8 leadership lessons from a former POW

May 20, 2014 2 COMMENTS

Leadership2by Dan Oswald

On November 7, 1967, 1st Lieutenant Lee Ellis was shot down over North Vietnam. He would spend the next five-plus years as a POW. Not only did he survive the North Vietnamese prison camps, but he also remained in the military after his release, finally retiring as a colonel. And his combat decorations include two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Prisoner of War Medal.

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14 qualities and attributes of great leaders

March 31, 2014 2 COMMENTS

Great Leadersby Dan Oswald

Marvin Bower joined McKinsey & Company in 1933 and served as the management consulting firm’s managing partner from 1950 to 1967. In 1997, he published a book titled The Will to Lead: Running a Business with a Network of Leaders, in which he shares his perspectives on leadership. One of Bower’s beliefs is that a command-and-control management structure “with each superior exercising authority over subordinates who do exactly what their boss wants” is flawed and presents numerous problems for companies. And in the book, he makes a case that this type of structure has to be replaced: “Authority should be replaced by leadership.”

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The answers are easy!

July 08, 2013 1 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

Have you ever faced a problem at work that seemed so overwhelming, so insurmountable that you struggled to even know how to begin to resolve it? And the more you studied the problem, the more convinced you became that the solution must be equally as complex. Your exercise in problem solving became a downward spiral until you were more confused by the answer you came up with than you were with the original problem.

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Employee engagement begins one worker at a time

June 10, 2013 1 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

If you read the Harvard Business Review, you might have noticed a recent article proclaiming “The New Employer-Employee Compact.” The article, like all the other articles and books written on the subject, reminds us that the days of lifelong employment with a single company are over. (Thanks for that news flash!) Then the authors, who include the cofounder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, put forward the idea of “tours of duty” as the solution. You can read more about their ideas in the June 2013 issue.

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Embrace your workers’ curiosity

April 15, 2013 2 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

I’ve been reading Tell My Sons . . . by Lieutenant Colonel Mark Weber. The book is filled with the life lessons he has learned. After a routine Army physical revealed he had stage IV intestinal cancer, he began a battle for his life that he ultimately will lose. When he realized he wouldn’t be able to conquer his cancer, he began writing a letter to his three sons, which became this book.

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Does Your Management Style Reflect Trust in Your Employees?

October 17, 2011 0 COMMENTS

This week, Dan Oswald reviews the book Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us and shares the questions the book made him ask about management style and the insights into the necessity of trusting employees to consider a new way of managing employees.

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Asking the Right Questions

May 20, 2011 3 COMMENTS

The Corner Office  by Adam BryantBefore I headed to the airport today, the president of our company, Bob Brady, handed me a book and said something like, “This is a quick read and I really think you’ll enjoy it.” The book he gave me was The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed, by Adam Bryant.

Boy, was Bob right.

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Whom Would You Choose as Your Career Coach?

May 09, 2011 2 COMMENTS

The other day, a colleague sent me the results of a survey that says Americans would like to have Vince Lombardi or Oprah Winfrey as their coach. That got me thinking. It got me thinking about whom I would choose as my coach. Who should be in the running? What makes each an appealing choice?

I started my list with the two mentioned in the survey results and moved on from there.

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In Praise of Checklists

January 31, 2011 1 COMMENTS

This week, instead of posting on his own blog, Dan wrote a book review of The Checklist Manifesto for the Resources for Humans blog.  Here’s an excerpt.

“I had been thinking recently about the importance of a good “to do” list, so when I stumbled upon the Atul Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. I decided it was fate and bought a copy. Now I must admit, I had not heard anything about the book despite the fact that it was a New York Times bestseller and had won “Best Book of the Month” from Amazon back in December 2009.”

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Do You ‘Own’ Your Job?

June 03, 2010 0 COMMENTS

I hope I don’t disappoint when I tell you that what you’re about to read isn’t about Tiger Woods, the OctoMom, or anything remotely salacious. Instead, this is about you.

Let me share with you a story that Jim Stovall tells in his book You Don’t Have to Be Blind to See. It’s about two tribes that lived in the Andes Mountains and were constantly at war. One tribe lived in the lowlands and the other high in the mountains. The mountain people invaded the lowlanders one day and, as part of their plundering, kidnapped a baby of one of the lowlander families. They took the infant with them back up into the mountains.

The lowlanders didn’t know how to climb the mountain. They didn’t know any of the trails that the mountain people used. They didn’t know where to find the mountain people or how to track them in the steep terrain.

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