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Les McKeown

Blog Entries by Les McKeown

Three Lessons for Startup Founders From Andrew Mason's Not-So-Funny Resignation

(9) Comments | Posted March 10, 2013 | 9:05 PM

Apologies by business leaders who screw up are traditionally weak brew, swathed in corporate speak and lacking any real mea culpa.

So last week, when newly-ousted Groupon ex-CEO Andrew Mason fired off a witty, self-deprecating, full-throated 'I blew it' email, the plaudits

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The Fall of the Turnaround Blueprint Strategy

(6) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 11:55 AM

Two tech superstars are each fighting to prove their past success wasn't a one-off: Ron Johnson, former head of retailing at Apple is trying to turn around flailing retail giant JC Penney, and Marissa Meyer, often thought of as 'the third founder' at Google, is wrestling at the helm of...

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How To Be a Significantly Better Business Leader in Just One Day

(1) Comments | Posted March 22, 2011 | 4:31 PM

In a lifetime spent coaching business leaders, I've learned a simple truth: leaders develop differently over the short-, medium- and long-term.

Specifically, I've discovered that while there are obvious leadership skills and behaviors that require months -- even years -- to develop, there are also simple, short-term actions which any...

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Your Leadership on the Line: Four Business Lessons from National Turmoil

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2011 | 8:33 AM

It would be insensitive to the point of crassness to compare the current travails in the Middle East and North Africa with the daily experiences which we in the West are typically exposed to.

It would also be naive in the extreme to pretend that there are precisely zero...

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Stop Trying to Find Your Passion and Get to Work

(30) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 2:50 PM

Let's get something straight: passion is not a requirement for business success, and the seemingly 24/7 'passion-in-business' industry is selling you a pup.

Despite the ever-multiplying "find-your-passion" gurus and the breathless profiles of passionate leaders by never-ran-a-business-in-their-life journos, possessing passion is about as relevant to business success as possessing Steve...

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Is Your Business Falling Into 'The Big Rut'?

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2010 | 11:50 AM

Over-dependence on systems and processes is natural to a particular stage in any organization's development -- one which I call 'Treadmill.' While we've all experienced the frustrating tendrils of this kind of bureaucracy, it actually becomes highly dangerous if complexity and redundancy begin to distort reality.

Treadmill usually occurs after...

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Too Much Start-Upping?

(5) Comments | Posted November 18, 2010 | 12:11 PM

How many start-ups are too many? At a time when we desperately need new jobs, what possible downside can there be to the current extraordinary wave of interest in launching new businesses, especially in the tech industry?

Quite a lot, if experience is any guide.

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The Two Words That Will Save Your Medium or Large Business in the Next 18 Months

(2) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 10:54 AM

One thing has become clear: in the aftermath of the recent US mid-term elections (and not just for businesses in the US), there will be no return to a period of long-term, stable, business-benign government in the foreseeable future. And as we all know, only a crazy person would try...

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The Vital Missing Voice in the Economic Recovery Debate Is Someone You've Never Heard of

(1) Comments | Posted October 21, 2010 | 4:04 PM

It's clear that we're going to see a shakeup in the administration's economic policy team before the end of the year, and there's been much talk of bringing in a successful business leader (such as Anne Mulcahy, ex-Xerox CEO) in an attempt to counter criticism that the Obama White House...

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No Role Models, No Tools -- Our Best Hope for Recovery?

(92) Comments | Posted September 15, 2010 | 11:20 PM

We're about to experience either a period of turgid, lackluster business growth, or an entirely new, exciting phase of corporate innovation and expansion that will be unrecognizable from anything that has preceded it. My money is on the latter.

Why do I believe that despite deep global malaise and economic...

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