Art’s Writing and Week in Review for February 6, 2016

what is next?Yes, I Remember the  21st of September!

I suspect I am speaking for more than just myself when I say that I’m looking forward to a week this year where we don’t lose another icon from the world of music. The sounds of the 70’s faded a bit more with the passing of Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind and Fire. I still recall ripping out the a.m. radio in my ’71 Oldsmobile Cutlass and replacing it with an AM/FM stereo radio and 8-track player, and driving around with the windows down and EWF blaring from the speakers.

The political scene entertained with Cruz edging Trump and Rubio while Hillary and Bernie were almost too close to call. Our time-until-retirement continues to elongate with the declining stock market, while gasoline spurred on by a glut of crude oil and slowing global industrial demand edges dangerously and deliciously closer to 1970’s era pricing. Time to plan a summer road-trip?!

In the world of leadership and management writing last week, I once again cast a wide-net with topics ranging from opening communication lines with your team to warning people about the realities and headaches of managing others.

Here’s the quick recap:

In Other News from the World of Leadership Caffeine:

  • I kicked-off a new, subscriber-only publication: the Mid-Week Leadership Caffeine e-news. It’s 5, quick shots of leadership espresso to help you sustain and succeed during the rest of your week. I would love to include you on the distribution!
  • My “Jump-Start” coaching programs are just about filled and I expect to close the doors to new enrollment by the end of next week. If you’re below the executive level but aspire to moving in that direction, check out this very limited run opportunity at a great price. Just don’t wait too long.
  • The Leadership Caffeine Facebook page is growing quickly, and I would love to see you there. I offer daily updates, quotes and love to share ideas with my readers. Stop by and please show some love with a “like!”

That’s it for now. Have a great weekend. May your team win in the big game!

Yours in great leadership and career health,

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See more posts in the Leadership Caffeine™ series.

Read More of Art’s Motivational Writing on Leadership and Management at!

Art Petty serves senior executives and management teams as a performance coach and strategy facilitator. Art is a popular keynote speaker focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.

book cover: shows title Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development by Art Petty. Includes image of a coffee cup.

Art’s Writing and Week in Review for January 30, 2016

put it in contextFarewell January! We Won’t Miss You

For the first month of 2016, the weather and the stock market are setting the tone, with wildly varying conditions and tremendous swings in prices, temperatures and precipitation. At least some of that precipitation must have been tears of despair earlier in the month, momentarily giving way to outpourings of joy given Friday’s impressive upturn in the major market indexes. I’m sure I reflect the broader sentiment with, “I can’t wait to see what February brings for the weather and the markets.” 

When we’re not busy digging out from the latest storm or planning how much longer we’ll need to work before we retire, the political scene is keeping many of us enthralled, engaged, amused or horrified depending upon your view. It’s reality TV for the reality TV era.

In the world of business, Xerox has decided to split itself into two in search of renewed relevance, and Microsoft has become interesting again on the heels of a solid quarter based on the firm’s successes in cloud computing. Talking about both of those firms seems so 1990-ish.

For the writing work last week, I covered a wide variety of material, proving once again that I have little ability to govern my enthusiasm for all things management and leadership.

Leadership & Management Writing this Week:

In this week’s Leadership Caffeine post, the focus is on “Leading Your Peers.” This is a topic that is under-covered in the leadership community, and profoundly important if you’re interested in advancing your career and getting things done.  As a complement, consider:  “Why You Cannot Afford to Ignore Office Politics,” from my blog at 

For those of you interested in the difference between excellence and mediocrity and management and leadership, here’s a reminder on: The 5 Decisions that Make or Break You as a Leader. 

I added the second article in an on-going series focusing on the fundamentals of strategy, entitled: “The Ten Great Habits of Great Strategists.” The post was inspired by a recent and recommended read that I share in the article.

Last and not least, for anyone who has lived through a counter-productive quarterly business review with the team from corporate, I over a bit of catharsis in: Dear Corporate….Why We  Hate Your Business Reviews.” I’m a fan of the productive incarnation of those meetings, but sadly, they are all too rare.

Other News from the World of Leadership Caffeine:

  • Thanks to some great marketing help, I have new and improved Leadership Caffeine Facebook page where I share the articles and a daily helpful (I hope) post or quote. Shameless pitch: please visit and “likes” are always appreciated.
  • The Jump-Start Coaching program is just about filled. I’ve got a few spots open for anyone interested in getting a running start on accelerating their career this year. It’s executive coaching for non-executives at a one-time price! I would love to fill the program this week and get started on the good work of collaborating to help you move forward.
  • WEBINAR on February 4: Level-Up-Accelerate Your Career. It’s complimentary and comes complete with idea prompting content, a nice webinar supplement take-away and 45 minutes of inspiration!
  • Look for the Leadership Caffeine e-news to become a weekly, offering subscriber-only content to help you survive and thrive as a professional and leader!

That’s all for now! Have a great weekend.

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New Coaching and Webinar Offerings from Art Petty

webinarpromoFBLinkpostThere’s something particularly logical about creating offerings that people ask for. During the past few months, I’ve received a number of inquiries that neatly fit into two key themes:

  • Coaching services for individuals below the executive or soon-to-be executive ranks. A good number of you reached out and asked whether I would extend my executive coaching capabilities outside of the C-Suite. The resounding answer is “Yes!” and it comes in the form of my new individualized ACCELERATE program. For the next few weeks or until enrollment is filled, I’m taking on new non-executive clients at a one-time rate for individualized coaching services focusing on helping you move further faster in your career.
  • Coaching services for those focused on reinventing themselves in their careers. Similar to ACCELERATE, this new individualized program, REINVENT is available for a limited time at a great price to help you jump-start your own career reinvention. (Note: this is not a job search program.)

I expect to close enrollment in early February, 2016 and would love to work with you. Check out the program page and information or feel free to drop me a note with your questions.

Last and not least, I’m excited to kick off my 2016 webinar series with, “Level-Up and Accelerate Your Career,” on February 4, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. CST. The webinar is complimentary. I’ll share my perspectives on the impact of change in our global environment on our careers, and I’ll offer some very real case studies on approaches and ideas to help you level-up in your career while helping your organization navigate change. I’ve attended enough stuffy webinars, so this one will be conversational and include some live q/a time. I hope you join me.

That’s all for now. Thanks for your readership and support! Whether it’s through the blogs, the webinars or the programs, I’m honored to help you achieve your professional goals!

Yours in great career health,

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Art’s Leadership & Management Writing for the Week Ending 1/2/16

NewsflashIn case you missed it:

At the Management Excellence Blog:

Writing as the Management and Leadership Expert at

  • Everything I Know About Managing I Learned Playing Video Games: OK, while the title is a stretch, perhaps we as managers can take a lesson or three from the game designers who have turned work into fun, cracked the code on engagement and possibly enabled the most powerful problem-solving approach known to human-kind.
  • Seven Ideas to Strengthen Your Team’s Performance: In today’s workplace, teams are the engines of innovation, problem-solving and everything new. However, high performance teams don’t spontaneously generate. As a leader, you’re accountable for the hard work of building the environment for performance to emerge. Here are some tips to help your cause.
  • Want to Lead? Consider Becoming a Project Manager. Project Managers are the unsung heroes of our corporate world for all of their efforts and results to translate ideas and customer needs into reality by guiding and groups in pursuit of something unique. The role is also a remarkable leadership training ground. Here are some thoughts on focusing your leadership development efforts in this remarkable field.
  •  Developing as a Manager in an Era of Uncertainty. Today’s and tomorrow’s managers face some profoundly complicated challenges. In my lead-off post as the Management and Leadership Expert at, I share some thoughts on cultivating the skills needed for success in this difficult role.

That’s all for the week. It’s forward and onward with the new year and new week. And remember that success as a leader is built one encounter at a time. Make them all count! 

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The Inner Game of Leading and Your New Year’s Resolutions

best practice on blackboardFor the past few transitions to the new year, I’ve reposted my “A Leader’s Resolutions are Calendar Blind” article, suggesting that we need a bit more frequent refresh than this annual once per year, open-season on resolution resets. While I stand behind the suggestions in the post, my thinking has evolved a bit during this past year.

In my opinion, a daily refresh isn’t too frequent—and in this world of complexity and change, it might not be enough.

A bit of background is in order.

I had the great fortune thanks to a client engagement to dig in to the very important topic of leading and leadership in dangerous situations. Sadly, this century has thus far been marked by global turmoil, war and violence, and as a result, we’ve developed a body of research on the challenges, issues and practices that work (and don’t work) in dangerous settings.

  • General Stanley McChrystal and his team have suggested an entire new approach to managing and teaming in his excellent book, Team of Teams.
  • A 2011 publication, “Leadership in Dangerous Situations,” offers some outstanding research-backed guidance on the practices and approaches that work in both modern combat and first-responder situations.

At least one of the core themes in all of these works is the need for the leader to internalize and constantly execute on his/her role in distinct ways because of (not in spite of) the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) in these situations.

In the business world, two important works suggest the need for new approaches to leading:

  • The Attacker’s Advantage by Ram Charan suggests combatting VUCA by going on the offensive and striving to see and seize opportunities in all of the noise.
  • No Ordinary Disruption by Dobbs and Manyika (and the McKinsey Team) offers up a view to the unparalleled and profoundly powerful macro forces impacting the global economy and business environment. Surviving and thriving in this environment surely demands new approaches to leading and managing.

What’s a Leader to Do?

The behaviors that everyone of us can list chapter and verse that reflect our traditional view of effective leadership still hold, but they’re not enough.

There’s a new dimension in business—the need for speed around innovation, problem-solving, opportunity development and execution, coupled with the need to promote safety and security in what is ostensibly an unsafe and insecure environment. These factors suggest that today’s successful leaders cultivate a stronger sense of purpose and role and work tirelessly to reinforce this role. I referenced this in earlier posts this year as, the “Inner Game of Leading”.

How does this relate to your new year’s resolutions to be a better leader, you ask?

Here are my suggestions for supporting your growth, development and daily effectiveness in the new year.

4 Big Ideas to Renew Your Leadership Effectiveness Daily:

1. Rethink your role. Today’s leader must offer “burden relief” to his/her team members. Take the environmental problems away and do everything possible every day to allow your team members to apply their creativity and talents to their core work. Uncomplicate things for them!

2. Decomplexify. (Yes. I’m minting words in this post.) Ambiguity in our markets is the order of the day. You need to actively strive to take the complexity out of the situation and allow your team members to focus on taking bite-sized chunks out of the elephantine level of challenges in front of them.

3. Practice “adjusting your own attitude” every morning before work. Take a few minutes in the parking lot at the coffee shop or at your desk before the craziness starts and focus on what you can do to best support your team members. It’s likely not about barking orders or running an endless series of status update meetings. If you are spiritual, consider incorporating or adapting your own variation of the Jesuit practice of The Daily Examen.

4. Learn to care about your team members. Show it and mean it! Beyond displaying competence, the notion that the leader “cared” for team members and their safety and security is consistently listed as the most critical credibility builder for leaders in dangerous situations. While most of us aren’t facing the daily hostilities of our treasured men and women in the armed forces, we are dealing with people who will respond positively to a leader who cares about them, their careers and the security of their jobs and families.

The Bottom-Line for Now:

Great leadership practices are timeless, but the context has shifted. It’s different for all of us today. There’s an underlying feeling of anxiety and stress in a world where “change is changing” seemingly at an accelerating pace and where economic turmoil and the miserable specter of violence in our society are never far away, whether we’re in Paris or on the streets of Chicago. You and I must learn to be better at our jobs every single day!

May your resolutions and your resolve to improve be ever-green!

Art Petty serves senior executives and management teams as a performance coach and strategy facilitator. Art is a popular keynote speaker focusing on helping professionals and organizations learn to survive and thrive in an era of change. Additionally, Art’s books are widely used in leadership development programs. To learn more or discuss a challenge, contact Art.