The Coward Leader

This is a guest blog post by my husband and business partner, Joe Anderson.


I’m a retired Marine officer and have served in a senior leadership role in several Fortune 500 companies.  I’ve seen my share of “coward leaders”…I’ve even worked for a few.

chicken27The dictionary defines the word coward, when used as a noun, as “a person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.; a timid or easily intimidated person.” Continue reading

HR’s Best Kept Secret – Get out of HR

get out of hr_2Here we go again. July-August 2014 Harvard Business Review author Ram Charan says “It’s Time to Split HR.” He proposes two totally different units – one that handles “administration” which he says would be primarily compensation & benefits. It would consist of “HR practitioners” and would report to the CFO.

The other would handle leadership and organization, report to the CEO and be staffed by rotating high potential operational leaders.
Sound familiar?

We boomers probably remember the days when this was a matter of routine. Not the split and different reporting relationships, but the integration of operational leaders into HR. In some instances, this rotation was through a management training program designed to expose future leaders to the whole organization. In other cases it was a staffing philosophy. Continue reading

Leadership Lessons from a Car Dealership?

miniWhen I walked into the MINI dealer to buy a new car, the last thing I expected to find was a great example of leadership, but that is exactly what I found. It took a while for my early observations to draw the conclusion that the secret sauce of this dealership was the Sales Manager.

This busy, almost chaotic dealership was full of energy and organized. We were approached immediately by a salesperson who was quick to tell us that this was her first week, and she’d just moved from Pittsburgh. After a little hometown sharing (I grew up in Pittsburgh), she showed she knew her stuff. Turns out she transferred from Pittsburgh MINI.

What she was unsure of were some Florida-specific/dealership-specific processes, so she checked periodically with the Sales Manager. That’s what got my attention. He gave her the information she needed, but let her work; he didn’t hover as I might expect with a new employee. Continue reading