I’m Joining the Professionals

Professional Excellence: Beyond Technical Competence
Alan P. Rositer

What exactly is a professional? You must admit, it’s one of the more challenging words in the English language.

Sometimes it’s an adjective, one often applied to adults paid to play children’s games. Sometimes it’s a noun, intended to convey that the person identifying with it is more rigorously schooled and trained in a particular body Continue reading


Born Standing Up and Talking Back

In Defense of Troublemakers: The Power of Dissent in Life and Business
Charlan Nemeth

A Fortune 500 CEO who repeatedly voiced his desire to entertain a wide range of thinking once publicly clarified that position for me. Skepticism, he averred, is good. It shows your mind is working.  Just don’t make a habit of it.

I’m pretty sure Charlan Nemeth would find at least half Continue reading

Watch the Parking Meters

Leadership–It’s a System Not a Person
Barbara Kellerman
Daedalus, Summer 2016

By now it should be apparent I rarely seek information where everyone else does. I don’t even really look for it. I just tend to stumble across things and find a use for them later.

That’s certainly the case with the Summer 2016 issue of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In what has to be one of the more fortuitous Continue reading

Is it What’s Needed or What’s Missing?

NYer_20140421Certain things usually alert me to flee. One of them is failure of the writing and editorial process. While such failure is often of the ‘I know it when I see it’ variety, there are some lapses that almost anyone can see.

As in this sentence: “The purpose of an aircraft carrier is to carry aircraft.” It comes from an article entitled “Shipmates: Life on an Aircraft Carrier by Geoff Dyer that appears in the Journeys (April 21, 2014) issue of the New Yorker. (Pay wall, but you can get a free 1-month trial.) Between the title and that sentence there’s little reason to read on.

And yet I did.

I’ve said before that I have a reading hair shirt that drives me to complete even Continue reading

What if it is a myth?

The Management Myth:
Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong
Matthew Stewart

MythSome things are too important to be left to the experts. Arguably that includes running a business. Matthew Stewart, I think, might agree with that statement.

Stewart is a penitent, former management consultant. There is an entire sub-genre of management consulting tell-alls that usually leaves one wondering why such firms persist given how poorly they treat their clients. Stewart’s book avoids being merely Continue reading