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How To Keep Ego From Derailing Your Efforts To Become A Great Leader


How To Keep Ego From Derailing Your Efforts To Become A Great Leader

When it comes to leadership, a fine line can exist between confidence and egotism.

Certainly, everyone has an ego and we would achieve little in life if there wasn’t a part of us filled with the conviction that we can tackle the challenges before us.

But unfortunately, sometimes things get out of hand. When a leader has an outsized ego, that can result in the entire team’s morale slumping, with some people beating a hasty retreat and seeking better opportunities elsewhere.

There are other negative impacts on the organization as well. One study revealed that not only are narcissistic leaders less collaborative and less ethical, but the cultures of the organizations they lead also are less collaborative and ethical.

In other words, the bad example those egotistical leaders set permeates everything within the culture.

So it’s important for everyone involved that leaders keep their egos in check even as they exude the confidence that’s needed to inspire those around them. With that in mind, here are a few things leaders need to know about out-of-control egos – and how to correct those problems:

  • Ego can make you think of your needs over others. Leaders with big egos are caught up in their own importance, and that can make them blind to the team’s importance. If you see your team’s needs as inconsequential, it’s time to re-evaluate both them and yourself. As a veteran, I can tell you that the military tries to instill in people right from the start the importance of the team because lives depend on how well you work together. Lives may not be on the line at your business or organization, but how the team functions is on the line. And if your ego prevents you from conveying to team members how important they are, and that you care about their needs, the entire enterprise can suffer.
  • Ego can cause you to devalue those around you – at a cost. Sometimes people with big egos build themselves up by tearing others down. If members of your team are made to feel that they can do no right, that they aren’t valued, then their self esteem will wane. (I can remember seeing women in the military struggle when they were made to feel that they didn’t belong or that they weren’t qualified.) It’s hard for people to perform at their best when their self esteem is low. Certainly, if team members aren’t performing up to the job’s specifications they need to be corrected and told how to improve. But view this as an opportunity to build them up rather than tear them down.
  • Ego can keep you from admitting you don’t know everything.  When you see yourself as always right and everyone else always wrong, then you aren’t likely to demonstrate to your team that you value their input. And people want to feel that they are being heard. Let go of the notion that you have to be the smartest person in the room and that you need to know everything to be a great leader. As your leadership responsibilities grow and become increasingly more complex, become comfortable being more of a generalist. Rely on those who work for you as the specialists and lead them in the direction you want them to go.

Maintaining the right amount of ego can be a balancing act. After all, a certain degree of ego is a good thing because it gives you the confidence to soar and to make the tough decisions your job requires.

Just be careful that it’s not allowed to balloon out of control.

About Barbara Bell

Barbara Bell (, author of  Flight Lessons: Navigating Through Life’s Turbulence and Learning to Fly High, was one of the first women to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Now she works to empower the next generation of female leaders. In 1992, Bell and fellow aviators went to Capitol Hill to help successfully repeal the combat exclusions laws, opening up combat aircraft and ships to women in the military. Bell holds a B.S. in systems engineering from the United States Naval Academy, an M.S. in astronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, an M.A. in theology from Marylhurst University, and a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University. She is an adjunct professor of leadership at Vanderbilt.

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Does Your Leadership Pass The Crisis Test? 3 Tips For Leaders In Tough Times

Much of the world has felt the impact of numerous crises in the past two years. From COVID and its many profound effects to social injustice, surging inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the planet has been rocked by life-changing events.

It’s been an ongoing test for leaders in business and government. When crisis occurs and all eyes of the organization are on them, some leaders aren’t equipped to handle it properly, but there’s a process that can help them manage crisis and achieve a successful outcome, says Warren Rustand (, a longtime corporate leader and the ForbesBooks author of The Leader Within Us: Mindset, Principles, and Tools for a LIFE BY DESIGN.

“As leaders, we are going to be challenged more and more often to deal with various crises,” Rustand says. “We need to be very thoughtful about the way we’re going to lead through them.

“In a crisis, people often gravitate to the calm, rational, and reasoned person in the room. As a leader, you need to have command of the facts, elevate your team, and speak with authority while still allowing others to participate in the process.”

Rustand offers these tips to help leaders be a steadying influence while guiding their organizations through a crisis:

  • Seek clarity and intentionality. Good leaders have clarity of vision in everything they do, Rustand says, and in the early stages of a crisis the importance of this attribute is magnified. “Assess the situation, without panic or fear,” he says. “Get clarity by going to good sources of information and following that data. Clarity leads to certainty of intent – your intentional actions.” Being consistent with intentionality on a daily basis is crucial, he says, requiring a higher level of discipline and time management. “The amount of time we waste today is extraordinary, perhaps even more so today given the advance of technology and its availability,” Rustand says. “Leaders can’t afford to waste time during a crisis, nor can their teams.

  • Focus on your people. In times of crisis, a workforce is concerned about their families and their jobs. Customers worry about making payments or supply issues. Chief among a leader’s responsibilities during a crisis, Rustand says, is reaching out on a regular basis on a personal level to let employees and customers know the company management team cares about them. “How you treat your people is of the utmost importance,” Rustand says. “You need to calm them and assist them however you can. Great communication means everything and shows who you are as a leader. Be completely transparent and vulnerable. Show respect for what others are going through. Doing these things will strengthen trust and relationships.”

  • Don’t dominate, but collaborate. Rustand says some leaders have a tendency during a crisis to try to have all the answers when they don’t, and end up doing too much on their own. “All too often in a crisis, leaders react spontaneously and make decisions too quickly,” he says. “Collaborate with your team and sift through the facts, the knowns and unknowns. Leaders’ egos sometimes make them want to be the fountain of knowledge, but in times of crisis it’s especially important to open your mind to the room and all the other smart people in it. Your people will respect you as a consensus-based collaborative leader and for including them in the decision-making process. After the crisis, there will be a better culture as a result of that collaboration, as opposed to you directing people without engaging them.”

“The real test of leadership doesn’t occur when things are sailing along smoothly,” Rustand says. “Times of crisis pose the ultimate test for leaders. Their people are looking for direction, truth, steadiness, support and calm confidence. If a leader provides those things, the organization will emerge stronger and more unified when the storm passes.”

About Warren Rustand

Warren Rustand ( is an entrepreneur, corporate leader, and the ForbesBooks author of The Leader Within Us: Mindset, Principles, and Tools for a LIFE BY DESIGN. Selected as a White House Fellow in 1973, he was a special assistant to the Secretary of Commerce and co-led the first-ever executive-level trade mission to the Soviet Union. Rustand served as Appointments and Cabinet Secretary to President Gerald Ford. A former academic All-American basketball player at the University of Arizona, Rustand has been the CEO of six companies and has served on the board of directors of more than 50 for-profit or not-for-profit organizations. Rustand is an author, educator, and well-known speaker and for 30 years led a public policy-private sector conference in Washington D.C. for CEOs. He is currently the Dean of Learning for Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Global Leadership Academy.


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How To Use The Right Side Of Your Brain To Build Relationships With Your Team

Being an effective leader requires numerous attributes, but which side of the brain is most important in connecting with today’s workplace?

One thing seems certain: Leaders using one hemisphere of their brain almost exclusively may not command the room like they used to.

Though business leadership for decades has leaned toward left-brain thinking – the analytical, process-oriented and unemotional side – studies show the growing importance for  leaders to tap more into the right part of the brain, where creativity, empathy and intuition are housed.

Giving more priority to right-brain thinking is critical because compassion is one of the core leadership elements necessary in a complex and volatile age, says Tramico Herman (, author of The Crux Of Care Management: Steps to Managed Care and Patient-Centric Service Excellence for Leaders.

“When leaders infuse compassion, they can transform their leadership and workforce,” says Herman, who has supported Fortune 100 health plans and providers as a director, senior project manager and principal consultant. “We’ve gotten away from compassion and taken the human side out. Without it, we’re not treating employees holistically. The result is employees are overstressed, feel unappreciated and get burned out.

“Most leaders are conditioned by the left brain and the bottom line, an approach fueled by our male hierarchy society. Learning about right-brain traits is viewed as weakness. They dismiss the caring and nurturing side. But employees who believe management cares about them as a whole person are more productive and fulfilled, which means happy customers and profitability. We must bring the word ‘human’ into human relations and think of our team as another family.”

 Herman says it’s essential for leaders to spend time with team members, get to know them on a personal level and establish relationships. She offers these five questions for leaders to ask employees in informal one-on-one meetings:

  • Tell me about yourself outside of work. Herman says such a discussion levels the playing field as the leader shows interest in the person’s life. “As they tell their story, encourage them to recollect statements about family/friends,” she says. “Usually someone from their family or close-friend circle motivates them. Be patient and let them answer in entirety. This question sets the stage for building immediate trust because they have shared some precious things about themselves and will feel gratitude by you taking interest and listening.”
  • What are your personal goals for the next few months? Many leaders focus on long-term goals associated with their organization, but it’s best to meet team members where they are, Herman says. Their answers to this question could run the gamut. They might say that they plan to move into a new apartment, or they need to care for aging parents, or they are trying to get caught up financially. “Your responses as a leader are critical, showing you  care, and allowing you to get them connected to internal and external resources,” Herman says.
  • How do you feel about the support you’re receiving from your leaders and peers? Herman says leaders should use caution with this question. “Team members may be intimidated by your role and uncomfortable with transparency,” she says. “Prior to asking them this question, let them know you understand everyone has opportunities for growth. Make them feel comfortable. Without complete disclosure, improvements will be limited.”
  • What are your expectations of me? “It’s refreshing for the leader to hear comments aligned with how the employee envisions you caring for them and supporting them as a whole person,” Herman says. “This is a big part of rapport-building. Ideally, mutual trust has been established with the first couple of questions and the team member is comfortable expanding on the question.”
  • Do you feel like you have what you need to do your job? “You will learn a lot with this question,” Herman says. “Training deficits are common in many industries when management feels strapped for time and resources. With so many people leaving jobs today, employees need to know management will go the extra mile to give them the tools they need.”

“If a leader makes their best, consistent effort to establish relationships with their team, they’ll be recognized as a fair, caring leader,” Herman says. “They’ll be honored to work for you and drive the mission, and it will lead to relationships of longevity.”

About Tramico Herman

Tramico Herman ( is author of The Crux Of Care Management: Steps to Managed Care and Patient-Centric Service Excellence for Leaders. She began her nursing career leading medical-surgical and intensive care units, then transitioned to healthcare administration with a focus on care management. Herman advanced to leadership roles while developing strategies for processes improvements, reducing employee turnover and supporting recruitment and quality compliance with executive leaders. She holds an MBA in project management and became a consultant for various Fortune 100 health plans and providers.


How Can You Tap Into Your Superpower? 5 Tips For Becoming A Visionary Leader.

The business world moves fast – faster than ever before, thanks in large part to new technology and higher expectations from customers in an ultra-competitive landscape. And for leaders, it’s about constantly moving their company forward or being left behind.

Being “in the moment” is crucial, but one key factor separating successful companies from mediocre ones are visionary leaders who can look far ahead, see the change that needs to be made and empower others to make it happen, says Mari Tautimes, a prosperous business owner and author of #KeepGoing: From 15-Year-Old Mom To Successful CEO And Entrepreneur.

“Visionary leaders guide companies to positive change and significant growth with great ideas and long-term decision-making,” she says. “They inspire and empower their team. They unite the company with a powerful common goal that aligns departments and builds strong relationships.

“The vision stems from natural curiosity, a passion for potential, and a quest to improve not only the company but the lives of others. Being a visionary leader is a superpower. It’s being able to envision a future that’s better, possessing the drive towards that, and actively selling others on your ideas. When this superpower is tapped into properly, it can change the world.”

Tautimes offers these tips to become a visionary leader:

Create space to visualize. Tautimes says coming up with a vision, like many creative thinking processes, requires time alone to focus. “It could be getting exercise, sitting at a sidewalk cafe, or any way you can kick-start the creative process,” she says. “Develop a systematic approach to tapping into your vision. Take clarity breaks during the day, where you get away, unplug, and free think about the future and your business.”

Be a risk taker. A visionary leader creates change, and change doesn’t come without risks. Tautimes says such leaders are willing to struggle and step out of their comfort zone. “You need to have a true stomach for risk and not be plagued by this pesky inconvenience to need to know how something can be done,” she says. “You have the belief that it can be done and the team will help you figure out how. You need to keep in mind that achieving the vision and reaping the rewards are worth the pain along the way. Otherwise you’ll stop pushing forward and the dream will die. And when your team buys in and sees you stepping out of your comfort zone, they’ll be empowered to do the same.”

Communicate passionately and listen thoroughly.  A visionary leader must communicate the vision with a consistent passion that pulls everyone on board, Tautimes says. But the vision may never be achieved if the leader doesn’t listen to and accept some advice from team members. “A visionary leader doesn’t just stampede through everybody and ignore all the naysayers,” she says. “Without the support of others who can keep the visionary grounded, the project will fail. While visionaries create the ideas that shape the future, there’s usually a huge support system behind them that assists with execution.”

Know your industry inside-out. Being a visionary leader requires curiosity that leads to learning in-depth about their industry, including market trends and relevant data. “A visionary leader needs to gather lots of information, which helps them make accurate observations and define and refine their business vision,” Tautimes says. “They make connections in networking and are constantly gaining knowledge and growing. When the right opportunity comes into their view, they know when to strike.

Set practical goals that motivate the team toward the vision. ”It might take you years to reach your vision, but you have a clearly stated picture of it, and you’re excited thinking about it,” Tautimes says. “To help maintain your enthusiasm and that of your team members, and to continue momentum, set goals along the way that are milestones of progress toward the vision. Define a time frame for those next few goals.”

“Creating a vision for a business and following through on it requires boldness, commitment, communication and boundless energy,” Tautimes says. “Visionary leaders who truly stay focused on the vision while keeping everyone on board and moving forward can see great success.”


Mari Tautimes ( is the author of #KeepGoing: From 15-Year-Old Mom To Successful CEO And Entrepreneur. She rose from administrative assistant to CEO of her family’s businesses and sold them for $16 million. An entrepreneur for over 20 years, Tautimes is a speaker, trainer, EOS Implementer® and mentor, sharing her story of perseverance and success to help others create fulfilling lives.


Focus: Why It’s Essential for Entrepreneurs & How to Achieve It

From passionate to ambitious, to motivated, relentless, creative, and visionary, there are so many traits that can help an entrepreneur rise to the top, but staying focused is the one ability that absolutely every business owner must have if they want their company to go big. Learning this has been pivotal in my business journey with Kardia. Without a strong and unwavering focus, entrepreneurs won’t be able to take their company to the next level, let alone reach their maximum potential.
Why The Right Focus Is Critical for Business Owners
You can’t have focus unless you know where you’re going and what it looks like when you get there. That’s why a detailed vision is so important for your personal life and for your company too. Your vision and your focus go hand in hand. They direct each other. As an entrepreneur, that vision starts with the reason you started your company in the first place, where you want to take your company now, and an understanding of the kind of impact you want to make with it in the world. Then, everything you do needs to align with that. If not, you will get sidetracked.
It’s important to remember that focus doesn’t necessarily mean completing tasks — sometimes, people get caught up in doing the same thing over and over again and they call that being focused because they’re checking things off a list. From personal experience, that can actually backfire on you. In one of my first companies, I spent a lot of time running from task to task and putting out fires. I felt busy and I was focused on whatever was in front of me at the moment, but what I didn’t do was check in to see how my focus was lining up with my vision and the impact I really wanted to create. As it turns out, it wasn’t. I was focused in the wrong direction and that took me completely off course, which was part of the reason why the business ultimately failed.
That’s why checking in with your vision, and making sure you’re always on track with it, has to be part of your daily focus. That way you know what you’re doing matters and exactly why and how it’s moving you toward your goal.
How Entrepreneurs Can Sharpen Their Focus
Just like time management and organization can be improved with effort, so can an entrepreneur’s focus. It’s all about self-awareness — business owners need to ask themselves what they really want out of life, what they want out of their business, and what they want out of the decisions that they make each day. When they have clarity on these three factors, they’ll actually know what they need to be focused on at any given moment.
If what you’re doing isn’t lining up with one of those three things, then why are you doing it? Checking in regularly and asking yourself that question often, is a great way to make sure you don’t get sidetracked by things that don’t truly matter to you and your bigger vision.
Poor Focus Versus Good Focus
As mentioned above, not all focus is productive or beneficial to entrepreneurs. Micromanaging is a great example. The hyper-focus might be getting a task done exactly the way you want, but in the long run it’s going to put your company at a huge disadvantage because everything about your business starts and ends with you. That’s not scalable.
A much better focus, and use of your time, is empowering and inspiring people with your bigger vision. That gives them a direction and clarity on where they need to go. Then all you really have to do as their leader is help by supporting them to do their job the best they can. Let them grow and learn, rather than focusing on whether a task got done in one specific way.
The best leaders have a great vision and communicate that vision to their team on a regular basis. They help each team member understand how they fit into the bigger picture and what they should be focusing on to help that bigger vision come to life. Which is why the focus for your team meetings should include a review of what’s happened, where the company is currently headed, where things are working and where they aren’t.
The more you get your team involved the more engaged and focused they will be. And by getting them involved more often to find solutions, your company will benefit hugely from their different perspectives because new points of view lead to new and better ways of doing things. You just can’t get that through narrowly focused micromanaging.
To Wrap It All Up
The ability to stay focused is the one trait that really helps entrepreneurs empower themselves to ultimately bring their vision to life. Understanding what good focus is and what bad focus is in business, makes a huge difference to your ability to move your company forward. And when entrepreneurs can sharpen their focus through better self-awareness, bringing clarity to what they really want out of their life and business, it helps them make better decisions, which leads to better results. That means there’s a much greater probability of advancing to the next level and having your company reach its full potential.
Christan Hiscock is on a personal mission to change the conversation in the business world, moving away from the pursuit of success, to focusing on fulfillment instead. Because if you’re fulfilled, success is a given, but not so much the other way around. He can often be heard saying, “You mean more than you know,” because he believes that as people learn to understand their worth, their fears fade and amazing feats become reality. He considers this the foundation for all his achievements as the Co-Founder and CEO of Kardia and leader of 14 thriving companies. Through Kardia, which means heart in Greek, Christan is determined to bring more heart into the business world. Heart in the form of kindness, compassion and altruism. Heart that fuels, roots and guides each company to do the right things for its team members, clients and for the greater communities they serve.

Is Your Future Leader Working In Your Company Now? How To Grow A CEO.

As companies face new challenges in a rapidly changing world, leadership has never been more important. Business owners and boards are looking for strong CEOs, but what’s the best way to find them?

One study shows that CEOs hired from outside a company don’t perform as well, on average, as those who are internally promoted to the top spot. A benefit of grooming a CEO in-house are that person’s familiarity and alignment with the company’s culture and growth processes, but today’s demands and disruptions require special leadership qualities that need to be honed and observed at every step up the corporate ladder, says Benjamin Breier (, ForbesBooks author of Intentional Disruption: Leadership lessons in Healthcare, Business, and Beyond.

“Company owners and boards of directors can be ahead of the game if they grow and produce C-suite leaders, especially CEOs, from within,” says Breier, formerly CEO of Kindred Healthcare LLC. “Targeting that potential early on, providing the necessary experiences and promoting professional development leads to a CEO who can transition smoothly to what will be the company’s most challenging role.

“Soft skills such as emotional intelligence, authenticity, communication, and empathy are paramount in today’s CEO. They have to figure out how to grow the business, how to be strategic, and how to mix the business with the mission.”

Breier offers the following tips to business owners about grooming a CEO from within the company:

Challenge them in different roles. Breier says one way to identify and build high-potential leaders who can become CEOs is to challenge them with tough assignments in different jobs and give them minimal support. Those who produce consistent results will gain confidence and valuable experience.

“Any young person with leadership aspirations has to be willing to perform any job that they as a leader might ask somebody to do,” Breier says. “No job should be beneath you. See what you can learn, how different jobs work, how to problem-solve, and what people in that space are going through.” The result, Breier says, is that when one who has traveled that path becomes CEO, “they can talk to anyone at any level and have credibility as a leader. They can relate to all employees and make a connection.”

Give rising leaders broad authority. “The buck stops with the CEO, so on the way up to that role, it’s important for the company to provide top managers who are CEO candidates with wide decision-making authority,” Breier says. “Create opportunities where your leaders oversee budgets, strategy and people. You want to breed leaders who are decisive. Encourage them to think like CEOs, with a strong focus on metrics and value creation.”

Look for resilience. Climbing the corporate ladder virtually guarantees some falls along the way, Breier says, and owners or board members looking for strong leadership need to find people with resilience – a proven ability to bounce back quickly from setbacks. “When you’re the CEO and times are tough, everybody in the company is looking to see what your body language is going to be, and what your attitude is,” Breier says. “Part of your job as CEO is to be optimistic, courageous, and forward-looking when the big rock needs to be pushed up a high hill.”

See if they can disrupt in a direction-changing way. Breier says today’s ever-changing world demands CEOs who cannot only handle disruption but prompt it in a way to move their company forward. He calls this intentional disruption, which he defines as “a bold, purposeful, personal and business strategy to create opportunities and kindle successes while counteracting the inevitable disruptions wrought by external forces in volatile times.”

The most successful leaders, Breier says, are proactive rather than reactive and make the best positive disruptors. “Intentional disruption means going on offense and letting the problem weigh your company down. Top leaders must develop skills and tools to counteract forces that are capable of destroying their companies and their future leadership opportunities.”

“The long journey to becoming a CEO does not come from a straight line of victories,” Breier says. “It comes from an accumulation of experiences, good and bad, that expand the knowledge, sharpen the focus and strengthen the conviction of a well-developed leader who’s earned everyone’s trust.”


Benjamin Breier ( is the ForbesBooks author of Intentional Disruption: Leadership lessons in Healthcare, Business, and Beyond, and the former CEO of Kindred Healthcare LLC. He serves on the board for the Federation of American Hospitals, is a member of the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, and a founding member and chairman of the board of the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council. He oversaw multiple acquisitions that turned Kindred into the largest provider of post-acute healthcare services in the country. Modern Healthcare magazine named Breier one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare on three occasions and, in 2010, rec­ognized him as one of the young leaders aged 40 and under making a difference in healthcare. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, Breier received an MBA and MHA from the University of Miami.

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Start With The ‘Why’: How Good Project Leadership Drives A Digital Transformation

The term “digital transformation” has become embedded in the business world’s vocabulary for companies large and small, as more of them incorporate technology to streamline their processes and customer interactions.

Recent research shows 61% of IT decision-makers agree that the global pandemic forced their organization to begin or implement a digital-first strategy. It’s a big step of change for any company, and having the right project leadership in a digital transformation is crucial to navigating chaos, organizing a business and winning the battle for customers, says Denise Brinkmeyer (, author of Project Orienteering: A Field Guide For Project Leadership and president of Jump Technology Services®.

To simplify and coordinate what can be a complicated process, she says a digital project leader’s first step must be establishing the “big why” behind every aspect of the project.

“Asking and clarifying answers to ‘why’ questions must happen at the start of every project,” Brinkmeyer says. “If you haven’t defined and fully understood context and purpose, your project will be increasingly vulnerable to all the challenges it will meet along the way to completion.

“There will be pressures and conflicts, there will be temptations to go off track, and there will be some delays along the way. That’s what makes it critical to be clear at the outset about why a specific project should be pursued. Ensuring that you’ve done your best with this first step will also enable you to act as your project’s salesperson, ensuring stakeholder investment and support all along the path to completion.”

Brinkmeyer has these tips for project leaders when determining the “big why” during a digital transformation:

Know your constraints. Brinkmeyer says three primary constraints – time, cost, and value – give focus and concreteness to any project vision. “Knowing, for example, that you can’t mandate overtime unless you’re outsourcing work is important to establishing a realistic project timeline,” she says. “Having a grasp on your constraints helps determine how to convert the project’s wish list into objectives that can actually be achieved. As the project leader you’ll have to coordinate resources, address potentially conflicting needs and concerns, and problem-solve. For those reasons, you need a very strong sense of the why that motivates and joins all the pieces together.”

Ask these questions:

Why do you want to do this project? Brinkmeyer gives an example of one answer to this question, geared to what current or potential problem a company is trying to solve: “We must have a new system, so that if we don’t hire more staff and we take on more customers, the work can continue at the same level of quality.”

She says a project leader’s job entails both having a strong sense of the whole with its parts and articulating all of it so that the entire team can understand and act on it. “The words we use to articulate the big why matter dramatically to a project’s trajectory,” Brinkmeyer says.

Why are these the proper objectives for the outcome you seek? In the end, the project leader needs to prove that the project has been successful, which means they need the ability to measure results accurately. “Asking ‘why’ can help clarify the relationship between objectives and vision,” Brinkmeyer says. “You need to provide a clear context for your objectives. The more you leave open to interpretation, the more vulnerable you leave the project to expensive detours and even failure.”

Why are these the people to help you achieve your goals? Brinkmeyer emphasizes spending time finding a vendor whose initiatives and capabilities actually suit your project. And reference-check your vendor options. “Find out if they’ve told the truth about their past projects,” she says. “Then, when you interview vendors directly, ask them, ‘Based on your history, when are we going to start receiving value from this project?’ And be wary of the promises attached to a single, mammoth system that’s said to take care of all your needs. It could take years to learn and implement.”

Regarding the core team in the company involved in the transformation, Brinkmeyer says the project leader’s goal is “to inspire and motivate the people you’ve been given in order to make possible the most positive impact for your project. The question, ‘Why are these the people I’m working with?’ needs to be followed with, “Knowing how they work, how will I activate them to achieve the project goals?”

“Setting yourself up for project success begins with establishing the big why behind your vision and objectives,” Brinkmeyer says, “so that the way you explain it and what you really need come together for the sake of the project’s success.”


Denise Brinkmeyer ( is the author of Project Orienteering: A Field Guide For Project Leadership and president of Jump Technology Services®. She has over 20 years of diverse business experience with various-sized companies and develops business consulting service strategies. Brinkmeyer focuses on the development and implementation of software project management and software design methodologies that dramatically increase both customer satisfaction and department performance.


A Time Of Invention And Reinvention: How Entrepreneurs Can Tap Into Creativity

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt or make major changes. The challenges presented required leaders to think creatively in order to solve problems and generate new ideas that can keep their companies competitive.

Now with record numbers of people starting businesses and entrepreneurial veterans trying to stay afloat, creative problem-solving is a key separator between success and failure – and in many cases requires an inventor-like mindset, says Jarl Jensen (, the founder and president of Inventagon and the holder of several medical technology patents.

“Creativity is the most important attribute of an entrepreneur,” says Jensen, also the ForbesBooks author of The Big Solution: Deactivating The Ticking Time Bomb Of Today’s Economy. “It’s about innovative ways to tackle a problem and find a solution for it.

“You don’t necessarily have to be born with creativity. Many people have the potential to be creative; it just needs to be nurtured and strengthened. Right now we’re in an exciting place of both invention and reinvention. While you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you do need to tap into creativity to stand apart, gain traction, and grow your business in an ultra-competitive environment.”

Jensen offers these tips on how entrepreneurs can become more creative and solve problems as a result:

Be prolific – and patient – with ideas. When the proverbial light bulb goes on, it doesn’t always mean the entrepreneur has had an epiphany that will lead to riches. “If you want a good idea to start a business and build it, the most important ingredient is the love of many ideas,” Jensen says. “Because very few ideas are actually good, so you will need the patience to sort through many of them.”

Learning how to habitually plant the seeds to create ideas is the key, he says.

“Take the time to daydream on a regular basis,” Jensen says. “Visualize all the places an idea can take you. See all the people it could help. We’ve been conditioned to think we’re wasting time when we sit idle and daydream, but it is exactly the opposite. Having quiet time to clear your mind and think freely opens the mind to great possibilities.”

Collaborate; don’t make it all about your own brainstorm. Jensen says the typical novice entrepreneur will want to file patents and rent out office space as the rush of a new idea takes over their imagination. But he cautions, “Don’t be foolish about your idea; it needs time to prove itself worthy of an investment.”

Engaging others around you in discussion about the idea is imperative, Jensen says, because it results in different viewpoints, new angles, and perhaps a more refined idea that can work.

“Collaboration that drives a company forward includes the sharing of and disagreement over ideas,” he says. “It’s the vigorous discussion, the opposing voice that helps refine and improve ideas. An effective partnership stimulates creativity and builds trust among team members that each is encouraged to contribute creatively.”

Stay focused. “It’s easy to waste time with too many ideas that are not going to work for you and your business,” Jensen says. “Know your company’s North Star – its mission statement – and what it needs to succeed. Does your idea align with your North Star? Adapt the solution to the problem. Shift negative thoughts into a positive mindset to provide concentration and clarity.”

“Your success as an entrepreneur is largely contingent on your ability to solve problems effectively,” Jensen says, “and the best tool you have is your creativity, and knowing how to cultivate it and harness it.”


Jarl Jensen ( is the ForbesBooks author of The Big Solution: Deactivating The Ticking Time Bomb Of Today’s Economy. He’s the founder and president of Inventagon, a company creating simpler research and development solutions for organizations across the globe. Jensen holds patents for medical technologies that have reached sales of over $1 billion. He founded EuroMed, a company he sold in 2016, and has written five books about the economy and its relationship with society.

paramount group


Paramount Group, the global aerospace and technology company, announced today that it has appointed Steve Griessel as its Group Chief Executive Officer.

South African-born Griessel, a global business executive who served as CEO of several companies in South Africa and the United States, including two public companies, brings more than 30 years of business leadership and senior management experience to the group.

Griessel, who is well known for driving innovative management practices across various industries, will assume the new role with immediate effect. He will be responsible for providing strategic, financial and operational leadership and will work closely with the Board of Directors, shareholders and senior leadership team.

Ivor Ichikowitz, Founder of Paramount Group stated: “Paramount Group is a unique organization; its ethos is based on extreme agility and innovation. It is not a typical manufacturing or engineering company and therefore requires a very unique style of leadership and business acumen.  We are fortunate to have someone of Steve’s caliber and experience coming in to lead Paramount Group globally.

“Steve is a proven leader with a strong business vision who has demonstrated his ability to bring people together and achieve results in highly competitive markets. The opportunity ahead for Paramount is vast, and to seize it we must continue to innovate and deliver world-leading technologies and solutions to our customers.”

Griessel who prior to his recent appointment held the position of CEO of Paramount USA, Paramount’s US-based subsidiary, stated:

“It is an honor to take on the role of Group CEO. We are at an important milestone in our evolution as we further globalize our operations and expand our network of strategic partnerships with Governments and major corporations around the world.  This leadership role is critical as Paramount continues to evolve by entering new markets, and expanding its innovations and technologies, in order to take advantage of a substantially increasing global market for our products and services.”

“Over the last 27 years, Paramount Group has experienced exceptional growth and success. I had the distinct privilege in my previous role of working closely with the Paramount family; I know their passion and commitment to innovation, engineering excellence and customer-focused solutions.

“Together with my professional and experienced executive team, I will be focusing on setting up the business to meet Paramount’s global ambitions. I am confident that we will continue to build strong industrial partnerships around the world through our portable production model; supporting governments in meeting their economic development objectives. I’m looking forward to being part of a world-class team that delivers future-proof technologies and solutions to its customers, invests in its people by developing the most talented professionals into leaders, and plays its part to improve the communities in which it operates. ”


2021 Wraps Up with these Global Traders Moving Up

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer and new beginnings. As the logistics and supply chain management industries say goodbye to 2021 and its disruptive challenges, these well-known names continue to prove that progress and success can happen even in the hardest of times. Here’s Global Trade’s final Global Traders on the Move spotlight for 2021.

San Diego, California-based supply chain IoT pioneer Wiliot has named Tony Small, formerly of Amazon and Zillow Group, chief business officer and Roee Zeiler, formerly of Ernst & Young, chief financial officer. 

New York City-based Nuvocargo, the digital platform for U.S.-Mexico trade, expanded its senior team to include Josefina Blanco, legal and compliance lead; Luis Garcia, head of carrier relations; and Claudio Gonzalez, head of strategy and chief of staff. 

BDP International, a Philadelphia-based global logistics and transportation company, appointed Neil Wheeldon to the newly created position of chief strategy & innovation officer.

Mario Harik, the chief information officers at XPO Logistics, is now also running the Greenwich, Connecticut-based company’s LTL division as Tony Brooks has retired.

Transportation Insight Holding Co., an Atlanta-based provider of non-asset, tech-enabled enterprise logistics and freight brokerage, added Amit Prasad as chief data science officer. 

CSafe Global, a Dayton, Ohio-based provider of temperature-controlled containers for transporting pharmaceuticals worldwide, named Sean Joyce director of life science sales-Americas and Ravindra Rao director of life science sales-India. 

Fernando Cortes traded being chief supply chain officer at Keurig Dr. Pepper for heading Walmart’s U.S. transportation business.

TexAmericas Center appointed railroad industry veteran Darrell Thompson general manager of the Texarkana, Texas, mixed-use industrial park’s railroad and transload operations. 

Joining the Port of Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) are Derrick Lewis, a retired Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office director, as director of public safety and security, and Lisa Gee, a former TOTE Services’ director of fleet services, as director of procurement services. Meanwhile, financial services executive Wendy O. Hamilton was unanimously elected chair of the JAXPORT Board of Directors. She joins Vice Chair J. Palmer Clarkson, Treasurer Daniel Bean and Secretary Brad Talbert. And Florida Trend has named JAXPORT CEO Eric Green one of the state’s most influential business leaders for the fourth year in a row.

The International Air Cargo Association, whose headquarters are in Miami Springs, Florida, announced Chair Steven Polmans and Vice Chair Sanjeev Gadhia will serve an additional term.

Susan Brownell, whose 34-year federal supply chain career has included stints with the Department of the Navy and U.S. Postal Service, has joined the board of directors of the donated goods global distribution nonprofit Good360.