Clarity – Weekend Reflections for Leaders: June 18, 2022

Whether we are leading a large complex organization or a small start-up, the importance of aligning the team’s effort with clear, consistent communication around objectives, deliverables and responsibilities is critical. It sounds simple, but it must be pretty complicated given the fact that just about every academic study on corporate leadership would show that based on the point of view of those teammates being led, communication is not clear, direction is confusing and implementation is all over the map.

Have you ever walked out of a meeting and asked yourself, “What the H&%L did we agree to in there?” You are not alone.

The facts are clear that most often when a leader concludes a meeting with what seems like a sound, clear and well thought out game plan, when participants are questioned outside the meeting, there is a varied interpretation as to what was the “game plan.”

Here are a few steps that leaders can do to help minimize the inefficiencies of poor communication and follow-through.

  1. Keep the list of action steps small. 3 has been shown to be the limit of most people’s ability to get their arms around and actually remember.  Less is more, so always pressure test if it is just one thing we really need to get done…if so, just speak to that one thing.  
  2. Consistently reinforce verbal discussions/decisions from meetings with short written follow-ups. Again, the historical reality is brutal on all of us that no one knows what is expected after a nice meeting of smiles, high-fives and “let’s go get ‘em” speeches.
  3. Leaders need to provide consistent follow-up both one on one and with teams on the agreed upon action steps to not only reinforce/remind the team of the work, but also, and equally important over time, to ensure the team knows they are well supported to get the work done.

As we look to build and strengthen our leadership, we must continue to work on our ability to communicate effectively. We may be strong in our ability to make a plan, but it will be effective communication that lays the foundation for great execution and above trend results.

How can I help you today? My mobile is 269-370-9275 and my email is

Please download some FREE resources at

I hope you will find them helpful in your journey.

The Waiting – Weekend Reflections for Leaders: June 11, 2022

If we do some soul-searching of our own leadership journey and look back on when we hesitated to make a decision, we were probably covering up our desire to avoid conflict and our fear of taking action.

There was an old command I heard a lot in my early training as a US Army Infantryman which went something like “there are only two types of people on the battlefield, the quick and the dead…which one are you going to be?”

Whether we are leading in a large complex organization or an early-stage start-up, the most effective leaders have a bias towards action, not hesitation.

As we look to build and strengthen our leadership, we need to critically assess the times when we waited to take action. Here are few times in my own journey that may stimulate some reflection of your leadership history:

  1. I hesitated on taking the necessary action with a teammate who was not a good fit for the team. The story I told myself to rationalize hesitating: “It must be a leadership issue, I need to lead more effectively to improve the function of the team with this individual…it must be me, not them.”
  2. I hesitated in making a product development decision. The story I told myself to rationalize hesitating: “If we can just wait to get some additional data, we can make a more effective decision.”
  3. I hesitated in making critical resource trade-offs to optimize a product launch plan. The story I told myself to rationalize hesitating: “It is too early in our launch to make a major resource trade-off. There are so many factors to consider, we just need to stick with our plan.”

All of these reasons could be justified as being somewhat valid, but what they communicate to our people is confusion and what our people desperately need from us as leaders in clarity and action.

As you reflect on the times you hesitated, I am confident you will come to a similar conclusion that I have come to in my own journey. More times than not, I was letting fear or the avoidance of conflict delay the inevitable decision I needed to take from the beginning. As we look to build and strengthen our leadership, we must continue to shorten the time when we see an action that needs to be taken and when we actually take it. Our people will embrace a bias towards action and the health of the business will be better as a result of the swiftness of our decision.

How can I help you today? My mobile is 269-370-9275 and my email is

Please download some FREE resources at
I hope you will find them helpful in your journey.

Climbing Back into the Ring – Weekend Reflections for Leaders: June 4, 2022

Well, I would first like to say I am sorry for not giving you a heads up on my decision to pull back from writing a few years ago. So many of you reached out to check in and I should have more broadly communicated my plans. I am sorry and I would be grateful for your forgiveness.

I jumped back into the ring to lead a small biotech company in 2019 and just needed to create the space to focus on the critical work of building the company to help make meaningful progress our on plans to develop treatments to protect the vision of patients suffering from retinal disease. It is purposeful work and our team continues to make good progress on making a difference at ONL Therapeutics, Inc.

I do plan to begin writing again and this blog kicks things back in gear. The theme for the blog remains unchanged. We all cast an influence on those around us. Whether we embrace it or not, those with influence are leaders. We all have the potential and the opportunity to lead more effectively in the workplace.

Leadership in the workplace can be a lonely grind and the intent of the Weekend Reflections for Leaders blog is to provide you with:

  1. Practical concepts to understand and implement quickly to be a more effective leader today
  2. Moments to pause and reflect on the larger personal leadership journey we are all on
  3. Encouragement and support to be your best for those you care about most in the workplace, your top talent who are critical to leading your organization forward

The marketplace continues to have a desire for stable, predictable returns on investment, individuals on our teams want a steady, relatively predictable and purposeful career journey, and we as leaders have to deal with the reality that our marketplace continues to grow is complexity, uncertainty and intensity with little assurance that we won’t be the next in line to be “Amazoned” or “Blockchained” or “Machine learned” out of existence. In addition to the challenges in the traditional “fields of play” of the business world, today’s leaders are confronted with the need to effectively address the rapidly changing and increasingly transparent movements in our communities at large that have a measurable, direct impact on our people and our business.

Welcome to the reality of today’s business leaders and count me in to support you in your journey to be your best for those you care about most.

One of the first steps in effectively leading through a rapidly evolving marketplace is for leaders to accept the reality around us without hiding from it or sugar-coating the difficulties. There is a great deal of tension between the desire for a stable and predictable future and the threat of extinction either by way of a slow, steady decline, or rapid, shocking business failure. I have personally experienced these business transitions and have led individuals and teams through this tension…and hiding from the reality is never an effective method.

Accepting and acknowledging the reality of our situation as leaders is critical to effectively leading. Our team members respond more effectively to putting the reality of our situation on the table in a clear, transparent manner along with a steady blend of perseverance and confidence that we can work together to not just survive, but thrive in the pathway ahead of us.

We will be addressing some practical steps to leading effectively in future writings. Suffice for now to think and reflect on how we as leaders currently accept and acknowledge the reality of our current situation with our teams.

How would individuals on your team respond to question at the next cookout with friends, “Hey, how is your business going?”

How can I help you today? My mobile is 269-370-9275 and my email is

Please download some FREE resources at
I hope you will find them helpful in your journey.