Leadership Paradoxes: Clear, Consistent, Steadfast AND Open, Ready to Change

Recently, Business Day, a leading publication in Nigeria, interviewed me when I was in Lagos to speak at the West Africa Business Leaders Summit. The full article (no paywall) can be found here. An excerpt is below. Business Day: “What one piece of advice would you offer individuals in critical leadership positions of businesses inContinue reading “Leadership Paradoxes: Clear, Consistent, Steadfast AND Open, Ready to Change”

3 Things I Learned as CEO

Recently, I was interviewed by Business Day, a leading publication in Nigeria, when I was in Lagos to speak at the West Africa Business Leaders Summit. The full article (no paywall) can be found here. An excerpt is below. They asked me the following question: “As a former CEO of a multinational organisation with operationsContinue reading “3 Things I Learned as CEO”

The Biggest Need? “Good Leadership”

In October 2019, I traveled to Johannesburg in South Africa, where I met Joe Mabuela, who took me to Soweto, the large township southwest of Johannesburg (this is where Soweto gets its name…South west township). Soweto is a densely populated township with 5-7 million people living in challenging conditions. Joe grew up in Soweto andContinue reading “The Biggest Need? “Good Leadership””

Despite, not Because

Our circumstances often make progress and success difficult. If we fall short, the temptation is to point to our circumstances as reasons why (“We fell short because…”). But good leadership is about “despite”, not “because”.   The reality is that bad things happen. Even if the bad things are unknown when we begin the effort, weContinue reading “Despite, not Because”

Leadership Paradoxes: Confidence and Humility

Confidence is inspiring. Humility is endearing.  Confidence helps others believe in us in the absence of certainty. In fact, confidence also helps us to believe in ourselves in the absence of certainty.  Humility helps us to see how and when to put the team’s interests ahead of our own self interest. An Aussie named JohnContinue reading “Leadership Paradoxes: Confidence and Humility”

The Best Question for a Leader to Ask

Good leaders ask good questions. Questions (as opposed to statements) signal a willingness to listen. They convey values and reinforce desired behaviors. They foster learning. But what is the best question for a leader to ask?  It’s a question that we ask ourselves (not others) when we are faced with an especially difficult challenge orContinue reading “The Best Question for a Leader to Ask”

Highlights from the 2019 Global Leadership Summit

The Global Leadership Summit took place on August 8-9, 2019, attended by over 100,000 people at over 100 sites all across North America. In the coming months, another 250,000+ people will attend rebroadcasts of the Summit at hundreds of sites in 130+ countries around the world. 2019 is the 25th year of the Summit (andContinue reading “Highlights from the 2019 Global Leadership Summit”

The Value of Diversity to an Organization’s Results

Diversity is crucial to an organization’s growth, strength, and ability to innovate. There are other very good arguments for diversity (social justice, for instance), too, but let’s focus for the moment just on business outcomes. Diverse teams and organizations outperform teams with less diversity.  During my time as the CEO of Nielsen, we set outContinue reading “The Value of Diversity to an Organization’s Results”

Grit, Resourcefulness, Self-Sacrifice

The fundamentals of leadership are well-known: Vision, willingness to step to the front, and integrity, to name a few. Here are a few other leadership qualities that don’t get talked about as much. These are incredibly important leadership qualities. In fact, these are often the qualities that separate the best from the rest. 1. Grit.Continue reading “Grit, Resourcefulness, Self-Sacrifice”