Speaking of Leadership® Blog

Trent Lott: A Leader’s Misstep

Senator Trent Lott, majority leader of the United States Senate had a misstep with words that could—or should—cost him his job. He referred to Senator Strom Thurman’s candidacy for President of the United States in 1948 (one that supported segregationist policies) as being good for the country. At that time,

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Change Leadership

One of the most complicated areas of leadership is the skill required to truly produce change. The need for change often comes about because of a crisis and frequently the focal point is on financial performance. Major change may be caused by a sustained competitive attack, the integration of two

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Corporate Governance — What’s Happening?

As we move into the end of the year for company financial reporting, corporate executives are wrestling with the implications of the newly passed Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Act is named after Paul S. Sarbanes, senator from the State of Maryland, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and member

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The Need For Change

One of the most important jobs of a leader—and difficult, I might add—is to gauge the need for organizational change, relate it to the business environment, and then convince the troops that organizational change is not only necessary but desirable. Let me explain. When the external environment is in sync

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Ethics 101

Generally, leaders are value-based individuals whereas managers are more rules based. However, as a response to the Enron and WorldCom fiascos, the US Congress and other regulatory bodies are tightening the rules regarding corporate governance. Because ethical values are missing, corporate ethics have been newly defined by rigorous rules, ones

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Helping Your Employees Grow Through Coaching

As corporate leaders, we evaluate our employees and expect them to do the job up to our standards. Sometimes our standards are out of sync with their ability or training. After all, these individuals have not traveled in the same shoes as we have and may not have the skills

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Lead With Your Accountant

How often have we seen the accountants pushed aside, the decision-makers not respecting their input on the company’s plans. “Oh, what do you know about the business” is typically the unspoken attitude. However, in these economic times, accounting and finance play an even larger role in the company’s plans. Let’s

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A Year Ago – Reflections on 9/11

I found myself weeping the other day as I read the letter from my sixth-grade son’s school telling us of the elaborate preparations they have taken to be ready for tomorrow. They will have an all-school meeting and the school psychologist will be available for the kids and their parents.

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The Value of Public Speaking

Every organization’s leaders are asked to speak publicly at various venues. Whether it is a team meeting inside the company, back at your school reunion, to investor conferences, or even at public shareholder meetings, every executive is asked to stand on his or her feet and address an audience. It

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Getting the Most from Your Team

Most of us know there are various stages of a team’s evolution. We see it in professional sports all the time. That’s why there are spring training and exhibition games. Not only are the teams learning or relearning the skills of the game, but they are working on team integration.

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