Moe's Blog

Leadership

What Is Your Greatest Weakness? (3/01/17):

There was a time when I absolutely hated asking that question when I was interviewing potential team members and even worse, hated to be asked it myself. Read More

Leadership and Busting the 'Professional Ghost' (2/06/17):

Good leadership entails being able to have those ‘difficult conversations’. Great leadership specifically engages all stakeholders and allows for continuation of movement – the organization, the team, and all involved. Read More

Leadership Vegas Style? (1/23/17):

If we consider what comprises good leadership, we likely will have a shared insight. This insight will likely conclude that good leadership is less about authority and power and more about providing resources, guidance and direction for our teams. Read More

4 Tips to Avoid 'Paralysis by Analysis' (12/01/16):

As the holiday shopping season is upon us, we are bombarded by almost endless choices, options and possibilities. In life, it’s the same thing, albeit with a different flavor. And as the ‘ante is upped’ and the impact of the decision reaches higher importance, deciding properly becomes critical. Read More

What's in Your Vision? (9/19/16):

While this title question seems to be a ubiquitous interview question, it is a worthy and contemplatable venture. After all, almost every organization embarks on this venture, with the most agile ones constantly revising it. Read More

Why 'Good Enough' Isn't Good Enough (8/1/16):

We’ve all heard (and possibly used) the refrain, ‘Good enough (for government purposes)’ when we think we’ve given sufficient effort to an activity. We acknowledge that the effort is less than ideal and then resign the effort as simply adequate. Read More

The United States of Denial (7/7/16):

One of the most insidious barriers to effective change is a particularly effective flavor of self-defense, otherwise known as denial. We will deny that there is a problem and when we acknowledge that there is an issue, we will deny its affects and/or its severity. Read More

Leadership and the Choice of Words (04/26/16):

Especially as a leader but applicable to all, words have tangible meanings. The words we choose have measurable impact. Through careful consideration of their meaning and impact, our words can help propel us and our organizations through the sometimes treacherous waters of change.Read More

Leadership and the Apology Paradox (3/28/16):

How many times have we encountered an anti-apology mindset? We’re talking about an implied mindset that apologies are the domain of the weak and that a strong leader should never have to apologize. Read More

D: Do & E: Evaluate (12/14/15):

Whether we view this from the prism of the final stage of a change management initiative (plan, communicate, execute) or we’ve reached the innovation phase (from our ICI formula – Ideas + Change = Innovation), we must be able to take the definitive actions we’ve strategized and planned. Read More

I: Identify (11/30/15):

How we identify and then act upon this identification of viable actions, is critical to effective leadership. Read More

C: Choose Final Outcome (11/16/15):

Somewhere in all of the ideating and planning, we might have neglected to pay attention to perhaps the most important part of all of this; desired final outcome. Often, this final outcome will be the usual corporate goals; to increase revenues and profits, reduce costs, and increase value to stakeholders/shareholders. Read More

E: Estimating the Impact (11/9/15):

Once the real issue has been identified, the actual planning can commence. There are three distinct processes that must be followed for successful planning: definition of scope and resources, estimation of potential risk with detected issue and overall risk- management of real and potential risks. Read More

D: Detecting an Issue/Problem (11/2/15):

On the surface, detecting that a change has occurred should be relatively simple. In essence, detection is an exercise in scanning. How well are we scanning the signs for indications that something is changing?  When we notice something is changing, do we immediately address it or shrug it off as not that important? Read More

Decide Leadership for Every Leader (10/26/15):

As a professional pilot, I am trained in aeronautical decision making (ADM). One of the processes for reacting to changing conditions is the DECIDE model.  Each of these questions is actually a representation of the raw data received. Read More

The Power of Humility (9/1/15):

There is a widely-accepted misnomer that true leaders must be supremely confident, subject matter experts on everything pertaining to their leadership/organization/etc. and be able to project absolute assuredness regardless of circumstance. And while confidence, education and attitude are important, too much is simply that – too much. Read More

Better Self Leadership (Pilots Perspective): (8/10/15):

Ask yourself this question: Who controls life events? Or better yet, who is doing the influencing of these events? How many times do situations present themselves and seems hopeless and thus resigned to whatever fate presents? Read More

7 Ways to Better Leadership (7/20/15):

While I was pursuing my CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) rating, I happened on a list of Instructor Do’s and Don’t’s. And since I like to find parallels between aviation and leadership, I am able to, with slight modifications, present my personal top 7 ways to better leadership. Read More

Top 4 Mistakes Executives Make (7/06/15):

As a senior manager, you have many critical responsibilities including strategic management of assets, alignment of technology with internal / external goals and forecasting market / industry changes to forge a more competitive corporate edge.  Since both technology and the competitive landscape are always changing, you should be the ultimate change management leader and a model for successful change management throughout the organization. Read More

Why has "Command & Control" Become Passé? (6/29/15):

One thing seemingly consistent in much of today’s leadership articles and groups is that ‘command & control’ has become outdated as popular descriptors of good leadership. In its place are many other descriptors of good leadership including, empathetic, sympathetic, understanding, in-touch, humble, etc. Read More

Leadership & Guns: No More Blue Ribbon Panels (6/22/15):

There is no question that we (as does everyone in a free society) have difficulties dealing with these senseless tragedies. What can we do then? Where can we employ meaningful leadership and attempt to enact meaningful change, so that we can reduce the incidence of these events? Read More

Expecting the Unexpected (6/02/15):

Can one truly expect something that is unexpected? If so, then is it still unexpected or does it traverse into a ‘could happen - albeit unlikely’ stage? Read More

When Have You Last Debriefed? (5/18/15):

How often do we debrief during and after a project? How often do we critically review our overall performance, whether at work or personally? Even better, if we do debrief, how honest is it? Are we only hearing what we want to hear (or being told what we want to be told)? Read More

Keep That Scan Going! (5/11/15):

Of all the metaphors, parallels and commonalities between aviation and better leadership, the one I think most pertinent is the necessity of keeping the instrument scan going in a continuous loop.  Fixation on any one instrument can lead to loss of awareness of other critical instrument readings and many times, a compounding of the issue at hand.  Many pilots have met their untimely demise by fixating and the resulting loss of situational awareness.  The same is true for better leadership. Read More

We’re Number 1 (or are we?) (5/04/15):

What is wrong with being Number 1? Numero Uno? The best? If you or yourorganization is truly the best at what is being claimed, there is nothing wrong with being proud about this singular achievement.  Likewise, there is also nothing wrong with being confident in one’s own or their team’s / organization’s ability to achieve a particular result PROVIDED that it is rooted in reality. Read More

Trust but Verify (4/20/15):

Consider the following scenario: You are preparing a sales report for the next manager’s meeting. You are heavily relying on input from other people regarding revenues, costs, etc. Once you receive that information, you prepare the report complete with suggestions and calls to action. Read More

3 Ways to be a Better Leader Today (2/09/15):

Being a better leader doesn’t have to be an overly complex endeavor. While there is no shortage of great advice, books, articles, posts, etc. on better leadership, following are three things that can help you today. Read More

The ABC’s of Personal Leadership (1/05/15):

Whether personal or professional, leadership is all about taking charge. More than just a replay of the old question, ‘Do you control events or do events control you?’ leadership requires an acknowledgment and understanding that ultimately, it is up to you. And even where the event itself cannot be controlled, how we react to them is entirely up to us. Read More

3 Keys to Better Leadership (12/08/14):

I recall a time when first learning the components of grammar (i.e. nouns, verbs, etc.), a little song that helped: ‘A noun is a person, place or thing like Davy Crockett or his drum, etc.’ And it worked quite well especially considering that it was introduced in grade school and I can still remember it now. Understanding the 3 basic components of better leadership should be no different. In fact, we can even use the essence of that song to help us. Read More

I Want Selfish Employees (8/28/14):

It sounds crazy, selfish employees? We think we want the employees that will put aside everything to achieve the goal on behalf of the team and the ones that will inspire greater performance from the rest of the team. And we do want all of those qualities, but we seem to look in all the wrong places. Read More

Be the Pilot in Command (8/25/14):

Ask yourself this question: Who controls life events? Or better yet, who is doing the influencing of these events? How many times do situations present themselves and seems hopeless and thus resigned to whatever fate presents? Read More

Change

Innovate This! (Walking the Talk) (10/27/16):

Ideas are very much like a tree with its multiple large branches leading to a larger multiple of smaller branches leading to an almost infinite number of twigs and leaves. Read More

The United States of Denial (7/7/16):

One of the most insidious barriers to effective change is a particularly effective flavor of self-defense, otherwise known as denial. We will deny that there is a problem and when we acknowledge that there is an issue, we will deny its affects and/or its severity. Read More

Why I Encourage Failure (And Why You Should Too) (4/4/16):

Naturally, I’ve been blasted by many people and in many comments that this cannot and should not be the proper mindset or attitude. And while I always consider those that respectfully disagree, I maintain that encouragement of failure should not only be encouraged but that without failure, we are, counter-intuitively, weaker and less-intelligent. Read More

We’re not Ready for Radical Change (2/26/16):

When I talk with clients and audiences about change and building a culture of innovation, one of the primary points I stress is the value of adaptive change, which is not nearly as sexy or appealing as radical change. Yet, people and organizations consistently clamor for radical change. Read More

Better Alignment = Successful Change (10/12/15):

Successful change initiatives don’t occur in a vacuum nor are they isolated events. The enduring and successful change initiative is the result of linked steps and events, with each link building in a momentum that ultimately leads to the desired objective. These linkages are akin to the links in a steel chain and are the “Chains of Change”. Read More

Unleashing the Power of 5-Why (3/11/15):

Success in any change and even more importantly in any step of a change is largely dependent on identification of the real problem or issue. Many times, the obvious problem is masking an obscured larger issue. This is true in both personal and organizational environments. Read More

4 Ways Managers Go Astray During Change Management (11/18/14):

As a manager, you have many critical responsibilities including strategic management of team members, alignment of technology with internal / external goals and forecasting changes to forge a more competitive corporate edge. Since both technology and the competitive landscape are always changing, you should be the ultimate change management leader and a model for successful change management throughout the organization. Read More

5 Lessons from the Cockpit on Successful Change (10/28/14):

As a professional general aviation pilot and change management consultant, I am constantly amazed at how aviation related themes correlate with sound change initiative management techniques. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised. Read More

The Logistics of Change – Part 1 (10/01/14):

Like many processes, Change has its own methodology or logistics as well. However, if we take a closer look, logistics is simply the methodology to accomplish a task. It doesn’t require a mode of transportation or storage but it does require a process. Read More

Communications

Symbols and the Powerful Communicators (08/24/2016):

What is this dynamic of communications that simultaneously is of critical importance yet so easily ignored?

Whether we are referring to visual, verbal or written communications. . . Read More

The Deliberate Communicator (06/20/2016):

One of the most critical components of deliberate and powerful communications is clearly stating your intentions or answering the key question of ‘what is it that you want?’ Read More

What is Your Mission Statement? (05/27/2016):

Almost every company/organization has the ubiquitous package of mission, vision and values statements. If we define a mission statement as our current purpose, vision as where we would like to be (at some point in the future) and values as what we stand for, shouldn’t everyone in the company readily know them? Read More

Leadership and the Choice of Words (04/26/16):

Especially as a leader but applicable to all, words have tangible meanings. The words we choose have measurable impact. Through careful consideration of their meaning and impact, our words can help propel us and our organizations through the sometimes treacherous waters of change.Read More

Communications and the Meeting Conundrum (03/21/16):

To put it bluntly (aka clearly communicating), I don’t like meetings. And to further clarify, I’m not referring to the individual face to face meetings with one or a few persons; I love those! I’m referring to the ubiquitous staff meetings, where everyone present is trapped for a designated period of time, regardless of relevancy. Read More

How Appreciative are Your Communications? (4/06/15):

If the primary purpose of communication is to successfully convey thoughts and information, can we accomplish this if our audience is disengaged and/or dispirited? Everyone needs to feel acknowledgment and recognition for their success, even the minor ones. Read More

Leadership Requires Honest Communication (3/30/15):

Honest communications are not to be confused with overall honesty. While I do believe that honesty is the best policy, I can also make strong arguments for the ‘little white lie’ when it pertains to many interpersonal communications. What I am really referring to is the dishonest communication frequently occurring in the corporate world: The status of the project or any of its components. Read More

Communications Leadership – Clear – Part 2 (2/02/15):

Better Leadership starts by first getting rid of the need-to-know syndrome. When leading the team on the change initiative, the team deserves all of the relevant information, in a timely fashion, in a clearly communicated style and with honesty. Simply put, if you have information, the team needs to know. Read More

Communication CHART (1/26/15):

The fact that all good leaders are also good communicators is no coincidence. They are inextricably tied together as they well should be. To express this formulaically, we can use the mnemonic CHART: GOOD COMMUNICATION = CHART = Clear + Honest + Appreciative + Relevant + Timely: Read More

3 Ways to Get More Effective Employee Satisfaction Surveys (12/15/14):

What is it about even the mere mention of employee satisfaction surveys that brings out the cynics and the skeptics? And what’s with the rolling of the eyes? Could it be that there are serious perception and credibility issues with past surveys? Read More

How to Use ‘UNABLE’ to Enable Greater Success (12/01/14):

As a corporate entrepreneur, I frequently have more things on my plate than available time to properly and responsibly accomplish. And while a well-honed prioritization technique helps, there is still an incessant demand for my time. I don’t want to say no or appear unhelpful, but also know that to say yes would place me in a precarious position (i.e. overworked, burnt out, possible quality slippage on other tasks, etc.). Does this seem familiar? Read More

3 Thank You’s That Everyone Should Give (11/25/14):

Being happy with our lot, does not mean that we shouldn’t build on our strengths, improve ourselves and better ourselves. As we rapidly approach the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving, it is a perfect time to take a personal inventory so we can first establish our personal and professional baselines. And there is no better way to express appreciation for what we do have, than through a genuine show of appreciation. Read More

3 Ways to Distinguish Yourself When Reporting (11/10/14):

We’ve all been there before. Whether it’s a new job or simply reporting to a different manager or executive, we all want to have a flying start. Here’s how you can position yourself advantageously: Read More

Why are We Always so Darn Serious? (10/13/14):

Organizations struggle with finding the right team building and team maintaining formulas. Many companies believe that by emphasizing the team and teamwork through repetition of overused mantras (i.e.There is No I in Team) and the strategic posting of team-oriented inspirational posters, that a culture of teamwork will somehow evolve and be maintained. Read More

Do You Effectively Communicate? (9/19/14):

Effective communication's importance cannot be overstated. In the absence of any of the other major success factors, this one factor is undoubtedly the most important. Without this link, the other factors will likely never manifest themselves and as such, the success of the project will also likely never occur. Read More

Innovation

Get Lost!? (3/24/2017):

When we were children, the world was our oyster. Every day brought new things to see, new places to go, new things to experience, etc. Read More

Un-Invent This! (3/8/2017):

As my oldest daughter was working on her college application essays, she asked for my thoughts on innovation (since one of her required essays discussed her thoughts on innovations to be created). And since I’ve always believed. . . Read More

Innovate This! (Walking the Talk) (10/27/16):

Ideas are very much like a tree with its multiple large branches leading to a larger multiple of smaller branches leading to an almost infinite number of twigs and leaves. Read More

You Might be an Innovator if. . . (07/11/16):

"While ‘innovation’ as a buzzword is overly used, perhaps to the point of meaninglessness, as a concept and culture, it remains a highly coveted goal of most organizations. However for an organization to be truly innovative, it must have a healthy population of likely innovators." Read More

Encouraging Innovation and the Personal Theme Song (04/11/16):

"I’ve always found that two of the best incubators for ideas and thus, a start to the innovation process, are music and games. Naturally, an immediate idea (to combine the two) arose, so I started an experiment several years ago regarding personal theme songs." Read More

Why I Encourage Failure (And Why You Should Too) (4/4/16):

Naturally, I’ve been blasted by many people and in many comments that this cannot and should not be the proper mindset or attitude. And while I always consider those that respectfully disagree, I maintain that encouragement of failure should not only be encouraged but that without failure, we are, counter-intuitively, weaker and less-intelligent. Read More

Innovation: 3 Ways to Better Idea Generation (03/14/16):

One of the joys I realize from helping people and organizations be more innovative is the unleashing of the idea pipeline. Just as a conventional pipeline supplies a constant flow of material between places, an idea pipeline supplies a constant flow of ideas within an organization. Read More

4 Keys to Developing a Culture of Innovation (6/15/15):

It all starts with having the right people. A culture of innovation relies on identification of those already present whom are innovatively inclined AND recruitment/hiring of those that are and can be predicted to be innovatively inclined. No matter how fantastic, cohesive and/or realistic an innovation strategy is, it will be to no avail if the right people aren’t behind it. Read More

Redefining Failure to Enable Lessons Learned (10/07/14):

Successful change management requires a process that if planned, communicated and executed properly, will lead to enduring achievement of initiative objectives. In essence, proper change logistics or Changistics is the key to success. Read More

Do You Think Positively or Negatively? (9/29/14):

Are you/we optimists, pessimists or something in between? If you said realist, that’s not definite enough. You can be a realistic optimist, a realistic pessimist or a realistic blend. Read More

When Do You Have Those Great Ideas? (9/23/14):

I’ve always been a big fan of the highly participatory blues song, ‘Boom Boom – Out Goes the Lights’ so ably covered by Pat Travers. There is something magical when he prompts the crowd with a ‘Boom-Boom’and they respond with an enthusiastic and very loud ‘Out Goes the Lights’. Read More

Genesis of Innovation (9/15/14):

Where does innovation come from? Some will advocate that it’s the net product of ideation and/or creative effort. Others may argue that it is (or at least, should be) the continuous outflow of a systematic and cultural personal and/or organizational effort. My personal belief rests with a combination of the two. In other words, Ideation + Change = Innovation (or what I call the ICI Formula). Read More

Adaptive vs Radical Transformations (9/08/14):

Our world has changed dramatically over the last 100, 50, 20, 10 and even 5 years. The pace of innovation has accelerated with no end in sight. In technology, Moore’s Law once stated that computing microchips became obsolete every 18 months. Now 18 months might as well be in the age of dinosaurs. Read More

Innovation in a Bottle (8/21/14):

If the secret to innovation could be bottled up into a quick hitting formula, what might it be? I would propose this: ICI = Ideas + Change = Innovation. This formulaic expression of corporate life and success is also the sequential order for continued viability and profitability with corporate initiatives as whole. Read More