Dave's Journal

Dave's Journal

coachingforleaders.com
Discover leadership wisdom through insightful conversations


If You Build It, They Will Come
Jul 11 • 3 min
A little over twenty years ago, I was completing my final year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In my last semester, I teamed up with two other seniors to launch a new student organization focused on leadership development. All three of…
People Are Watching, Always
Jul 4 • 4 min
My first full-time management job was as a center director for an education business. Part of my role was to supervise all the part-time instructors at our location. Like most managers who get promoted up, I inherited a team I didn’t select. I gradually…
Be a Little Bit Weird
Jun 27 • 5 min
Fifteen years ago, I was hired by the franchise owner of a Dale Carnegie office to help grow the business — and eventually develop into an instructor myself. Tom, who hired me, was the kind of person all of us hope to work for in our careers. He cared…
What’s Right and What’s True
Jun 20 • 4 min
Last week, a few minutes before I arrived to pick up our kids at summer camp, our 5-year-old daughter had fallen and hit her head. By the time I walked in, the nurse had already checked her out and she was perfectly fine. Her camp counselor, a teacher,…
Less Cessna, More 747
Jun 13 • 3 min
The airspace above our home is at least partially designated for pilots in training on small, single-engine planes. About once a week, I hear a small plane above us, that suddenly cuts its engine…only to restart it, shortly after. The pilots and their…
Keep Going
Jun 6 • 4 min
A decade ago, I was instructing a communication and human relations course for Dale Carnegie. We were about halfway through the multi-week program when a participant asked a question of me in front of the class: What do you do when your wife claims that…
3 Better Ways to Start a Presentation
May 30 • 4 min
For years, I’ve heard countless people give this well-intended advice on structuring a briefing or presentation: Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell them. Tell ‘em. Tell ‘em what you’ve told them. I bet you’ve heard that too. It might be advice for someone…
How to Drive Visibility of Your Work
May 23 • 3 min
Our house is just old enough to start having a few things go wrong. A few of our faucets were giving us trouble recently, so we hired a plumber to come in and replace some of the hardware. When he completed the work, he took the old hardware that he…
When Nothing Seems to Work Except Micro-Managing
May 16 • 4 min
Awhile back, a client was expressing his frustration with one of his managers. He said: I’ve delegated the work. I’ve made expectations clear on time, budget, and quality. I’ve set deadlines. But, this person isn’t on track. I see a train wreck coming. He…
Do This to Surface Great Ideas
May 9 • 2 min
In 1962, McDonald’s franchisee Lou Groen had a problem. His restaurant, in a predominately Roman Catholic neighborhood, wasn’t attracting customers on Fridays in Lent. Recognizing an opportunity, the Catholic businessman proposed a new sandwich for…
Are You Showing Up to Serve, Or to Be Served?
May 2 • 3 min
Over a decade ago, I arrived for a client presentation on a Friday afternoon. I’d contracted with the client for an hour in front of his team and had prepared an extensive series of exercises to teach several communication skills. I was a bit skeptical we…
The Best, Two-Word Question
Apr 25 • 4 min
In the part of the world I live in, it’s a common greeting to ask: Hi. How are you? And then to reply: Great. How about you? Usually that’s returned with some version of “doing well” or other generic, positive-sounding statement. This exchange regularly…
Keep Your Ideas From Being Stolen
Apr 18 • 3 min
When someone is working on a new idea they’ve shared with my in confidence, I often find myself suggesting that they also get input from their peers, executive team, or customer. Sometimes that generates a comment like this: If I start socializing this…
Fly the Plane
Apr 11 • 2 min
On December 29, 1972, Eastern Airlines flight 401 crashed in the Florida Everglades just outside of Miami, killing 101 people. It was the first ever crash of a wide-body aircraft and is still one of the deadliest events in aviation history. This crash is…
Stop Wasting Time on Confidence
Apr 4 • 2 min
A friend of mine who’s leading a small business sent me a message today. He wrote: I have a very hard time marketing, selling, etc. I need to just grit my teeth and be confident. When I read those words, I immediately messaged him back and suggested that…