Ten Tips for Delegating - The Best Time Management Tool

Ten Tips for Delegating

Jerome said his biggest problem was time management. He was overloaded, deadlines were getting missed, and he was stressed.

Managing his team was his biggest time drain.

“When they ask me questions, I get stuck spending time with them instead of doing my own work. And when I don’t hear from them, I usually discover they’ve made mistakes that I need to clean up.”

I replied, “Jerome, your biggest problem is you’re a “seagull manager.”

“What’s a seagull manager?”

A seagull is usually off flying around somewhere, but every once in a while, swoops in unexpectedly, makes a lot of noise, dumps a load, and then flies off again.

When you’re bouncing back and forth between being over-involved and under-involved, . . . → Read More: Ten Tips for Delegating – The Best Time Management Tool

How Important Is Vision in Leadership? The Question is the Answer

Next Step

When I published my Value of Vision series, I had no idea I had done something unusual. I am concerned about the current lack of interest around vision in leadership, and I had hoped that publishing a series of views from a variety of experts might help boost the topic back onto the radar.

I was surprised when Wally Bock told me he hadn’t seen a blog series like this before – one with so many significant thought-leaders writing on the same subject. Wally asked for an interview to identify some lessons that had made the series successful.

Wally Bock is a highly respected and accomplished business writer, ghost-writer, and editor. In addition to his popular Three Star Leadership blog, Wally writes the Zero Draft . . . → Read More: How Important Is Vision in Leadership? The Question is the Answer

What Brain Science Can Teach Us About Leadership

Brain Science Leadership

Much of your brain is hardwired from birth. Our primitive reflexes make us hyper-alert for bad news. Our brains detect negative information faster than positive information, and we have a stronger memory for painful experiences than pleasurable ones. This hardwiring ensured the survival of our ancestors.

But the world has changed, and we now know more about how our brains can best help us in today’s world. Studies in brain science have revealed that our prefrontal cortex provides thinking processes that allow us to override the primitive instincts that no longer serve us. It gives us the ability to make choices about our behavior – IF we are intentional.

Brain science shows us the old excuses don’t hold up.

Far too many leaders are . . . → Read More: What Brain Science Can Teach Us About Leadership

Looking for Vision? She's Out Walking the Streets in Stilettos

Doug Conant

Considering the compelling case for the value of vision, it’s strikingly absent these days.

Recent research by Kouzes and Posner demonstrates that “being forward-looking is the quality that most separates leaders from individual contributors.”

However, “it’s something that too few fully appreciate, and too many devote almost no time to developing,” says Jim Kouzes.

What happened to vision? Where has she gone?

She held so much promise 30 years ago when people like Warren Bennis, Peter Senge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner first brought her to our attention.

Did she get worn out? Did she grow old and tired? No, it’s worse than that.

Vision has been prostituted.

By mission statements that are no more than meaningless marketing messages – We have covered her in . . . → Read More: Looking for Vision? She’s Out Walking the Streets in Stilettos

The Value of Vision Series - An Interview With Doug Conant


I had the pleasure of interviewing Doug Conant, newly appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Avon and the former President and CEO of Campbell Soup, where he led the company through a dramatic transformation, reversing the declining trend in earnings and employee engagement. Under his leadership, the company generated quality sales growth and some of the best employee engagement rankings in the industry for ten consecutive years.

I am delighted to be able to share Doug’s views on vision here. ~Jesse


What do you observe about people’s attitudes toward vision these days, Doug?

One thing I’ve observed in all of my speaking, from millennials at Google to boomers at Vanguard, is that people today are less interested in the vision and more interested in “how to.” . . . → Read More: The Value of Vision Series – An Interview With Doug Conant

The Value of Vision Series - Introduction

Value of Vision Series List for Intro Post

Recently a senior executive asked me to help him with a vision statement. He saw this as an activity that needed to be completed. Although he wasn’t clear about his vision for the company, he just wanted help writing a good statement that would satisfy the board. I don’t think he’s unusual.

I’ve been wondering what happened to vision. It used to be sexy. Is it considered outdated in the context of today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world?… have we “vision experts” failed to communicate it well enough?… have we failed to show how vision links to daily work life? … is the term so overused that it has lost its meaning? Or am I wrong and it’s alive and well?

The Future Is Not What . . . → Read More: The Value of Vision Series – Introduction

The Space Between Supervising Closely and Delegating

Where Growth Happens





  Most of us know what Supervising Closely looks like. It’s doing things like:

Setting goals. Telling what needs to be done. Explaining how to do it. Setting timelines. Checking progress. Providing frequent feedback.

And most of us know what Delegating looks like:

You leave them alone and let them do their job.

If you want to be an effective leader, you need to be able to hang out in the space in the middle.

It doesn’t work when you try to jump over that space.

When you jump from Closely Supervising to Delegating.

Nancy decided to delegate her calendar to her new assistant. Her assistant took over scheduling like any other activity – she efficiently . . . → Read More: The Space Between Supervising Closely and Delegating

Why My “5 Around” Group is Important to Me and Why You Should Start One

5 Around, January, 2000

I just arrived in Sarasota, Florida for my 5 Around Retreat. Twenty-three years ago, we began meeting as a group of high level executives and consultants with the intent of using each other as resources to address… . . . → Read More: Why My “5 Around” Group is Important to Me and Why You Should Start One

What I Wish I Knew as a CEO That I Learned Later in HR

Les Hayman

I first became aware of Les Hayman in July 2012 when I read his excellent guest post for Gurprriet Siingh – “Transforming HR – How a CEO did it.” Les was uniquely qualified to write this post. Having served as Chairman and CEO of SAP EMEA (Europe, ME, and Africa) and President and CEO for SAP Asia-Pacific, and a member of the SAP Global Board, Les was asked to delay his retirement for two years to take on the role of Global Head of HR, responsible for all of SAP’s Human Resources activities worldwide.

I was quite impressed with his astute observations and the lessons he shared, and I immediately subscribed to Les Hayman’s Blog. As a regular reader, . . . → Read More: What I Wish I Knew as a CEO That I Learned Later in HR