What would I tell my 36 year old self?

When I was only 36 I was asked to be CEO of a major division of GM: Saab North America. Saab was bleeding cash and losing dealers. To construct the turn-around plan,  I listened closely to existing Saab leaders; but I also developed my own plan based on my experience at Saturn and feedback I learned by listening to Saab dealers.  We put a 5 point plan together and turned Saab around in less than…

Five Leadership Mistakes to Avoid: #5-All Do and no BE.

Welcome to the 5-part series of Leadership Mistakes to Avoid. Over the course of this series, I address a different mistake each week. I invite you to join in the weekly discussion and share your experiences and lessons learned. Here is the final mistake that many leaders struggle with and how to avoid or overcome it. #5: All Do and no BE. I have been the CEO or a senior leader of six companies over…

Five Leadership Mistakes to Avoid: #4-Giving Slow, Nonexistent, and/or nonspecific feedback

In my experience, far too many leaders take the lazy route when giving positive or constructive feedback.  On the positive feedback side, I have seen many leaders give too much praise without specifics; then they lose credibility because others don’t see the value in what is being praised. On the constructive feedback side, I have seen leaders who give up on team members quickly, without giving them feedback and just watch those team members languish…

Five Leadership Mistakes to Avoid: #3-Micromanaging

Micromanaging is the most common dysfunction that I have seen in leaders.  It was also a problem early in my leadership experience.  This fact is not intuitive, but it is true: the fewer decisions we feel we need to make as leaders actually indicates the strength of our leadership and results in a stronger and more confident team. Being micromanaged is one of the top reasons employees resign. It kills creativity, breeds mistrust, causes undue…

Five Leadership Mistakes to Avoid: #2

Week #2: Untrusting Leaders I adhere to the motto: Trust people until proven wrong. Trusting your team to work hard and to perform to the scope of their roles, and allowing them room to be innovative are critical to any businesses’ success. A common mistake I see leaders make, one I made early in my career, is not trusting enough.  True, trust must be earned, but I have also found that there may be more than…

Five Leadership Mistakes to Avoid: #1

Mistake #1: As the CEO of major corporations for over 25 years, I learned a number of valuable lessons about leadership. Welcome to the series: 5 Leadership Mistakes to Avoid. Over the next 5 weeks, I will address a different mistake each week. I invite you to join in the weekly discussion and share your experiences and lessons learned. No leader succeeds without making many mistakes. But great leaders succeed because of what they learn…

Three Leadership Questions Worth Asking Right Now

Several weeks ago, I asked those with me if they had any specific leadership questions that they would like me to address. We received so many great responses, but I felt these three were strong leadership questions we should all be asking of ourselves and thinking about right now. Is unity possible right now. If so, how do we achieve it?  This is incredibly appropriate, give what happened recently at the Capitol. Even so, my…

No Matter the Year, Love Still Works

Let’s face it: 2020 was a difficult year, and we are ready for a better 2021.  COVID-19 wreaked havoc on our lives. We went from a booming economy to great uncertainty almost overnight. We have seen illness, death, job loss, social unrest, increased anxiety, a bitter presidential election, and a loss of normalcy in our lives. We are grieving over many things, including the sense of security many thought we possessed. But the truth is,…