Watch for Signs of Previous Bad Leadership

Recently, I chaperoned a large group trip for a bunch of teenagers—over 300 of them. I had to keep track of about 35 of them myself, and punctuality was the most pressing issue of the trip. If any one person was late for the bus or the meeting point, it held up all 300. While … Read more

Leaders Pay it Forward

At 90 Ideas, Tej Dhawan started off with a key idea: Give first. He was mostly talking about the ethic in the start-up community, how entrepreneurs help each other out as a habit. A great Iowa example is EntreFest, an annual program for entrepreneurs with dozens of sessions led, pro bono, by entrepreneurs who are … Read more

Leaders Measure More than the Average

When Mary Coffin of Wells Fargo spoke at September’s 90 Ideas event, she shared this nugget: Measure more than the average. She pointed out that when we take measurements, we do a lot of looking at trends and averages and norms to make decisions. But averages only tell us so much. We also need to … Read more

Leaders have Fun

I have a tradition—the Tuesday before Thanksgiving my friend Matt Pries  and I engage in the Annual Night of Gluttony. Click here to view a presentation I did on the tradition. We want to grow old staying young, and maintain our connection with each other in the midst of our busyness.  This tradition helps. The … Read more

Never Plan for the Worst Case Scenario

I was in line at Costco, buying light bulbs and toilet paper, and noticed that the man behind me was looking me and my cart over with suspicion on his face. Eventually, he said “Hrmph. Mercury.” I wanted to say “Pluto?” but instead I said, “Sorry?” “Those bulbs have mercury in ’em. So dangerous they’re … Read more

Leaders Are Nourished By Daily Rituals

In an episode of The Office, Michael (manager) is headed home for the day, and reports this to Jo (owner). He’s clearly uncomfortable that he’s ready to leave, while she is still there working harder and longer. She notices this and tells him, “If your work is done, and you’re proud of it, and you … Read more