• On Work Life

    The Only Way to Succeed

    I have a friend who never does things the easy way. I think in a sick, twisted way he enjoys doing things the hard way. I don’t judge though. When I think about it, I’m really not that much different. I was once an engineering major. I had 5 semesters of physics and math under my belt, and I chose to change my major to Philosophy and Religion. The inevitable argument with my mom ensued. “What will you do instead, Chip?” “Well, I really liked my philosophy course, and my religion professor is really great. I’d like to change to Philosophy and Religion.” “What kind of job will you get?…

  • On Work Life

    The Structured Leader

    As my kids have gotten bigger and begun playing around in the yard, it is a common thing to find them building something. Sometimes it’s a doll bedroom made from sticks and pieces of bark. Sometimes it’s a bow and arrow made from twine and a fallen branch. Sometimes it’s a fort made from logs they’ve stacked. My kids have Legos and Lincoln Logs and all kinds of connecting and building pieces they use to create wonderful new structures. However, structural engineers they are not. Their doll houses have no roofs, their bows have no recoil and their forts are precariously balanced. They are building from their imaginations which are…

  • On Work Life

    The Developing Leader

    You have a problem on your hands. Your employees, not all, but many of them, are chronically unhappy working for you. You’ve built a nice organization. You have lots of amenities including programs for after-work sports and service projects around the city. You do giveaways of tickets for local events. You have a state-of-the-art facility with meals and snacks prepared by professional chefs. You give them every benefit and amenity that is offered in your industry, wooing the best talent from other companies. The company you’ve built is the best of the best in the industry, yet people are leaving in droves, among them some of the best young talent.…

  • On Work Life

    The Powerful Leader

    You’ve never even doubted for a moment that you’re a leader. It comes naturally as a by-product of your charm and charisma. You enter a room, and you get noticed. You speak, and they listen. You write memos, you issue declarations, you pronounce and codify and all the world around you listens and obeys. The only problem is that no one loves you. If you take a leisurely walk, no one follows for the enjoyment of your company. They follow only out of obligation or fear. There is no enjoying you, because you’re a harsh taskmaster. You spend your days making withdrawals from the banks of people’s hearts and minds…