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Did you know that regular exercise correlates with higher leadership skills ratings in senior-level executives? The purpose of the research was to determine how regular exercise impacted leadership scores on two multi-rater leadership assessment instruments – the Executive Success Profile® (ESP), and the Campbell Leadership IndexTM (CLI). The results indicated that engaging in regular exercise is positively correlated with how others rated executives on various leadership indices! If better leadership equals better results, investing on fitness seems like a wise move for those who manage and supervise others!!! As a young supervisor, I quickly gained weight as I neglected my diet, barely exercised, and drank more beer than water on the weekends.
As the pounds added up, I started noticing that I was tired all the time, and as my waist size increased, my self-confidence decreased. The truth was that every morning I lifted my shirt, stared at the mirror, and was depressed when I saw how big I was getting. So I started playing tennis and eventually got into bodybuilding when I moved to cold and beach-less, Ithaca, New York. Over the years, here are the most significant ways that exercise has helped the quality of my leadership skills.
Those who had exercised during the preceding month but not on the day of testing generally did better on the memory test than those who had been sedentary, but did not perform nearly as well as those who had worked out that morning.
This not only happens to me, but to all my workout partners.  Once we are in a routine and we know what we are doing, our workouts become a way for us to deal with our frustrations and help us think clearly about the issues or obstacles we are dealing with in our lives.
This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. While this is happening, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, are released in your brain. As soon as my friends and coworkers noticed the changes in the way I looked, the questions and requests for advice started.  Over the years I have helped many friends and co-workers with advice based on what I have learned, but one young man took me on a journey that not only changed his life, it changed mine.
That young man was Shayne Miller, who at 18 years of age, was tipping the scales at 250 pounds and 5 foot 7.  That day began a 4 year journey that not only gave me the opportunity to help Shayne become a healthy and self-confident young man, it allowed me to practice my leadership skills in a completely new environment AND become a better leader!
I knew that getting on stage was almost impossible in Shayne’s mind, so I competed first, while he coached me from the crowd.  Shayne was on stage with me 6 months later. Today, Shayne is a healthy and confident young man who is an inspiration to everyone he meets.  He and I have done presentations on fitness and he helps others become healthy and maintain healthy lifestyles. I realize that not everyone will want to become a bodybuilder or have the chance to meet someone like Shayne, but that is not the point!
The point is that by challenging ourselves and making a focused effort to have a more efficient brain and healthier body, we will become better leaders.  Research shows that managers who exercise are better leaders and we have scientific evidence as to why exercise help us think clearly, remember more details and feel happier! In addition, we can set the example for others who may be inspired by the way we are challenging ourselves.  While not everyone will have a Shayne in their lives, it is safe to assume that people will ask for help and advice once you develop a routine and system that works.
Do you know others that are helping those in need become healthy?  If you, do you think these folks should be considered leaders? If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below.
Al has worked for 16 years helping others maximize the quality of their leadership at Motorola, CBS Sports, and Cornell University. As a business consultant, I am in multiple conversations with senior level professionals on a daily basis. I was in a recent conversation with a senior executive whose team had won several major contracts from a competitor. In a conversation with another senior executive who heard the story, his answer was: “If that call had come to me, I would have said Hell yes!
Obviously, this serves as an example of the lack of leadership in the first conversation and as an example of leadership in the second. Another example of leadership was during a conversation with a CEO who wanted my company to conduct a “Confidential Recruitment”. Is leadership recognized by what the leader actual does or it is recognized by what the leader is able to motivate the team to do?
Once a leader can influence the actions of others, the force multiplier has a significantly larger output than what that leader can deliver as an individual producer. So, is there one question, one simple straightforward reveal that would either qualify or disqualify today’s senior executive as a leader? As a dedicated, consulting resource to employers, Boxwood develops strategies for organizational growth through performance rewards, as well as the evaluation and acquisition of critical talent. It has been said that “He who dies with the most money, wins”.  Think about how many “wealth managers” do you know? Once upon a time, the value of a businessperson was measured largely by the information they knew. As the internet became part of the fabric of everyday life, data and information became available to anyone who could access a keyboard and monitor. We could say that the person who relied on what data they possess is less of a measure of wealth today compared to an earlier time.
With the ”law of change”, when one thing goes down in value or down in importance, generally, something else goes up in value or up in importance.
In spite of all the recent technological advancement, human relationships in business carries more weight than ever. As an example, several decades ago, making a business “cold call” was a natural way to drive sales revenue.
The value of connections can make the older person more valuable than the younger business professional.
Today, the older person has had more time and more opportunity to develop strong connections and strong business relationships. For the business professionals who have invested in building relationships, they find themselves in a valuable position today. Are we saying that today’s business wealth can also be measured by connections & relationships? The good news is that technology tools provide the vehicle to develop human connections and grow your wealth as a business professional.
Boxwood is a management, consulting and recruiting firm with a presence in two regions — offices in the National Capital region and also in The Greater Tampa Bay Region in Florida. Isn’t it an interesting phenomenon that what got a business off the ground requires a 180 degree shift once the business has achieved critical mass? Picture this: your business has matured to being recognized as a functioning, operating, successful business.
With the morphing into a business leadership direction comes the necessary need for structure. 1) Are you and your team currently aligned to address your highest priority business challenge?
This question also addresses the need for the business to define the highest priority challenge: “What is keeping you up at night?” Define the biggest challenge before you can address it and then resolve it. Real leaders are able to recognize that everyone performs at a different level and people are motivated by different goals. In order to maximize performance and drive growth, shouldn’t you invest the time in finding out what is motivating the individuals who report to you?
As the adage goes “the devil is in the details” and today analytics have come a long way to help business leaders understand more about business performance and success metrics. With today’s fast-moving and dynamic marketplace, shouldn’t company goals and objectives be measured in a shorter period than the financial year? If the business leadership can define the 12 month goals and then parse them into smaller chunks, measuring business performance becomes frequent.
Once the leadership has implemented a structured approach to measuring performance, then the employees can measure their own performance.
Ideally, every employee is assigned individual goals and objectives that collectively grow the business.
With an individual approach, the over-performers are easy to notice and reward, while the under-performers quickly appear in plain sight, providing a pro-active means to resolving an internal problem before it becomes one. The simple assignment of individual goals and measurement of them provides employees with “immediate gratification” when exceptional work is performed and an opportunity for improvement when goals are not met. Recognize that employees have an average of 3-5 years per job today and plan accordingly when you can. Remember, the business culture that “let’s an employee leave” is likely to grow by giving away control in order to gain more. Regardless of what business you are running, your success depends on the “right talent in place”, the ability to motivate your talent on an individual basis, a structure to measure performance and most importantly, the ability for leadership to “give away control” in order to gain growth. There are many cases of employees who have brought their employer significant value when the employee was offered more opportunity. Bert Sadtler is an invited speaker to discuss the shift in the employer’s performance-based compensation model as well as the shift in the changing paradigm toward acquiring critical senior level talent.


Kyle Reese, soldier in the human resistance from the post-apocalyptic future, came to the rescue of Sarah Connor.
For a business to reach a level of success today, its leadership has to overcome tremendous odds and have an inner voice that drowns out all the distractions that say, “this won’t work”.
However, once the business has reached critical mass, the forces of stagnation arrive to attack and retard growth. While the unstoppable force of the business terminator is doing everything possible to slow the growth of the business, there is an answer that says “Come with me if you want to live”.  It is a scary option that requires blind faith.
Think about the skills and attributes needed by key employees during the earliest stages of the business. Maybe using a 1980’s era Sci-Fi movie may be an extreme way to offer a business comparison.
However, thinking your business will prosper with clients simply falling into your lap only happens in fairy tales, not real life.
In reality, hard choices and sacrifices have to be made everyday for a business to experience growth and prosperity. For example, in the movie “Terminator”, hero Kyle Reese while saving the life of Sarah Connor, was killed by the cyborg assassin. Have you invested the time in your employees so they know that your business will not succeed if it can’t remain relevant and if it can’t grow?
The “sacrifice” or tough business decision could mean that an employee who was highly productive during an earlier phase of your business is no longer effective now that the business has become larger. The business’s growth may require acquiring new talent capable for the growth forward and transitioning out the employees who could only succeed in a smaller business setting. Bert Sadtler is an invited speaker to discuss the shift in the employer’s performance based compensation model as well as the shift in the recruitment paradigm toward acquiring critical senior level talent. Description: Business Success through Self-Knowledge shows how to unlock unrealized potential in ourselves and others. Personal mastery requires dedication to reality at all costs.  Personal mastery that is transformational requires us to change our mental models.
Leadership self-knowledge is the best way to offer great service or create organizations that can continually evolve their capacity to create their own future. With the credit environment continuing to challenge small businesses and tax law change proposals continually in the headlines, stock structured transactions and seller financing continue to be components of deals when entrepreneurial businesses are sold. The Court may not have meant to place the sale of a small business under the jurisdiction of the SEC, but that’s what transpired.  Since the Court’s decision, small business stock and securities transactions have fallen under the same regulations as the retail sale of 100 shares of stock of a multinational company. In 2005, after a “quiet period” of twenty years, the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Private Placement Broker-Dealers issued a report discussing regulatory problems with unlicensed advisors who facilitate capital raising. It is clear that the SEC requires registration of business brokers working for buyers and sellers of businesses in mergers and acquisition when securities are involved. When violated, Federal and State securities laws can render contracts void or unenforceable, can create civil remedies including rescission and can create opportunities for action against the broker and seller. The issues discussed in this article include some “inconvenient truths.”  The inconvenient truth is that brokers engaged in securities transactions must be securities licensed, a sale of a business is always a securities transaction if it is a stock sale vs. Another inconvenient truth is that advisors working on sales of businesses that are not fully structured as asset sales are most likely working within the regulatory area of securities law and most likely fall within the SEC’s definitional framework of an unlicensed broker-dealer.   They are putting the transaction at risk of rescission, even though they may have their client’s best interest in mind. Entrepreneurs, when either investigating the sale of their business or beginning the exit planning process, should stay abreast of the changing landscape and have a “plan B” to protect themselves in the event that the transaction evolves into a securities related deal.  They should be extra cautious when stock sales and seller financing are involved and seek the advice of a securities attorney. Self knowledge can be sought by looking through distorted lenses, but it can only be achieved by looking through clear glass. We are all born with a source code that represents our multiple potentials (capacity) yet to be modified by experience. Our culture and early environments (especially family) serve as the basic software necessary to make our source code operational. This website is devoted to the premise that we are happiest, most effective, and generally at our best when we are operating close to our capacity and experiencing flow. In the ninety years since these principles were formulated, much has changed in the work place.
Lack of self-knowledge may well be the greatest counterforce to sustainable business success. Self-knowledge is the best business strategy at all levels of an organization, but it is particularly critical for top leadership.
If influential leaders are not dedicated to reality (to include self-knowledge) at all cost, then the exercise of their power is likely to generate resistance throughout the organization and create greater unpredictability (i.e. According to the Journal of Managerial Psychology, executives that exercise regularly were rated significantly higher as leaders than executives who didn’t make a habit of working out.
This totally explains why my workout partner and l feel so at ease and have a much clearer understanding of what we need to do to deal with our obstacles and challenges after exercising. He’s used these experiences to develop trust-based leadership tools for all levels of management.
She works closely with senior leadership teams, helps customers understand and profit from productive organizational cultures, and shares the power of leadership with dozens of on-site engagements annually including; DOE, Mars Petcare, GE, Future Foam, NNSA, Cornell Cookson, Boeing, and many more in a wide variety of industries.
Some of my conversations are with the individuals doing the leading; other conversations are with professionals who are being led.
However, would it be considered great leadership today for a company to formally eliminate the weakest performing 20% of the employees each year? Wouldn’t positive reinforcement and a structured, aligned bonus compensation plan serve both employee and employer with a higher degree of performance? While most traditional business books would not encourage senior executives to make mistakes in front of their team, the reality is that everyone in business gets it wrong sometimes.
Businesses are under pressures to always make the right decisions and a really bad decision can put a business in a hole. Generally, a confidential recruitment occurs when the employer wants to hire a replacement before they dismiss the individual currently in the role. A candidate will not be able to freely do that with a confidential search and therefore, the best talent may never make themselves available.
Furthermore, by definition, to be a “Leader”, doesn’t it require that someone or some group is being led?
Is the team working harder in the leader’s absence because they want to as a result of the leader’s long distance influence … or…are the team members catching their breath when the leader is absent and just “pushing paper”? We know the only constant is change and with the constant changes in business, are there some other measurements of wealth we can focus on? Some felt it was their information to protect in order to continue to keep the individual as a valuable member of the business community.
Technology has given everyone and anyone the ability to send email blasts, text blasts and make robo-calls 24X7. For example, LinkedIn has helped companies and individuals to network faster and more efficiently, but the networking takes place when people meet and connect. Growth occurs through the penetration of new markets, from revenue in existing markets, through teaming, through partnering and through acquisitions.
It would be fairly easy to spend the business day in front of a keyboard and monitor doing daily business related tasks just to keep up with the demands of the day.
Has the business developed and implemented a structured approach for the development of its valued talent and for a developing path toward growth?
With the ability to obtain a performance status snapshot, adjustments can be implemented to insure a successful path forward for ideal performance.
Enabling your workforce to “own” their responsibilities can go a long way to improved engagement and productivity. One example is for the employee to be accountable for the completion of responsibilities while also having some autonomy. Market sectors include: SATCOM, Medical Device, Government Contracting, Communications and Technology. Think of the Cyborg Assassin as the singularly focused force determined to keep your business from growing. During one of the many attempts by the terminator to kill Sarah, Kyle said: “Come with me if you want to live”. Now that the business has grown, have the required skills and attributes changed in order for growth to reach the next level? While it is a hard choice for many business leaders, developing a process and approach to add new leadership with new skills is a clear path forward.
As a dedicated, consulting resource to the employer, Boxwood develops strategy for organizational growth through the evaluation and acquisition of critical talent. It illustrates how tacit but enduring early mental models limit personal mastery and our power to influence. The legislation would also clarify the need for broker licensing and end the fear of rescission from unintentional violations of securities law. Supreme Court negated the sale of a business doctrine in the Landreth Timber decision, 471 U.S.


The threat of rescission can be likened to a “buyer’s insurance policy” which tips the scale too far toward the buyer’s side of the negotiation table. He is also the Managing Member of Certified Acquisition Advisors LLC, a business brokerage and business exit planning consulting firm.
The software itself can become contaminated by malware, viruses, or other interfering processes that force us to give up too much in order to make things operate at all. This also happens to be a state that has very positive effects on those around us.  A desirable byproduct of this often follows. Divisions of work: tasks should be divided up and employees should specialize in a limited set of tasks so that expertise is developed and productivity increased. Unity of direction: a group of activities concerned with a single objective should be coordinated by a single plan under one head. Centralization: the extent to which orders should be issued only from the top of the organization is a problem which should take into account its characteristics, such as size and the capabilities of the personnel. Scalar chain: communications should normally flow up and down the line of authority running from the top to the bottom of the organization, but sideways communication between those of equivalent rank in different departments can be desirable so long as superiors are kept informed.
Stability of tenure of personnel: rapid turnover of personnel should be avoided because of the time required for the development of expertise.
Initiative: all employees should be encouraged to exercise initiative within the limits imposed by the requirements of authority and discipline.
Nevertheless, these managerial principles are based on such solid thinking that they are still valid.
Ambition, training, experience, business skills, vision, can all be undermined by behaviors linked to mental models held by leaders, workers, and customers. The greatest leverage for change in organizations resides in top leadership, specifically chief executive officers, presidents, board members and owners.
Self-knowledge is objectified and broadened by engaging top leaders in confidential conversations to enhance their understanding of complex psychological and cultural factors influencing business performance and morale.
The opportunity for astute entrepreneurs is to work on calibrating the first two tumblers as the economy works on the market timing tumbler. Wouldn’t today’s workers spend a lot of their time fearing the loss of their job instead of focusing on delivering the very best effort they could for their employer? During the transition for the new awardee to take over the contract, the new awardee realized there was a small part of the contract they needed outside resources to perform.
Good leadership recognizes when there is a better idea than theirs and is able to implement the best idea not necessarily only implement their ideas. The leader should be able to deliver a higher performance output from the team as a unit than from the output if the team members were measured on an individual bases. In order to obtain an appointment, you first need to have developed some level of a relationship. In spite of all of this access to the prospective purchasing audience thanks to technology, nothing gets an appointment faster than having established personal familiarity and trust. Clearly, I couldn’t purchase your address book of contacts and suddenly make them my contacts. For example, how do you even know that you have the right people on the bus in the first place? If you can support their change, they could be a great asset as an employee for a partnering business. Is your business going to “hold-onto” an employee knowing that they are needed but the employee could also be more valuable in a more advanced role with a different employer? In the movie, The Terminator arrived from the future to terminate the life of Sarah Connor.
In some cases, the original leadership team is no longer as excited in their role once the company has reached a more substantial stage. Are you prepared to address hard questions with employees who are unable to develop or grow with the business’s growth? Boxwood is a management, consulting-recruiting firm with offices in The Greater Washington DC Region and The Tampa Bay, Florida Region. This book and accompanying conversation addresses the most critical of questions: What do I need to know about myself to actually put my greater potential to use?
The best way greatly reduce resistance in others is to know yourself as you truly are and as a consequence be able to see and know others with clarity and realism. Simply said, the main street business broker or lower middle market M&A advisor selling Dan’s Donut Shop in a securities transaction needs the same licenses as a Wall Street investment banker selling a multi-national public company.
The distinction between these two is not easy to see but is critical to transforming your world in ways that can only be achieved by transforming yourself. Culture and family often have well intentioned agendas that are not always closely aligned with taking full advantage of our amazing brain. Unexamined mental models limit optimal access to our true selves and others so that the gap between our functional ability and our innate ability is simply too large and creates a sense that we are not fully alive. The relationship between leaders and followers tends to improve, as purpose, commitment and creativity contribute to productivity with an energy that is impossible to achieve in any other way. Because of the real or perceived power concentrated in these positions, top level leaders have a significant and disproportionate influence on creating and maintaining culture and affecting business outcomes. These leaders are likely to think about reality as something external to them.  For example, they focus exhaustively on the business domains that they know well and operate as if these exhaust what is knowable and important.
The structure of the relationships allows for the exploration of issues that cannot be readily addressed in internal or external business environments.
Nothing stays the same, you have to remain agile and while some things go down in importance and in value, others go up in importance and in value. They have no value unless I have invested the time and developed a business relationship on an individual basis.
Growth requires the business owner to “let go” of some of the control and have the right talent to delegate to key members of the business.
For some business leaders, they feel that managers who once meant so much to the company in the early stages have earned the employer’s loyalty.
In the knowledge based world of the 21st century where long term vision, global perspectives, and innovation serve to create competitive advantage these very same tendencies can unfortunately limit our effectiveness.
Often, even the best of intentions are fraught with software restrictions that result in having to give up too much access to our original capability and design. I was once asked by a bestselling business author who was interviewing me on her radio show what I thought was the greatest impediment to CEO self-knowledge. All in the organization are energized as the space between capacity and performance becomes more evident and begins to narrow. Even genuine strengths by themselves are insufficient to overcome the loss of productive energy and genuine commitment that false self-perceptions create. The leader who knows and accepts themselves as they truly are enjoys one of the most effective tools available in the business world. Typically these areas include understanding and mastering the business, developing mutually beneficial relationships that serve business ends, insuring business indices are accurately tracked, refining hiring practices, creating competitive advantage, and often keeping close track of their career path on a personal level. Although the importance of these concepts to business is increasingly recognized, sophisticated application of this knowledge base to leadership personal mastery has lagged far behind. In the long run, your business should have a structured succession program and anticipate that the best talent could be recruited away.
These tendencies are everyone’s default and learning when to be guided by them and when to ignore them is the result of emotional intelligence, a benefit of increasing self-knowledge.
In essence, we say to ourselves, “The only way I can maintain a relationship with that parent (culture) is if I assume the role that is expected of me.”  We learn how to compromise who we are to negotiate these early experiences, often giving up what is possible for what is valued by others. This leader has greater access to their internal resources (talents, skills, and abilities) and enjoys a level of personal power that cannot be taken away or copied by others. But, how effectively each is executed is based on top leadership’s self-knowledge and its consequences throughout the company.
From the standpoint of neurobiology, growing into psychological and spiritual maturity involves engaging parts of our brain that are not fully developed (i.e. With repeated rehearsals these compromise formations eventually become habits and solidify into enduring but often tacit mental models. Combined with business knowledge, skills and institutional power she or he is in a position to replace envy with admiration, compliance with commitment and followership with leadership throughout their organization.
This is the point of maximum leverage for converting potential energy into kinetic energy throughout the workforce, and is usually the last to be addressed (if at all) in strengthening a company’s capacity to create its own future. Having them working for your business partners or for companies who your business would like to work with, could prove valuable. Since these compromises are often at the expense of our true self they rarely if ever are genuinely fulfilling.



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managerial skills exercise (case study)



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