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Showing posts from December, 2014

Win-Win Leadership

What kind of a company do you work for or run?  Is it the kind that seeks to enhance its bottom line at the expense of its employees or by inspiring them to be their best and to be more productive?In my career I’ve worked for numerous companies and bosses and have experienced both.  I’ll never forget one of my bosses asking a group of his leading direct reports into his conference room just before the year-end bonuses were to be announced.  He asked us to reach into our wallets and pull out one of our business cards.  He then had us examine those cards and told us that the single most important name on that card was not our names but the name of the company.  I knew two things at that moment:  I was going to get royally screwed on my bonus and I was going to leave that company.  I also knew that a company with that attitude towards its people, especially its top producers, many of whom were sitting in that room, was doomed to ultimately pay a big price until its leadership changed.  T…


Oil prices have plunged.  Somehow this is cause for concern for the leaders who guide our economy, and I cannot for the life of me fathom why.  Sure, there are regions of the United States whose economies depend a lot upon energy.  Texas and North Dakota come to mind immediately although the former has a reasonably diversified economy and the latter’s oil economy has mostly created jobs for temporary immigrants to the state.  There seems to be a belief that the collapse in oil prices will bring about deflation, which is dreaded by Keynsian thinkers who believe that diminishing prices of things will cause buyers to delay their purchases indefinitely – waiting for tomorrow’s likely lower prices – and thus cost the economy sales, profits, and jobs.  For non-Keynesian thinkers like me there is a belief that it is lower prices that actually inspire folks to make purchases.  And, lower prices also allow people to buy more things.

I read emails on Friday.

I'm sure most of you, like me, have wondered about the proper etiquette for communication technology.  While it is undeniable that smart phones have improved our lives in numerous ways, it is also true that there are many costs too. Mostly, we are expected to be on call for, and respond to any and every overture (email, text, or voicemail) and in a fairly short time. Like many, I fantasize of abandoning my device entirely and return to a more peaceful existence. 

Reflections of Memory Lane

Last week I had a couple of separate walks down that proverbial “Memory Lane.”  We just moved into our new home and sorting through lots of stuff I came across a copy of a great memento from my past.  It was a compilation video that we had put together at Nomura/CCA in the latter years to show to new hires who had not been there in the formative years in order to give them a sense of our corporate culture.  I decided it would be fun to watch this with my son Daniel, who was only a very young boy at that time and couldn’t have fully understood what was going on.  We sat and watched the 20ish minute video and, while it was great fun to remember those moments and to share them Daniel, I couldn’t help but feel as though I was watching someone other than me, or some ancient barely recognizable version from a past lifetime.

Trusting Authority

As I’ve written in the past, I have the privilege of teaching a business school class at USC.  I’ve got a significant portion of my students who have come to the school from China, which has added a fascinating dimension to the classroom as they bring their own unique perspective that enriches the experience for all.