February 2015

Strategic Leaders: Inadequately Prepared

A chief executive lamented over the lack of his senior executives ability to think strategically. The observation is not new. People are deservedly promoted every day throughout all industries, public and private, profit and not for profit and are expected to fill the position flawlessly.

The flaw in that logic is most of the designated senior level high-potentials are not receiving any education or training in how to be effective as a senior executive. These very talented soon-to-be top level executives have little knowledge of how to be strategic leaders. They are inadequately prepared.

I can hear, and have heard, responses to my above comment that these singled out "high potentials" have been groomed for taking on the added responsibilities of VP, Senior VP, Executive VP or any of the other various titles organizations use. What exactly is "being groomed?"

Being groomed for many, if not most organizations, is being exposed to the activities, projects and tasks that broaden their organizational understanding. This sort of preparation is needed without a doubt. However, it falls short of the mark for preparing to take on the full responsibilities of a strategic leader.   (Read more)

© 2015 by John Boggs all rights reserved.


Ladies and gentlemen, a few short thoughts on keeping loyalty in perspective. I have had too many observations where the idea of loyalty is being used as an excuse to ignore fouls and justify not taking necessary actions.

Loyalty is being committed to your organization, your supervisor, and the people who are responsible to you for completing the task—your front line every day, get-it-done employees.

Loyalty is not Miss Justice holding her apothecary scale while wearing a blindfold. That may work in the legal system but not in a business, any business. Loyalty has eyes that see and scales that tip.

Being loyal to your organization is doing more than is expected. It is performing your job as though you invented it. Being loyal to your supervisor is not being a sycophant, nor speaking ill of your boss to others. Agreeing with your boss on every issue or liking your boss is not a requirement, respect for their position and responsibility is. Being loyal to your team of employees is ensuring they are resourced, trained and capable of doing their job. It is praising them in public and chastising in private. Taking the time to know whom your team members are, on a personal level, and having empathy for what is going on in their lives carries tremendous value.

No one will remember what you said, few will remember your accomplishments; everyone will remember how you made them feel. When your team members feel good about working for you, they will carry you through the darkest moments in a supervisor's professional life, and you will have dark moments. Those moments will require those around you to be loyal and for all the right reasons.


I am often asked for advice on improving leadership ability, and so this section is dedicated to giving short pieces of advice on becoming what I like to call and Exceptional Leader. Being good on any given day is easy. Being exceptional requires daily effort. Enjoy the read.

What is the opposite of Courage? If you are like most your answer is "Cowardice," or something very similar.

I would offer a different response. The opposite of Courage is "Conformity!" It is doing what everyone else does. It is going with the fashion in all things. Being a conformist is a result of being afraid of criticism. The courageous have the mental quality that recognizes fear of danger or criticism but enables you to proceed with calmness and fortitude.

Exceptional leaders are not conformists they are courageous. What about you?

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