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What's Don Thinking?

Irreverent observations on Life, Love, and Leadership.

[MythBusted #8] Thought Leaders Jun 23, 2024

Thought leaders benefit society by sharing leading-edge knowledge, guidance, and insights. Dedicated fans spread these ideas across industries.

But when I got off stage yesterday, a CFO came up, "Your thought leadership debunks several theories of other thought leaders." 

"Thank...

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MANAGEMENT MYTH BUSTED #7: Leaders are Made, not Born (it's nurture, not nature) Oct 23, 2023

Anyone can become a great leader with the proper training and environment. Experts tell us this:

  • “Leaders are made, not born!”
  • “Leadership can be nurtured into existence!”
  • “Nature versus nurture? Clearly, nurture wins!”
  • “Invest in leadership training and...
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MANAGEMENT MYTH BUSTED #6: Org-wide self-esteem programs increase performance Aug 30, 2023

An HR executive asked, “How do you know when someone comes up after a speech if they’re going to pat your head or slap it?” I laughed. Challenging the status quo is risky, but after 2,000 speeches I’m starting to get the hang of it. I don’t want to cause trouble. I...

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MANAGEMENT MYTH BUSTED #5: The Boiled Frog management mythbuster Aug 05, 2023

The "boiled frog" laboratory experiment helps educate people on how slow, incremental changes may not be noticed until it’s too late. In the experiment, if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out. But if you put it in cool water that you slowly heat...

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MANAGEMENT MYTH BUSTED #4: Followers Follow Leaders management mythbuster Aug 02, 2023

Anyone learning leadership from business schools, bestselling books, and motivational speakers knows that great leaders:


1. Show empathy
2. Are good listeners
3. Embrace change
4. Create a mission or vision
5. Develop their followers
6. Communicate
7. Build trust
8. Articulate clear goals and roles
9....

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MANAGEMENT MYTH BUSTED #3: We Want Our Leaders to be Authentic management mythbuster Jul 21, 2023

 NOTE: Smithsonian just published that Merriam-Webster’s 2023 Word of the Year Is ‘Authentic’ - As technology’s ability to manipulate reality improves, we’re all searching for the truth. (November 29, 2023)

We all want people, products, and services to be...

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MANAGEMENT MYTH BUSTED #2: Be the Lead Dog management mythbuster Jun 19, 2023

Good management consultants, trainers, coaches, speakers, and industry experts inspire us to be winners. Many use popular metaphors to motivate us. One I hear a lot at conferences and in books is “you gotta be the lead dog.” You probably heard these phrases too in books and at...

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MANAGEMENT MYTH BUSTED #1: The Butterfly Effect management mythbuster Jun 07, 2023

 

How often have you heard a keynote speaker or management expert preach how small changes in leadership make a big impact? They're referring to something called the Butterfly Effect: a physics concept that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil can set off a tornado in...

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Strategic Growth Secrets from Ancient Samurai 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...

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

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

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