3 min read

Flashback Friday: The Paradox Of Pragmatic Optimism

By Tim Leman on Dec 2, 2022 6:30:00 AM

Flashback Friday: My team often hears me bring up the Stockdale Paradox. Ever since I read about Admiral Stockdale in Jim Collin's book, the lesson of pragmatic optimism has stuck with me. 

It was from Jim Collins’ masterpiece Good To Great that I learned Admiral James Stockdale was something other than Ross Perot’s running mate in the 1992 presidential election. Long before he was a target of Saturday Night Live’s irreverent humor, Stockdale was the highest ranking naval officer to be held as a POW in Vietnam.

After Stockdale's A-4 Skyhawk was shot down over North Vietnam in 1965, he shared space at the “Hanoi Hilton” with, among others, John McCain. He was brutally beaten, starved, and denied medical care, never knowing if he would survive or see his family again, until his release in 1973.

Stockdale and his wife Sybil shared their story by writing alternating chapters in the book In Love and War. Collins, in preparing to meet Admiral Stockdale, read his book, describing it as bleak and depressing, even though he knew that Stockdale got out and reunited with his family. When Collins asked Stockdale what it felt like living the story and not knowing how it ended, he replied:

Topics: Executive
2 min read

The Edge Podcast Spotlight: Making An Impact

By Gibson on Nov 11, 2022 6:30:00 AM

As we celebrate the season of giving, let’s take a look back at a few podcast guests from the nonprofit sector.

These leaders and their teams are dedicated to making an impact in our communities each and every day. The lessons they share from their leadership journeys can help inspire us all, regardless of our industry or role.

Topics: Executive
1 min read

Cultivating Positive Relationships

By Gibson on Nov 4, 2022 6:30:00 AM

Be it personally or professionally, all relationships need nurturing. Trust, communication, consistency - these are all important aspects of cultivating positive relationships.

Topics: Executive
4 min read

Can Everyone In Your Company Be A Leader?

By Caitlin Smith on Oct 28, 2022 6:30:00 AM

Is it possible for every single person at your company to be a leader? The short answer is yes, of course. But, not all companies nurture this type of work environment.

When someone talks about a natural-born leader, they are generally referring to people who have an innate disposition to act. In other words, someone who “gets the job done.” But many companies overlook the fact that everyone has the capacity to lead. Being a leader doesn’t mean you’re always first, always best, always on top, or always right. It just means that you’re someone who has a propensity toward action. Leaders are people who are compelled to act.

How can you draw out a desire for action in every single person in your workforce? It’s simple: give everyone opportunities to lead. When each person is given a chance to act, to decide, to collaborate, and, ultimately, to own their positions – they will thrive, and so will your company.

Topics: Executive
3 min read

Flashback Friday: The Courage To Lead

By Tim Leman on Oct 21, 2022 6:30:00 AM

Flashback Friday: The call for courageous leadership has gone out - how will you answer?

Anchored by a Just Cause, infinite games require courageous leadership. According to author Simon Sinek that means being willing to stand up to internal and external pressure to conform, in order to stay true to your cause.

Topics: Executive
3 min read

Leadership by Design: How a Design Mindset Informs Leadership

By Joel Mattern on Oct 14, 2022 6:30:00 AM

One of the fundamental principles of modern design, argued most prevalently by the great Milanese graphic designer Bruno Munari, remains intact: Modern design discards aesthetic beauty in an abstract sense in favor of formal coherence. In other words – and as any first-year design student has heard ad nauseum by now – form follows function. The reason this principle persists in the art world is because it is an elementary observation of the natural world in which we are embedded and to which we are subservient.

Munari’s visionary 1966 work Design As Art is a timeless classic of the art and design genre, and held dear by many designers across a number of industries. What might not be self-evident while reading it, however, is its crossover application to the leadership discipline. What do the practices of design and leadership hold in common with one another? Is there any correlation to be made? The question begs a close analysis of Munari’s masterpiece through the lens of leadership.

Topics: Executive
2 min read

Be Uniquely You

By Brittany Graman on Oct 7, 2022 6:30:00 AM

What makes you unique?

I believe we all have God-given talents and abilities that are uniquely ours. I came across an analogy the other day that we are all different machines, built for different purposes. One person may be a pickup truck, while someone else may be a sports car, minivan, or maybe even a motorcycle.

Each vehicle serves a distinct purpose. A Prius may not be able to haul a boat like an F-150 but it’s a great car for a cross-country road trip. And you may not see many minivans on the Autobahn, but they make for great family vehicles. The problem comes when we expect a machine to do something it wasn’t built to do. If we expect a motorcycle to act like a truck, everyone ends up frustrated and the job doesn’t get done.

Topics: Executive
3 min read

The Edge Podcast Spotlight: The Summit City

By Gibson on Sep 30, 2022 6:30:00 AM

What makes a team great? How do you build a truly special team? How do you keep yourself and your team motivated? What gives leaders their edge?

Throughout the three seasons of The Edge Podcast, host Tim Leman has enjoyed digging into these topics with leaders across the country, including several from his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Our guests from The Summit City shared valuable insights on hard work, collaboration, family, and more.

Topics: Executive
2 min read

Think Before You Point

By Jess Tackett on Sep 23, 2022 6:30:00 AM

“Always remember that when you’re pointing your finger at someone, you’ve got three pointing back at yourself.”

This is an adage I can vividly remember hearing at a young age, repeatedly. One time in particular, we were standing in line at the Kroger – my brother, mom, and myself – and mom was once again teaching me not to stare and point at the other patrons standing around us. Apparently, I had quite the tendency to do so, and it’s clear my boys have inherited that from me as well. It’s a good thing mom had to teach me this lesson so much; I have many moments from which to draw on to now be the teacher.

Topics: Executive
4 min read

Flashback Friday: Attitude & Effort

By Tim Leman on Sep 16, 2022 6:30:00 AM

Flashback Friday: Attitude and effort is still what it is all about. Give this popular 2018 blog a read. Are you being open minded and giving your best effort? 

About a year into my tenure at Gibson, I was named to the Leadership Team and responsible for our revenue and growth in a “Chief Growth Officer” role. Not only was I new to Gibson, I previously had no technical knowledge or career experience in two of our three business units. Before my first major meeting with our group, I was already hearing the whispers about this newly created role and my (lack of) qualifications to be in it.

Topics: Executive WhatsTheRisk
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