News & Views

June 3, 2015

How to Write an Action Plan for Your Personal Leadership Strategy

To transform an idea into a self-sustaining enterprise, you must possess self-awareness, understand the basics of enterprises, know how to build relationships, how to leverage motivation, and how to lead change. A personal leadership strategy, or PLS, is a plan of action for acquiring and mastering those basic skills.

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May 6, 2015

WSJ: Wising up to Failure

Brian O’Kelley used to be good at getting fired from startups — even startups he founded. Less than a decade ago, he was on a trajectory to become one of the smartest people who nobody wanted to work with.

April 7, 2015

Staying a Step Ahead Without Leaving Your People Behind

Ask an entrepreneur about the company’s strategy and you are likely to hear a lot about a revolutionary idea, a disruptive innovation, or maybe an ingenious business model. All of those things are worthy pursuits, but entrepreneurial strategy, in its essence, is profoundly simple. The overriding goal is to get the fledging enterprise to the next stage of maturity. Any activity that isn’t focused on getting to the next stage is a waste of effort, time, and money.

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March 31, 2015

Five Steps for Creating a Personal Leadership Strategy

The fledgling entrepreneurs I mentor often have no shortage of strategies: ambitious business plans, technology strategies, market strategies, and sometimes even exit strategies. But when I ask them to describe their personal leadership strategies they often give me blank looks. A personal leadership strategy, or PLS, is a plan of action for acquiring and mastering the skills required to take an idea to a self-sustaining enterprise: self-awareness, the basics of enterprises, relationship building, motivation, and change leadership.

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February 2, 2015

WSJ: Weekend Read: How to Deal with Rival Employees

Jerry, a 40ish first-time entrepreneur with world-class technical skills, came to me despondent the other day. His head of sales and head of marketing hate each other, he told me. He didn’t want to choose between them, but was afraid he could lose them both of them if he didn’t.

December 6, 2014

WSJ: 3 Easy Ways to Make Sure New Employees Thrive

The other day a young and driven entrepreneur I have been mentoring asked me how she should go about estimating the investment in training she will need for about a dozen people she needs to hire in early 2015. I responded that there are no tradeoffs between training and budget; world-class training comes naturally with inspired startup leadership.

November 21, 2014

5 Fatal Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid

Research on the causes of entrepreneurial failure is often confusing and contradictory, but most investors and successful entrepreneurs agree that five common mistakes are potentially fatal.