Executive Leader Coach


September 4, 2013

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Dave Kinnear, Executive Leader CoachWell, there's still much work left to be done, but the new website is up and available. There are more files to be transferred, corrections on the links and the usual new content to create. Still, we've moved things into the "new world" of mobile responsive design. And I learned a great deal along the way, so all in all, a worthy project.

On to the business and economic front; here are some noted forecasted trends from my sources:

  • 2013 on track for ~2.6% increase over 2012
  • 2014 will come in at ~ -0.6% year over year
  • 2015 will be up 2.2%
  • 2016 up about 3.4% and
  • 2017 up about 3.3%

U.S. total industrial production is up and the forecast is for continued growth. There are some signs of weakening in a couple of sectors (housing starts for example) but overall the economy is moving in the direction we'd want with that small correction in 2014 not withstanding. Feel free to ascribe these positive trends to whomever or whatever you want - I'll take them regardless.

"Everyone" is up in arms and has a heartfelt, passionate opinion about security of data, websites, services and of course, privacy. Very few, including the politicians pontificating ad nauseam have any deep understanding of the actual technology issues at hand nor do they recognize their own ignorance! Still, I think many of us can get by the hysteria and learn something from the security discussion. I explore some of that in this month's lead article.

And of course, I've included a review of Ann Lee's very insightful book What the U.S. Can Learn from China I admit this was a difficult book for me to read. Not because the writing was obscure or overly academic, in fact the opposite is true. The difficulty is that this is hard criticism for me to hear about the country I love. Still, I know there is more than a kernel of truth in what Professor Lee has to share. Here's what I had to keep in mind as I read: " . . . My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” Senator Carl Shurz made that declaration in 1872. It rings true today.

Maybe realizing how much work we, as a country, have to do to start setting things right put me in a bad mood. But for whatever reason, as I read Seth Godin's blog post on What works for websites today? I hit a real trigger. Regardless of intentions, I don't think it's my place to want to change someone - not with a sales pitch, a marketing campaign or a website. Nobody's broken and nothing needs to be fixed. I explored a bit of that concept in the third article below.

In the Nullius in verba column I explore a bit of the continuing saga over communications with the Gen Y (Millennials) group. This time though, I point out that "turnabout is fair play." It's time for the Millennials to take some responsibility for learning just where the "Boomers" are coming from with their expectations of how one "should" work.

I just got back from the Vistage All City event in Atlanta. Wow! what a great experience. And we will be having an even bigger event here in Orange County on 9/17/2013. This is the premier leadership event for Orange County business owners, CEOs and Presidents. You can check things out at the Vistage OC website. This is a must attend leadership event for business owners and executives in Orange County. I hope to see you there.

That about wraps things up for us this month. I hope you enjoy the leadership articles we have to share with you.

Warmest regards,

Dave Kinnear

CCE-Board Certified Coach
Vistage Chair

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Security is in the news

What can we learn?

I can't help but chuckle as politicians, who most likely think a "server" is the guy in the tuxedo waiting on their table, opine on how the NSA should run their IT system security. What a joke! I don't make this statement as a knee-jerk supporter of one political party or another. Rather, I say this as a technologist. I've spent my professional life in and around technology which allows me to form a reasonably knowledgeable opinion on the topic. What I've been hearing in the news are committee politicians making absurd declarations about security. Like I said, a joke.

Read full post . . .

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Review: What the U.S. Can Learn from China

An open-minded guide to treating our greatest competitor as our greatest teacher.

I had the pleasure of seeing Professor Lee at a recent Harvard Business School Alumni presentation where she was the guest speaker. Her discussion left no doubt about her commitment and passion when it comes to bringing the United States and China closer together. She knows both countries quite well and acknowledges the good, the bad, and the ugly in both countries.

As the title explains, her book is focused on what the U.S. can learn from China. She states that it is "An open-minded guide to treating our greatest competitor as our greatest teacher." She sees a big gap in our willingness to learn from China and much of it comes from old stereotypes mixed in with current “propaganda” and fear. Based on my own experiences with the hubris of many U.S. leaders and political activists, I am inclined to agree with her. Here is a review of my thoughts about this excellent book.

Read the full post . . .

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Change someone?

Manipulative sales at its self-oriented worst.

In a recent blog post, Seth Godin stated that: "The only reason to build a website is to change someone." Really? My first response is I very much disagree. First, what gives me the right to try and change someone? This has to be sales at its worst; Manipulative and self-oriented.

So maybe I misunderstand Godin's meaning and intention? Perhaps I'm reading too much into his statement or reading it too literally? I don't know for sure, I just now his statement "clanged" with me. The needle pegged on the BS side of the meter. It reminded me of the joke about the newly married couple who both had the attitude of "I love you just the way you are. Now here's how I want you to change!" That, I'm sure, was a short-lived relationship. Since business is about relationships, trying to change you is very counter productive.

Read the full post . . .

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Nullius in verba

Turnabout's fair play

There is a lot in the media about how to communicate, manage and retain the Generation Y – Gen Y – folks flooding our businesses. (Gen Y is defined as those people born between 1977 and 1995.) I find that topic interesting and very useful as a mentor to many young people. So I read a lot on the subject to keep up professionally. And, I have a message to share with my Gen Y friends . . .

Read the full post . . .

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