Strategic Growth Secrets from Ancient Samurai

Uncategorized Jun 08, 2020

What do the Ancient Samurai have to do with business?

At first, you might not see much of a connection.
But in reality, the similarities between the sword and the boardroom are uncanny. 

When I wrote “The Code of the Executive” my intentions were for an historical academic contribution to the work I was doing at Johns Hopkins. The ancient manuscript enabled deep insights into the traditions and rituals that made the samurai one of the longest-running, most honorable organizations in history. 

But something unexpected happened. 

Companies applying the same principles also achieved similar higher performance results. They executed strategy with more speed, and produce higher alignment in their cultures. 

Samurai-like executive teams operating with honor, integrity, and bravery out perform other team structures. Their practices for subjugating the ego unleashes more powerful actions, decisions, and execution speed. And these behaviors are invaluable...

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Self-Inflicted Wounds to Profits - Part 1: Tactical Seduction

Uncategorized Jun 08, 2020

Before speaking at a conference in Miami, I slipped in early to hear Tom Peters talk. Always entertaining. Surprisingly he described the 10% success rate of strategy planning (that’s right, only 10%) as “wildly inflated”.

More surprising is that after this data was published the experts didn’t rush in, find the source of the problem, and fix it. Instead, they withdrew, denied, avoided, fantasized, or blamed the client for the high failure rates.


Well, that’s a good question. First, let’s look at the first clue.

After doing autopsies on a number of companies struggling with the failure rates of their strategic planning, we uncovered a shocking insight:

Most Strategic Plans Aren’t Strategic.


When you open up you strategic planning documents chances are we won’t see a strategic plan. Instead we’ll only see tactics and analysis.

The problem is that many confuse strategic planning with analysis. But it’s not.


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Self-Inflicted Wounds to Profits - Part 2: Strategic Execution Sabotage

Uncategorized Jun 08, 2020

Ever see one of those pirate movies where they engage the enemy on the high seas, cannons aflame, smoke and thunder all around, and explosion tearing in the ships’ hulls? Of course you have. Now, have you ever seen one of those episodes where the captain runs below deck to start cleaning the cannons, organizing the ammunition, swabbing the deck?


Me neither.
Unless we’re looking at you.

Forgive me for being so blunt, but after training 1,000’s of CEOs annually, and working with dozens of corporations internally, a very common pattern we expose is how the CEO and their executives are opening 80 to 100% of their time below deck.

Yes, we call it “getting sucked into operations.”

One of the things we seek to detect in Distraction From Operations: The beast of operations sucks in many executives, most admitting that they spend 80 to 100% there. The reaction to tactical urgencies never gives strategy a chance. The struggle to focus executives on...

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Time to Reduce COVID Anxiety. Lead with Confidence.

covid Jun 08, 2020

As CEO or C-level, depression and anxiety in your employees affect productivity, culture, and their personal lives. But YOU can provide confidence and hope. That is your role now. For tips and ideas, visit our new Exec Insights Library for CEOs and C-levels.

Enroll in the Executive Insights library.


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