The 3 Key Components of “Skill”

Blog -11172015In developing ourselves and our teams, we frequently use the word “skill” to identify resource gaps, clarify needs, recruit employees and evaluate performance. But throughout my career, I’ve come to realize that skill is not a single thing. Rather, I believe that skill is made up of 3 separate and distinct components that together can not only improve our understanding, but our communication as well.

These 3 components are EducationExperience and Instinct.

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Can a Ballet Technique Help Your Business?

11102015 BlogIn ballet, they call it “spotting”, and the concept is as important for business as it is for dance.

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My pre-teen daughter has been dancing for over 6 years now.   Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz – she loves them all! As a result, if you can’t find me at work or home, I’m likely to be found sitting many hours at the studio – iPad or computer on my lap – peeking in to watch her classes.

This weekend, when I looked in, there they were… spinning and spinning, round and round across the room. Dancer after dancer, each one started at one corner and spun across the full length of room. Just watching them made me dizzy, and you’d expect them to fall on the floor at the end. But they didn’t’. In fact, they weren’t affected at all because they’ve learned the skill of “spotting”.

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Sowing Success: Part 3 of the “Right SEED”

Blog - 11032015Over the last two weeks, we have been discussing the challenges of achieving business growth and how we can increase our probability of success by being careful about how we, as leaders, plant the right SEED.

In my first post, I shared my “optimal SEED” framework with the following 4 parts:


  • S – Setting Your Goals
  • E – Evaluating Your Market Potential
  • E – Exploring Strategic Alternatives 
  • D – Deploying Resources 

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Digging Deeper for Growth: Part 2 of the “Right SEED”

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In last week’s post, “Are You Planting the Right SEED for Growth?”, we discussed the challenges of achieving business growth, and how in business – as in nature, our probability of success depends highly on our ability as leaders to plant the right SEED.

At the end of the post, I shared what I have come to trust as the “optimal SEED” for growth which when planted effectively, can dramatically improve the probability of success and maximize outcomes.  Here are the 4 parts again:

  •       S – Setting Your Goals 
  •       E – Evaluating Your Market Potential 
  •       E – Exploring Strategic Alternatives
  •       D – Deploying Resources

Today I want to share more about the first two parts including their Purpose & Deliverables, Typical Activities & Approaches and Common Pitfalls.

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Are you planting the right SEED for growth?

SEED pictureGROWTH… it’s the desire of every business and non-profit.  It’s what fuels progress, expands opportunity & inspires people.  It’s what creates sustainability in an organization and wins the day versus competition.  And, it’s at the top of the list of goals for leaders around the world each year.

Now, if setting goals were as easy as achieving them, growth would be a slam-dunk for our organizations.  But unfortunately, it’s not that easy.  Research consistently shows that 70-90% of all business plans fail to achieve desired outcomes.  That means on average, you can expect only a 1 in 5 chance that your efforts will be successful!   Not only are those disappointing odds, but they have even more disappointing impacts.

As leaders, how can we increase this probability?

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IT’S HARVEST TIME: 5 lessons we can learn about growth from nature

Business GrowthIn the North East US, we are approaching the fall season – a time also known as “harvest time”.   During this time, growers undertake the process of gathering mature crops from the fields, assessing their productivity yields & developing plans for the next growing season.

As business leaders in the 3rd and 4th quarters, we find ourselves in similar activities – gathering data, assessing our results & developing plans for growth in the coming year. Surprisingly, the similarities don’t stop there.  In fact, I believe the basic principles for growth & productivity in horticulture can be key for driving business growth as well.

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