Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

I was thinking about my experience during my current search for my  next challenge and it dawned on my that this journey has some interesting parallels to Dorothy's experience in The Wizard of Oz. We both were surprised by a tornado that took us into an unfamiliar place, had to get our bearings and find a path that would hopefully lead us to success, met some interesting characters along the way who were helpful on the journey, and faced some unique challenges while travelling the road. Let's start from the beginning... Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. (more…)...
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What Have You Done For Me Lately?

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

I was speaking with someone recently who had recently been downsized from a company that they had been with for over 15 years. Over that 15 years they had moved up the corporate ladder and were regarded as a rising star in the organization early in their career. Over the past couple of years however their political "stock" had started to fall as the organization had shifted their focus and direction slightly and there had been some turnover in the senior management team. Ultimately this individual had been part of a broad set of job reductions that the company had taken to improve productivity.They were lamenting the fact that they had given 15 years of their life and hard work to an organization that didn't appreciate that legacy and they were feeling very "hard done by" by the whole situation. Having recently gone through a similar experience myself it gave me a great opportunity to reflect on what was different...
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Don’t Be Afraid Ask

Don’t Be Afraid Ask

Over the past couple of months as I have been looking for my next career challenge I have been lucky enough to enjoy a lot of amazing conversations, meet a lot of really interesting people, and learn a lot from both the people I am meeting as well as my own experiences going through this.One of the most important lessons I am drawing on though I learned through my last big career search: Don't Be Afraid To Ask I love meeting new people and I love great conversation, but ultimately neither of those things on their own are going to find me the right next opportunity. If I don't actually use those introductions and conversations to let people know what I'm looking for and how they can help then it is a wasted opportunity in the end.(more…)...
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Physics Lessons for Leaders

Physics Lessons for Leaders

Last night I was spending some time reflecting on some of the better teachers I've had through my life, both in school and through my work life, and when I got thinking about Mr. Stan Wilson I had a Physics flashback and started thinking about how I've applied some of the lessons I learned in Mr. Wilson's OAC Physics class at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in my personal and professional life.As I was reflecting I remembered Newton's Laws of Motion (and specifically the first and second laws) which I think we can learn from and apply to life as leaders and as people who are actively engaged in managing the trajectory of our lives and careers.(more…)...
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Walking the Fence

Walking the Fence

When I was working for myself and leading a small company things were much easier.  The 60 hour work-weeks, lack of vacation time, and total consumption in the work and building of the company were hard, but in a small company in a leadership position you never had to worry about what you said or did because your job was to drive hard and fast, make hard decisions, and move forward.In general the people who join small companies are similar minded - they get that driving hard means sometimes working with ambiguous information, making hard decisions quickly, and being up front with communication.  Feedback from fellow employees and the market wasn't always easy to hear, but it was at least direct and actionable.When you move into many bigger organizations you find something new pops up that you need to manage that has nothing to do with profit and loss, market share, or growing your business, but has everything to do...
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Why are you Here… and What are you going to DO about it?

Why are you Here… and What are you going to DO about it?

Over the past few months I've come across some very valuable thinking and ideas that have made me examine a great deal of how I approach my life and work, and I've been struggling a bit to pull the ideas together into a coherent and meaningful framework.  This is my attempt to summarize and bring clarity to those thoughts.The first source of inspiration that triggered some of this thinking was a TED talk from Simon Sinek where he outlined the concept of the "Golden Circles", an assertion that we naturally work first to define What we do, then examine How we do it, and finally (if we have time) we look at Why we are doing it. Simon's assertion is that our natural tendencies, while rooted in the science of the brain, are fundamentally backwards. The first question we should be asking ourselves is Why?Shortly after seeing Simon's talk I was on a one week leadership training course and I had an opportunity to...
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