January 13, 2011

What a View, Part III

What a View, Part III We are in the middle of our not-quite-annual senior team 360 review process this week at Return Path.  It’s particularly grueling for me and Angela, our SVP of People, to sit in, facilitate, and participate in 15 of them in such a short period of time, but boy is it worth it!  I’ve written about this process before — here are two of the main posts (overall process, process for my review in particular, and a later year’s update on a process change and unintended consequences of that process change). I’ve also posted my development plans publicly, which I’ll do next month when I finalize it. This year, I’ve noticed two consistent themes in my direct reports’ review sessions (we do the live 360 format for any VP, not just people who report directly to me), which I think both speak very well of our team overall, and the culture we have here at Return Path. First, almost every review of an executive had multiple people saying the phrase, “Person X is not your typical head of X department, she really is as much of a general business person and great business partner and leader […]


January 4, 2007

Book (Not So) Short: Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure

Book (Not So) Short:  Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure I couldn’t get the catchy jingle from the 80’s commercial for Sure deodorant (you remember, the one with the Statue of Liberty at the end of it – thanks, YouTube) out of my head while I was reading the relatively new book, Confidence: How Winning Streaks and Losing Streaks Begin and End.  Written by HBS professor Rosabeth Moss Kantor, Confidence is one of the few business books I’ve read that’s both long and worth reading in full. The book has scores of examples of both winning and losing streaks, from […]


October 15, 2006

Book Short: You’d Never Run Your Business This Way…

Book Short:  You’d Never Run Your Business This Way… I am an unabashed conservative, so you might wonder what I was doing reading  A Country That Works, by union chief Andy Stern, the President of SEIU (Service Workers International Union) this weekend.  Well, part of it is that my mother-in-law Carmen works for him.  Part was that he was quite inspiring during his recent appearance on the Colbert Report a week or two ago.  And part was that I always like reading about different points of view, especially with the current, somewhat dismal state of the Republican leadership in Washington. […]


March 29, 2006

Book short: Myers-Briggs Redux

Book short:  Myers-Briggs Redux Instinct:  Tapping Your Entrepreneurial DNA to Achieve Your Business Goals, by Tom Harrison of Omnicom, is an ok book, although I wouldn’t rush out to buy it tomorrow.  The author talks about five broad aspects of our personalities that influence how we operate in a business setting:  Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.  These traits are remarkably similar to those in the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that so many executives have taken over the years. It’s not just that you want to be high, high, high, high, and low in the Big 5.  Harrison […]


August 8, 2005

A Ball Bearing in the Wheels of E-Commerce

A Ball Bearing in the Wheels of E-Commerce As an online marketing professional, I’ve long understood intellectually how e-commerce works, how affiliate networks function, and why the internet is such a powerful selling tool.  But I got an email the other day that drove this home more directly. When I started my blog about a year and a half ago, I set myself up as an Amazon affiliate, meaning that any time someone clicks on a link to Amazon from one of my postings or on the blog sidebar, I get paid a roughly 4% commission on anything that person […]


September 22, 2004

Political versus Corporate Leadership, Part II: Admitting Mistakes

Political versus Corporate Leadership, Part II: Admitting Mistakes The press conference this past spring where President Bush embarrassingly refused to admit that he had ever made any big mistakes, other than to reiterate his gaffe at trading Sammy Sosa when he owned the Texas Rangers, brings up another issue in this series: is it good for leaders, both political and corporate, to admit mistakes? On the corporate side, I think the ability to admit a mistake is a must. Again, I’ll refer back to Jim Collins’ books Good to Great and Built to Last, both of which talk about humility […]


August 30, 2004

Political versus Corporate Leadership, Part I: Realist or Idealist?

It’s election season, the GOP convention is literally in my backyard, and while this is not a political blog, I can’t help myself. As we as Americans grapple with the question of who we want to be our next leader (or at least those people who live in the 11 annointed swing states do), I have had a lot of thoughts lately about the question of what makes a good leader, and what the differences are between successful leadership in politics and successful leadership in business. James O’Toole’s article on President Bush on page 31 of the September issue of […]