Category Archives: Leadership

Inspiring Leadership

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
— Peter Drucker, Austrian-American writer and management consultant

Here is a great argument for staying visible, accessible and open. Gossip in the Workplace Could Signal Larger Problems
In some respects, this is a primer on transitioning from managing to leading. 4 things managers need to stop and start doing
A great way to get yourself thinking today, and often. 35 Inspiring Leadership Quotes

You realize how set I am on reducing fees and their impact on your retirement. Still, this feels too much like it is asking for increased regulation, somehow skirting the rules. U.S. mutual funds cut expenses by shifting billions to trusts
Forbes has a CFP give you some tips on retirement withdrawal rates. How Much Investment Money Can You Take Out in Retirement
Here is a decent, albeit brief, look at spend rates in retirement. It loops in the rule of thumb 4% guideline. How Much of Their Nest Egg Should Retirees Spend a Year?
This is an interesting article because I’m amazed that Money magazine would publish it without reference to longevity annuities, especially qualified ones. The New Rules for Making Your Money Last in Retirement

Funny and insightful, this post helps you while away the hours you spend in airports between flights. The Definitive Guide to Drinking in Airports
Leverage technology to save yourself some money on your next vacation. 6 Google Flights Tricks That Are Better Than Any Travel Agent
Mind you, this is a bit backwards as it is the UK perspective, still, I think there are some worthwhile points in here. Booking a flight? This table shows how timing affects ticket pricing.
Fascinating Aside:
File this in the unintended consequences category. Can a solar eclipse shut down Europe?


“I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among 6-year-olds. So I decided to eat like [one],” – Warren Buffett on his diet

Self-improvement: in line with some of the best quality thinking, today we redesign our weekly post to give you better information, more clearly. Hopefully, we will find an interesting quote, too.

Another Steve Jobs reference, seems we shared a birthday. Steve Jobs would have turned 60 today. Here are 15 of his most inspiring quotes.
Some quick food for thought: Four Leadership Traits to Win in Business Today
I really like this one; short and to the point. 10 Ways to be easy to follow
Another article in line with my own philosophy. 6 Ways Vision Will Inspire Your Employees and Culture

As you know, this is the key to it all, making your retirement savings last. How to Turn Your Retirement Savings Into Retirement Income
More interesting insight on active vs. passive management in the fund world: Why Active Management Fell Off a Cliff – Perhaps Permanently
I mention deferred income annuities, or QLACs, often here. Now some guidance on what it means for your retirement planning. How QLACs are changing the Social Security timing game

This tool has been around for a while, as ITA Matrix, and it’s great. Google officially launches Flights, their Search-friendly travel tool
With all the complexity of airline pricing, you need help, and while Google Flights is a great start, this is a good companion. New Hopper App Predicts Airfare Prices, Alerts When to Book
There’s no question, being pleasant helps a lot in these cases. Still, be prepared: How to get on an earlier flight without paying a fee

Improve your leadership

Some leadership greats are on the scene right now, learn from them. Sate your thirst for ‘Saturday Night Live’ nostalgia, and then look to the stars tonight.

Take some time to improve your leadership today:
Tim Cook had a seemingly impossible task, to replace Steve Jobs. Say what you will about him, the results have been nothing short of spectacular. Leadership Lessons: 11 Leadership Lessons We Can Learn From Tim Cook
I admit, never heard of Naheed Nenshi, but he’s got the right ideas. Business Leadership Lessons From the World’s Best Mayor
On the global, geopolitical scene, Angela Merkel has to be seen as the model for leadership these days. Share your better examples of real geopolitical leadership. Angela Merkel’s crisis world tour, mapped and explained
This is way out there for me, but seems like some good ideas in this quick read. 5 Mindfulness Techniques That Will Improve Your Relationships and Make You a Better Leader

The Saturday Night Live links worth perusing:
Rolling Stone’s crack at ranking the players. Opinions? ‘Saturday Night Live’: All 141 Cast Members Ranked
If you did not see your favorite old skit in the live celebration, you are likely to find it on this great app. ‘Saturday Night Live’ app puts 40 years of sketches on your iPhone
It’s hard to argue this point, demonstrated with another outstanding infographic: Lorne Michaels is the most influential man in comedy

Some great things to take you away:
An unusual, visual convergence occurs tonight, look for it yourself. Moon, Venus, Mars Meet in Friday Night Sky: How to See It
I hit on Lake Baikal a couple of weeks ago, but here are some more amazing photos of frozen lakes … in case it is not cold where you are today! 10+ Breathtaking Frozen Lakes, Oceans and Ponds, That Look Like Art
Time for some perspective on wealth, consider spending $1.2 Billion on your new boat. Check out the great infographic in the article. The $1 billion superyacht: Bigger, longer, but is it better?

Retirement’s vulnerable years

Learn about your biggest retirement risk, get some leadership tips, travel news, and diversions for Super Bowl weekend – Go Pats

Retirement, retirement, retirement, don’t lose focus:
Two articles last week focused on the timing risk in your retirement. Now someone has crafted a product targeted at this, your highest exposure. It may not be the right product, but it certainly is the right idea. Insurance for the most dangerous decade of retirement
No news here, but it is interesting to see the data. Can you believe 36% of Americans have saved less than $1,000 for retirement? 3 Reasons Americans Don’t Save Enough for Retirement
This is a bit dated, but the concept remains valid. Question is, just how much risk do you like? If you have some appetite, this is a pretty interesting way to go. Profiting from VIX Cycles

Two quick thoughts on leadership:
Staying consistent here, I find this to be a vital element of leadership. 3 superpowers of public speaking
No doubt this is true. “…Presence is ‘earned authority.’ It does not come with position; it is earned through one’s competency, credibility and yes confidence.” Presence: Your Key to Stronger and Bolder Leadership
Why can’t travel just be easy any longer?
The good news is that there is no shortage of people trying to help make it easier. The cheapest time to book a flight? New app thinks it has found the secret.
They are finally to spend some money on the coach cabins, problem is… Economy Class Gets an Upgrade… Wait, Make That a Downgrade

Plenty of conversation starters for those lulls in the big game … halftime?
Is the cratering price of oil a good thing or a bad thing? For the US? Globally? Here’s What the Oil Crash Means for the World’s Biggest Economies
Did Government intervention/incentives cause the housing boom/bust, or did the Federal surplus? The Germans are Making the Same Huge Mistake Bill Clinton Did
Does a bad January for the markets mean a bad 2015? Stocks fell in January for just the 8th time since 1929. The last seven times that happened, the rest of the year sucked.
Would you take the Trans-Siberian railroad? If it only cost $1,000? If it takes a month? One Month on the World’s Longest Train Ride for $1,000

Retirement focus

Retirement focus, is vital to your ultimate success and happiness. Then get a quick leadership tip and a bunch of fun things to end your week.

Retirement, retirement, retirement, don’t lose retirement focus:
It is an old story, but really underappreciated. Your success in retirement has a lot to do with your timing. Two stories on the same idea, really, read them both. (register for investment news, it’s free and it’s worth it for articles like these) Why security in retirement is often luck of the draw and Secrets for successful withdrawal strategies in retirement
The President did not talk much about retirement during the State of the Union, but he did do some pre-work that got people’s attention. Retirement is MIA in SOTU
This is way deeper than I usually go, but it is good to know things like this, too, especially if you have your own business. Of course, in these deeper subjects, ask your advisors for help. How non-grantor

Fascinating knowledge and conversation starters from around the web:
My favorite article this week about how they cracked the code on reading scrolls destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79AD. Ancient Scrolls Blackened by Vesuvius Are Readable at Last
It always helps to put things in perspective. Yes, another science one, but who can resist these comparisons of scale across the universe? 26 Pictures Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Entire Existence
This one is beautiful, and I bet you will never go there to see it. Backpackers Walk Across a Completely Clear Frozen Lake
These will mesmerize you … thanks to Fibonacci’s Sequence. 3D Printed Sculptures Look Alive When Spun Under a Strobe Light
I really got a laugh out of some of these, I hope you do, too. I particularly liked number two, remember Braveheart? The 28 Most Ironic Things That Have Ever Happened

New Years Retirement Tips

Plus, some great leadership ideas, retirement planning tips, fun for the holiday break
Start the New Year right by leveraging these retirement ideas:
If there is any recurring theme in my retirement posts, it’s this one, lower fees matter. How to Quadruple Your Mutual Fund Returns with One Decision
This one’s crazy, a Nationwide Financial survey finds Boomers “terrified” of health care costs in retirement … so be sure you consider that, and probably get some help. Advisors Should Include Insurance in Retirement Planning
My youngest friends, relatives and readers should pay particular attention to this one. How Compound Interest Affects Retirement Savings
I wasn’t sure where to put this, but settled on retirement. No time like the present to blow some smoke. 14 Meaningless Phrases That Will Make You Sound Like a Stock-Market Wizard
Consistent themes in my leadership reading for you:
Many of you have heard me tout these very same ideas. Presumably I was listening in those 16 years at GE with Jack Welch as CEO. 10 Leadership Lessons You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way
I couldn’t agree more with this, and feel it is a great differentiator for me. How senior leaders can connect with front-line workers
Yet another set of tips I couldn’t agree more with: 7 Daily Habits of Exceptionally Productive Leaders
Can’t resist this one, Steve Jobs led a very unique life. There’s some great insight here. A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Steve Jobs about Business
Some great ways to take your mind off things:
This one is a word to the wise, don’t believe everything you read. Perhaps you heard about the great, 5% growth in GDP in the Third Quarter … not so fast. Exposing the Deception: How the US Economy “Grew” by $140 Billion as Americans Became Poorer
Imagine treating cancer without dramatically tough side-effects. Looks like it’s closer than you may think. Can DNA Nanobots Successfully Treat Cancer Patients? First Human Trial Soon
Bill Gates deserves a lot of credit for putting his money to good use. Here he’s really showing commitment to his causes. Watch Bill Gates Test a New Machine That Turns Poop Into Clean Water
I love this new site, the guys who predicted the last election bring statistics to the masses. This time, pick your own favorite: Our 33 Weirdest Charts from 2014

Some Holiday Gifts

Leadership thoughts, retirement planning tips, fun for the holiday break

Some leadership ideas to consider while you’re away from the grind:
Having been on the leading edge of the quality push at GE, and taken to heart the GE values of integrity and candor, I loved this short piece: Integrity is Free
Interesting, quick tips on successful presenting skills, and an interesting blog to poke around in afterward. The 9 Biggest Mistakes When Presenting to Executives
Insightful piece on the interaction between culture and strategy. Culture Can Make or Break Strategy
You know what they say, actions speak louder than words Is It Time to Stop Saying Thank You

Timely thoughts for your retirement planning:
Great, you’ve saved a bundle in your 401(k), now what? A 401(k) Conundrum: Can You Make Your Cash Pile Last for Life?
A so called deep dive on the benefits of longevity annuities in retirement plans. A growing chorus is recognizing the value of longevity annuities
There will be a million opinions on this, here’s Morningstar’s: Now that annuities are OK in retirement plans, what strategy is best?
One of those periodic wake-up calls for you. Americans Are Not Remotely Financially Ready for Retirement

Since I hope you will have time to play around some, try these tidbits:
If you’re of a certain age, this will bring back a flood of memories. How fun that it isn’t as messy as it used to be! Nathan Friend’s Browser-Based Spirograph Emulator
I’ve harped a lot on the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce, but did you realize this Christmas Eve is the 200th anniversary of the last fighting between the US and Canada? Let’s Celebrate 200 Years of Peace Across the Border
There’s some pretty funny stuff in here … the longer you have been married, the more they will ring true. 30 Hilariously True Differences Between Men and Women
Bet you never heard one of these. A Guide to the Strange, Little-Known, Hard-to-Find Beatles Christmas Recordings

Questioning Shareholder Value

James Montier delivers a lengthy takedown of shareholder value in his piece. It is interesting because it gets into so many other areas like income inequality, CEO pay, business investment rates, and more. So many companies place credence in shareholder value that it is worth understanding the implications. I focus your attention on this one piece because I wonder what your reaction will be to this. So, please take a minute to share your thoughts.

The World’s Dumbest Idea

Time for caution in retirement planning

Time for caution in retirement planning
Then, enough light reading to take the edge off the heavy stuff

The election is behind us, does anyone expect any different outcome from DC? I certainly do not, but I want to know your thoughts.

Regardless your opinion on the election, it is always time to fine tune your retirement planning:
Here is a simple, five step view of what you must be considering when planning for retirement Let’s Get Real About Life After Retirement (Infographic)
In case you missed this, it is an astonishing development; you get to pay interest to the bank for holding your money! It Begins: German Bank ‘Charging’ Negative Interest to Its Retail Customers
Agree, or disagree with the selections, it is worth the time to run through these to be smarter on the current state of the economy. Lots to digest here, find the correlation ones, at least, they’re funny. Wall Street’s Brightest Minds Reveal the Most Important Charts in the World
This is a really interesting read, especially if you have emerging markets exposure. A Scary Story for Emerging Markets
A weekly look at leadership, since we all, always can use a hand:
You may not like them all, but generally hard to argue with any of them. 10 Tips and Quotes from the Best Leadership Books of the Year
Now, let’s lighten things up some, plenty to choose from this week:
While the top of this page is startling, the bottom is even more interesting. All the asteroids found to date in one cool visualization
Not “The Great Escape,” but a daring, true story of WWII heroism. Unsung Nazi Prison Camp Escape May Have Been the Boldest Breakout During WWII, Book Claims
You see these in ports, but it is hard to comprehend just how large they are. Take a closer look inside here. Explore the Deck of the Largest Floating Object Ever Created

Some great economic analysis

Plus, some leadership and travel tips, and a bevy of just cool facts

Agree, or disagree, it is great to get hard data on the table for discussion:
A great, short economic analysis on the greatest problems facing the global economy, summed up in a single, mind-boggling chart The Defining Problem of Our Times (in 1 simple chart)
An economic analysis to help you understand what is really driving the Wall Street run since the 2008 bottom, again in one simple chart Why Institutions are so Desperate for the Retail Investor to Come Back
The leader of Germany’s Central Bank lays out some hard truths, his economic analysis and candor is refreshing, and this one has a bunch of charts. Kudos to Herr Weidmann for Uttering Three Truths in One Speech

Because we all need to keep refreshing our leadership skills, and no single article or idea is the Holy Grail:
Keep your team, and your business, focused by dealing with the biggest issues first Great CEOs Deal with ‘Elephants’ First

I saw this in two different articles, and it seems brilliant … plus, you can still get in on the indiegogo campaign:
A cool idea to blend current technology with luggage … know where it is, know what it weighs, keep your stuff secure … all linked to your smartphone! Connecting Flight: Bluesmart Smart Carry-on Luggage

Now, for the cool stuff, from a German U-Boat to the Cosmos:
Over 70 years after the battle, they have uncovered a U-Boat and its prey off the coast of North Carolina. How cool is that? Uncovering a Hidden Battleground
Some are dumb, some are fascinating, I like the ant and the flights, you? 12 mesmerizingly informative GIFs
Talk about culture shock, the retired Attica prison warden visits a contemporary facility in Norway An American Warden Visited a Norwegian Prison, and He Couldn’t Believe What He Saw
These few slides put it all in perspective You Won’t Think of Life on Earth the Same After You See These 15 Photos