Executive Letters

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  • ​Did You Hear What I Said?

    ​Did You Hear What I Said?

    Leadership is not like it once was; teams and offices can no longer function as though being run by a dictator. Of course, there is also the fear of a sort of pendulum-like phenomenon. Some executive leaders will squelch any need to critique or even to suggest that something is amiss, as they don’t want to appear dictatorial! It’s a bit of a conundrum to be sure.

  • ​The Jumping Executive

    ​The Jumping Executive

    We are the first to encourage exploration. Many executive leaders we have coached begin in one field and wind up in a completely new area. There is nothing wrong with that. Biologists we’ve coached have become architects; teachers have become physicians who go on to administer large healthcare complexes; software developers who become university professors; writers have become heads of food companies and it is all perfectly logical and “authentic.” The changes have come from an inner need to find a career that satisfies their passions and their life.

  • ​The Leader Who Was Afraid to Commit

    ​The Leader Who Was Afraid to Commit

    I am reminded of a person I once knew who functioned as the CEO of a small, rather stodgy government agency. He was a talented and bright man, who for nearly 31 years occupied a small office and did pretty much the same job. Over the years, others saw his talent and offered him a chance to leave for a better situation. His stock response was, "Oh, I should think about one of these days." He never did.

  • Did You Hear What I Just Said?

    Did You Hear What I Just Said?

    We live in a digital age where all too many people communicate by keystrokes instead of the heart. Whether we email or text or even send emojis to one another, or whether we use LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat or even Twitter to express our opinions, there is little human to human contact. In fact, even in meetings (countless meetings) I observe executives sitting across from one another, each with a smartphone in front of them, or by them, waiting for a message that will change their lives!

  • Narrow Windows Need an Open Mind

    Narrow Windows Need an Open Mind

    The narrow windows through which executive leaders and entrepreneurs emerge to the next level in their growth and development must encourage mindfulness, compassion and authenticity as key tools. For an executive to be disconnected to her staff, for an executive to be unable to help solve a personnel problem within two or three far-flung offices, for an entrepreneur to not sense leadership obstacles to the development of his organization is to lack the instincts to positively advance an organization.

  • Honest Weights and Measures

    Honest Weights and Measures

    So, has the concept of keeping accurate and honest weights and measures gone by the wayside in our technology laden world? Quite the contrary. Keeping honest weights and measures has never been more important. However, those of us in leadership or entrepreneurship have to develop a completely new way of honest measurement. It is far more reflective and very internal.

  • Navigating around the Know-It-All Leader

    Navigating around the Know-It-All Leader

    The know-it-all leader, male or female, young or old, almost invariably operates from a position of reaction rather than response. A responsive leader is introspective and is unafraid to see other sides of a situation or to solicit the opinions of others. In fact, that is why know-it-all leaders (unless they are motivated to change) are not very good coaching candidates. They usually leave coaching at precisely the time when we ask them to explore their own faults and flaws as leaders. Not surprisingly, they are willing to list the faults of everyone around them, but never their own!

  • What is Your Biggest Fear?

    What is Your Biggest Fear?

    The person who is fearful of not measuring up to the expectations of their staff can be successfully coached and can become tremendous leaders. The person who marches into an office in a dictatorial, mean-spirited, “insulated” and officious manner cannot be so easily coached, for he or she is unwilling to be vulnerable and to be human.

  • When the Leader Escapes

    When the Leader Escapes

    The point is that whether the executive dives into a bottle or believes that his or her constant boorish sexual innuendos (or worse) are funny or the executive who gambles away each paycheck on an on-line poker site are escaping the stressful aspects of their lives.

  • Learning Patience in a Cyber World

    Learning Patience in a Cyber World

    Interestingly, once an executive learns to be more patient, mindful, responsive and authentic, he or she takes no longer to make a decision than the executive who improperly reacts to challenges. Even if the executive jumps quickly in reaction, it is almost a certainty that sooner or later the reaction will cost the organization time, money and a “human toll” that may take months or years to correct.

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