Category: CiO Briefs

What They Teach Us: Andrew Cuomo And Leadership In A Time Of Crisis

Leadership Lesson: It’s important to take away what we can from the best examples of leadership, even in a crisis, when the leadership can either shine or not.

Where do you get your leadership fix?

Who do you look to who you, if not follow, at least consider dependable, knowing they’re taking care of your environmental, organizational, or, hell, even psychological needs?

Like, who do you look to and think Shit, okay. I know this person is on top of things?

COVID-19 has hit the U.S. (I pray to God there’s no need to include a hyperlink to any background on the virus because you’re well aware and informed of what’s going on.)

(…You know what’s going on, right?)…


What He Taught Me: “Neutron” Jack And The Sense Of Urgency For Action

Leadership Lesson: Keep in mind all that you can learn from a leader — his or her various attributes, approaches, and attitudes — even if you don’t agree with certain aspects of their leadership and/or management. Case in point: Jack Welch and the need for urgency.

Jack Welch, a legend of the business world and former CEO of General Electric, passed away last week at the age of 84.

It was under Welch’s tenure from 1981 to 2001 that GE, a company rooted in the work of Thomas Edison, expanded beyond its traditional businesses of appliances and lighting, growing into the global conglomerate it was known to be at the height of its dominance.

Both the company’s reach and reign in…


In Your Development, How Do You Deal With The People Who Disagree With You?

Leadership Lesson: In developing our leadership, we need to consider the positions of all stakeholders at (or beyond) the table, even if they don’t agree with us, so that all points and possibilities can be at least considered and acknowledged – not necessarily appeased and conceded.

Coming face-to-face with those who don’t appreciate or accept your message might not be as obvious, open, and overt as these two instances in Washington in the last few weeks for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump. Regardless, we should always consider why others don’t agree with us.

<<John inserts his usual


When It Comes To Integrity, “Playing Nice” Shouldn’t Mean Giving Up What You Stand For

Leadership Lesson: In order to remain as honest as possible, save time for all parties involved, and retain one’s integrity, it’s important to let others know when you disagree with them, even when it’s with a silent gesture.

At the U.S. Capitol memorial service for Representative Elijah Cummings, who died last week and who was revered by both sides of the aisle for his leadership over the course of his more than twenty years in the House of Representatives, one of his pallbearers, as he made his way through the receiving line of bipartisan congressional leaders, snubbed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s handshake.

Check out the clip below.


Negligent Leaders Must Learn: Lead Or Get Out Of The Way!

Leadership Lesson: We should all become aware of how and to what extent we are the obstacle in the path of progress of our mission, group, or organization.

“Lead, or get out of the way,” was a recent rallying cry used at a gathering of political figures at the national level. I won’t go into who said it or under what circumstances because it would only lead to a different conversation about which politics are wrong and which are right — and that would only take away from what my leadership development message is here.

The statement itself is a powerful demand — when someone calls to their leader that if they’re not going to take action that they should step aside. (Yes, you…


A Leader’s Relatability: Does Your Message Sound Too Scripted And Polished

Leadership Lesson: In order to avoid sounding too scripted and unnatural, a leader should tap into and refine their self-awareness when conveying the message of their mission, intentions, and plans.

The basis for this post was a conversation I had with a colleague a few years ago in the thick of the last presidential election, when Hillary Clinton was battling Donald Trump, specifically, in the final debates leading up to the 2016 election.

My colleague made it known they didn’t like Hillary Clinton. That aside from and in addition to the typical reasons people found Clinton unpalatable, they found her to be too polished, leading her to seem too scripted, a by-product of being overprepared. There was nothing natural, so she seemed too manufactured.

My…


What People Teach Us: Lady Gaga And The Discipline For Passion

Leadership Lesson: Make sure you truly understand what goes into making your passion work for you, taking into consideration your circumstances and resources alongside your desires, before either pursuing it fully or walking away.

What does passion mean to you? How does your passion manifest itself? Is your passion guiding you to step out of your comfort zone and take something new and bigger on?

How is that working out?

Let me tell you why I ask.

A few years ago I read a book that I guess could fall under the self-development genre and which walked the reader though how to be so memorable that everyone would have to remember who they are.

In the course of making its case for how to…


What People Teach Us: Jocko Willink, Arguing For Your Point Yet Asking For Balance

Leadership Lesson: To be effective and credible, we should seek to balance what it is we support with conveying both that we understand its limitations, and that there are other considerations to be taken into account.

This piece by retired Navy Seal, management consulting firm founder, bestselling author, and burgeoning podcaster Jocko Willink is an article of defense. In what he writes, Willink stands firmly against an effort to disarm what he firmly believes in, that in which he’s worked in and for which he has probably — and proudly — stood his entire life and career

The source of his frustration is a recent report by the American Psychological Association called “Guidelines for…


The Leadership Lesson In A Song: You Can Be Your Own Worst Enemy

Leadership Lesson: Whether from a song or not, in order to learn from others’ experiences, make sure to listen to both the subtle and overt messages and understand what you hear and see in the words of others. 

You know how when someone points something out to you you hadn’t previously recognized or noticed, you tend to see it again? You tend to see it in places you wouldn’t have expected, even in your everyday routine and environments, like it was there all along, and someone just had to open you up to it.

That’s how I’ve been with leadership since first learning about it – really learning about it. 

Someone – most likely an instructor – probably pointed out some lesson about leadership, or referred…


What People Teach Us: James Mattis – Considering Everything Our Leaders Are, Not Just What Impacts Us

Leadership Lesson: We should consider everything that makes up our leaders — and which will probably contribute to our own legacy — so we’re not just loyal to our leaders’ loyalty to our own priorities.

So General James Mattis, our country’s latest Secretary of Defense, has had enough.

He has tendered his letter of resignation, effective a few months from now, stating the President would be best served by a Secretary whose military and diplomatic vision are “better aligned” with his own.

And, based on the actions the president wants to take without consulting his Secretary — drawing down troops in both Syria and Afghanistan — it makes sense. Soldiers — those both…


What People Teach Us: Michael Jordan – Never Judge Leadership By Its Cover

Leadership Lesson: Much like the message in the adage Don’t judge a book by its cover, it’s important to never take a scene – or relationship – at face value when it comes to leadership presence and effectiveness, because everyone has their own ideas of what a relationship is supposed to look like.

Recently, during an NBA game between the Charlotte Hornets and the Detroit Pistons, Charlotte’s shooting guard, Malik Monk, was hit with a technical foul for prematurely celebrating by running onto the court. Watching this play out from the stands was the team’s owner. He wasn’t too pleased. He showed his frustration. And he also happened to be legendary NBA player Michael Jordan, one of the greatest to play in the history of the game.

Jordan was visibly miffed at his player’s…


What People Teach Us: Opinions & Protecting Yourself From…Yourself

Leadership Lesson: You should take into account how others may view you, as an exercise in considering all points of view—and their merits.

An anonymous op-ed by a alleged White House insider claiming to be part of a “quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first” appeared in the New York Times last week. An op-ed crafted and published in anonymity is a first for the NY Times, so the stakes are high considering the writer’s claims and anonymity and the newspaper’s relationship with the target of the piece, the President.

As expected, everyone seems to have an opinion on the method of delivery. And from the right and the left, and everywhere in between, people are utilizing the…


What People Teach Us: John McCain And The Leader’s Legacy

Leadership Lesson: There are so many lessons we can learn from the leaders we’ve lost. Learning from their best attributes galvanizes their legacy and reinforces our own development and self-reflection.

It’s always sad to lose a great leader. Every day they lived they added strength to their reputation and resolve to their message. They knew how to live their life, espouse and live their values, and work for the betterment of the group. And, although that impact continues through their legacy, the lack of their everyday presence creates such an immense void beyond the obvious physical absence. We lose the everyday visual display of their impact and influence.

And as powerful as that sounds, none of it means you had to agree with every decision they…


What People Teach Us: Randi Zuckerberg And Calling Out Those Closest To Us

Leadership Lesson: If done right, challenging those closest to us in a public forum has benefits and demonstrates a credibility that might not be so obvious at first.

Recently, Randi Zuckerberg called out her brother Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder and CEO of social media giant Facebook, on his comments regarding Holocaust deniers using Facebook to power up their platform and spread their claims about the genocide that occurred under cloud of Nazi Germany.

Mark commented on the hate groups’ use of the platform he founded in a subdued manner that fell far short of condemning the beliefs of such groups, which was surprising considering he and his family are Jewish. His sister, as she states, felt compelled enough…


What People Teach Us: Rex Tillerson – Taking The Pulse Of The Organization You Lead

Leadership Lesson: We need to listen for and understand what those in our organization — those committed to the mission — need in order to make the mission an ongoing success.

A United State diplomat, in a scathing resignation letter, chided Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and outlined both the deterioration and dysfunction of the U.S. State Department during Tillerson’s tenure, charging that he’s caved under the irresponsible strategy of the Trump Administration.

So, what can we take away from this case when it comes to leadership development?

Yes, this is an extreme example. It’s politics. It’s unconventional. It’s in the era of Trump. All bets are off. Both traditional wisdom and customs are abandoned. And the…


Share CiO
Hide Buttons