Lead With Your Heart: An Example From Colombia

Lead With Your Heart: An Example From Colombia

Recently, I visited Bogota on a trip to see Opportunity International’s operations.  Bogota is the capital of Colombia and located right in the middle of the country.  It’s a unique city where it’s located in the mountains at 8,612 feet above sea level.  For comparison purposes, Vail, Colorado sits at 8,150 feet.  So, as you could imagine, even a short walk to the local coffee shop, Juan Valdez Café (think Starbucks of South America) would leave one short of breath.

Bogota is a city on the move.  With a population over 7 million, it is a city that is rapidly advancing.  Once known for its violence during the 80’s and early 90’s, Bogota is a friendly city with tourism being one of its largest industries and vital to its economy.  Many people around the world flock to Bogota to experience and absorb the culture, art galleries, museums and architecture – as the city offers rich history and some of the finest restaurants in South America.  This was evident as I saw several Americans and other tourist when I visited the Gold Museum, Salt Cathedral, Emerald Trade Center and my new favorite restaurant – Crepes & Waffles.  

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Paying It Forward

Paying It Forward

I was fortunate early in my career to go through a series of exercises with my company’s leadership team to establish our core beliefs, purpose statement and ultimately our mission.  Like most people, I believe organizations must adopt and operate accordingly to these values and aspirations.  The core beliefs of an organization consist of a system of guiding principles and tenets – a philosophy of business and life. 

The purpose embodies the organization’s fundamental reason for existence.  It grows out of its core beliefs.  A mission is a bold, compelling, audacious goal that drives the organization towards its purpose.  So, it’s vital for an organization to understand its purpose.  

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3 Tactics to Develop Your Employees into Leaders

3 Tactics to Develop Your Employees into Leaders

A fundamental lesson I learned, early in my career, is a leader must be intentional with developing his or her team.  The development plan needs to be a continuous process.  As a basic human element, people need to feel like they’re progressing and learning new skills or knowledge.  Once the journey of learning ceases in the workplace, job un-fulfillment and un-satisfaction is not too far behind. 

At my first (real) job after college, I reported to a company leader that believed in this wholeheartedly.  He consistently looked for ways to facilitate his team’s growth.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work for him during those early years in my career, and eventually was promoted into a leadership in the same company.  Since then, I’ve adopted 3 strategies that I’ve deployed when leading a team.  

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An Effective Way to Earn a Team’s Respect

An Effective Way to Earn a Team’s Respect

Recently, I attended my company’s inaugural Growth Forum.   This was a two-day event where the top 125 leaders, throughout the company, came together to review the company’s strategy for innovation in the health care sector.

Many of the attendees travelled to the convention style hotel, in Nashville, where the event was held.  My company has 4,000 employees and it was crucial for the leadership team to share the company’s renewed vision in detail as we set-out to execute it.   

The agenda was full and we had a lot to cover in two short days.  I was pleasantly surprised to how our leadership team kicked off the meeting.   After a 30-minute keynote introduction by our CEO...

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Do You Practice the 9 Principles to Develop a Loyal Team?

Do You Practice the 9 Principles to Develop a Loyal Team?

Leading a team isn’t easy in today’s marketplace.  Over the years, I’ve developed principles to lead by which have made my managing experiences more enjoyable.  By following these values, not only have I built loyal, high producing teams, but also - I’ve formed friendships with many of my former team members.  This is how I was able to do so...

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We Want You to Move to San Diego Next Month

We Want You to Move to San Diego Next Month

I remember the day very clearly.  It was Wednesday, December 4, 2002, but it seems like it was yesterday.  My company’s Vice-President, Jordan, was in town.  He came to Phoenix once a quarter to visit our customers and our office staff.  To me, this was just another visit Jordan was making.  I would soon learn it wasn’t just an ordinary trip.  On this particular morning, I remember hearing the front door open.  We had a small office with only 4 employees. Everyone was accounted for – so, I knew Jordan arrived.

Jordan met with our GM, Steve, for a few hours and then he can into my office.  Jordan pulled up a chair and said, “We want you to move to San Diego next month”.   I couldn’t believe it.  My emotions were racing.  I was excited to start the next chapter in my life and career, but I was scared at the same time.  I’ve been working hard for this moment.  I just couldn’t believe it was here.

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Generation Innovation

Generation Innovation

In 20 years from now, I believe wholeheartedly Gen Y will be named the greatest generation – ever.  This generation will be known for many of their accomplishments, and in doing so – I believe they are going to change the world – for the better. 

In the end, the innovation created will be mind-bogglingly and clearly, the driver to their success.  You think I’m crazy?  Think about it. This group experienced life without computers and have been connected 24/7 which lends itself to their techno savviness.  Still not convinced?  Well, from the following list of Gen Yers, it looks like they are off to a pretty good start.

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Why Millennials Are Charged to Dominate in the Work Place

Why Millennials Are Charged to Dominate in the Work Place

Recently, I read an article that tagged Millennials as a self-entitled group raised during prosperous economic times by their Baby Boomer parents.  The author went on to paint a picture that Generation Y, in the workplace, don’t want to pay their dues and are only concerned about higher pay and more time off. The article turned me off because I feel the author missed the mark.  It was shallow thinking at it’s finest.  Either the author doesn’t really get it or he didn’t do his homework.  Nevertheless, it was a shame the article was published.  

So, this is my attempt to set the record straight.  To start, let’s look at a brief overview of the most recent generations.

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