November 1, 2012

Yet More Leadership Books You Should Read

“I cannot live without books.”
– Thomas Jefferson

More outstanding leadership books that have influenced me.

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October 3, 2012

The Reality Principle

I have learned through trial and error that the ability to see reality clearly makes all the difference in achieving desirable outcomes in life.  I call this “The Reality Principle.”

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September 27, 2012

Weigh Yourself Every Day For Business Success

I like to eat.  I like to drink beer.

But I don’t want to get fat.  That’s why I weigh myself every day.

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August 9, 2012

Managing Someone Out (The Right Way)

I was a little dramatic in my last post Good Leaders Fire People.  Managing someone out (the right way) is different from firing.

My definition of “firing” is a forceful and immediate removal from the company.  Firing should be reserved for someone who steals, lies or otherwise shows big integrity problems.  Firing decisions are easy because they are so clear.

Managing someone out the right way means you ask someone to resign and he or she does so willingly.  It’s a lot tougher than firing someone.

I’ll teach you how.

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August 5, 2012

Good Leaders Fire People

You can’t be a good leader unless you learn to fire people.

I call it “managing out.”

Sometimes you make a hiring mistake.  Sometimes the organization outgrows the ability of a person.  Sometimes people get too comfortable and complacent.  The list goes on.

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June 21, 2012

You Have 100% of My Confidence Until You Don’t

You have 100% of my confidence until you don’t.

Last year I had a conversation with a leader, Chung.  She was giving me a hard time about an ineffective manager, Vy, who reported to one of my direct reports, Linh.

Chung said, “Haven’t you talked to Linh about this behavior?  It’s not ok.  People are leaving because of Vy.”

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May 24, 2012

Weak Leaders Use Force

Uh oh – did the boss see us?

Weak leaders use brute force to get the right behaviors.  Strong leaders use transparency and accountability.

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May 7, 2012

Mistakes Are Painfully Fantastic

Chi with one of her marketing creations.

Have you or someone on your team ever made a painful mistake?

You know, the kind of mistake that makes you cringe with embarrassment?  That makes you feel like you got punched in the stomach?

Those are the best.

Painful mistakes are always fantastic learning opportunities.  Never let one go to waste.  And never punish someone for making a mistake the first time.  Always focus on the learning.

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April 5, 2012

The Importance of Having Standards

Me and cô Cúc before she fired me.

My Vietnamese teacher fired me.

I was late to our thrice weekly appointment one time too many.  Angry that she was waiting 20 minutes and I still hadn’t shown up, cô Cúc stormed out of the office.  I ran downstairs but just missed her.  “She looked mad!” said Phuong, the receptionist.  Uh oh.

I tried calling.  No answer.

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December 13, 2011

Head to Head CEO Forum on VITV

Recently I returned to the “Diá»…n Đàn CEO,” or “CEO Forum” program on VITV.

Mr. Hà, the host, felt that the viewers would find two CEOs more engaging than one (maybe by creating some drama and getting us to argue?).  I invited an outstanding CEO I met a few months ago, Mr. Trần Trọng Kiên.  He is founder and CEO of Buffalo Tours, one of Vietnam’s largest and most successful tour companies.  Not only a great CEO, but a super cool and interesting guy.

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