Height & Light Blog
Play by a different set of rules
For the past year, weekends have been strange. During the prior seven years, my wife and two boys and I got up at 5 am on Saturdays and baked 100+ loaves of bread for a growing group of customers in our side business named Noonday Bread. The decision to shut the...read more
“You know we’re not done yet, right?”
This isn’t exactly what Tom had hoped to hear. But he has a feeling Katie is right. They’re sitting in their conference room immediately after launching the company’s initiative teams. Tom feels pretty good about their work so far. His team had set leadership bench strength goals, assessed their leaders, and carefully engaged each initiative leader in both the task and the development opportunity of their work.
“You mean we could still screw this up?” Tom says with a slight twinkle in his eye.read more
Tom’s team sits, simultaneously sobered and strangely energized. They’re about to deploy their strategy through a variety of key initiatives. They have resolved to use their strategy implementation process to dramatically increase the depth of their leadership bench.
The plain, hard facts stare them in the face. They just mapped their existing team to sort their proven leaders from your potential leaders. They’ve set targets about converting a certain number of potential leaders into proven leaders – and elevating solid team members into the potential leader category. They know they have to do all of this while getting a slate of key projects completed.read more
Tom looks perplexed. His organization just finished building a plan for its next three years.
They had made significant progress. As he said in a meeting earlier in the week, “For the first time in a long time, I think we have a strategy!” But today, as he faces a list of high gain initiatives, Tom realizes his next major obstacle. “How are we going to get all of this done?” he wondered out loud. “We just don’t have the leadership bench we need to make this happen.”read more
If you slept in a warm bed last night... give thanks. If your house is untouched by fire or flood... give thanks. If your sleep was uninterrupted by violence and fear... give thanks. If you were blessed with a good education that stretched your mind and heart... give...read more
I could see Claire slump a little in her chair. She was a very senior leader in her company and had been charged with leading a decision team through the evaluation of a major strategic choice, one that would dramatically shift the business model of the company by...read more
“You change management people are all the same. If my friends from GE were listening to this conversation, they’d say it was the biggest crock of shit they’ve ever heard.” Scott was a little frustrated. And salty. He’s a CEO facing a big challenge. The clock is...read more
“I’m not sure why we’re even having this meeting. It seems to me like it’s a total waste of time. The value proposition we’re debating has already been decided by the CEO and he’s not looking for our vote!” Fourteen smart people sat around the rectangular table in a...read more
“We suck at decision-making on this team.” Of all the complaints I hear about leadership teams, this one ranks near the top. Effective leadership teams know the plays they have to run over and over. Decision-making is a fundamental play, but one that is often busted....read more
Dear Team Member, When it's decision time on your team, what your organization most needs is the truth. Sadly, the truth is usually in hiding, especially from your leader. You and your teammates know things about what’s going on with the business that your...read more
“I think my team is about here on the conflict scale,” the CEO said, drawing an x on the whiteboard. We had been discussing his leadership team and how he needed them to perform at a higher level if the company was going to achieve its next level of performance and...read more
Dear Boss, If you're facing a big decision, what you most need now is the truth. Without the truth, you could easily foul that decision up. Here’s the bad news: No one tells you the truth. This may come as a surprise. You think you’re approachable, fair, and...read more