The #1 Team Killer? The CEO

In “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable,” Patrick Lencioni provides a model for building an effective and productive team. What kills teams? According to Lencioni, it’s the absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability, and inattention to results. Only the CEO can lead a team to top […]

10 Steps to a Nine Figure+ Exit

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of hosting the Austin Technology Council’s first CEO Forum of the year at The Driskill Hotel here in Austin. As Chairman of the ATC, I am proud to help promote the growth and success of the Austin tech community. We had a distinguished group of executives in the […]

Perpetually late CEOs fail to impress

Judging By This Angry Email, Marissa Mayer Hasn’t Yet Wowed ALL Yahoo Employees

Photo Credit: zoutedrop via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: zoutedrop via Compfight cc

Every new CEO faces some resistance, and high profile ones like Marissa Mayer are especially susceptible to attention-getting PR stunts from disgruntled employees or people pretending to be them. So this e-mail from an alleged Yahoo employee should be taken with a grain of salt. Regardless of the letter’s authenticity, it does bring up an interesting point about her being late to every meeting so far: I think showing up late to meetings is one of the worst sins for a CEO (especially a new one).

Being late to meetings the CEO probably initiated in the first place basically says to employees: “My time is more valuable than yours – not only each individual employee but everyone at this meeting combined.” This behavior flouts one of the three critical tools I’ve asserted that every CEO needs to excel: caring.  If the actions described in this e-mail are accurate, Mayer will not be a very successful CEO. I’ll write more about how new CEOs can set themselves up for success in a later post.

CEO Caring: Pathos in the 21st Century

I’ve been discussing how Aristotle’s Rhetoric has much to teach the CEOs of today. Specifically, his ethos, logos and pathos as modes of persuasion relate to the three traits I believe are the most powerful tools CEOs have to achieve top performance (I call them the three Cs): credibility, competence, and caring. My last two […]

Handshake image courtesy of Flickr user

The Importance of Business Partners

The struggles many companies are facing today reminded me of this story. Like most Americans I distinctly remember where I was on September 11, 2001. My wife and I were attending an industry trade show for our company NetQoS, where we were launching our second product. I was watching CNBC waiting for an interview with […]

CEO Cheerleader Fail: Drawbacks of the Eternal Optimist

How many ways can a CEO fail? Over the next several months I will count the ways. These failure modes involve the CEO acting in some manner that harms their ability to lead the organization. The key tools of leadership – which I’ll cover in subsequent blog posts – require that the CEO maintain credibility, […]