Get Unused to It

Lance Ideas, Leadership Leave a Comment

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Visit a tropical location: as you suffer the stifling heat and suffocating humidity, the locals go about their work unfazed … because they are used to it.

Visit a frozen locale: as you endure the bitter cold and biting wind, the locals go about their work unfazed … because they are used to it.

What is the climate of your organization? Is it too hot with fear and self-preservation? Is it too cold with indifference and disengagement? Without a steady diet of outsider perspective (which requires continually thinking like an outsider, not necessarily a constant influx of outsiders themselves), chances are you are losing the ability of accurately answering that question.

Look outside and see the different ways things are done “out there.” Zealously recruit and cultivate people who think differently than the rest. It’s not enough to simply come to different conclusions – if everybody has the same frames of reference and the same ways of processing information, the “diversity of thought” is simply an illusion.

I Wish I Could Hear You…

Lance Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Simplicity Leave a Comment

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but we have a policy

See if you recognize these scenarios:

1) At a company which claims “Customer Sevice is Job #1!” —

  • One customer proves to be untrustworthy, so a policy is implemented.
  • Time passes…
  • Because there is a policy in place, all customers must be treated as if they are untrustworthy.

2) At a company which claims “Talented, Committed, Professional People Are Our Competitive Advantage!” —

  • One employee makes a bad decision, so a policy is implemented.
  • Time passes…
  • Because there is a policy in place, all employees must be treated as they will make bad decisions.

Locks on doors have a purpose, but doors that can never be unlocked aren’t doors at all – they’re walls. Likewise, policies have a purpose, but if they can never be deviated from even when all Good Sense, Reason, and professed Core Values demand it, then they aren’t policies at all – they’re prison walls.

The Fog of Celebrity

Lance Leadership 1 Comment

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When people working in an organization become less of a person and more of mere “resources” and “FTE’s,” a set of blinders descends over the Leaders, making it easier to make decisions that are good for the numbers but hurt the people.

But what happens when it is the view of the Leader that gets distorted — viewed as being more than just a person?  Local/intraorganizarional celebrity status kicks into operation the same fog machine that distorts the sperceptions of pop culture celebrities. The effects can be costly:

  • Leaders become detached from the people they uhare here to serve
  • Leaders drift into acting like normal rules of behavior don’t apply to them
  • Leaders begin to overestimate their own ability
  • Leaders become invested in maintaining their image, which can lead to being less likely to admit failings and not knowing

Of course, the “do you know who that IS?” that makes leaders into celebrities doesn’t just affect the Leaders:

  • People become invested in being near to or associated with the celebrity Leader
  • People self-censor criticism and disagreement while offering up effusive praise
  • People become invested in maintaining the celebrity leader’s image (the proximity to which they judge their social standing), leading to insulating the celebrity leader from bad news

It pays for both Leaders and People to chase away the haze of Celebrity and remember the sage wisdom of Depeche Mode: People are People


Lance Creativity, Discipline, Excellence, Leadership Leave a Comment

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An audacious goal…


A ridiculous time line…


Necessary tools and materials that hadn’t been invented yet



Starting already behind the competition



A vision that had to overcome the loss of the Leader



An organization that had to face catastrophic failure



Despite all this … MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:


What’s your excuse for not leaving your mark?