Thanks everyone for entering the Wine Label Creativity Contest! Results will be posted here next month or in an upcoming Friday blog. Makes me want to come up with a new contest!

August had me on the road the entire month with trips to New York, Atlanta, Lake Tahoe, Austin and Houston. September will rival August in building up those good old frequent flyer miles.

Significant projects are the name of the game and they include such interesting topics as:

Tons of exciting and stimulating projects that make every day exciting. I kid you not!

“Great directors allow actors to be more than they ever dreamed” - Director, Robert Altman

For over 25 years, in one way or another I’ve been involved with leadership. I’ve written about it, taught it, presented about it, designed leadership systems, yet I really couldn’t define it for you.

Leadership eludes a finite definition. Don’t believe me? Think about this. At a major bookstore I decided to peruse the leadership section. It started with The Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun (I kid you not – known as a model for cruelty and mass slaughter, I thought this interesting) and finishes with the Japanese Theory Z on leadership. In between was every title you could dream of.

Recently management and leadership expert Tom Peters asked his readers for a definition of leadership and stopped reading after nearly 300 submittals.

Though defining leadership seems a somewhat nebulous ordeal, we all seem to know it when we see it. We don’t know what it is, but we damn sure know what it’s about. Its elusive definition is not critical, what is important is its impact.

Another problem is that great leadership is often fleeting. It’s kind of a here today gone tomorrow experience. Political pundits appoint the next great leader, but after a little time actually leading they become all too human in their choices. Business gurus spout forth the next great way to lead. Empower, wander around, align, synergize, walk the front of the ship and every other cliche crowds our reading. The championship coach is crowned the best leader, but a quick shift in the win loss column and he’s looking for a job.

Hey, leadership is one tough job!

Far be it from me to offer yet another definition, so I thought I would give you traits and skills that I have found to define a good leader. Forget about the great leader, they are anomalies, instead look for the good leader, they are far more prevalent and impactful:

You didn’t expect more than three did you? Think about those you think of as good or even great leaders and you will find these three traits – Guaranteed!


Personality Impact: The ability of one person to impact an organization is always impressive. To some it is a weakness, that an organization becomes dependent on a single person. But if you look at some of the top companies, their very cultures are a based on the personality of their leaders. Jeff Bezos @ Amazon, Steven Jobs @ Apple or Howard Schultz @ Starbucks are great examples. But no one personality impacts their industry like Tiger Woods. Here is an example of the “Tiger Effect”. Last year, after Tiger’s epic US Open win and subsequent knee surgery, viewership of golf tournaments radically dropped. This year, with Tiger back in the fray, viewership for the Memorial was up 100%, the AT&T National was + 180%, the Buick up 164% and the Bridgestone increased 104%. Dominant personalities sell. Smart personalities leave legacies.

An Early Techie Christmas: September has become the month for the release of new technology. Here are just a few of the bright shiny things we might be craving:

Sony will be releasing a slim new version of the PlayStation 3. They will also be dropping the cost from $399 to $299!

Apple may or may not be unveiling their new notebook, but you can bet on new iPods with increased features. The new operating system Snow Leopard should make a glamorous splash.

Microsoft will release their Life Cam – the first Hi-Def web cam.
Kodak’s new Z18 pocket video camera is said to be the best small video camera ever made!

"Need is a relative thing these days, it borders on desire. The world is filled with bright shiny things we think that we really require." – Jimmy Buffett

But Boss, I’m Addicted! Though not yet included in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is making a big splash in the medical pool of things that must be wrong with you. It goes right next to one of my favorites – Restless Leg Syndrome. The Heavensfield Retreat Center has the first treatment program for IAD sufferers. The recover program is appropriately called – ReStart.



CONTACT: Interested in these ideas?

You can contact Steve at or give him a call at 972-490-7717.