Tag Archives: Strategy

Does Your Boss Need Ego Bypass Surgery?

Why Your Boss Is Keeping You Away from the Strategic Table…


Are you setting the stage for your organization’s future?

Or sitting in a big pile of strategic sewage – basting in all the stuff that rolls downhill from the corner office and directly into your cubical?

If you’ve tried everything to gain a seat at the strategic table with no luck (see my blog “Still at the Kid’s Table”, it may be time to ask what the heck is wrong with your boss?)

5 Strategic Excluder Prototypes:

(Is your boss one of them?)

#5 FLAGers: Viewing participation in strategic planning as a source of power, FLAGers reflexively resist collaboration, emphasize hierarchical differences and strictly adhere to job roles as means to protect their territory.

#4 DANGERFIELDs: These leaders get ‘no respect’ I tell ya! and give ‘no respect’ to others in return. With the weight of the world squarely on their shoulders, they see only their roles as having real value and our roles—not so much!

#3 DOWNHILLers: Catching what’s rolling downhill like the rest of us, DOWNHILLers are afraid to let others know that they don’t have a seat at the strategy table either and that strategy is handed down to them, just like the rest of us!!!

#2 NAFs: Naked and afraid, these leaders don’t have a clue what strategy really is and so NAFs treat strategy as an academic exercise. Desperately trying to hide the fact that there is NO TABLE, this fear driven leader, wants no one to learn the king (or queen) has no STRATEGIC clothes… and so, are doomed to remain naked and afraid.

And the #1 most common diagnosis?

#1 EXADDs: Executive ADD affects many executives, causing confusion and frustration among an estimated 100% of the people that work for them.

Symptoms include:

  • An inability to focus on anything until the last damn minute
  • Obsessive-compulsive blame shifting and
  • Frequent displays of Whitehorse complex (riding in at the last minute to solve problems of their own creation)

Often diagnosed but seldom treated the only known cure for EXADDs is of course… EGO BYPASS SURGERY!


Hopefully you found this blog entertaining but the topic is definitely no joke.

Remember, the most effective strategies are:

  1. Simple
  2. Inclusive (people/opinions/perspectives) and
  3. Clear (connect every role, every action, every investment to what the strategy is trying to achieve)

If you can’t see how your role directly contributes to the overall strategy of your organization—your leaders have let you down and your problem may be bigger than your boss.

As always, I welcome your comments directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com

Stay connected!


What’s Our Strategy Again?

Is your strategic execution process broken?

Have you ever witnessed a well-crafted and well-intended strategy really work – from top to bottom, from inception to execution?

With organizational resources stretched to the limit, time in short supply and focused attention a near impossibility, many of our best strategic initiatives get lost in the middle between executive inspiration and frontline perspiration.

Too often, spot-on-perfect-for-this-organization strategic ideas are met with fanfare, embraced by executives and rewarded by the street; only to get bogged down, lose steam and become irrelevant words to those tasked with bringing the strategy to life.

What looks great on paper, adds up in a spreadsheet and sounds logical when the boss talks about it, may have little chance at success without the tools necessary to transform strategic ideas into bottom line organizational performance.

While many great business minds have tried to create a globally applicable method of strategic execution, our general understanding of the topic is fragmented, sometimes contradictory and overly complex.

After years of combing the research, analyzing what’s worked and what’s missed the mark and talking to executives, middle managers and individual contributors in dozens of industries across the globe, a pattern has started to emerge.

Strategic execution, the DOING of strategic performance, depends largely on an organization’s ability to recognize and address three issues:

  1. Past performance is no guarantee of future success. Strategic execution requires different ways of thinking and acting.
  2. Together is better. Maximizing performance depends largely on an organization’s ability to clearly define how each person can contribute to organizational success.
  3. Human connection drives the bottom line. Strategic success is as much about the people we need to engage with as it is about what needs to be accomplished.

What’s your experience with strategic execution?

Do you know anyone that’s breaking the mold to lead organizational performance in a new way?

What are some of your biggest challenges with the way strategic initiatives are handled in your organization?

Don’t hesitate to reach out directly and share your thoughts as we start to crack the code on strategic execution…