Looking Ahead: Changes at the Management Excellence Blog in 2014

what is your mission?Fresh off the heels of running my annual post on the need for leaders to eschew annual resolutions in favor of a continuous refresh, I’m contradicting myself just a bit with my “blogging resolutions” for the year.

I like the idea of making the goals public. Nothing like visibility to promote accountability!

A Bit of Context:

Much like the fatigue I imagine a distance runner feels at times, constructing 943 posts in a few years takes its toll and requires one to find ways to refuel and push forward. While the runner and the writer both have the option of quitting to make the fatigue go away, there’s something deep inside both individuals that pushes them quietly forward towards a mostly personal goal.

I would just as soon quit breathing as cease writing about management, leadership and career development. Odd, but true I genuinely love supporting the pursuit of developing great firms, great management teams and great careers!

OK, with that out of the way, here’s how I intend to strengthen the blog and deliver more value to you in the upcoming period.

Art’s 5 “Management Excellence” Blogging Resolutions (In no particular order):

1. Refocus on the Core Purpose. I said it above. The focus is on promoting the development of great management teams, great leaders and great careers. Every post must support this lofty but achievable mission. The guidance must be fresh, practical and actionable.

2. Deeper Focus for Specific Audiences. The content is applicable for professionals at all levels, however, my own coaching/teaching/writing focus is on the following three audiences:

  • The “Level Up” audience of mid-career professionals striving for or just embarking upon  their first role with a seat at the executive table. While a promotion to the executive team is a success milestone, the reality is that many professionals struggle and some fail to make the transition. I want to help improve your odds of success.
  • The Management Team striving for high performance. Every member of senior management plays a role in the group developing as an effective team. The content here will focus on challenging CEOs and executives to uncover their core priorities when they are “at the table” and to push them to develop as a functioning team directly supporting improved organizational performance and health.
  • The First-Time Manager/Front-Line Leader. Organizations are often at their worst when it comes to cultivating these critical front-line leaders and the cost to the firm in reduced performance, poor customer satisfaction and loss of leadership bench strength is nearly catastrophic. I’m on a mission to help strengthen the world one effective new leader at a time.

3. Just the Right Number of Unique Voices.  Some bloggers lapse into a routine that incorporates an endless stream of guest posts…in part to take the pressure off the obligation to come up with fresh content and in part to drive traffic. While neither of those are inherently wrong, this is a mission focused blog, not a newspaper. I will bring fresh voices to the blog that address the issues of the core audiences.

4. A Splash of Fiction. Much like Goldratt, Lencioni and  Blanchard do such a great job with the story or fable approach to leadership content (they embed valuable leadership and management lessons inside a fictional story narrative), I intend on adding a story-line to our material. My first stab at this inside Practical Lessons in Leadership (with Rich Petro) received positive feedback and it’s time for this frustrated fiction writer to blend the genres. Look for the upcoming Saturday Serial. (OK, it’s a play on words but I like the sound of an on-going Saturday story that tackles the tough topics of management and leadership in a unique way.)

5. New Media. This may be the hardest resolution to live up to. I loved the earlier podcasting work with the Leadership Caffeine podcast and want to revitalize it as well as add video blogging to the content. Both take time and dedication and I found ways to quit making time for the podcasting in spite of the popularity of the series. Some people like to read, others view or listen, and I want to find as many ways as possible to deliver on the mission of the blog and support your success.

The Bottom-Line for Now:

I’ll report back on progress and results and I appreciate your feedback and ideas along the way. Thanks for your readership and your support. It’s great to be on a journey together in pursuit of management excellence.

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

Don’t miss the next Leadership Caffeine-Newsletter! Register here

For more ideas on professional development-one sound bite at a time, check out Art’s latest book: Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development.

Order one or both books for your team. Contact Art.

New to leading or responsible for first time leaders on your team? Subscribe to Art’s New Leader’s e-News.




Peace and Joy

Peace and Joy this Holiday Season! Merry Christmas!

Words are Insufficient

Much like everyone else, I am struggling to process the tragedy in Newtown last Friday. Words are insufficient and I won’t try to make sense of this senseless nightmare. The loss of a single child is incomprehensible and inconsolable. The loss of many children is overwhelming. One can feel the collective sense of simultaneous shock, anger and profound sadness.

While the details are fuzzy at this moment, there’s no doubt in my mind that the teachers who perished gave their lives attempting to shield or save their children. Like our soldiers and firefighters and law enforcement officials who place themselves in harms way every day, one can’t truly understand what leadership and courage are, until called upon to act selflessly to help others.

For the families so tragically and needlessly impacted, may the thoughts and prayers of a nation…and much of the world provide the strength to carry on, one slow step at a time.



Let’s Go Curiosity! The Olympics of Human Ingenuity

image of Mars Rover Curiosity

NASA Image of Curiosity

Note from Art: sometimes you have to just watch and marvel!

Against the backdrop of the world’s greatest athletes competing in London, there is an equally exciting and very other-worldly event occurring on a red planet somewhere near earth.

Whether it’s my lifetime love affair with Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles or a chance to marvel at this Olympics of Human Ingenuity on display, I cannot resist focusing on this remarkable event.

On Monday, if all goes according to plan, at about the time the Olympic athletes are digesting breakfast and warming up for their morning events, the rocket carrying the very sophistical robotic explorer (and chemistry lab) Curiosity, will execute a series of mind-boggling maneuvers, slowing from 13,200 miles per hour to 1.7 miles per hour and a gentle landing on the Martian surface. Wow! (During this seven-minute sequence of events, NASA indicates that Curiosity and the rocket will take on six different vehicle configurations and fire 76 pyrotechnic devices to support releases and adjustments.)

The expected images, including the descent to the surface and follow-on mission images will be remarkable. According to NASA’s press kit, the cameras mounted to curiosity will show images at a quality level that offers threefold the resolution of prior missions. Expect to see Mars in high-definition video and big, beautiful images in full color…mostly red, of course.

For those of us who watched Armstrong take that first step and then a few years later held our breath along with the world as the fate of the Apollo 13 astronauts played out, space travel of any sort is a big deal. If you choked up at the sight of Columbia’s first descent from space to a gentle runway landing, and if you know where you were when you heard of Challenger and Columbia, space travel is a big deal.

Exploring space is part of our destiny as humans. While machines are doing the heavy lifting for now (and maybe for the foreseeable future), the exploration must continue. Whether we’re alone or living in a universe filled with other neighborhoods, this is much like that step 43 years ago. It’s small in the context of the universe, but mighty big for all of us here on this pale blue dot.

Let’s go Curiosity! Stick the landing!

Management Excellence Recap for the Week Ending July 28, 2012

image of books and a cup of coffeeHere’s a quick recap of my Management Excellence blog and other writings during the past week.  Enjoy the reading and enjoy your weekend!

-This Week’s Leadership Caffeine post: Stop Feeding Your Leadership Dragons”

New Leader Tuesday focused on: “Your Responsibility to Lead the Tough Discussions”

-I announced a new online leadership development program: “Learning to Master Feedback”

-The latest Leadership Caffeine Podcast was published: “Become the CEO of You, Inc.” with Susan Bulkeley Butler.

And the latest Leadership Caffeine e-News was published, including unique (not on the blog) content ranging from my suggested books to interesting resources and links as well as an article on feedback and another on trust. You can gain access to the latest e-news as well as all prior issues by registering and then following the link in my auto-respond to the Archives.

Don’t miss the next Leadership Caffeine-Newsletter! Register here.

For more ideas on professional development-one sound bite at a time, check our Art’s latest book: Leadership Caffeine-Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development

Download a free excerpt of Leadership Caffeine (the book) at Art’s facebook page.

New to leading or responsible for first time leader’s on your team? Subscribe to Art’ New Leader’s e-News.

An ideal book for anyone starting our in leadership: Practical Lessons in Leadership by Art Petty and Rich Petro.

Need help with Feedback? Art’s new online program: Learning to Master Feedback $59