#BlackoutTuesday – Time to Listen

#BlackoutTuesday – Time to Listen

Today our social media is filled with black circles, black squares, and mentions of Black Lives Matter and #blackouttuesday. Some brands such as Apple (Apple Music) have made the day about celebrating some of the influential black voices in our society. But too many are still debating the protests in the United States and around the world and applying their own life lens to the stories that are playing out.I am a white man. I grew up with white privilege. I didn't realize the extent of that privilege until far too late in my life, and likely I still don't truly understand the extent of it.I am heartbroken for the people around the world who have been oppressed. For the millions of black Americans and Canadians who don't feel safe in their own neighbourhoods. For anyone who has had to grow up in a system that is built to hold them down.But I can't possibly understand the extent of that...
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I Don’t Know… But Let’s Figure It Out!

I Don’t Know… But Let’s Figure It Out!

If there ever was a time for leaders to realize the power of "I Don't Know" it would have to be during a global pandemic! So often leaders believe they have to be the ones with the answers, but the reality is actually very different. Your team isn't looking for you to have all the answers... they want a leader who will admit they don't know and work with them to figure it out!(more…)...
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Leadership in a time of Crisis

Leadership in a time of Crisis

I had a family vacation planned for March break 2020 to Florida. It was a Christmas gift to my children from their grandparents and they were excited. A day at Disney World, a day at the Kennedy Space Center, and maybe even some fishing in the Gulf! And then the world changed... and we adapted. With the reality of our day-to-day life changing almost by the minute over the past week, I thought I'd share my thoughts on how my wife and I dealt with the emerging situation. I certainly don't have all the answers, but it seems clear to me that the crisis leadership required in today's environment is like something we have never seen before.(more…)...
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Oh Sh#*! (Or Managing The Unknown Unknowns)

Oh Sh#*! (Or Managing The Unknown Unknowns)

If you've ever worked on something even remotely disruptive or innovative, you know about unknown unknowns. They are the unexpected things that happen that it is impossible to predict. Customer feedback that doesn't align with your assumptions. Unexpected alternative uses of your idea for other purposes. The competition reaction to your new offering. None of which you can predict.So then how do you deal with them when they arise?(more…)...
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Leadership Is A Team Sport

Leadership Is A Team Sport

When people think about leaders, they usually think about the individuals who are leading. If asked for examples of great leaders we hear suggestions like Jack Welch, Bill Gates, and Winston Churchill. While it is true that these were the "leaders", they would never have become the famous examples they are without people to lead.You can't do leadership alone. It is meant to be enjoyed as a group.Seems obvious right, but somehow it appears to be lost on many leaders today. (more…)...
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Be The Dumb Guy In The Room

Be The Dumb Guy In The Room

I recently spent an evening with a group of MBA students who were practicing their networking skills. Most of them expressed interest in learning about my career journey. When I walked them through my varied history, I got follow-up questions, most of which centred around the advice I would provide as they entered the workforce. One student, though, wanted to know more. He challenged me on having changed industries multiple times and wanted to understand how that experience shaped me. He wanted to know why I said I enjoyed those experiences. After some thought, the only answer I could give him was that I had learned the power of being the "dumb guy in the room". It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. -James Thurber (more…)...
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Leadership and Life Lessons from Gord Downie

Leadership and Life Lessons from Gord Downie

Last night Canada lost one of our favourite sons. With a letter from the Downie family, The Tragically Hip confirmed the passing of Gord Downie after a surprisingly long struggle with glioblastoma, a cancerous brain tumour. As a nation, we celebrated Gord and the band last summer with their final tour culminating in the national broadcast of their final concert in their hometown of Kingston. We gathered together in droves, joined hands, and celebrated as Canadians. Today we reflect on Gord's life. Today we take the time to learn the lessons from Gord Downie. (more…)...
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Problem Design – Look Before You Leap

Problem Design – Look Before You Leap

Probably the most common challenge I have come across throughout my career is the human tendency to jump to solutions. We are naturally inclined to solve problems. But sometimes we jump to solutions before we understand the problem we are solving. Problem Design is the structured approach I use to force understanding of a problem before starting to solve it. You can't solve a problem you don't understand. You need to look before you leap. If you can clearly define the dream or goal, start. -Simon Sinek While Simon refers to dreams and goals in his quote, problems are no different. Building clarity, understanding, and alignment around what you are trying to solve is the first critical step to delivering a working solution. (more…)...
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Learning to Maximize Your Business

Learning to Maximize Your Business

At some point in the growth of a business, every entrepreneur realizes that they need to shift their focus and work "on" their business instead of working "in" it. In fact, it has been written about so many times that many entrepreneurs actually believe that this is the one transition they need to plan for in the growth of their company.In reality, the shift from working in your business to working on the business is only one of the shifts that an entrepreneur will need to adjust to (assuming that the business growth continues and they are successful). After this first shift, the next stage will be to work toward maximizing the business which requires a whole new set of skills and priorities.(more…)...
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