Lessons learned: Bruises and Bouquets

I had many failures that created bruises sprinkled with a few bouquets for effective operational excellence and leadership. Remember both bruises and bouquets do not last forever but their memory should! Use that knowledge and emotional recollection to grow and repeat success and minimize failures. Good leadership is all about self awareness with the willingness to improve, adapt and provide ongoing value to your team, organization, customers and shareholders.

Below is my primer on what is important for all leaders as they journey through careers, life and community. These 25 focus areas are the core of success to create strong skills and great OUTCOMES for you and your team. Please contact me should you wish to debate or discuss further.


• Don’t be afraid of failure and remember execution beats strategy

• Delegate consistently and constantly but know when the issue is yours to manage

• Make sure you have frequent diversified contact with all constituents(external/internal) to build rapport and knowledge

• Deal with the important not the urgent

• Don’t take it personally but do “own it”


• Who you are is 24/7!

• You can and must change as you mature in career and life

• Your moral compass is always visible – never waiver from doing what is right (people watch your every move)

• Listening is hard – always be building this essential skill

• Communication never stops and takes many forms – know your audience


• Focus – Focus – Focus (Rule of 5)

• No excuses – get resources

• Innovation – the Big I and the little I

• Leadership is a team sport

• Incremental change at a glacial pace!

• Talent trumps strategy – build, rotate, reward, fix or flip


• Know your business – know your customer

• Who you hire matters – operationally and culturally

• Direction and destination is more important than the route

• Provide long term value creation with visible execution

• No favorites – balance friendships (both existing and new) in both directions


• Living in a commodity business sucks!

• Have resources inside and outside the organization for advice and perspective

• Stay healthy and fresh – take time off, have outlets