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Leadership Lessons Ripped from the Headlines

Through his work as an executive coach, leadership strategist, speaker and author, Scott Eblin has become known as a thought leader in identifying the behaviors that executives need to pick up and let go as they transition into new and larger roles. President of the leadership development and strategy firm The Eblin Group Inc., Scott is a former Fortune 500 executive, with a coaching client list that runs the gamut from Astra Zeneca to the U.S. Navy. He is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success which Business Book Review calls a “fascinating read” that “is full of potentially career-saving advice.”

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What Do You Make of This?

by on October 12, 2011 12:27pm
in The Next Level

One of my idiosyncratic sources of fun is inserting random lines from movies into everyday conversation. Kevin Bacon shouting, “All is well. Remain calm!” right before the riot runs over him at the end of Animal House would be an example. Another one is when the Lloyd Bridges character in Airplane is looking at a [...]
What my friend is arguing against is the heroic model of leadership. In that model, people are looking for a savior who will be responsible for making sure that everything turns out great. It’s what one of my early mentors, Ron Heifetz, at Harvard’s Kennedy School might call “work avoidance.” His point is that the job of a leader is not to do the work but to help the group define the work that needs to be done. The group has to do the work. That can be a messy and frustrating process so it’s not surprising that people tend to look for a heroic leader who can make it all better instead of doing the work.
Even though it was sadly expected, the news of Steve Jobs’ passing this week hit me like a punch in the gut. Clearly, I was not alone. The outpouring of tributes and remembrances tell us something. He was an especially gifted human being who, in his own ways, helped change the world. Whether it’s explicitly [...]
My friends at SmartBrief on Leadership run a weekly poll on a question of interest to their 165,000 readers. A great guy named Mike Figliuolo, author of the just released One Piece of Paper, comes up with the questions and offers his analysis on the results. This week’s write up was a doozy. Last week, [...]
October 1, 2011 marks the retirement of Admiral Mike Mullen from the U.S. Navy and from his role as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Washington Post’s David Ignatius offers a nice recap of the Mullen years in an exit interview column with the Chairman. I’m an admirer of Mullen and his leadership [...]
Are you accountable or responsible? What’s the difference and why does it matter? The first time I heard this distinction was years ago in one of my first coaching engagements. I was interviewing colleagues of my client and a senior executive said, “He needs to be more accountable and less responsible.” That made a lot [...]
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria is one of the smartest people I don’t know. His GPS (Global Public Square) show on Sunday afternoon is an oasis of civil and intelligent discussion on world events in a desert of babble and blather. He opened this week’s show with a commentary on the burgeoning economic crisis in the Eurozone. [...]
There are a lot of things you could say about the board of directors at Hewlett Packard but being afraid to pull the trigger is not one of them. With its dismissal of Leo Apotheker, the HP board has fired three CEO’s in the past six years. Apotheker lasted 11 months at HP.  He came [...]
Earlier this week, I was leading a workshop for a group of leaders in a company that’s been around for a long time. They’re at the beginning of an enterprise wide, top to bottom reimagining of the business. There’s a mix of excitement, ambiguity and uncertainty in the air. Everyone knows that big changes are [...]

Being Busy Makes You Stupid

by on September 19, 2011 10:10am
in The Next Level

Being busy makes you stupid. And when I say, “you”, I mean me. Heck, I’ll just say it out loud. Being busy makes me stupid. I realized this in a conversation with my wife on Friday night. We were out for a long, relaxed “just the two of us” dinner. Of course, we had scheduled [...]
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