Accidental chains of events have fueled many great developments throughout history. Dr. Alexander Fleming is considered the father of antibiotics, but his discovery of penicillin could have been told as the story of a sloppy scientist too excited about going on vacation to even do his dishes (petri dishes in this case) in a timely manner. Inc Magazine notes this and another 8 examples of great failures in their article “9 Brilliant Inventions Made by Mistake”.
We need to understand that mistakes and failure are irreplaceable organizational hormones required to spur and modulate both innovation and growth at a personal level, at an organizational level, and even at a national level. Continue reading
As we start a new year I find myself immersed in a myriad of resolutions, New Year quizzes, and sharing of strategic and self-improvement goals for the budding year. One of these in particular had an interesting effect on me. The challenge posed by Jennifer McClure at Unbridled Talent was to find your focus for the year and summarize in one word what your main focus was going to be in 2014. I must admit that my initial reaction was skeptical, and that the first one word construction that came out of my mouth was “Cheesy!” But a couple of days after, the challenge was still lingering in my mind.
OK, I thought, let’s look at what responses there are so far. I was impressed with the far reaching and inspirational pronouncements that had been logged so far. “Significance”, “Strategic”, “Inspirational”, “Peaceful”, all leading the way for the triumphant entrance of “Transcend”. My mind started rushing in a tsunami-like effort of one-upmanship; in all honesty I caught myself trying to come up with a much more intellectual proclamation that would set me apart from all other atop a pedestal of strategic intent and unbridled leadership force. Thankfully logic prevailed (or my son invited me to play catch) and I abandoned the effort once again.
Great Food, Great Beer, Great Leadership – Part 2
or, Great Product + Transparency + Values + Shared Ownership = Great Business!
After a post of great leadership principles from gastronomic AND leadership guru Ari Weinzweig, I’d wager there is no better way to follow up than with a chaser that talks about leadership and beer.
New Belgium Brewing (www.newbelgium.com) began commercial operations in 1991. The journey was started by an electrical engineer and Belgian Beer fanatic, Jeff Lesbesch and his wife, Kim Jordan (now CEO of NBB). The business started in Jeff’s and Kim’s house, and the first beers were sold with labels that depicted watercolors crafted by their neighbor. Today New Belgium is the third largest craft beer producer in the United States, and Fat Tire, their flagship beer, has developed a cult-like following. Continue reading
Today I write so that we may explore an alternate role model for leadership in business. I am deeply concerned that we, at a macroeconomic level, may be focused on revering many an icon of business that has as an ultimate goal stock market based profit and ongoing growth for the sake only of growth. Could there be a better, more sustainable model? Could a different approach create not only more sustainable business models but also a more engaged and purpose driven work force?
We have continuously been reminded that “there is no I in TEAM”. Understood. Got it. Team play. Collaboration. Everyone together. Teamwork on 3!!.
Yet, each time a team wins, the force that takes that unit to new frontiers is driven by the individuals who have overcome exhaustion and kept going when minds and muscles are beat. It is fueled by the courage to get up after every fall and the endurance to resist opposition and hardship. It is kept alive by the obstinate perseverance to keep going and continue believing against the headwind of sarcasm and disbelief. It is nurtured and emboldened by the courage to face the world and say “the buck stops here”. And victory is always underpinned by the chilling hour of self-appraisal, by the ability of a leader to look in the mirror and accept accountability. Continue reading
In the Fortune 500 world that dominates the business section of the Wall Street Journal, when asked to think of exemplary leaders, many will tend to elicit the image of the sea-weathered captain looming over the bow of the ship fearlessly taking on the raging storm to lead her/his crew to novel shores. The larger than life pictures of Whitman, Iacocca, Welch, Rometty, and Jobs flash on the cover of the Harvard Business Review.
It is safe to say that a clamor for help is not Continue reading