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In Phoenix, flowers bloom most of the year. A few months ago I purchased a flowering plant for a shaded garden. This plant required partial shade and water about once per week. It thrived during the winter and spring with the right balance of light and water. The light nurtured the leaves and the water nurtured the roots. Then we had a hot spell. I had not moved the plant or changed the watering schedule to compensate for the changes in its environment. In one week, it had partially dried up and quit blooming. To save it, I moved it

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Last year I took a short vacation in Las Vegas. My arrived at one of the popular strip hotels and was told my room would not be ready for several hours. I had tickets for a 6:00pm show, so I asked to speak to a manager, but he seemed indignant that I expected to check in on time (amazing!). He told me that my room might not be ready until after 6pm. He implied that this was MY problem and that he was not there to solve it. When I informed him of my need to change clothes before the

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We buy new equipment to impact performance positively over the long term (i.e., over the life of the equipment). From the day of start-up, we expect results to be better, knowing that there could be some rough spots during ramp-up to full production, which can take months. Only the passage of time will confirm that the equipment met expected targets. A culture shift can happen in a moment when people are together. One thing said by a person in authority can act as a catalyst to lift a barrier between departments and create the possibility that things really can be

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Leadership Lumber

Posted by Mark Sorrels on January 01, 2000
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Category : Blog

Leadership Lumber When constructing a stick built house, a contractor arrives on location with many tools.  Saws, drills, ladders and nail-guns make up an important part of the builder’s inventory.  The contractor has a copy of the blueprints as well as the required permits to begin construction.  Even though the contractor has tools, permits and blueprints, no house will be built until there is some lumber delivered to the job site.  The contractor can have great knowledge, education and years of experience, but without lumber, there will be no house. There are many types of lumber: rough cut, finished lumber,

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Companies estimate their earnings potential through assumptions about equipment capacity and cost. Those assumptions are grounded in the past – past experience with change and baggage from prior assignments that color what they believe is possible to achieve. If people could step outside their old paradigms and be open to understanding the drivers behind poor performance, the bars they set for determining potential would be different. The more people are willing to change their perspectives, the more potential can be captured. As more potential is captured, profits are higher. The bottom line is “how much money do you really want

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The Super Bowl, Management Teams and Trust

Posted by Kay Sever on January 01, 2000
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Category : Blog

On Super Bowl Sunday, all eyes follow two teams that earned the right to play because they demonstrated strong teamwork and skills over and over again. How many teams would make it to the Super Bowl if the team members did not trust each other? What if grudges off the field affected the execution of plays during the game? Let’s say that a quarterback and running back had a disagreement the day before the big game. During the game, the quarterback decided not to throw the ball to the running back because he did not want the running back to

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You probably know about the power outage during the Superbowl. The game was full of action and players were giving it their all, but suddenly, one thing that everyone takes for granted during a game failed – the lights. When the lights went out, the game stopped. At that moment, the most talented football players or the most famous coaches in history could not have restarted the game. The chance for either team to win hinged on power being restored. Change can be stopped just as quickly. Out of nowhere an unexpected comment or reaction by management to an event

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Today’s Leadership Challenge

Posted by Mark Sorrels on January 01, 2000
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Category : Blog

What is the biggest challenge you face as a leader?  Many students of leadership tell us that identifying and developing leaders always has and always will be a huge challenge.  If this is true, leaders of corporate America are in for a long uphill climb.  Consider the following information from Harry K. Jones:        –FORTUNE MAGAZINE reminds us that every seven seconds, someone turns 60.  That equates to 12,343 baby boomers        turning 60 years or older every day!      -The boomers are retiring in record numbers from the American workplace.      -Forty percent of

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For decades, management teams have been trained to “say what is correct” to make change happen. One thing has been missing from the process – the step that gets you ready for change. What do I mean by that? All lasting change starts in the mind, not the mouth. For example, you can go to classes on how to lose weight, but you have to set your mind to losing weight before you can stick to a diet. Managing change is no different. Teaching people to say different things without changing their perspective, their desires and their vision may work

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Leadership Legacy

Posted by Mark Sorrels on January 01, 2000
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Category : Blog

From 1930 to 1972, Adolph Rupp had an amazing forty-one seasons as the basketball coach at the University of Kentucky.  His teams won five national championships and were the perennial power in the Southeastern Conference.  Rupp’s forty-one season winning percentage was 82.2.  The legacy of Adolph Rupp placed tremendous pressure  upon the coach that was to follow him.   Joe B. Hall was the man who followed Rupp at Kentucky.  The legacy he received placed  almost unrealistic expectations upon him.  But Joe B. Hall left a legacy of great expectations himself.  During Hall’s thirteen years as head coach at Kentucky,

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