Height & Light Blog

Play by a different set of rules

Latest Posts

Leader’s Job 1: Define the Win

  Hmmm... How do we get to this exit? Most of the business community is playing defense right now.  With seismic shifts in the financial markets, stunning changes in consumer behavior, and layoffs all around, it's easy to see why.  No wonder so many people are looking...

read more

Suddenly Timely

During our last "worst recession since the Great Depression" in the early part of this decade, I demonstrated a poor sense of timing by taking an executive job overseeing a professional services team or 70+ people.  Over the following two years, I had the displeasure...

read more

Dirty Word #21 – Frugality

If you read the Wall Street Journal, you may have noticed an article last week entitled New Frugality Worsens Downturn.  It talks about the perils of individual frugality for the larger economy.  (If you want entertainment, sample the response of WSJ readers who...

read more

Haircut vs. Pruning

I was talking with a senior financial leader at a very large private company the other day.  Like so many companies, they are battening down the hatches for the storm we're all riding through.  That partly involves making cost cutting decisions and it got us talking...

read more

Dirty Word #20 – Friendship

There's an old saying that people quote when something bad happens to them: "It's times like this when you find out who your friends really are." For many of us, it's one of those times.  Maybe for all of us... It goes without saying that we live in a very nervous...

read more

Changing the Dance

I heard a story once that caught my attention. A man was walking down a city street when he was approached by a would-be mugger. "Give me your wallet or I'll stick you," he said, flashing a blade. Barely breaking stride, the man looked at the mugger and said, "What...

read more

If I could do it over…

Our team often works with leaders who have recently taken on critical leadership roles.  I try to keep up with them after they have gotten firmly established and often ask them a simple question after they have been in their role for about a year: If you could do it...

read more

Fostering Breakthroughs

Aha's.  Light bulbs. The fog lifting. These are all images for those elusive breakthroughs that we all want as we lead our organizations.  They rarely come on command, as attractive as it may be for us to think we can conjure them up. But we can do more than just wait...

read more

Dirty Word #19 – Correction

I usually write about strategy implementation, leadership, and turning everyday work into top-notch learning.  Be warned, today's post is a little different. The events of the last few weeks have shaken many of our core beliefs.  I was in Knoxville with a client when...

read more

Better questions, better meetings

Have you ever wondered the secrets to getting more out of meetings (and really, who hasn't wondered)?  Yes, structured agendas matter.  And clear outcomes and actions.  But I think there's more, something that's a little more subtle. Every now and then, I get to...

read more

Dirty Word #18 – Mistakes

Nobody relishes making mistakes, but sometimes they can be good.  In our strategy implementation work with clients, we often get involved coaching leaders on how to be more effective in their roles.  Some time ago, I was working with a really smart client who was...

read more

It’s all about practices…

It happened again recently. I was meeting with a colleague and a client and got an uneasy feeling. We are supporting a key unit of the organization in creating and implementing a growth plan. We have helped the leaders clarify their priorities and direction. We have...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest