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Showing posts from February, 2009

Pain and Paint Guns

In the Boulder edition of Craigslist last week was an ad for an actor with the capacity to withstand physical pain. Why would an actor need to withstand pain in a role? Because this actor will be portraying an investment banker. If that’s not enough to bring the wrath of the audience on the actor, there will also be paint guns – fully loaded and aimed at the actor.
The actor will have protective gear of course (which is more than the investment bankers from the major banks living on life-support right now had given to those of us now holding incredibly shrinking 401-Ks) but in this art performance piece is sure to take on some of the overflowing anger we feel at our shrinking economy.
How did common sense fail the executives of some of our biggest companies? How could they not see the folly in insuring your own losses, in attaching derivatives and poor mortgage risks and over-leveraged assets to their books without any plan for risk control when the cycle trended down? 
Did they even fac…

How Developing Leadership Is Like Learning To Fight Fires

Developing leadership skills has similarities to training to be a fire fighter. You need a combination of study, direction, and experiential application. But the experiential part of the training should build according to your skill level. A first day fire fighter trainee for instance never sees any real fire – they could easily get hurt or hurt someone else. The really difficult tasks must build on skills that have been learned before. Knowledge must be internalized and feel fully integrated before you apply it on a dangerous ground – and leading others can often be dangerous ground. Leadership develops in scalable stagesI’ve been both a fire fighter and a manager and so I can find many similarities in the development process. You can be a novice and inexperienced fire fighter and still contribute to the effort of the crew, provided that you are surrounded with more experienced, patient, and yes even insistent fire fighters who will be assertive and courageous enough to keep you out …

Front Range Leadership Launched

It's official!  Front Range Leadership, LLC has been launched to develop leadership skills through highly interactive in-person workshops and sharply focused leadership teleclasses. We also work with clients through coaching and consulting to help them develop their leadership skills.

Here's today's press release:
Front Range Leadership is a metro-Denver area training and development company. For more information:

Developing Relationships Through Facebook

How should leaders approach Facebook? Should you use it to find out more about your people? Can you effectively use it to develop your relationships?

Realizing that some organizations still resist supporting networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, in a world where a whole generation of people take these sites for granted, it is worth considering how as leaders we make use of the tools.
I had an interesting moment this week in my Advanced Film Acting Class in Denver when I realized that most of the class were also my Facebook friends. I learned so much about each of the between classes that it felt as if we'd seen each other on a daily basis. Now, it is also true that there are times when people share a little too much information (I imagine no one really wants to know how often their employees go to bars...) but still I've come to enjoy the additional sense of knowing the people I work with. It's a short cut to faster and deeper communication and makes collaborating, ev…

Leadership Movies

Many films present provocative and sometimes inspiring views of leadership. The models are often deeply flawed (it is drama, afterall) but sometimes insightful and incredibly useful for creating dialogue. To generate a deep conversation about leadership, or just to reflect on what leadership means to you and how you operate as a leader in comparison, try any of the following movies:A Beautiful MindAirforce OneApollo 13The ApostleBatman Begins
Bridge On The River Kwai
Chariots of Fire
Charlie Wilson's War
Citizen Kane
The Color Purple
Crimson Tide
The Dark Knight
Dead Poets Society
The Doctor
Dr. Strangelove
Erin Brockovich
Fail Safe
Field of Dreams
Glengarry Glen Ross
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Henry V.
It's A Wonderful Life
Jerry Maguire
Karate Kid
The Kingdom
Ladder 49