Blog Posts

If you have been following my writing for a while or just joined in, you probably know that I care deeply about leadership.

To be honest, I started writing about leadership because I was tired of hearing stories about bad bosses. I was tired of seeing studies showing that 70% of employees were unengaged & uninterested at work.

There is a leadership problem in business today that needs to be addressed.

I’ve written dozens of blog posts dealing with everything from micromanagers to customer complaints. Take a look and let me know what you think. I’m always interested in hearing your feedback.

Organizational Change Methods

Organizational Change Methods

In 1964, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan famously wrote, “the times they are a-changin’.” And the pace of that change has continued to accelerate since that song was written. Businesses need to be more agile and change-friendly than ever before. Today’s business...

Read More

How to Jump Out of Your Comfort Zone

After serving seven patrols as a young Naval Officer on the nuclear submarine, USS Tennessee, I can tell you that being deployed over Christmas and New Year’s Eve was not a lot of fun. It was tough to be away...

Read More

My New Academic Journey

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’ve led people in the military and business for over 33 years. I’ve written three bestselling leadership books, been on dozens of podcasts, and taught hundreds of students about the...

Read More

I Am Not Smart… I Am Persistent!

In my work life, I’ve received many compliments. I have a hard time accepting the one that says I’m smart. People look at my credentials (like the fact that I’m a nuclear engineer, or that I studied at Cambridge University) and assume...

Read More
What's up with leadership theories?

What’s up with Leadership Theories?

For the past three decades, I have been practicing leadership. I have read countless books and articles during that time, but I was primarily a practitioner. I was in the trenches, unaware of the shifting thoughts on leadership. I had...

Read More

Why We Should Love Customer Complaints

Bob wasn’t happy. The product we designed specifically for him didn’t fit. After months of work creating a special component, we failed. The unit wouldn’t mount properly in the cabinet and Bob was questioning our abilities as engineers. On the...

Read More
Why Leadership Matters

Why Leadership Matters

One leader can make a difference in any situation and any organization. You might have seen the news this week that Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, was discovered in Antarctica after sinking more than 107 years ago. Searchers found the ship 9,842 feet...

Read More
Great Leaders Run Towards the Fire

Great Leaders Run Towards the Fire

Great Leaders Run Towards the Fire This past week, the events in Eastern Europe reminded the world of what courageous leadership looks like. The U.S. government offered to evacuate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from the besieged city of Kyiv, but...

Read More
10 Tips on Being a Better Leader at Work

10 Tips on Being a Better Leader at Work

Create a positive work environment where people genuinely want to do their best every day. Former NFL Coach Jimmy Johnson probably said it best, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” This is especially true in leadership....

Read More
Leadership Advice for New Managers

Leadership Advice for New Managers

I get this question a lot, “What leadership advice would you give to new managers?” Honestly, being a new manager is exciting. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran in a new role or a brand new leader, everyone will be watching...

Read More
Faith Family and Fitness

Faith, Family, and Fitness

2021 is nearly complete, and, in a way, I’m glad. Despite many successes, this year has been difficult for me. As a small business owner, the supply chain issues challenged my company in a way I never anticipated. I expected...

Read More
The Toxic Leadership of Urban Meyer

The Toxic Leadership of Urban Meyer

At just 13 games, Urban Meyer had one of the shortest tenures of an NFL head coach, and even that was too long. The Jacksonville Jaguars fired first-year coach Urban Meyer this past week after just 13 games. Under Meyer’s leadership, the...

Read More
Why do we need friends at work

Why We All Need Friends at Work

Do you have a best friend at work? It might just be the secret to happiness and success. My son joined the Navy last year, and this Thanksgiving, he didn’t have enough leave to come home. So, we traveled up...

Read More
The Unexpected Leadership Lessons of Elf

The Unexpected Leadership Lessons of Elf

It’s officially Christmas season and full confession – at one business I led, I used to dress up as Buddy the Elf (yellow tights and all) to deliver candy to all my employees during the Holidays. That’s how much I...

Read More
Hope is More Powerful than Strategy

Hope is More Powerful than Strategy

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “hope is not a strategy.” While I generally agree with that statement, I would argue that hope is essential for leadership. And at times, even more powerful than strategy itself. The great Napoleon Bonaparte once...

Read More
Great Leaders Unite Not Divide

Great Leaders Unite, not Divide

On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden delivered a powerful message of unity in his inaugural address. Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation. I ask...

Read More
Disasters Happen when Leadership Fails

Disasters Happen when Leadership Fails

When leaders fail to lead, the results are often devastating. On July 12, 2020, an arsonist set a fire aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) at Naval Base in San Diego. The fire burned for four days, injured...

Read More
Who’s Gonna Carry the Boats?

Who’s Gonna Carry the Boats?

Have you seen the video of former Navy SEAL David Goggins working out with endurance athlete Cameron Hanes? In the video, Goggins is bench-pressing after what looks like a long workout. As he struggles, he yells out, “You don’t know...

Read More
The Crushing Weight of Bureaucracy

The Crushing Weight of Bureaucracy

When I started my corporate career, I worked for a global company led by the hard-charging CEO, Percy Barnevik. He believed in pushing decision-making to the lowest level. His corporate mantra was, “think global, act local.” He empowered his local...

Read More
What Norm Taught us about Pursuing Perfection

What Norm Taught us about Pursuing Perfection

Legendary comedian Norm MacDonald passed away at the age of 61-years-old this week. The former Saturday Night Live star was known for his deadpan delivery and fearless commitment to pushing the boundaries of humor. Located among all the stories of...

Read More
The Problem with Mandates

The Problem with Mandates

There have been more than 15,000 books written on the subject of leadership but, when you boil it down, leadership is about inspiring people to get things done. Leadership author and speaker Kevin Kruse says that “leadership is a process...

Read More
Let Go and Let Others Grow

Let Go and Let Others Grow

You’ve probably seen this yourself – a leader with a control problem. Many bosses would rather die than let go of the control they have on their teams. It happens with even good leaders. Managers want to make sure things...

Read More
Excellence Attracts Excellence

Excellence Attracts Excellence

Last week the 2020-21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers players and coaches were awarded their Super Bowl LV rings. Shortly after that, Tom Brady took to social media and posted a picture of himself wearing his seven Super Bowl rings. Like most...

Read More
a high-performing team requires a sense of belonging

A Sense of Belonging

Can you remember a time when you felt like you really belonged? For me, it was the day I became a submariner. During the pinning ceremony, the gold dolphin insignia was placed on my uniform signifying I was a qualified...

Read More
Radical Transparency

Radical Transparency

Have you ever sat through an annual performance review and had that awkward feeling? Like your boss was not giving you true feedback? Like they were just going through the motions? Did it seem…Fake? Forced? Phony? Maybe it’s just me,...

Read More
Spirit of the Squirrel

Spirit of the Squirrel

Did you know that squirrels don’t hibernate in the winter? That’s why they work so hard in the fall. Food is scarce in the colder months so they prepare by finding and burying large stores of acorns, walnuts, and hickory...

Read More
Driving out Despair

Driving out Despair

A recent guest on the Deep Leadership podcast, Steven Mays, got me thinking. He said that one of the most important actions a leader must take is to drive out despair. In more than 30 years in leadership, I have never heard...

Read More
The Problem with Career Complacency

The Problem with Career Complacency

In the past three weeks, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. I have been contacted by a number of people who have been let go by their companies. Sadly, the global pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy and the...

Read More
Failure fuels our success

Using Failure to Fuel Sucess

You’ve probably noticed the same thing as me. There is success all around us and, as a society, we love to celebrate success. Think about social media. It’s really just a collection of everyone’s highlight reel sent out into cyberspace...

Read More
Memorial Day Honoring Those American Heroes That Never Came Home

Honoring Those Who Never Came Home

Just West of Cambridge, England on an immaculate slope of deep green grass surrounded by sprawling woodlands lies a powerful reminder of the tragedy of war. The Cambridge American Cemetery sits on more than thirty acres. The land was donated...

Read More
what does success look like

What Does Success Really Mean to You?

I was a guest on a recent podcast and the host asked me an interesting question: What’s my definition of success? I actually had to step back and think about it. For me, success has never been about money or...

Read More
Bad Bosses Need the Most Help

Bosses Who Need the Most Help

I’m going to guess you’re a good boss. How do I know this? You’re reading this post. And, more than likely, you’ve read my book, you follow my blog, and you listen to my podcast. Like me, you probably regularly consume a steady...

Read More
The silver lining in a struggle.

The Silver Lining of a Struggle

I’m not a runner, but I ran six half-marathons once. Growing up in New England, it was always a dream to one day run the Boston Marathon but training for and running six half-marathons was all I needed to realize...

Read More
How to pivot in a crisis with a purpose

The Perfect Pandemic Pivot

I have given several webinars over the past few weeks on leading during a crisis and one of the topics I like to discuss is making a pivot. Once you understand how this pandemic affects your team, your organization, and...

Read More
Grit is Passion and Perseverance

The Power of Passion and Perseverance

As we enter our 5th week in quarantine, I’m reminded of the famous motivational posters produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II. The words were simple but the message was powerful: “Keep Calm and...

Read More
Leading in Difficult Times

Leading in Difficult Times

I was talking to a friend the other day and we were reminiscing about a business we worked at that went through a really rough period. Market demand had dropped, orders were down, margins were being squeezed, and we had...

Read More
Chief Petty Officer Submaines

Who’s Your Chief?

When I was just 23 years old, fresh out of submarine school, I was given my first leadership job. I was assigned to lead the team of sailors who maintained and operated the complex systems that controlled the nuclear reactor...

Read More
“follow me” moment

Have you had a “Follow Me” Moment?

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” It could also be put another way, “Don’t just stand there, do something!” If you’re anything like me, you can’t stand inaction. I have a low tolerance...

Read More
how to deal with toxic employees img

Don’t Let an Arsonist Burn your Company Down

You’ve probably heard this leadership quote before: “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time” This comes from Patrick...

Read More
responsibility in the navy

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Run a Ship Aground

You probably know I was a Naval Officer early in my career. Well, did you know the Navy has a zero-tolerance policy for running a ship aground? That’s the funny thing about the Navy. They want their billion-dollar warships operating in...

Read More
leadership

The Power of Personal Connection

I have a pet peeve. I can’t stand seeing managers who stay isolated. It bothers me when I hear about bosses who stay locked up in their office or spent their days in meetings. They never get out to see...

Read More
why good employees go bad

Why Good Employees Go Bad

Let’s talk about employee engagement. According to Gallup, only 34% of U.S. workers are engaged and enthusiastic about their jobs and companies. And, it’s a number that hasn’t changed much in the past 18 years. So, what’s engagement and why...

Read More
problems with extremes

The Problem With Extremes

You probably know who Jocko Willink is. If you don’t, you might be living under a rock. He’s a highly decorated retired Navy SEAL who commanded SEAL Team 3’s Task Unit Bruiser in Iraq. He’s also a leadership author, consultant,...

Read More
accountant

Why Your Accountant Might Be Wrong

A reader once posted this comment on my website: “Being an employee of several different companies, I can honestly say that I’ve felt like nothing more than a line item on a spreadsheet somewhere that an accountant is desperately trying...

Read More
black friday sales

Why Leaders Hate Black Friday Sales

I have to admit, I hate Black Friday sales and you probably do too. If you read this blog, you’re a leader. You don’t follow the masses, you chart your own course. Sure, you like a deal, but you’re smart...

Read More
Employee Motivation

Employee Motivation Starts Here

In the movie Criminal, Kevin Costner plays a convict whom the CIA chooses for an experimental procedure.  With the help of a top neuroscientist and researcher, they “transplant” the memories of an operative killed in the field – with hopes of...

Read More
facing a crisis

The Crisis We Face

I’ll be frank. I’m concerned about the state of leadership in corporate America. Every day I hear a new “bad boss” story.  One person told me of a boss that stands at the front door every morning with a clipboard...

Read More
employee engagement

7 Keys to Engaging Your Employees

In my last post, I was asked how to grab the leadership bull by the horns when you suddenly find yourself thrust into a new position. And I said the first 100 days are critical. To review, you’ve got to...

Read More
it's not about you

Leaders – It’s Not About You

Leadership is simple. It’s about influencing a group of people to accomplish a goal. The problem is most managers forget about the people, the goal, and their role in influencing others. In other words, they do everything except lead. Maybe...

Read More
the problem with problems

The Problem with Problems

There is nothing a submariner fears more than a fire. A fire on a submarine is one of the most dangerous things that could ever happen on board. Smoke can quickly fill compartments and asphyxiate sailors. The heat and flames...

Read More
Why Do You Want to Be a Leader?

Why Do You Want to Be a Leader?

There are three questions you should ask before taking any leadership Job. A Leadership Crisis There is a crisis in America. There is a shortage of good leaders, and it seems to be getting worse. The problem is people are...

Read More
I Have the Watch

Interview on the Coach Bru Podcast

  Today I appeared on The Coach Bru Podcast to talk about my latest book, I Have the Watch. During this podcast, I talk about the origins of my leadership story and the genesis for my new book. Coach Bru...

Read More
calm under pressure

Calm Under Pressure

“Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis.” C.J. Redwine Dealing with Bad News It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. We had just landed a large order for a new product and we...

Read More
mission minded leader

The Mission-Minded Leader

It Starts with the Mission Great leaders are mission-minded. They are also great communicators. They understand the importance of clear, concise, and continuous communications with their teams. These leaders know how critical it is to get everyone rowing in the...

Read More
sumbarine

Earn your Oxygen: A Sea Story

Great leaders know a team of qualified employees is hard to beat. They establish a culture of competency where new employees feel positive peer pressure to work hard to earn their spot in the team. Saturday at Sea It was...

Read More
take a chance

Stop Reading and Start Doing

Reading and research are great but they can also keep you from achieving your goals. Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is to just do it. A Man of Action Last week I had the chance...

Read More
bull market

The Problem with Short-Term Bosses

Too many companies rely on short-term fixes to address long-term, complex problems. The result is a series of failed attempts at resolving fundamental, underlying business challenges. I was talking with some former colleagues the other day about a manager we...

Read More