The Leadership Opportunity We Normally Miss

12654199_1244752162207454_5500140414448218340_nI had just finished my senior year in high school. I was 18 years old. My friends and I were busy making plans for where to attend college. The world was full of possibilities and options.

One afternoon that spring the phone rang. It was clearly an adult on the line but he wasn’t asking to speak to my mother or father. He wanted to talk to me.

“I have some questions for you about Axel Spens,” said the voice on the other end.

Axel was a good friend of mine. We’d become close while playing high school basketball together. We’d spent countless hours in cars and buses going to and from games and practices.

Why Leaders Need to Keep the Yardstick Up In the Air

In our last two blog entries we’ve investigated (1) an important way to keep followers motivated and (2) how to help followers consistently make good decisions. This week’s video blog shows the single leadership concept that those ideas point toward and how it works to make leaders not only more effective, but also more efficient. 

An Open Letter to Leaders: What Your Followers Really Think When You Don’t Get Back to Them

No ResponseDear Leaders,

Day in and day out we, your followers, use email, text messages, voicemail and the like to communicate with you. There are many times — probably more than you care to admit or recall — when you don’t respond to our messages in a timely fashion or, in some cases, at all. As your followers, we thought you might want to know a bit more about what we’re thinking when you don’t get back to us.

Carpe Your Followers

Robin Williams picture from PhotoPinLast week we explored how to make our leadership communication radically more effective. We will now turn our attention—as we so often do at The Aperio—to the inner workings of the leader. This week we’ll explore the internal development of the leader that precedes and enables radically effective communication.

In the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society, the late Robin Williams played the role of school teacher John Keating. Keating teaches poetry and English in an all-boys preparatory school. His teaching methods would have been considered unique in any school but, in the buttoned-up world of a traditional boarding school, they were scandalous.

How To Be a Radically Effective Communicator

gloveIn last week’s post we explored the communication mentality of an effective leader. If you possess that, you’re ready for today’s topic. Today we look at how to radically–and I do mean radically–improve the effectiveness of our communication. To do that, we’ll take a look at a couple of real-life leaders.

Meet Lance. Lance was an up-and-coming leader in his organization but still getting his footing in what it meant to lead.

Do You Have the Communication Mentality of a Non-Leader?


Former US President Harry S Truman

For Father’s Day this year my wife gave me the gift of getting to spend an hour alone with each of our three kids. There is little in the world I enjoy more than getting to be with my kids one-on-one. With the hustle and bustle of a family of five, such opportunities are rare. Each kid was given the choice of how to spend the hour with me. For her hour, our 4-year old daughter decided that she and I would go swimming.

We arrived at our local workout facility and jumped in the pool. There were LOTS of people swimming that afternoon. Not long after getting into the water, I was told to move to a different part of the pool by the lifeguard.