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Russian Blood Doping Scandal 2022: A Leadership Lesson from the Ice

Russian

Like many Russian ice-skaters, your top performers have something extra (hopefully not performance-enhancing drugs). What are you doing to cultivate them so that you build bench strength and prepare them for greater responsibilities, without burning them out?

Russian

Like many Russian ice-skaters, your top performers have something extra (hopefully not performance-enhancing drugs). What are you doing to cultivate them so that you build bench strength and prepare them for greater responsibilities, without burning them out?

The Russian women’s ice-staking coach’s practices horrify me. A 15-year old was given performance-enhancing drugs and there’s no way she could have given informed consent. The gold medal winner skated listlessly around the ice clutching a doll. The Russian silver medalist was overheard saying how much she hated the sport. There’s something desperately wrong in that program and it seems like child abuse.

There’s also something desperately wrong with the way many managers treat their top talent, creating cynicism, burnout, and sometimes lifelong damage. Like many Russian ice-skaters, your top performers have something extra (hopefully not performance-enhancing drugs). What are you doing to cultivate them so that you build bench strength and prepare them for greater responsibilities, without burning them out?

My colleague Laura Colbert shows how simply promoting your top experts into management roles runs the risk of ruining two positions, damaging confidence in your judgment, and creating a snowball effect of accumulating problems. She’ll help you give them the support, resources, and guidance that they need to succeed.

Jeff Marquez illustrates that forgetting your middle management undermines performance, dilutes your vision, and drives away your top talent. If you want to build your bench strength, implement your vision, and lead your business to new heights, Jeff will help you develop middle managers that power your success.

The military has an adage that ten percent of your people occupy ninety percent of your time. I also found that to be a horrible practice. Why devote your time to your worst performers and neglect your top talent? When you do so, you are engaged in failure work.

Instead, invest your time and energy in your top performers throughout your organization. When you fire your low-performers you are doing yourself, them, and your other employees a huge favor. Are you worried about employee attrition? Stop bribing people with snacks and putting greens. Fire the people causing the attrition — you’ll gain addition by subtraction.

Let’s face it, few employees are going flat out for 40 or more hours per week. Most are probably productive for around 25 of those hours. Imagine the results if they could spend just one of those fifteen remaining hours sharpening their skills. If you improve by 1% each day, you are twice as good seventy days later.

Recognize what’s special in each person and cultivate those superpowers so that they contribute their best to your team’s success. When you invest in their success, they will invest themselves in yours.

What’s your process for cultivating the talents of your employees?

Building your Chest

Growth Programs

The Innovation Mindset. Predictable unpredictability is a new reality. There’s no new normal. We’re in a persistent a-Normal. How will you help your clients thrive? The Innovation Mindset is an 8-week mastermind that begins in early April. I’ll train you on the use of my powerful visual models, which we will use to examine the most important 2022 trends so that you can provide clear and compelling thought leadership to frame issues and improve decision-making. Each week, the group meets for 90-minutes to develop unique intellectual property that sets you apart from the pack (who’s always swinging behind the pitch) and gives you significant competitive advantages in serving your clients. Your investment will pay for itself in a single sale. I’m limiting the group to 8; the fee is $5500. Reply to this email to see if the program is a good fit for you.

The Trusted Adviser Program is my most intensive 1-on-1 program. Within 90 days, you’ll gain sustainable habits that create breakthrough success. You get personalized coaching and support, strict accountability, and commonsense action steps that get results so that you reach your goals more quickly and consistently. Soar to new heights here.

CEO Mastermind group
 is for Milwaukee-area small business leaders and consultants who want to accelerate their growth in 2022. We meet monthly for lunch, and you get unlimited access to me for coaching and advising. I’m limiting the group to 8. Four places are remaining. Reply to me for more details.



Books

LEADERSHIP: THE WARRIOR’S ART, second edition. We expect leaders to anticipate and shape the future so that your team can succeed. To do so, you need imagination grounded in a  practical perspective. That’s what you get with this book, which is why it’s been in print for over 20 years. The 2nd edition is updated for a post 9/11, post-pandemic world.

Zero-Sum Victory: What We’re Getting Wrong About War is my latest book about strategic decision-making. I use the disasters in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq to give you the tools and mental models to avoid the traps and own goals that have created quagmires for the United States. You’ll gain ways to improve agency, bridge silos, pivot smartly, avoid breathing your own exhaust, and many other outcomes.