Thursday, May 15, 2008

Leaders are Being Tested

Interesting day! I've had a few conversations with potential Ross Results, Inc., clients today, and I am always amazed at how predictable personalities can be during times of stress. People are cutting cost and not thinking of professional development and organization. It is so easy to get polarized.

Very often certain personality types get to a position of responsibility and become “visionary” in the growth mode when there is a product offering that is making a killing in the market. They look like geniuses managing a company. The stark reality is that during a boom time, many people look good and take themselves seriously - when in truth, it is often in spite of their efforts that success prevails.

To my way of looking at things, it is wrong to think of your "great leadership skills" when business is great. It is similar to thinking that you have a handle on marriage before the honeymoon is over.

Now is the time to develop organizations. It is a time to invest in our workforce from top to bottom. Retreat is easy, operating from vision and pushing aside the natural personality traits which defeat us is what is needed when leading in turbulent times.

While there is always merit to retreating to fight another day, you need to focus on regrouping with a development plan to move forward.

Personal and professional development, learning how to inspire, and selecting and articulating value is critical to all of our futures - let's not loose sight of this in today's business climate.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lead, don't wait for the polls:

If business or families were to operate the way our primary elections have been going nothing could get done until the media has had at it for a while, and then the journalists have had a back and forth.

Imagine a new product launch that was the result of millions of dollars of research and years of study. It could be derailed simply by asking a ridiculous question which would only require a ridiculous answer. The shareholders would then hold the business managers in contempt and the product offering would be compromised before it ever had a chance.

For that matter, imagine if things like family vacations and homes to live in were chosen by what the media asks each parent before they do it. Could you see it now? Media, “I understand you chose a beach vacation with your family, how would you feel if the children got skin cancer and do you know if it is wise to go near water. It is our understanding that people can drown in water? If that were to happen, what would that do to future plans and are you ready to make that decision? "

Our obsession with news media is becoming the news.

Hilary Clinton was asked, “What would you do if Iran attacked Israel with a nuclear weapon? What would you do if you were president? "

No matter what answer she gave, she could be second guessed. Should she have said that we would not be happy? Should she have said we will go to the UN? No, the only answer is if Iran or any other country starts a preemptive nuclear strike that the US response would be unfathomable! Any other answer would be unacceptable.

However, it has given the media and Barak something to speak about and it all came from the absurd question asked by the media to begin with.

Does anyone else see how we are perverting the system to our own detriment!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Jerk Factor

Today I was awakened with a discussion on CNN of a descriptive personality measurement called the "Jerk Factor". I was completely tuned into that discussion from the moment I opened my eyes.

I think this is a tremendous step forward. Finally, a nice guy can get in the game. It seems people are sick of working with "Jerks" that will do anything to anyone to get an advantage.

I have had one long exposure to a group composed of a pathological liar, a greedy narcissist with self loathing, and a shameless suck up cameleon that would sell the Brooklyn Bridge to his mother. That was then and it was acceptable, and it was under the cover of "it's just business". It was really "BS" then, and it is now. It continues when a dysfunctional approach works for the few; hence we can call that a corporate personality disorder.

In that same company I was told I was too moral to be a President......then I became a President anyway. The person who said that to me, while being a great man, meant what he said. He has long since passed away and I still think of that conversation with profound sadness.

Other support for change to a people centric world is a client I work with. They used to have an expression called the "A-Hol$" factor. The person could be a technical gem yet they had to pass that "A-Hol$" test. I proudly passed the test. Frankly, it is this client that has given me new life and belief, and replaces the tremendously negative impact of an organization with a high "Jerk" profile.

People work and live better when they feel safe to act and speak. People will grow tired of looking over their shoulder as a way of life.

It is the human process that will always make or break any organization!

For more on Leadership Visit:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sometimes it feels as though we have lost the formula for leadership, mentoring, and the understanding of its importance.

I witness companies embracing the politically and socially correct consensus management style and sometimes I am amazed at what I am observing. It is tantamount to seeing leadership turn to those that should be lead; and saying, what do we do??

I am very much a believer in consensus and collaboration style, but there is a distorted, politically correct version that is damaging American business and castrating leadership.

The point is, most people want to be lead by vision and good plans. One may believe the millennium generation rebels against leadership and vision. My experience is telling me the exact opposite; they want to believe that management knows what they are doing. Moreover, they are silently disappointed if management does not make a stand. The concept that everyone has an equally informed and educated opinion is simply not accurate. It is no different than everyone being given a trophy for showing up to the game. While each person on this earth share the equality of all humankind, they do not necessarily all share the right ideas to all things all the time. Sometimes a group has to uncover the best choice and operationalize that choice in it most effective posture.

Productive consensus, is building the character of the team to not water down a solution to make the team happy at the cost of the goal or mission.

Certainly, this is true of all people in an organization. People want to work from a vision, a plan and hope. This requires the emotional intelligence of our leaders to be at peak ability. For those doubters, take a look at the Obama campaign. While I like the man, he is more of a promoter and leader than a substantive CEO, yet he has created a movement.

Empty consensus purely for the purpose of being inclusive is useful at team developing, it is not always what is most productive to develop an organization........... If leadership is not careful, it can create the path to the lowest common denominator.

Every agreed upon plan should pass the test of:
  • Does the plan pay more attention to the challenge, or more attention to the inability to gain consensus to do the right thing.

Leaders need to create a movement in there organization. Leaders also need to be reminded that it is their job to create a movement that their employees can follow.

We cannot try and conceal a lack of leadership, vision, and direction and call it empowerment.
Empowerment without vision is weak at best, and in the worst case is chaotic.

Leaders need to lead.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First Posting

Hello, this is the first posting of the Ross Results, Inc. blog “CafĂ© Ross”.

I thought it was time to tell as many people as I can, more about what I do; and to provide insight and ideas about the various subject matters I am involved with each and every day. I like to think of myself as "Corporately Bred and Clinically Trained". I have spent many years in significant corporate leadership roles and also maintain a part time clinical therapy practice.

Not withstanding my passion for knowledge, strategic planning, and execution, it is my strongest assertion that the discriminator for success is the people process, and the ability to tap into the human condition. Simply stated, the aforementioned contention, was and is the compelling case for founding Ross Results, and is central to all our offerings.

As I come upon my 10 year anniversary in this business, I am even more passionate about helping individuals and companies grow through Coaching-Mentoring-Advising and Training than I was in the early years.

The reasons for Ross Results’ existence are even more of an imperative now, during these times of change, rough seas, and ecconomic crisis. We are a nation full of people looking for leadership as exempified by the democratic primaries. In my view, our nations families and children are also looking for leadership and direction more than ever. It is our families and neighbors whom populate our businesses today. Therefore, it should be no surprise to any of us, that our nations employess/workers seek and require leaders and mentors in the workplace.

Leadership and professional development are at a premium in today’s workplace. With the reduction of middle management over the last 25-30 years, companies find that they simply do not have the internal leadership bench strength and talent pool they once had.

The resident mentors and coaches which were part of the American business landscape through the 1950’s 1960’s, 1970’s and the early 1980’s, have simply been decimated by the instabilities and restructuring which companies face today. The cradle-to-grave employment does not exist as anything more than a vague memory. In too many cases profit pressures has caused Corporate America to let the leadership talent pool get cut to the bone. We have tried to live on the intellect of our employee base, but have in fact left behind the basis of visioning, leadership, value propositioning, and in some cases a work ethic that was once taken for granted.

The time is now to impact the areas that will help us resurge as business leaders throughout the world. Ross Results specializes in this form of evidence-based consulting by means of our coaching, mentoring, advising, and training strategies and programs.

As the founder & Chief Coach-Mentor-Advisor, I would like to thank you for visiting my 1st blog. I welcome any comments and contacts. Feel free to visit my site

About Me

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Founder/CEO Ross Results, Inc. - Richard is an executive mentor, coach, an executive leader, and clinical therapist and has held Chief "C"- Level leadership positions with private, public, and not for profit, technology and service organizations. He has stewarded organizations through joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, integrations, and ultimately, cultural transformations, both domestically and internationally. This global exposure has guided his professional skills with respect and insight into diversity in the workplace. Richard, in addition to providing performance coaching/mentoring, is a keynote motivational speaker, facilitates senior level workshops, and leadership retreats. Additionally, Richard serves on committees and corporate advisory boards in support of our National Defense and Homeland Security. In 1998 he founded Ross Results, Inc., an idea born in his early days in Corporate America.