• Things are returning to ‘normal’ following my two week excursion to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


     The initial reason for my visit was to present “Strategic Leadership Performance” in two sessions to participants from both the private and public sectors at the World Strategy Summit in Abu Dhabi. The basic premise of the presentation was that, to perform effectively, leaders need to first possess specific non-technical personality characteristics and then they need to actually use them in effective leadership behaviours if they are to be successful in converting their future vision into sustainable organizational change.

  • The participants in the recent CAES Cross-Cultural Survey were offered a ‘bonus’ questionnaire that provided them with feedback regarding where they were positioned on a growth versus fixed mindset scale. The cumulative results, listed below, were quite interesting.  

  • Without true desire significant performance just does not happen. For me, true desire represents what an individual specifically wants, to a great enough degree, that they will be motivated to take appropriate action in order to obtain it. Going way beyond hope, wishful thinking, dreams, expectation, and entitlement, true desire helps us to overcome our natural tendency to maintain and justify the status quo. True desire facilitates enhanced performance, it enables openness to positive change, it provides people with the motivation and confidence to change, and it is what separates above-average performers from the hopeful majority.


     The absence of true desire allows mediocre performance to enter

  • We all have experienced ineffective ‘leaders’ at some point in our careers. Many people are mistakenly referred to as leaders simply because of their title or the position that they hold in their organization. But just because a person occupies a ‘leadership positon’ does not mean that they actually perform as an effective leader. Just like any other business activity, the measure of leadership effectiveness must be based on actual performance. Effective leaders experience performance success because they have willing followers, they possess attractive leadership characteristics, and they actually use their leadership skills.

  • I have recently begun two new search assignments that are related to the sales function – the first for a Technical Salesperson and the second for a Director of Business Development. While working with the hiring managers to determine the performance requirements for each position, I was reminded of some common characteristics that I typically see in high-performing people. I firmly believe that, in any profession, 20% of the people are above average performers and 80% are average, or below average, performers. And this certainly holds true for the sales profession where 20% of the salespeople make 80% of the sales. Here are three reasons why:

  • I have just completed an employment candidate search assignment for a local client. Despite the fact that candidate searches are a big part of what I do, I want to share this one because it illustrates both an adaptable search process and how, when working collaboratively with a growth-oriented client, both a quality result and added value can be achieved.

  • Whether handled by internal recruiters or external recruitment organizations, identifying and hiring talented personnel is never easy. Companies that are reliant on assistance from external recruiters are often frustrated by the consistent failure of these organizations to bring them the level of quality in candidates that they require. The quality of the recruitment organization, and specific recruiters within, should always be factored into any success / failure analysis. But we also need to understand the impact of the underlying hiring company – recruitment organization relationship to fully understand how consistent success or failure can occur.

  • Surrounding yourself with exceptional Human Resources (HR) people will directly contribute to both your organization’s success and your personal career progression. While poor organizational performance is never totally the fault of HR, they nonetheless do play a significant role due to their organization-wide involvement. If you are not experiencing the organizational performance results that you expect or require, a key area that you will need to evaluate for effectiveness is your HR department. Doing so will help you to ensure that you are not mistakenly relying on the wrong people to perform this essential business function.

  • “If the recession has taught us anything, it is that what we were doing was wrong”.


    The economy seems to be showing signs of improvement, but I doubt that there is a consensus that we are “out of the woods” just yet. While optimism is growing, we rightfully remain cautious as few of us would have expected the economic slowdown to be as deep, long and extensive as it has turned out to be. This was not just another inevitable, albeit deeper, recession from which we will eventually return to “business as usual”. Things have changed, and this will require a change in our collective thinking

  • There is no doubt that personnel retention is and will continue to be a major challenge for most organizations. There are numerous studies that suggest that, on a global scale, a lot of people are eager to make a change in their employment situation by leaving their current employers. This does not necessarily mean that the talented people in your organization will want to leave – but they just might. So, if you value the contribution of your exceptional managers and staff, you would be wise to do everything possible to ensure that you retain them.