Thoughts on Consensus

Listening to Jennifer Reil, from Rotman University. She shares a fascinating story about A.G. Lafley, former CEO of packaged good giant, Procter & Gamble. Apparently, Lafley had a rule in his meetings: any time that everyone agreed with a particular option very quickly, he would delay making a decision.  Instead, he would seek out someone who disagreed with the consensus and bring them into the discussion. Lafley believed, as many great leaders believe, that there is no Absolute Right answer […]

Unusual sources

I had the pleasure of listening to General Rick Hillier, of the Canadian Armed Forces, speak today. Not only was he engaging and hilarious, he had some brilliant insights to share on leadership. Which is a great reminder. Just because someone doesn’t have an MBA from Harvard doesn’t mean they don’t know a thing or two. Hillier’s leadership strength, I believe, comes from his humility and willingness to find lessons in the most unusual of places. In fact, Hillier went […]

Theories, Beliefs or Values?

In the intro of Richard Branson’s Business Stripped Bare, the celebrated entrepreneur says, “I haven’t peddled any theories, because I don’t follow any” (Business Stripped Bare, page xiii). Which begs the question – what does he follow in conducting his business? What do you? The way I see it, you can choose to conduct yourself professionally following one of three paths: Theories – truths according to someone else (typically an expert or someone you hold in high regard) Beliefs – […]

Tinted Transparency

Big buzzword of the last few years:  “Transparency”.  Big question – how do you define the word? The challenge is, some people have a skewed view of “transparency”.  My top five on what transparency is not (despite what you might see in your own organization): Answering a question truthfully, knowing that the person wasn’t actually asking the right question. Announcing the truth, but weighting it in such a way that it could be misunderstood on the receiving end. All doom and gloom. […]

If it comes from GE, it must be true

Read this in a New York Times article today: “Leadership by fiat when done in moderation, Mr. Immelt says, can drive change and set a course. ‘I think that if you run a big company, you’ve got to four or five times a year, just say, “Hey team, look, here’s where we’re going,” ‘ he says. ‘If you do it 10 times, nobody wants to work for you. If you do it zero times, you have anarchy.’” Thoughts?