development

It is not uncommon for a CEO not to know exactly how his or her sales and business development people routinely behave in front of real customers and prospects without observing them in action. I recently learned of how one CEO was blindsided when he did just that.

Continue reading


Problem with Engagement Surveys

Problem with Engagement Surveys

Engagement surveys mask both organizational dysfunction and organizational health. If you are using their results to make decisions, you are at risk of making the wrong ones.

Continue reading


When Risk Aversion Personal

When Risk Aversion is Personal

There is nothing wrong with risk aversion.

It is only aversion to reasonable business risk that is a problem. When a business leader complains of excessive risk aversion in his staff, the underlying concerns are frequently personal. Continue reading


You Have the Right to Make Mistakes

You Have the Right to Make Mistakes

Some people are natural leaders, and I have met a few. For most of us, leadership is something we learn. Making the transition from an operational staff or manager to a leader of people can involve the discarding of false beliefs and misconceptions. Below are five of the most common ones I have encountered when coaching leaders at all levels, along with what I advised.

Continue reading


Business people shaking hands!

The Golden Rolodex Trap

You should always own and never outsource relationships in your business in Japan or anywhere else, and there is no reason you should have to, no matter what you might have been told.

Continue reading


Business people shaking hands and building relationships

Your Best People Build Relationships

Good employees are responsive to customers. Great employees innovate ways to build relationships. In a world where outstanding customer service is frequently the norm, it is customer relationships that count.

Continue reading


A businessman pressing an Empowerment button on a transparent screen.

Empowerment That Counts

Empowering people can be motivating and serve as a boon to your business’s results, but only if you do it right. However, nothing engenders cynicism more than pro forma exercises in prima facie empowerment. Too frequently, I find ham-fisted attempts of managers at making people feel empowered, often at the behest of some kind of edict issued by HR managers who are oblivious to the damage they cause.

Continue reading


man and woman look at the city

Ignore Prognosticators of Doom

There is no percentage in fear of the hypothetical, no matter how reasonable a hypothesis might sound. Anyone can prognosticate doom about anything someone doesn’t like for whatever reasons. The impossible is only something no one has done yet. 

Continue reading