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Author Archive | Mark McCloskey

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LEADING IN THE SHADOW: ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT LAST

Leading in the Shadow – Reflections on the Inherent Difficulty of Getting Anything of Lasting Value Accomplished Life is hard.  And if life is hard, it follows that leadership is doubly difficult. A better tomorrow is not inevitable.  Progress is not served up to the organization on a silver platter.  There are no four-lane highways to […]

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LEADERSHIP & PERSISTENCE PART II: GREAT LESSONS LEARNED FROM FAILURE

In August 1978, the first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight became a reality when the Double Eagle II touched ground in a barley field in the French village of Messery.  Between 1873 and 1978, thirteen trans-Atlantic attempts had been made—all ending in failure.  Double Eagle II had tried and failed, ending up in Iceland the previous year.  What […]

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LEADERSHIP & PERSISTENCE: THE LESSON OF BAMBOO

 Sooner or later, leaders confront the three hard truths of persistence. To review: (1) Initial success is no guarantee of future success. (2) There are no shortcuts to enduring success. (3) Life is hard so those who want to succeed must work hard. Nothing good comes easy or fast.  Life is hard and the leadership […]

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THE GENIUS OF PERSISTENCE – PART 3

Research indicates that even among the most gifted scientists, athletes or performers, more than a decade of intense training and preparation is required before achieving a world-class level of performance. Two very different individuals and their professional careers come to mind as a classic example of this finding—Actor and dancer Fred Astaire, and 19th century […]

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THE GENIUS OF PERSISTENCE: PART 2

It’s a common fallacy that great endeavors are accomplished with effortless grace—that the talent, gifting and genius of some people is so great, and the opportunities so many, that outcomes are achieved “all at once” with little effort. We tend to focus on the ten percent called genius and forget the ninety percent called persistence. […]

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THE GENIUS OF PERSISTENCE: PART 1

Thirtieth president of the United States Calvin Coolidge earned a reputation for being honest, direct, and hardworking.  Coolidge honored persistence with a plaque in his office. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with great talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is […]

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POWER OF PRIORITY SERIES: THE MOST PRECIOUS OF ORGANIZATIONAL RESOURCES

A leader’s attention is a precious commodity, perhaps the most valuable of organizational resources. Others compete for it and seek to direct it.  Enormous quantities of information flow across a leader’s desk.  Changes in the external operating environment—emerging opportunities and threats—vie for a leader’s time and energy. Leaders must decide what gets their attention among […]

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POWER OF PRIORITY SERIES: LEADERSHIP & PRIORITIES

British political philosopher Isaiah Berlin once described the perspective that public leaders bring to their responsibility to govern as the difference between the hedgehog and the fox. The hedgehog knows one big thing.  The fox knows many little things.” Effective leaders take after the hedgehog in that they know the one big thing — or […]

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POWER OF PRIORITY SERIES: FOCUSING YOUR PASSION

Purpose connects us to our reason for living.  Passion is the power to live out our purpose.  Priorities focus our passion, and order our days and decades to accomplish our purpose. The dictionary definition of a priority is that which is granted or assigned precedence in time, order or importance; that which goes first and […]

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