When Creative Leaders Become Institutionalized


I work with creative teams for a living. From media production to communications strategy to coaching through a crisis, I love creative teams focused on helping organizations share their message with the culture. But time to time, I encounter leaders that have become institutionalized. They play it safe, stop taking risks, and look for


The 10 Most Common Communication Problems


You may not know that before he was President of Fox News and Chairman of Fox Television Stations Group, Roger Ailes ran a corporate communications firm. He advised presidents like Ronald Reagan, celebrities, and major corporate CEO’s. In his book “You Are The Message” he lists the 10 most common communication problems that apply to speakers, executives, and leaders of all kinds. Here’s the list, because it’s worth thinking about. Which of these do you have the most difficulty?


The Perils and Prize of Leadership: An Interview with Dr. Sam Chand


One of the most respected voices on church and ministry leadership today is Dr. Sam Chand.  On his website his tag line is “My Life’s Vision is Helping Others Succeed” – and he’s good at it.  Sam and I have shared a number of clients over the years and time and time again, I’ve seen him turn around struggling churches, inspire frustrated leaders, and transform the culture at failing organizations.  Recently, I did an interview with Dr. Chand because I wanted to share some of his experience,  wisdom, and insight on church and ministry leadership.  Take notes.  Share it.  This is powerful stuff:


When Leaders Don’t Enjoy Spending Time With Their Team


In my consulting work over the last 30 years, one of the most common complaints I get – particularly at churches and nonprofit organizations – is that leaders don’t spend much time with their team.  Understand it’s not just about being busy. In most situations it’s pastors, executives, COO’s and other leaders who simply don’t enjoy spending time with their team. In case that’s happening at your organization, and since I’ve heard it from both sides, when it happens, here’s my advice for both parties:


Making Leadership Transitions Work


While writing my book “Unique:  Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” I discovered that far too many businesses and nonprofits struggle with leadership transitions, especially moving from founders to what I call “second generation” leadership.  Whatever transition you’re in (or see coming up), this short video is worth watching.  The stakes are too high to fail:


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Don’t Wait Until the Crisis Happens


Sir Jonathan Miller is a highly regarded theatrical director based in London, and while I was watching him work on a BBC documentary the other night, he said something brilliant:  “You learn to ice skate in the summertime.”  He mentioned it was a lesson his father taught him.  It took awhile for it to sink in, and then I realized the power of what he was really saying. Once the game, project, production, business, crisis – whatever starts, it’s too late to learn what to do. Take the classes, learn the techniques, get the knowledge before the crisis begins, or


New Leaders: Accountability Starts On Day One


In the last few years there have been some decisive shifts in leadership at major companies and nonprofit organizations. I spent the afternoon a few months ago with one who took over for a retired CEO at a well-known nonprofit organization. This new leader has been in place for over three years, but the truth is, he’s failing – badly. When I asked him about it, he blamed it on the previous retired CEO. The former leader wasn’t terribly decisive, and created a culture where everyone thought they should have a vote on everything. Needless to say, the administrative structure collapsed pretty quickly, and mutiny became


Leadership vs. Management: 13 Tactical Differences

Confident businessowman giving a presentation on a whiteboard

Today’s guest post is from Mark Dreistadt, founder of Infinity Concepts in Pittsburgh. Infinity is an advertising, marketing, and donor development firm that has created the “DNA Workshop” – helping organizations discover their unique identity. Mark’s post is a challenge for leaders to understand the differences between Leadership and Management: