Dick Cross

Your Job at the Top

Prosperity is just around the corner for those who learn leadership. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859 That sounds like many of our businesses today –…

Out With the Old

Make time in your work life to contemplate what you could be. We’ve all heard about continuous turnarounds. These are the businesses everybody talks about, the ones constantly leaving everyone gasping in their tailwinds. Just about the time we figure…

The Trouble With Goals

Why motivating ‘creatives’ takes more than straight-line thinking. Lots of people miss goals. I’ve been one of them. But we keep playing the game, bowing to the ritual while the “setters” of the goals continue moving the targets just beyond…

Activity Beats Execution

How to rethink your thinking to move the organization forward. The execution fads in business – strategic planning, management by objective, total quality, just-in-time, and others before these – have had their day. Like most fashionable management concepts, execution really…

Revelation: The Answers Aren’t in the Numbers

Our obsession with “the numbers” in business exploded in the 1960s, when the new “science” of decision theory crossed paths with low-cost computer power. Business scholars began the stampede toward a new “law:” given enough numbers, anyone can run anything.…

Hyper Gear!

You’ve probably felt one before. A company where the atmosphere’s electric. A place where everyone seems energetically locked together in spirit to accomplish something great. Versus other places that are dull. With dull people simply enduring their days at work…

Thermonuclear Influence

Humility is the key for turning up the pace. It’s easy to get carried away with ourselves in our heady Jobs at the Top. We’re all susceptible to hubris, to some degree. But your degree of susceptibility depends upon your…

Duty vs. Responsibility

Duty, not responsibility, is your greatest source of power at the top. When I talk to CEOs about the gravity of their jobs, many bemoan their burdens and responsibilities. They talk about what they “owe” – to boards, investors, lenders,…

Be The Lore

Inspiration starts with … You. We love stories about others who inspire us. Because stories about those kinds of people allow us to imagine that we’re just like them. It’s why we watch sports. Buy People Magazine. It’s why we…

‘Sledgehammers’ for Loyalty

Build the kind of business where the relationship is just as important as meeting your customer’s service and repair needs. The two strongest ways to endear yourself to a customer are to help them over a fear, or to make…

The Team Trap

Learn what it takes to create a winning team I horrified an audience recently when I called teamwork the greatest drain on contemporary business productivity. And it’s likely that I’ve just had the same effect on you! It’s not that…

What Your Customers Want … Right Now!

Mechanical shop, collision repair, A/C, muffler, tires … it really doesn’t matter. Today, you need to rethink how you think about your customers. Not just according to who they are anymore – by the demographics – but rather, according to…

A Central Stillness

Unflappable, steady, predictable, resolute, the calm in the storm. You’ve probably been around some of these people. The ones with a Central Stillness. But probably fewer than all those you’ve met who occupy the Jobs at the Top of their…

A Higher Calling

Employees are looking for more … not pay, not flexibility, but rather more from their leadership. Our 100-year legacy about how to do the Job at the Top, which business schools, literature and our predecessors have metamorphosed into near-laws of…

Transformation Starts at the Top

Can you imagine what your business needs to become, but just haven’t been able make it happen? Well, you’re not alone – not by a long shot! Because transforming businesses is like that for most people. Transitioning a business that…

Living the Code

Strong leadership character traits reflect good humor, guilelessness and sincerity. In this last installment of this series, I’ll finish with the last three of the nine principles of effective Character at the Top. The first three outlined the attitude you…

The Science of Performance

Three more character traits to cultivate: courtesy, humility and unselfishness. Increasingly, neuroscience is uncovering new fundamentals for how to drive organizational performance from our Jobs at the Top. Capitalizing on these findings requires courage. And enough self-confidence to reconsider the…

Character

Character in leadership is defined by key qualities: patience, kindness and generosity. In my keynote speeches, I make a point that mastery in your Job At The Top rests on two obsessions. One is focused thinking. About the whole of…