Understanding the difference between “urgent” and “important” is the difference between success and failure. This idea was popularized by Dwight Eisenhower during his time as a General and as President of the United States. Eisenhower developed a 2×2 matrix to model the concept: As you can see, the matrix organizes tasks into the two categories based on urgency and importance. Most people understand the need to prioritize tasks that are both urgent and important and de-prioritize those that are the latter, but the grey area, or combination of the two seem to be what derails folks from making progress towards their goals. In other words,Read More →

I think we have all heard the phrase “when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.” But when it comes down to it, clients, coaches, and other leaders struggle to identify the right things for their teams to focus on. I have found that many leaders lack a system or framework to assist with prioritization. Instead, they rely on intuition and experience. While it is irresponsible to entirely ignore lessons from the past, there are proven methods that the best leaders use to compile relevant data and effectively prioritize. This essay highlights some of these strategies. The 90% Rule The 90% Rule has beenRead More →

This article analyzes one of the most important components to building unity and accountability in teams– group hardship.   I have refined my understanding of this principle over my years as a college football player, and have noticed it as a common theme among the most successful organizations in my years analyzing businesses as a management consultant. Anybody who has been a college athlete knows it is a grind. Classes, practices, weightlifting sessions, film, study hall, and games fill up a calendar quickly. There are times when so many things are going on, it is hard to stay motivated. In my experience the most successfulRead More →

In the first part of this series, I explored Jeff Bezos’s approach to strategy. This article builds on his strategic framework and dives deeper into how Bezos has evolved and succeeded as a manager. There are many stories from across the internet that portray Jeff Bezos as ruthless in accomplishing his vision. Much of what Brad Stone acerbically writes in his book about the rise of Amazon would leave one to wonder, who would want to work for Bezos? Bezos has high expectations and is not shy to provide negative feedback if his expectations are not met.  He holds himself to the same high standardsRead More →

I am fascinated by Mark Cuban. I recently read a book including a collection of his blog posts and writings called, “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.” The book describes Cuban’s story of rising from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most famous businessman in the world. Cuban touches on many important concepts in the book, below are a handful that I found to be most useful. On Self Improvement Getting paid to learn: Cuban considered every job as an educational experience. He viewed his early positions as better than college. Rather thanRead More →

Strong leadership and management are more important than ever in today’s fast-paced business environment. A quick scan of the news reveals what seems like a never-ending stream of stories where leaders and managers are failing. Though some argue there is a distinct difference between the terms ‘leadership’ and ‘management’, the outcome they aim for is the same. Famed management scholar Peter Drucker was known to view the term “management” negatively, stating “[o]ne does not manage people…the task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.” Taking Drucker’s idea into account, I make no clearRead More →