'Chief Executive problems are not fixed'

The problems you face are not fixed.  But it may seem that way sometimes.  

Positioning and leadership problems seem to pattern in the same way. Your key relationships no longer fit. 

And making that elusive breakthrough sometimes seems impossible - if not a chore.

In short, you suffer.

But it’s a new world in some ways.  In your lifetime, Facebook did not exist.  Twitter even less – except over the garden fence.  

For some, desk top computers did not exist.  Certainly the iPhone didn’t.

Maybe your garden fence doesn’t exist now either!


'Tesco donates food'

Dave Lewis – you may know him – makes a major leadership move on behalf of Tesco. 

At a time of real hardship for many, Tesco work out a deal to redistribute food that would otherwise have gone as waste.

And if one action can change the fortunes of a brand this has to be a candidate. 

In the early 1980’s, Tesco advertising account made the journey from McCann's to Grandfield Rork Collins in Babmaes Street.


'I Can See Clearly Now'

Dr Wayne Dyer is recognised as a renowned – and sometimes controversial - author and speaker in the field of self-development.  

He has written over 40 books and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Public Television on the other side of the Atlantic.

In February 2014 he published a book called ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ and his message is ‘... even if nothing seems to be going right and it all looks like doom and gloom, stay with your excitement’. (p362)


'Chief Executive and Strategic Leadership'

You’re already successful. Your credentials have been tested. And your business not only survives but is doing quite well given the circumstances.

But in your heart you feel the need to step into the leadership vacuum created by a focus on numbers, technical competence and pragmatism, at the expense of so called softer skills like leadership.

Well, I’ve been around a few decades now and know the numbers are necessary. (So is technical competence. And so is a degree of pragmatism.)

But that’s not leadership – its business administration.


'Chief Executive seeks engagement'

As you know engagement is fired by attraction – a strong feeling of wanting.

In Greek Mythology Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, the King of Crete.

Minos had instigated a sacrifice of seven youths and seven maidens to feed the Minotaur.

Theseus was to be one of the victims.

Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and risked everything against her father to save him - she gave him a ball of gold thread to escape the labyrinth after slaying the Minotaur.

If you remember being attracted to someone or something in this way then you know how engaging it is.


'The Earth is flat'

Here’s another myth. Strategy is about economics.

Pythagoras seems to be the first to assert planet earth is spherical.

As a sailor, I’m surprised it wasn’t rumbled before the 6th century BC.

If you sail you get a sense it’s not flat.  And if you have watched land appear ocean-side you get the same sense.

The flat earth myth was supported by historians, philosophers and poets for centuries - ancient civilisations argued for it.

It’s the same with economics and strategy.


'Intangibles are the balance sheet'

Sir Rowland Smith was an academic, business man and key figure in several high profile businesses which include British Aerospace and Manchester United.

You may remember he fought Tiny Rowland in a battle for Harrods in the early 1980’s.

He was also my marketing professor at UMIST in 1972.  And he loved talking about P&G and Unilever.

Yes, we studied soap powder wars at length!

But in those days, modern branding - and marketing as we know it today – was relatively new in the UK.


Chief Executive 'doesn't know'

The solution to your problem is closer than you think.  And some say the first step is to go for a walk and clear your head.

But what is happening here? Let me explain:



The film WALL STREET released in 1987.

You may remember it as an archetypal story of big business in the 1980’s.

Gordon Ghekko, the composite Wall Street legend played by Michael Douglas, immortalises ‘Greed is good’, polarising the tale of conflict between money and spirit.

In the end, the FBI get Ghekko.

It doesn’t get talked about much except in films.  But it’s something we face every day.

I was in my early twenties when first offered a commercial bribe.  It was an ambiguous proposition … but I felt it.


'Chief Executive has three brains'

You have three brains.  At least your brain comes in three physical parts: the left brain, right brain and mid brain.  


And the tail of your mid brain goes down to your heart – but that’s for later.


Aristotle (384-322 BC) recognised your three brains in his approach to rhetoric – ethos, pathos and logos.