Category Archives: AUTHORS

AUTHORS, BUSINESS, CONTRIBUTORS, LEADERSHIP

The Hazards of Business Execution, Part 4 of 4

This is the final segment of a four-part series!

I want to share with you in a series of 4 brief articles, how to overcome the obstacles to effective and predictable business execution of strategic initiatives.

There are chronic issues that exist in all organizations and far too many leaders accept them as a non-negotiable part of the business environment — things like resource disconnects, decision stalls, organizational politics, weak or passive-aggressive support, or everyone simply being too busy.

Previously I talked about the first 3 steps in the MOVE model
M = The Middle
O = Organization
V = Valor

Today I want to talk about the fourth and final step in the MOVE model: E= Everyone

Although you can lead a transformation from the top, you can’t DO a transformation from the top. Successful transformation requires that everyone participates. If they don’t move forward, you don’t move forward.

Telling does not equal communicating

You need to be ready to consider this first telling of your strategy to your organization as pretty much a throwaway effort. Yes, it’s a step in the process. Yes, you need to communicate top down. But to genuinely communicate, and to get your message internalized, and for your transformation to take hold, you need to create a fundamental shift in the way that you think about communication. You need to change your existing idea of communication to instead become conversation — that involves everyone.

Your broadcast has almost nothing to do with whether or not something has been communicated. Simply telling people your strategy does not mean they heard it.

You should not assume that just because you have told everyone your strategy (for the first time!), that they were listening carefully, internalized it, know what they need to do personally to act on it, know how to optimize it with regard to their current work, and will actively do the right things to implement their piece of it.

And in fact, it’s kind of funny, when an executive realizes that people “aren’t getting it”, typically I find there is an inverse relationship between the level of emphasis an executive will use to say, “but I was very clear” and how much has actually been internalized by their audience!

Conversation vs. communication

The right measure is never about how clearly you think you have communicated. The only right measure is about how much your audience has internalized.

You have communicated successfully when the people in your organization are talking about it amongst themselves.

For your transformation to work, the change must be part of the social fabric of the whole organization in a very real way — and that happens through conversation.

For example, when you can approach an employee at any level at random and ask, what is the most important thing for us to be doing right now, and why? — and get the same answer most of the time — then you can say that your communication has been successful.

Conversation creates forward momentum, and safety

People will only feel safe to keep doing the new thing if they hear their peers are still talking about it. If the conversation stops people will start asking, “Are we still doing this?’ and your strategy will stall.

Decorate the change
To give people confidence to keep going they need to see signs of the new strategy every single day. Through your conversations and physical modifications to the workplace you can “decorate the change” to make the new way a tangible part of the social fabric of the organization.

Listen and Share
Too many organizations treat communicating as an afterthought, and this is deadly to a successful transformation. It’s important to do not only top down conversations, but foster and environment of sharing information across groups (by making information sharing part of performance objectives!)

Power and Trust
As leaders we have a choice to share power or hoard power. If you share power you build trust, and trust is rocket fuel for keeping motivation and momentum in a transformation. And with trust there is no neutral. You are either building trust, or destroying it. You must invest in building trust through building conversation.

My new book MOVE is about decisively executing strategy

Get your copy of MOVE to help you truly engage people on a personal level, build trust, and increase confidence to move your strategy forward. Learn how to change communication into the kind of conversation that fuels forward momentum, and how to decorate the change so the path forward is an obvious part of the environment every single day.

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You can find Patty Azzarello’s upcoming book here:

Download a FREE Preview of MOVE

In my years of leading business transformations and turnarounds, building highly successful management teams, and working with countless clients to implement their strategies, I have determined what factors enable faster, more decisive execution, and reduce risk.
It’s all in the book! I can’t wait to share it! Available in February.

Get a copy for your whole team!
Or if you’d like to pre-order a copy for everyone on your team, contact us for bulk-order discounts.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Episode Five: Leading Teams, Shifting from Me-Ology to We-Ology

Welcome to Episode Five of the Tensions of Leadership: Leading Teams – Part 2, Shifting from Me-Ology to We-Ology!

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode Five:

1. In Leading Teams Part 1 we talked about recalibrating yourself to lead teams, in part two, we talk about how to develop the team around you.

2. The tension of time, and how are relationship with time now has to shift. Time now has to be an investment in your people.

3. “You cannot think about taking time away from YOUR work to help others. Helping and serving others IS YOUR WORK!”

4. Relieve the tension from being a practitioner to now becoming a philosopher.

5. And you know have to worry about how your people are spending THEIR time.

6. The shift from being a “today” leader to becoming a “today AND tomorrow” leader. You are in the mix of a lot of things now, not just focused on your little world.

7. The tension of now having to worry about the organization is a difficult shift for many new leaders.

8. In addition to leading your direct reports AND serving the organization, you also now have to pay attention to peer-to-peer leaders, and be sure you are serving in cross-functional ways too.

9. Protecting your team, your peeps, may NOT be serving the organization well. And you have to be cognizant of this tension.

10. The tension of capacity. Do you have the capacity to handle all of this? And you have to teach capacity building to your team as well.

11. “Lack of capacity is the biggest reason most organizations do not make it to the next level.”

12. Composure is also important! Do you have the temperament to lead? Will you bring positive attributes to leadership? Or will you be negative?

13. You have to resolve issues at the point of contact, BEFORE they escalate.

14. Silos versus cross-functional collaboration. Mission critical to leader on behalf of the organization, especially as you are moving towards enterprise level leadership.

15. “Talent is an enterprise asset. Not yours.”

Click here to listen to all of Season Four!


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Sid Mohasseb: Don’t leave change to chance

Joined in studio by Sid Mohasseb, adjunct professor at USC, and author of The Caterpillar’s Edge: Evolve, Evolve Again, and Thrive in Business. Learn more about the book here!

Discussion guide from our conversation with Sid Mohasseb:

Sid Mohasseb1. One of the taglines around your book is “Don’t leave change to chance.” Sounds self explanatory but how does that relate to your book?

2. Your first chapter tackles the subject of “addiction.” What addiction(s) are you referring to?

3. What lessons does a caterpillar teach us about business?

4. We’re entering some uncharted territory in the global business world. What advice can you give to those looking to thrive amid uncertainty?

5. You write about getting grounded and not moving too fast. What’s the importance of being grounded in a world that seems to be moving very fast?

Find Sid Mohasseb’s book here:

About Sid Mohasseb:

Sid is a serial entrepreneur, investor, venture capitialist, and business thought leader. He is formerly the Head of Strategic Innovation for KPMG’s Strategy Practice, where he consulted with Fortune 500 clients worldwide. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Marshall Business School, University of Southern California (USC), where he teaches strategy and data analytics.

Sid has founded and led several early-stage and hyper-growth companies from inception to acquisition. He has also led company turnarounds—from near bankruptcy to profitability. His expertise is in connecting theory to reality and helping people see the bend in the road ahead.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Michael Alden: The total power of incremental change

Joined in studio by Michael Alden, the President of Blue Vase Marketing, and author of 5% More: Making Small Changes to Achieve Extraordinary Results. Learn more about Michael here.

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Michael Alden:

Michael Alden1. The benefits of incremental growth.

2. “Large enough to be productive, small enough to be sustainable.”

3. Spend 5% more time with your current customers: It is much smarter to spend a little more time with your current customers than to chase new “leads.” Your customers have already decided to buy from you. The key is to make sure that they are satisfied — or better, yet, delighted with your product or service.

4. Increase product/service prices by 5%: Don’t be afraid to increase your prices. People will pay slightly more, if you are providing something that adds value to their lives.

5. Increase results by 5%: Stop focusing on activities, and focus on results instead. Looking at how to increase results, even by a small amount, will help you identify and eliminate actions that waste time.

6. Do something 5% differently than your competitors: Be a little more creative and think a little bit harder than your competitors. Whether it is going the extra mile in customer service, or offering a product that’s just slightly better than that of your competitors, makes the difference in winning sales.

7. Motivate your team to give 5% More: Your business will never grow, if your team keeps doing the same thing over and over again. Invest 5% More in training and supporting them, so that they can do the best job possible.

Find Michael Alden’s book here:

About Michael Alden:

Michael, author of 5% MORE is the founder and CEO of Blue Vase Marketing, a multi-million dollar marketing firm that has been ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private firms in America. Alden is also a recipient of SmartCEO Magazine’s 2016 Future 50 Award. A successful serial entrepreneur, who hosts his own podcast and a writes a popular blog, Alden is a speaker and regular guest on television and radio throughout the country. His first book Ask More, Get More was a national bestseller.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Angela Sebaly: How to be a courageous leader

Joined in studio today by Angela Sebaly, CEO of Personify Leadership, and author of The Courageous Leader: How To Face Any Challenge And Lead Your Team To Success.

Discussion guide from our conversation with Angela Sebaly:

courageous leader1. How does Angela define courage?

2. “Everyone has equal access to courage.” Why some are more courageous than others.

3. You must have the courage to accept pain.

4. There are tools to build courage.

5. The importance of humility.

6. The “Delegation Doom Loop!”

7. Leaders need the courage to both give AND receive feedback.

8. This isn’t about having courage to face a grandiose problem. This is about being courageoud every day.

Find Angela Sebaly’s book here:

About Angela Sebaly:

Angela Sebaly, author of The Courageous Leader (Wiley, spring 2017), is co-founder and CEO of the firm Personify Leadership, a training provider. Formerly the Vice President of Leadership Development for a global oil, gas and chemicals inspection company, Angela also serves as principle consultant for the firm Invested Leadership. An entrepreneur developing a global presence, Angela has been coaching, facilitating and leading teams and organizations for over two decades. Education, communication and courage are the pillars of her life’s work. She lives with her family in Fort Lauderdale.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, CONTRIBUTORS, LEADERSHIP

The Hazards of Business Execution, Part 3 of 4

This is part three of a four-part series!

I want to share with you in a series of 4 brief articles, how to overcome the obstacles to effective and predictable business execution of strategic initiatives.

There are chronic issues that exist in all organizations and far too many leaders accept them as a non-negotiable part of the business environment — things like resource disconnects, decision stalls, organizational politics, weak or passive-aggressive support, or everyone simply being too busy.

Previously I talked about the first 2 steps in the MOVE model:
M = The Middle
O = Organization

Today I want to talk about the third step in the MOVE model, V= Valor:

Everyone is scared

If you are human, you will be scared sometimes. If you are leader you will be attacked and challenged sometimes. At times your job will feel so ugly and impossible that you think you will surely fail. In my experience, the bigger the job, the harder it gets. Because as you move higher, there is less clarity of expectations, less support from your direct manager, less feedback, and higher stakes. There is also much more competition for budget, people, and charter.

That brings us to the section on V=Valor. Because leadership is hard. That’s why you need Valor to progress through the long Middle.

Welcome to being a leader

I can remember feeling at various points in my career, that the mission just didn’t make sense, or that it was unsupported. I felt like I was out on a limb owning all of the risk, and with not enough resources to succeed. Or I felt like the corporate bureaucracy, the board, or another group or particular adversary, was blocking me (or sabotaging me) from doing the right things that I knew needed to be done. Or I would get a directive that didn’t make any sense like, “you must cut costs by 50% but you can not make any cuts to the biggest program.”

As a leader, this unreasonable, soul-crushing stuff is just part of the job description. There are always big, ugly, seemingly impossible problems, annoying people, and exhausting obstacles in the way of getting your job done. And when you are leading, by definition you are going to a place where others aren’t. You are embarking on new territory, which can be scary and lonely.

Think of Valor in this way:

Once you embrace the fact that: YOUR JOB = Your job description PLUS all the crap that gets in the way of delivering on your job description…You will feel (and BE) in a lot more in control.

I coach a lot of senior executives and with pretty much everyone we reach a point where I tell them, “You’ll be better off if you start your thinking with this:

Everything is impossible and everyone is a shark.

That’s just the way it is. And it’s your job to deal with that.” Usually that makes people feel better because they can let go of the idea that it is about them personally, and they can step back, see the problem more clearly, and treat it like any other challenge or project.

A leader needs a lot of Valor to navigate a transformation through the long Middle because people will lose faith, rebel, and there will be political attacks along the way.

Burn the ships at the beach

You need to be so unfailingly consistent in your communications and decisions that people realize the only way through is forward. As Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell… keep going”.

Too busy to scale

Most new strategic initiatives fail because the pressures of the current workload are so overwhelming that there is no time to do new things. You must find a way to rise above the current workload and priorities the strategic over the urgent. This is one of the hardest parts of leadership but has the biggest payoff if you are willing to do it.

Clarity and Conflict

The more clear you become about what it will take to stick to your strategic initiative, the more fire you will draw. It’s more comfortable to keep your goals at a generic level that everyone can agree to.

Once you start getting specific, “in order to do this new thing, will take these resources from the old thing, and delay the current plan on this other thing” people will disagree! But this is the only way to actually make progress.

If you never talk about what you will actually do in this concrete way, you will never actually do it!

Don’t trade a comfortable shallow agreement in the short time for a slow moving train wreck in the long term as you fail to implement your strategy.

Get your copy of MOVE to help you increase your confidence as leader to guide your team through the long Middle to implement your strategy decisively without hesitation, doubt and fear. You need Valor to stick to it and to help your team feel confident to keep doing the new stuff despite the many pressures to go back to the old way.

Check back next time for the final part of the MOVE model, E = Everyone.

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You can find Patty Azzarello’s upcoming book here:

Download a FREE Preview of MOVE

In my years of leading business transformations and turnarounds, building highly successful management teams, and working with countless clients to implement their strategies, I have determined what factors enable faster, more decisive execution, and reduce risk.
It’s all in the book! I can’t wait to share it! Available in February.

Get a copy for your whole team!
Or if you’d like to pre-order a copy for everyone on your team, contact us for bulk-order discounts.

AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Episode Four: Leading Teams, Recalibrating Yourself As A Leader

Welcome to Episode Four of the Tensions of Leadership: Leading Teams – Part 1, Recalibrating Yourself As A Leader!

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode Four:

1. Now that we are shifting our knowing and doing to leading teams, this is still You on You.

2. You are now moving from “delivering work” to “developing,” or delivering work through OTHER PEOPLE. What is this transition about? Before, you were a practitioner, a contributor. This is an entirely different set of skills.

3. Remember, leadership is a skilled profession, and these are skills you can learn and develop!

4. The shift from ME-ology to WE-ology!

5. A critical first tension is letting go of the work. Can you let others do the work you were once responsible for, not that you are leading a team? Can you give your team the space and the coaching to learn those new tasks? Many struggle with this tension…

6. You now have position power. And the problem comes when new leaders abuse that power.

7. You want to use your “personal” power to engage and influence, not your “position” power which is just top down command and control.

8. You want to be carefrontational, not confrontational.

9. The next tension is dealing with obstacles, challenges and problems. Are you going to address them? Or avoid them?

10. Next tension to face: will you provide answers? Or questions? Are they dependent ON YOU? Or FROM YOU?

11. Will you EMPOWER your team? Or will you CONTROL your team? People need to understand the WHAT you are asking, but need the freedom to complete the task. We need to create the space that our team can grow into the people they can be.

12. This is where emotional intelligence and self-awareness is so important! EQ is more important than IQ!

13. “If you have to be the smartest person in the room, you probably aren’t the right person to be a team leader.”

14. Are you the leader of the team? Or a part of the team? Your role is to DEVELOP your team, not to PROTECT your team. You need to PREPARE your team to do what they need to do.

15. How does the team make decisions?

16. Are you going to be a leader that makes your team EARN trust? Or will you GIVE trust? Why does that matter?

17. Will you as a team leader resolve the tension of clarity and closure?

Click here to listen to all of Season Four!


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, INCUBATOR, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Bob Kulhan: Is Improvisation the most important business skill?

Joined in studio today by Bob Kulhan, founder and CEO of Business Improv, and author of Getting to Yes And: The Art of Business Improv. Learn more about Bob Kulhan’s book here.

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Bob Kulhan:

Bob Kulhan1. What is improv?
2. And how does improv integrate into our daily business practice?

3. “REACT, ADAPT, and COMMUNICATE.”

4. What is “YES AND” and how does it work?

5. What are the cognitive and social psychology behind this?

6. How does “YES AND” and improv help with creativity and innovation?

7. Improv is a skill. How do we learn and develop stronger improvisational skills?

Find Bob Kulhan’s book here:

Bob Kulhan

About Bob Kulhan:

Bob is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration for The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University as well as an Adjunct Professor of Business for Columbia Business School, Columbia University. He also is the Founder & CEO of Business Improv. Based out of Chicago, LA & New York City, Business Improv (BI) is a world-class leader in developing experiential learning programs for businesses. For over 21 years Bob has performed and taught improvisation with the most elite improvisers in the world. His teaching and performing credits include Chicago’s famed Second City, iO, the Annoyance Theatre, Columbia College, The Australian Graduate School of Management, Koç University in Istanbul, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA Anderson School of Management (MBA & exec. ed.), Columbia University Business School (MBA & exec. ed.), and Duke University’s 
Fuqua School of Business. Kulhan is a cofounder of the critically acclaimed Baby Wants Candy improv troupe, with which he has toured internationally.

His consulting and teaching work in leadership and managerial improvisation includes an emphasis on team skills, fostering a collaborative corporate culture, whole body listening, busting blocks to creativity, conflict management, dyadic relationships, creative and adaptive problem solving, leadership, influence, and fostering creative cultures. Since 1998, his customized Business Improvisations programs have benefited a number of companies, including NY Redbulls, The Spaceship Company, Young Presidents Organization, Ford Motor Company, Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS), Cushman & Wakefield, The University of Notre Dame: Renovare, SAS, Mazda, American Express Cards, Glaxo Smith Kline, DuPont, Hilton Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, PepsiCo, Capital One, National Cancer Institute, Neutrogena, Progressive, Colgate-Palmolive, Raytheon, WebMD, Procter & Gamble, R&D University, and the US Naval Academy.

In a unique collaboration with global leaders in Behavioral Decision Making, Bob co-introduced improvisation into the MBA curriculum of the Fuqua School of Business. The Workshop in Managerial Improvisation blends experiential exercises, adapted from traditional improv, with classroom lectures, case studies and discussion. It has consistently ranked among Duke University’s highest rated MBA electives. In addition to the MBA program at Fuqua, Bob has designed workshops for Fuqua professors and staff, Ph.D. students, communications & development departments, R. David Thomas Center management and staff, Program Managers’ Development (PMD), Management Challenge, Advanced Management Program (AMP), Duke Corporate Education, and Duke’s Executive Education department.

Kulhan was trained in improvisation by a long list of legendary talents, including improv guru Del Close, The Second City’s Martin de Maat, SNL and 30 Rock star Tina Fey, SNL and Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler, iO’s Susan Messing and The Annoyance Theater’s Mick Napier. Bob has created more than a dozen one-man shows and sketch comedy revues and has made his presence felt on YouTube through the popular series “The Bon Vivant Gourmet,” “Gil Kaggis: Business Expert!” and “OSHA Safety Men,” and with the hit holiday song “Christmas Hot Pants.” Kulhan continues to teach and perform comedic improvisation in New York City at The PIT and Brooklyn’s branch of the Annoyance Theater, and where Baby Wants Candy performs.

Bob has performed improvisation and facilitated Business Improv workshops in the U.S., England, Scotland, Germany, Singapore, Australia, Turkey, Dubai, Mumbai, and Banff, Canada, where he participated as a Faculty Member and Master Artist in both the Creativity Forum on Creative Leadership and the Thought Leadership Forum on Ethical Governance and Creating a Climate of Corporate Integrity.

In addition to all things improv, Bob is passionate about cooking, scuba diving, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (blue belt), and his family.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS

Diane Mulcahy: The Gig Economy is the future of work. Are you ready?

Joined in studio today by Diane Mulcahy, author of The Gig Economy.

Notes from our discussion with Diane Mulcahy:

Diane Mulcahy1. What is the Gig Economy?

2. What’s driving the growth in the Gig Economy?

3. Why should students stop looking for a job?

4. How you can take more time off in the Gig Economy!

5. Contractors vs. Employees.

6. Is working in the Gig Economy how to truly achieve job security?

Find Diane Mulcahy’s book here:

About Diane Mulcahy:

Diane is author of The Gig Economy: The Complete Guide to Getting Better Work, Taking More Time Off And Financing The Life You Want (Amacom, November 2016). Five years ago, long before the Gig Economy was part of the popular lexicon, Diane created and launched an MBA course on the Gig Economy at Babson College. That course gained immediate traction and was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Business School Classes in the country by Forbes.

A former venture capitalist, Diane is a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she manages the private equity and venture capital investment portfolio.  She writes and speaks frequently about the VC and PE industries and entrepreneurship.  With two earlier books to her name — Venturing Forward and Angels and IPOs — Diane has had her articles and work featured in TheHarvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, The Economist, the New Yorker, Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor, and on NPR and ReutersTV.  Diane holds B.A. and Master of Public Policy degrees from Harvard University.

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The Hazards of Business Execution, Part 2 of 4

This is part two of a four-part series!

I want to share with you in a series of 4 brief articles, how to overcome the obstacles to effective and predictable business execution of strategic initiatives.

There are chronic issues that exist in all organizations and far too many leaders accept them as a non-negotiable part of the business environment — things like resource disconnects, decision stalls, organizational politics, weak or passive-aggressive support, or everyone simply being too busy.

Last time we talked about the first step in the model “The Middle.”

O = Organization

Today I want to talk about the second step in the MOVE model O=Organization

When you are facing the very beginning of a necessary transformation, you are thinking through all the new things that need to be done. There will be things that need to be started, stopped, fixed, invented, re-designed, and re-negotiated… And as you are cataloging all the new stuff in your mind you think about your team — your current team.

Do I have the team I need?

In these first moments of a transformation you are tying to do big new stuff, but still have the same, existing organization. You ask yourself, “Is this the right team?”

In your heart you secretly know that not everyone on your current team is the best choice to succeed in the new mission. But it’s really hard to make a change, and you probably still need them to keep working on the current plans. And you might also be feeling bad and insecure thinking, “I like these people. I brought these people in initially! Who am I to now tell them that they are not going to be part of the new business strategy? Maybe I’ll just move forward with my existing team and they will be able to evolve to be capable enough in the new job. Or maybe I really do need to change the team. I don’t know. This is hard!”

There is no effective antidote for the wrong team

There is no more important thing you can do as a business leader than to build the right team. Every time I hated my job, or felt like I was drowning or failing, a mentor would tell me, “Patty you need to build the right team.”

Every time I was in a new management position, I built a new management team. And every time, before I had the new team in place, I suffered. It was not that the individuals were particularly bad in some way. It was that the team as a whole was the wrong team to accomplish what the business needed to get done. As long as I had the old team, doing the new stuff proved virtually impossible. And I had to shoulder all the weight of thinking about the new stuff by myself.

If you find yourself working overly hard because there are too many things that you can’t delegate to anyone — you have the wrong team.

Your ideal, blank-sheet org chart

As a leader it is your job to build the team you need, not to make do with the team you have.

To build the right organization you need to think about what the ideal team would be to accomplish the transformation you need to execute. Then instead of trying to move around the people you already have, give yourself the opportunity to start with a blank sheet, and build the right organization chart from scratch.



Mobilizing the right team to execute

As a leader you need to always be asking yourself the following:

The right people

How can I attract and hire the right people and move the wrong people out in a respectful way?

The right conversations

How can I lead my team in a way that fosters the most productivity, motivation, and confidence?

Genuine engagement

How can make sure that enough people are truly engaged on a personal level, especially when they are spread throughout the world! How can I get people to truly care?

Get your copy of MOVE to help you build the right team and motivate them to personally care about implementing the new strategy throughout the long Middle.

And check back next time for the next part of the MOVE model, V = Valor.

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You can find Patty Azzarello’s upcoming book here:

Download a FREE Preview of MOVE

In my years of leading business transformations and turnarounds, building highly successful management teams, and working with countless clients to implement their strategies, I have determined what factors enable faster, more decisive execution, and reduce risk.
It’s all in the book! I can’t wait to share it! Available in February.

Get a copy for your whole team!
Or if you’d like to pre-order a copy for everyone on your team, contact us for bulk-order discounts.