The dynamic dance.

According to the genius poet John Keats, “Nothing ever becomes real till experienced—even a proverb is no proverb until your life has illustrated it.” And the same holds true for models and theories.

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Tom Asacker
The paradox of planning.

I was searching through file boxes the other day. Hoping to find and shred irrelevant documents. And I hit the jackpot! They were filled with various plans. Business, new product, financial, strategic. Facts, figures and statistics.

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Tom Asacker
Put trust in ideas.

Years ago, I was head of procurement at one of G.E.’s business units. If the computer “instructed” us to purchase something, we’d triple source it. And then negotiate the absolute best pricing and delivery. It was purely tactical.

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Tom Asacker
Do what feels wrong.

Years ago I was gifted an awesome challenge. Reverse the mounting losses of a high tech division of GE. And do it in 18 months (and… with no authority).

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Tom Asacker
Let it go.

There are boxes of notes stacked up in my office. They’ve been taped closed for years. I have portable hard drives loaded with data. I’m pretty sure I’ll never access them.

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Tom Asacker
Identity is destiny.

Three simple words. Identity is destiny. An executive mouthed them to me after a talk. He meant it as both undeniable and auspicious. “Our organization’s identity is its unique advantage.”

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Tom Asacker
Snap out of it!

A while back, following a keynote speech and during Q&A, someone in the audience asked a heartfelt, yet somewhat rhetorical question. “So, how do I communicate to people that our approach, our culture, needs to change?” My immediate impulse was to hit her with a stick.

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Tom Asacker
Leadership is simple.

Earlier in the year, McKinsey released results from new research on leadership. “Decoding leadership: What really matters” The subhead of the article suggests that there’s a “secret” to developing effective leaders. And it’s achieved by encouraging four types of behavior. Do you think you can guess what they are?

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Tom Asacker
Step in, step back.

In 1960 Theodore Levitt wrote “Marketing Myopia.” A seminal paper on the nature, and perils, of strategic vision. Levitt posited that railroad executives should have stepped back. And looked at themselves differently.

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Tom Asacker
Who is your jester?

According to various surveys, CEOs and senior executives hunger for leadership advice. But no one will give it to them. Not employees nor coaches nor consultants. No one.

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Tom Asacker
We need more "nos."

Last week, dozens of newsletter readers unsubscribed. I have an idea why, but it still stung. I’m wired to feel that way (so are you). But then I remembered something.

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Tom Asacker
Branding is simple.

Are you launching a new venture? Perhaps you’re hoping to grow an existing one. Either way, you’ll be immersed in branding. Branding is a verb. It’s a continuous, progressive process.

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Tom Asacker