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The Need To Exchange

By Gary Rich on Jan. 30, 2012 in Leadership Bites

Recently, I was meeting with a client who serves on the Board of a large company. Discussing the organization’s performance, he marveled at the fact that although the CEO post had been vacated nearly six months earlier, earnings had not declined. The new CEO would be coming on board soon, and this Director predicted that, “Now, things will really start moving!”

Well, maybe. On the other hand, we’ve seen this movie a few times and they haven’t all had Hollywood sunset endings.

It goes like this: A new CEO enters the company and is heralded by much fanfare, pomp and circumstance. A worldwide introduction is organized, video monitors in thirty seven countries begin humming, there are planted questions from the audience, praise for the past, talk of the future, the familiar “world is changing and we have to change with it” message, and the need for everyone to jump on board, etc. etc. Sound familiar?

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There’s an old saying: “The real discussion begins once the meeting’s over, the decisions have been made and everyone has left the room.”

Recently, I saw this in action while strolling through a conference center where a number of different companies had meetings taking place. At a break, all the meeting attendees spilled from the rooms and began to cluster around the coffee and muffin spread. I’m an inveterate eavesdropper, and I like muffins, so I lingered a little, moving from table to table. As I did, it was hard not to notice the pattern:

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Have You Seen This Bull?

By Glenn Kaufman on Jan. 3, 2012 in Leadership Bites

Over the years, I’ve witnessed many senior leaders come into organizations like bulls in china shops, only to be booted out- some within their first 90 days.  It’s like an immune reaction where the body spits out the offending bug, only with all the organizational collateral damage as a side effect.

No matter how smart or senior you are, you simply don’t have credibility in a new organization until you earn it.

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