Category Archives: Thought-Starters

What’s Your Brand?

What’s Your Brand?

The idea for this post and much of its content is pulled from the February 2013 issue of Fast Company Magazine.

As leaders let’s ask ourselves a couple of simple questions to determine how well we know and communicate our brand identity. To do this we will use Starbucks as an example. This will be modeled through the power of three questions and the responses of Howard Schultz’s CEO of Starbucks.

What’s the essence of your organizations brand?

  • The essence of the Starbuck’s Brand is humanity.

How might you describe your organization’s culture?

  • The Starbuck’s culture is steeped in two primary benefits that have defined Starbucks. The first is comprehensive health insurance coverage for all people who work more than 20 hours a week. The second is stock options for this same group of employees.

What kind of organization are you building?

  • Starbucks is being built as a great and enduring company. Starbucks is a performance-driven organization lead through the lens of humanity.

Three simple questions. Three powerful clear, concise, and inspiring answers.

Think well and be inspired.



The Illusion of Competence

How do we know when we are operating at top leadership effectiveness? What knowledge are we acquiring and what skills are we developing that will advance our leadership competency? How are we going about making the new skill usable, durable, and automatic? What are we doing to understand how our brains work when we are trying to make changes in how we go about theContinue Reading

Give ‘Em All A’s

What might happen if we give everyone on our teams an A? What might happen if we see them rising up to do their very best in every situation? When there is a breakdown in a relationship between we leaders and a team member it usually occurs because we have not given the the team member an A. When we giveContinue Reading

Being Brilliant At The Basics

Can we truly “WOW” our customers if we are under performing on the basics? What are the non negotiable basics for our organizations? On a scale of 1 to 10 how do our organization rate living out the basics? Where do we observe room for positive growth? What is our strategy for closing the gap? Whether it isContinue Reading


How do we respond to change? Can we embrace change? How do we successful leaders, employees, and business owners operate in a world of constant change? We do so by collaborating with key stakeholders. Together we navigate the mine fields of change. We intentionally initiate results focused activities that are aligned with our organization’s vision, motivated by its inspirationalContinue Reading

Creating A Best In Class Mindset

What might it take for our organizations to become #1 in our market niche? What unique knowledge and skill might be necessary for us to be best in class? What unique confidence and commitment might be necessary to stand apart from what in the past had been our competition? A first step is to concentrate our thoughts and activities into anContinue Reading

Migrating From Compliance To Engagement

What motivates individuals? Individuals, in the workplace, desire an environment of autonomy rather than control. This springs from their distinction of wanting to master the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. Mastery, in this context, is an individual’s intention to get better and better at something that matters. And what matters to people is workContinue Reading

How Do You Get Outside Of The Box?

What value might there be to seeing issues differently? Ask yourself…. What assumptions and I making  that I don’t know I am making? What assumptions are causing me to have the assumptions that I am making? How might I change my perspective so I might see new assumptions? What possibilities might be brought forth as a result of these new assumptions? After distinguishingContinue Reading

Success And Significance

What’s your definition of Success? What’s your definition of Significance? Can you have one without the other? A simple and powerful definition is put forth at the end of this post. First let’s braid success and significance around the immutable law of compensation….That law states that no useful service shall be rendered by anyone without just compensation. DoContinue Reading

A Strategy For Being Best In Class

The book Good To Great outlines a three focus strategy for building best in class organizations…. Disciplined People Disciplined Thought Disciplined Action Building a results focused best in class organization is a journey that involves continually developing our people, thinking processes, and execution effectiveness. People development is never-ending. Engaging in disciplined thought and conversation is never-ending. Developing ever-increasingContinue Reading

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