Executive Letters

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  • What I Learned Outside a Diner

    What I Learned Outside a Diner

    As it was early in the morning I decided to take a chance and park in the diner’s parking lot, dash across the street, get my cavity filled run back and be on my way. As I was leaving my car I thought I heard a voice shout at me. I initially ignored it then the voice grew louder. It was the owner. He yelled at me that the lot was for customers only, and that I should find a space on the street. He didn’t recognize me.

  • Swimming Upstream against the Popular Flow

    Swimming Upstream against the Popular Flow

    As the product launch was nearing, all of the executives gathered in a meeting room to discuss the project. My acquaintance, who was head of cyber-security was already unpopular among the engineering and marketing types due to his constant reminders that the robotic surgical device was not secure and should not be launched until it could be made secure

  • The Shape of Water and the Weight of Leadership

    The Shape of Water and the Weight of Leadership

    What exactly is the weight of leadership? Furthermore, is the weight always the same? There is no correct answer to either question. The weight of leadership is, of course, a figure of speech. The executive leader or entrepreneur may, at any given time, have 100 challenges all juggling in the air. Some may be minor, others major and sometimes, the minor becomes a major. The weight of leadership is so described because the executive leader is always pictured as being alone, with essentially no counsel and no guideposts.

  • Why Every Executive Should Wander

    Why Every Executive Should Wander

    We have all known executives who are aimless in their decision making. It is almost an act of desperation. In an effort to please everyone and to accommodate everyone (the ultimate reaction), they will agree to most everything to keep the peace, their jobs and to remain everyone’s friend.

  • The Meaning of Life for Executives: 101

    The Meaning of Life for Executives: 101

    Many years ago, I knew a really great guy who worked for a seemingly great company. The executive who came in for coaching was politically active in a humanitarian cause. No use going into the details, but the organization helped children and their moms in impoverished nations. He never made a big deal about it, he just quietly went about his good works and, of course, worked very hard at his company. However, in meetings with his boss and with several of his co-workers, it was apparent they thought the type of charitable work he was doing was absolutely pointless. In fact, his boss was downright hostile to the cause. What made it more of an ironic situation is that he never told them what he was doing, and they never knew.

  • Have You Seen My Career?

    Have You Seen My Career?

    Amid all of the incredible success stories and the stories of monumental failure, are a “class,” if you will of executives whose careers never really got launched, but sputtered. Many drifted from one industry to another. Sometimes they might come close to breaking through, but they mostly worked careers that bumped along, then fizzled out.

  • "I Plan on Doing Nothing Right Now, Thanks for Asking!"

    I knew a whole “class” of executives whose sole mission, it seemed, was to accumulate miles, and thereby improve their status. There was even a time when they added “segments” rather than to fly direct. If an executive trying to accumulate miles was flying from LaGuardia Airport to Los Angeles, instead of going non-stop, he might stop in Atlanta and Dallas just to add segments and miles.

  • The Important Lesson from Jury Duty

    The Important Lesson from Jury Duty

    Being an executive business coach at VIM Executive Coaching, I know all too well that every executive or entrepreneur who comes to us for leadership training leads a busy life. Time, as they say, is always of the essence. So, and with apologies, what I am about to say is about to shock or madden some of you. If you get a summons to go to jury duty please embrace the opportunity and go.

  • The Good Old Days, Not So Good?

    The Good Old Days, Not So Good?

    If you are an executive leader or an entrepreneur who longs for the “Good Old Days,” perhaps an important question that first needs to be asked is: “Why were they good?” Obviously, if sales were booming because the product or service was unique, then that might account for some of the optimism and cheer. If sales declined solely because of a failure of the company to innovate then that is an internal flaw over which business coaching may (or may not be) of use.

  • The Self-Aware Leader -- Who Isn't

    The Self-Aware Leader -- Who Isn't

    As with a blind spot in the mirror of an automobile, blind-spots or a lack of self-awareness in entrepreneurs and leaders is a phenomenon that is not quite as uncommon as we might believe. In a January 4, 2018 article that appeared in The Harvard Business Review, it was found in regard to self-awareness that: “Although some 95 percent of people think they’re self-aware, only about 10 percent to 15 percent truly are.”

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VIM: - noun: lively or energetic spirit; enthusiasm; vitality