bob caporale bookThis post is adapted from the book “Creative Strategy Generation” by Bob Caporale (McGraw-Hill, 2015). Caporale is the president of Sequent Learning Networks. His goal is to help business practitioners infuse more passion and creativity into their jobs. You can learn more about his work by visiting or following him on Twitter @bobcaporale.

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Ask where do great ideas come from and you’ll likely hear why they evolved rather than how. They were inspired.

Some of the best ideas haven’t been developed; they’ve been inspired. I say this because if you ask someone where their great ideas come from, they will probably be more inclined to tell you why they evolved rather than how. In other words, they’ll be telling you what inspired them.

When people are inspired, it usually means that some external force has pulled on their emotions and caused them to see or feel something that they may not have been seeing or feeling previously; and this often compels them to take some action in order to express that feeling. (read more…)

The cure for presentation writer’s block

When the pressure is on to deliver a mission-critical presentation, even the most experienced presenters sometimes feel overwhelmed trying to develop valuable content. Have you found yourself falling prey to these habits?

  • Staring a blank screen and wondering how to begin
  • Feeling stuck and frantically searching the Internet for something to help you get back on track
  • Obsessing over just the right wording and making no progress

Are you nodding in agreement as your recognize this familiar pattern? We’ve all been there. The good news is, you can kick that anxiety to the curb when you know how to craft a powerful presentation that achieves results. (read more…)

“Don’t make me think about it!”

That was some advice an executive I know shared with one of his direct reports. The executive was not being flippant, he was letting his more junior colleague know that he wanted him to come with well-thought out plans of action.

He was delegating decision making to his subordinate and wanted this individual to pick up the ball and run with it.

Such advice is the opposite of micro-management; call it “I trust you” management. It is something that every executive needs to instill in his or her people.

By permitting employees to think and do for themselves, you prepare them for greater levels of responsibility.


John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. (read more…)

In transitioning from the Navy to entrepreneurial life, I’ve learned that stress is relative. To someone who’s experienced life-or-death situations, a missed deadline doesn’t seem like a big deal. But for a recent college graduate working his first job, it can feel like the end of the world.

As an officer, I had many roles: boss, friend, drinking buddy, parent, financial adviser, and marital counselor. Stress management became a way of life: Not only were there physical dangers inherent to the job, but there were also countless emotional tests in the form of erratic schedules, long hours, homesickness, and moral dilemmas.

This experience taught me how to successfully lead sailors through stressful circumstances, and these lessons also apply to office settings.

Here are five strategies to create a team that excels under pressure:

recite-sm1uvq1. Don’t freak out. Faced with a high-stress situation, your team will use your actions to guide their behavior. (read more…)

Volatile equities markets, rising interest rates, international turmoil and instability, unstable monetary exchanges, shrinking resources, changing employee values — all of these factors seem to be creating the “perfect storm” threatening markets and the free enterprise system.

If ever there was a time for government and organizations to be resilient, its now. But how can organizations enhance resilience? Let’s look at the most current recommendations from the finest minds.

Residing within the National Academies in Washington, D.C., is the Institute of Medicine. IOM is a nongovernmental think tank that brings together the finest minds in the country to offer collective opinions on the pressing issues facing the country and the world. Recently, IOM was asked to provide guidance on how organizations can best weather the storms of adversity, economic downturn, and shrinking resources. According to the IOM report, organizations should prepare for adversity by developing an organizational culture of resilience.

An organizational culture of resilience may be thought of as a climate or general atmosphere within a group, organization, or community which fosters resilience in the wake of adversity. (read more…)