A Curiosity for Oddity

Paul Heagen Vision and Strategy Leave a Comment

Anyone who ever thought the all-electric Tesla was out of this world is now vindicated. We are so saturated with technological innovations that what happened yesterday easily can get lost in the white noise: A 15-year-old company led by a modern-age visionary just launched the most powerful rocket in the world — capable of a payload equaling the weight of …

Cultural sausage

Paul Heagen Uncategorized Leave a Comment

What does weisswurst have to do with company culture? Well, it might first serve us to define both words. Weisswurst, I discovered on a recent trip to Germany, is a white (yes, curiously pallid white) sausage that is the pride of Bavaria (rivaled at least, I hope, by their Audis and BMWs). It is presented at restaurants with great ceremony …

Time To Shift Gears

Paul Heagen Purposeful Leadership & Living Leave a Comment

This time of the year is often governed by two gears — Reverse and Drive.   It’s a time to take account for what was done, celebrated or suffered; it’s also a time we quickly transition our energy toward the year ahead. We shift gears this time of year.   Most often, for a business leader, this exercise is in …

The Power-less leader

Paul Heagen Uncategorized Leave a Comment

A senior executive, especially CEO, of an enterprise is a powerful position. Which can be its weakness. I recall a time when a CEO slipped a bit on the newly waxed wood parquet threshold outside his office. He muttered — loud enough for some to hear — how that seemed a bit dangerous. Sure enough, a week later, after he …

Story Teller

Paul Heagen Authenticity and Vulnerability Leave a Comment

He died while most of us were asleep. Tom Petty was not the biggest rock star on the Billboard charts, but when his amazing heart for life gave out two weeks ago, a lot of us woke up to consider what we just lost. Petty was there for millions of fans over four decades. He was that kid next door …

photo by Salvio Bhering

Making yourself crazy

Paul Heagen Purposeful Leadership & Living Leave a Comment

I had gone with a friend of mine to see his young son learn how to skateboard. The skateboard park scene was as you might imagine — mostly teens and some young adults exercising their own acts of defiance against the forces of gravity and friction. Pretty impressive displays. And then I noticed this one fellow who had all the …

Filling The Leadership Vacuum

Paul Heagen Purposeful Leadership & Living Leave a Comment

horror vacui Nature abhors a vacuum. The physics around filling an atmospheric void gives us thunder, wind, keeps dentists and surgeons tidy, and has gratefully displaced brooms in favor of Dirt Devils and Dysons. Vacuum can work for you. Including at your next management team meeting. In human psychology, we have an arousal quotient or requirement, which fuels an appetite for …

The Practice of Disruption

Paul Heagen Uncategorized Leave a Comment

By all accounts, Mickey Drexler was a genius. He leveraged an uncanny, prescient sense of consumer tastes in the fashion industry to built an empire of household name brand retailers — The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and, most recently, J.Crew. A demi-god in the retail fashion biz, Mickey Drexler had it. He got it.  Except there’s one thing, he …

Show and Tell

Paul Heagen Vision and Strategy Leave a Comment

Here’s a typical comment I hear from new CEOs: “I’m trying to effect a culture change around here.” “How’s it going?” I might ask. “Slow…” What might never occur to them is that they could be the reason. Most of the en vogue conversations on culture take the view that culture is everything — that it shapes performance, decision-making, attitudes, …

Breaking The Rules

Paul Heagen Purposeful Leadership & Living Leave a Comment

By now, most everyone has cemented an opinion—informed or ill-informed, reasoned or shrill as it may be—about what happened on that United flight last week. Perhaps now, if the frothing has subsided a bit, it might be worth reflecting on what was really in play and at stake for anyone else in leadership. Whether your ire is centered on the …