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Leadership Insights - September 2021

“The key to a leader's impact is sincerity.

Before he can inspire with emotion, he must first be swayed by it himself.

Before he can move their tears, his own must flow.

To convince them, he must himself believe.”

Winston Churchill


Prime Minister of Great Britain, 1940-1945

Lasso’s Lessons

Learning often comes from unexpected sources. Such is the case with the hit show, “Ted Lasso.” The premise: “ An American College football coach with absolutely no experience with European football, is purposely hired by the recently divorced owner to manage a struggling Premier League team.” It’s a workplace comedy with unexpected lessons for leadership and coaching.

A short article from Business Insider offers a quick summary of the series’ leadership lessons: 5 Ways ‘Ted Lasso’ shows how effective leadership can be achieved through kindness.

If you have a WSJ subscription, check out another great article explaining why an unexpected hit TV show has become ‘required watching’ for coaches. (Thanks to Los Angeles Vistage Chair Jed Daly for this link)

“Pride and Delusion”

A Vistage speaker once remarked that “The second worst thing that can happen to a company is success.” It’s easy to be seduced into thinking that once achieved, the success journey is over. Perhaps the most vivid example of this is fate of General Electric. The late Jack Welch built GE into one of the most celebrated success stories of all time. Today it is a shadow of its former self.

In his blog, Bill Gates provides an executive summary of this book What happened to GE?

Are You Backable?

Much of life (especially in business) is getting others to take a chance on you, be it getting the job you want, hiring that superstar, a bank loan for expansion or raising money for a start-up. Often we only get one shot at the ask (think “Shark Tank”).

How can we up the odds of a ‘yes?”

Management writer Dan Pink (“Drive”, “To Sell is Human”) recently interviewed the author of a new book on the topic, Suneel Gupta. Spend 3 min 45 seconds with Messrs. Pink and Gupta on the former’s recent “PinkCast” video for an executive summary: “This is How to Get Others to Take a Chance on You.

Mr. Gupta’s book on the subject is “Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance on You.” If you prefer video, here’s an 60 minute video podcast that provides a deep dive into the book.

17 Words on Succession

Peter Drucker once remarked that “succession was the CEO’s most important job.” Aging Boomers (perhaps in some cases encouraged by the pandemic) are thinking more and more about succession. If you’d like some reality and inspiration from someone who got it right, check out this short article from Inc Magazine “With 17 Words, Steve Jobs Confirmed a Brutal Truth Most People Never Admit. It All Paid Off This Week.” (My thanks to fellow Vistage Chair Jed Daly for this).

Econ Recon

“Slow”, not “No”: Lots of ‘hot money’ thanks to the government and pent up demand from the pandemic have been driving the economy forward, but the business cycle has not been eliminated. Brian Beaulieu of ITR Economics offers a quick look ahead at 2022 and projects that we’ll be moving forward, just not as fast. Learn more about why he sees a “Slowdown in 2022.”

A Tale of Two Economies: Economists often distinguish between the real economy (production of goods and services) and what I’ll call the “unreal economy”; namely the financial markets. Nevertheless the two are correlated over time. Economist Brian Wesbury is forecasting the stock market will continue an upward trajectory but the ‘real economy’ will not. Find out why he thinks that in a recent blog post, Stocks versus the Economy.”

Brian Wesbury’s Economic Recovery Tracker (as of 9/16/21) provides interesting comparatives on key economic metrics for the current year versus the 2020 Covid Year and the pre-Covid year of 2019.


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