I had neck surgery five weeks ago. This has severely limited my activities and this time has proven to be a blessing.

It has given me time to think.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog. This was not my plan, but the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 was an incredibly busy time for me professionally. So, I, a business coach, committed one of the big no-no’s of running a business and I began skimping on marketing and outreach to make more room for billable time. Don’t do as I do, just do as…

The secret sauce of long-term businesses success

Most people are familiar with the pivot in the political sense. Politicians, to the frustration of nearly everyone, pivot constantly. What does that look or sound like?

Journalist: How are the plans for your 2020 Presidential campaign coming along?

Politician: With so much confusion in Washington these days, especially with the mid-terms approaching, my focus is entirely on how to best serve my constituents.

It’s not a denial, it’s not a lie, it’s just a pivot. Go ahead and ask me anything; I’ll answer however I want to, even if the answer seems nonsensical.

In business, a pivot looks a…

Beliefs that disempower and sabotage your success

Recently, a client asked me to recount some business axioms I had come to accept during my career. Since there are blogs, books, and podcasts galore that expound on that topic, I pulled together instead a list of ideas accepted as true that I believe are at least partial fallacies. I find the beliefs in this post to be disempowering and often form the basis of roadblocks to success. Here are ten impactful misunderstandings.

1. Business is competitive and cutthroat

Actually, it’s collaborative and cooperative. I’m not a fan of Darwinian models of…

Dream factories and cash-outs

It’s with mixed feelings that I greet the news that Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down. My heart greets this with joy because the last time I was at this circus — which was perhaps 20 years ago — there were far too many animals in captivity being put through very unnatural behaviors. It bothered me then, and I’ve I’ve grown more aware and awake as an individual, my memory of that day at the circus has gone from nagging guilt to full-on horror.

The flip-side of this is what happens when a business scales up…

Why language, identity, and strategy are bedfellows

People often glance at me sideways when we are starting a strategy project and I ask them to tell me the story of their company and its identity. The most common outcome from this question is the blank stare followed by the struggle to say, in a sentence or two, why their business exists and why anyone should care.

There are many cultures on this planet who believe they co-create the world into existence, that they dream their reality into being.(1) Whether you see that as plausible or not is irrelevant to this discussion. …

What just happened?

It was about 10:30 PM Mountain Standard Time, November 8, 2016, when it became clear to me that things were changing in a very profound way. I was watching a swath of frequently Blue Upper Midwestern states turning Red on the Electoral map. What was going on here? Pundits were flinging blame at Hillary Clinton’s pollsters and strategists for failing to see this coming, for a flawed strategy that took for granted the Upper Midwest and its 42 Electoral votes. At the time it seemed like the election hinged on these states. That was, of course, before…

What’s going on in Cupertino?

When I tuned in to watch Apple’s big announcement last Thursday (Hello, Again) it was with great anticipation and excitement. By the end of the two hour event I was dismayed and struggling to figure out Apple’s strategy. This is the story of my journey from excitement to dismay.

Image: MacBook Pro 2016 by Rimper, used under CC BY-SA 4.0 . / Background changed for display.

I’ve been an every day Apple user since 1999. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was at a Fast Company conference in Fort Myers, Florida, and Apple created a giant room full of candy-colored iMacs so attendees could check email and use the…

The basics of office geolocation (with a slight digression on commuter rail)

When I’m asked the question “do you have an opinion on a good location for an office” people are often shocked at how detailed my answer is. I’m an infrastructure junkie — not because I enjoy spending public money, but because I’ve come to appreciate the value of good, reliable infrastructure in a competitive, global marketplace. I place a high value on not only the quality of the office space itself, the building, and the general area, but I also place high value on the infrastructure and services that are available.

Image RTD Silverliner by Xnatedawgx is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0. Image cropped to fit.

Denver’s A-line opened last weekend. This is our long-awaited…

Don’t listen to well-meant advice.

Deciding to start a business is a major life decision. There’s no doubt about that. What flummoxes me is the the wide array of daunting “common sense” advice that will be immediately forthcoming should you ever express a desire to start a business.

I began thinking about this after watching an interview on the local news with a business development representative from a nearby town. Even though it is this person’s job to encourage the formation of new businesses, by the time he was done dishing out “common sense” I felt crushed by the countless road blocks and hoops to…

Don’t let success fool you

08 July 2015

Denial may be the most insidious problem I encounter. Such as:

JP: Your service offerings haven’t changed in a decade and they may be looking less competitive than in years past.

Client: Last year was our best year ever. I can’t see how this is true.

I give you the bell curve. One of the key features of the bell curve is that you encounter your “best year” immediately in front of the inexorable decline. Product cycles and service offerings can become tattered, dull, and obsolete. …

JP McLaughlin — Executive Coaching

Helping leaders embody competence, wisdom, resilience, and purpose since 1991. www.jpmclaughlin.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store