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Rewriting Mueller—for clarity & impact, and in good faith

We can assume that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was happy with the text of the report released last week—or as happy as one gets with such an undertaking. As a document, it is a clean, professional product worthy of Mueller’s reputation as a serious-minded public servant. But could the report have been clearer? Could a … Read More > “Rewriting Mueller—for clarity & impact, and in good faith”

Employee engagement today: The hard work of tough questions

Leaders have always had plenty to worry about, and each era’s leaders tend to feel that “today’s pressing questions” are more pressing than those of times past. Still, there’s good reason to feel compassion for today’s leaders: their 21st-century worries include skills, talent, diversity, artificial intelligence, trade, class, climate, trust—in addition to the enduring stressors of product … Read More > “Employee engagement today: The hard work of tough questions”

Lean-In, Intel, Gawande: Gifts for folks who could use them

In this season of gift-giving, here are my wishful offerings to those who, for various reasons, might need them now: For the “Lean-In” followers of Sheryl Sandberg: Persistence. Don’t let your understandable disillusionment with the Facebook executive diminish the useful power of her original message. Facebook’s loose-privacy maneuvering and posturing have been shameful, but it’s been … Read More > “Lean-In, Intel, Gawande: Gifts for folks who could use them”

For internal communicators, a gift—and an invitation to deliver

Are you an internal communications professional who aspires to do great things for your company and its employees? Then wrap your hands around the wonderful gift that is “The Next Level: The Business Value of Good Internal Communication”—and wrap your head around its insights and recommendations. It’s a great opportunity: Study the report, assess your situation, inject … Read More > “For internal communicators, a gift—and an invitation to deliver”

Leadership: The letter Serena Williams should write

Here is a letter that I wish Serena Williams, as a leader, would write to the tennis world. Naomi Osaka beat me in the US Open finals with her shots and her poise, and I’m looking forward to watching her evolve as a champion—even as I do some more growing myself. Since the final, many … Read More > “Leadership: The letter Serena Williams should write”

Intel at 50: The magic of extreme expectations

One of my favorite memories of Intel is a bumper sticker that read, “My Dad is a ‘successful/equal’ at Intel”—a joking April Fool’s Day reference to the most typical rating given at that time in the company’s yearly performance reviews. That common rating said, in essence, that you were successfully doing what was expected of you … Read More > “Intel at 50: The magic of extreme expectations”

Recruiting for what’s hard—and teaching the rest

A plumbing company’s billboard in Roanoke, Va., gave me a powerful reminder of just what the right message can do in recruiting. It would have stopped me in my tracks if I hadn’t been driving at 50 mph. But that didn’t matter, because the message was unforgettable. It read: “Have humility, drive, & communications skills? … Read More > “Recruiting for what’s hard—and teaching the rest”

I was shocked by this survey question. My wife wasn’t.

It was a quiet exchange with thunderous effect—and I hope I’ll never forget it. A few years ago a letter in a magazine caught my eye because I’d read the article it referred to, on the history of women running for president in the United States. On reading the letter, I was so unsettled that … Read More > “I was shocked by this survey question. My wife wasn’t.”

In any transformation, a question: How to get buy-in—and thrive?

It’s a question every business transformation offers (or presses upon) every leader: How can we help our employees buy into the plan—and then thrive? Whether the transformation is inspired by strength or compelled by vulnerability, the core answer is the same for every employee: she wants to believe in the organization’s purpose, belong to a team of people helping … Read More > “In any transformation, a question: How to get buy-in—and thrive?”

Renee James and Ampere: Engaging in a New World

Andy and Napoleon would be proud. When Ampere Computing emerged from its quiet (and private) gestation, with Renee James as its chairman and CEO, I couldn’t help but smile. The boldness of the venture is striking. The stealth of the preparation was impressive. And the implications for computing and leadership are intriguing. It’s bold to … Read More > “Renee James and Ampere: Engaging in a New World”