Executive Leader Coach


August 6, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Dave Kinnear, Executive Leader CoachStorm clouds on the economic horizon? That's what I'm hearing. And there are more rumblings about how this economy is not performing up to our expectations. I have two comments - well, no I have many, but I'll highlight two. 1.) Our expectations don't count and 2.) The economy is performing perfectly. Could it possibly be that our perceptions and expectations are misplaced? Is it possible that we are blind to the fact that our economic models are out of date (assuming they ever were "in date" in the first place?) I explain this more in depth in the first article below.

Amidst this chaos of foolish economic forecasting and uncertainty of where we are headed, we look to our business leaders (everyone discounts the political leaders) to steer us in the right direction; to save the ship from stormy seas. But are we setting them up for failure? Are we expecting too much? The second article delves into the thought that perhaps we are putting our leaders on a pedestal and expecting too much.

And as leaders ourselves, are we taking time to hone our abilities to think strategically? How are we taking time to "sharpen the saw?" Are we stepping back on a regular basis and working ON instead of IN our businesses? Our stakeholders are depending on us to have a vision and strategic plan, so we should be taking time for creativity, not just being busy at the trivial many tasks. I share some thoughts on that topic in the third article.

In the Nullius in verba column, I share some more thoughts on the ever evolving issue around communications. Technology has certainly changed the way we communicate, and the changes are accelerating. We have what amounts to a generational divide on this. As it turns out, for what I believe are simply personality reasons (overly focused perhaps?), I find myself siding with the Gen Y group on the issue of the phone. It's an interruption, so don't "Just Call Someone Already," as Dan Pallotta posted on the HBR blog.

And finally, for all you Business Owners, Company Presidents, General Managers, Key Executives and CEOs, I have an opportunity you might not want to miss. Imagine being with hundreds of your colleagues — dozens of viewpoints, quality Vistage speakers, integrated learning at the macro and micro levels — an Orange County All-City leadership event newly designed to fuel personal and organizational change.

Join the master at creating leadership at every level—U.S. Navy Captain (Retired) L. David Marquet will create a problem-solving framework, based on his Fortune magazine ranked no. 1 must read business book for 2012, Turn This Ship Around. Captain Marquet teaches how today’s flatter and leaner companies shift from incremental to aspirational by changing the thinking and behavior of hidden leaders in their organization – as he did in one of the most rigid business environments.

Create Your Real-World Plan 

Explore two of six Vistage-speaker led tracks critical to reinvent your organization and collaborate with other leaders:
1 Personal Struggle…how will you inspire others in your organization to lead?
2 Clarity…the vision and mission must be clear for leaders at all levels
3 Competence…training is critical if you expect others to be accountable for their leadership
4 Control…control exists only when you give it away
5 Culture…establish how things will be done in a leader-leader organization
6 From Vision to Execution…the great vision is useless unless you execute.

Throughout the day you’ll meet and discuss ideas with peers and Captain Marquet will collect the day’s multiple discussions into a final riveting afternoon session.

Wrap up with a wine reception where Captain Marquet will sign complimentary copies of his best seller, and everyone can share their actions and inspiration.

Don’t miss one of Orange County’s most significant 2013 leadership events.

Our Keynote Speaker

Author of one of Amazon’s top selling business books and Fortune magazine’s top ranking book for 2012, U.S. Navy Captain L. David Marquet (Retired) took the U.S. Navy’s compliance culture and turned it on its head. He used his own unique leadership approach to transform his crew from worst performing to one of the most empowered in the nation’s fleet and winner of numerous awards.

His “worst to first” approach -- give control to create leaders — came when an unexpected assignment on the USS Santa Fe ignited his unique understanding of what leadership really means.  After giving an order —as would any other ship captain— he realized his leadership paradigm was 180-degrees out and that effectiveness would come only when he could get his crew to think, not simply comply.

Captain Marquet’s ability to “turn things around” drove his understanding that true leadership means embedding the capacity for achievement in your people, so that they will succeed even when you are not there. After a trip aboard his submarine, noted business leader Stephen J. Covey remarked it was the most empowered organization he’d ever seen.

If you are interested in this by invitation only event, please contact me and we'll talk about next steps. I'm also interested in securing sponsors for this premier leadership conference.

I hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter. Next month, I plan to announce the launch of our new website. Keeping fingers crossed (when not coding!)

Dave Kinnear

CCE-Board Certified Coach
Vistage Chair

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Our economy’s performance is perfect

What's so? So what? Now what?

Lots of folks are complaining The growth is too slow. The growth is uneven. The jobs created do not pay enough. There are too many temporary jobs. Personally, I believe the folks spouting this stuff either haven’t figured out that these are the old model measurements, which no longer apply, or that the economy is actually doing quite well. I put it this way: Our economy’s performance is perfect.

Read the full post . . .

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Danger! Leader on pedestal

Ethical behavior, Willing to Learn, Competence and Developing others

Many times, when facilitating discussions around leadership, I will ask participants to “brainstorm” a list of attributes for leaders. The list is always long with great characteristics for a business leader. The chances of finding a person with all or even a significant number of the attributes is nil. Yet, it seems as though we expect our leaders to be “super heroes” in their character traits. We are setting them up for failure and ourselves for disappointment.

Read the full post . . .

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For leaders, creativity comes first

Are you dealing with the trivial many or the significant few tasks of a leader?

The polite version of the comment I often get when I suggest to a business leader that they consider taking time to work ON (as opposed to IN) their business is, “I don’t have time to go to the bathroom as it is, and you want me to do what?” A truth is, of course, as leader, you don’t have time NOT to work on your business. Get your nose up off the grindstone, take a bathroom break if you need one, and figure out how to be creative about your business, the market, the competition and your leadership.

Read the full post . . .

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Nullius in verba

Communication - you must lead

It all started with the Harvard Business Review. Dan Pallotta posted “Just Call Someone Already,” and I just “had to make a comment.” A journalist, working on an article, saw the comment, found my e-mail address and, wisely, sent me an e-mail asking if we might have a conversation and when would be a good time. I say “wisely” because it was apparent from my comment that I don’t particularly appreciate phone calls. Here, in a bit more depth, is where I am on this thing.

Read the full post . . .

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