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Letter to Leaders


Balance is a fragile concept.

Too much of anything tips the balance in a way that is never helpful and almost always harmful.

If you get too many people on a team who all think the same way, you’ll stifle innovation. More importantly, there won’t be anyone in the room who says, “Wait a minute!”

Having a Wait-a-Minute on your team is essential to success.

During the 2009 banking crisis, Kathy Kolbe identified a root cause. She said there were too many Quick Starts and not enough Follow Throughs. There weren’t enough people saying “Wait-a-Minute: what’s the downside of doing this?”

That’s the way it is in leadership. People (like me) who generate lots of ideas must have people on their team who say “Wait-a-minute”. “How does this get done?” “When does it get done?” or “Who does it?”. That’s the key to success. It is not culture. It is who brings different skill sets and different mentalities to the team

So when you're hiring and selecting and you say, "I like this candidate; they’re just like me." Think twice before hiring that person. That person needs to be supportive of you. Not like you. Think about what you’re doing. We want balance in life.

One of my favorite examples of all time is, well…me! I don’t know anything about finance or accounting. I have no ability to focus on details. So I must have people around me who do. And those people must have the courage (and encouragement) to stand up and say, “Wait-A-Minute”.

I’m always looking at gaps on my team and people who can fill them.

Filling the gaps. Finding Wait-A-Minutes.

Two great ways to achieve balance.


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