Chief Empathy Officer

17 Mar
March 17, 2020

The burden of leadership will grow heavy over the coming days, weeks and months.

In “normal” times your success has enabled you to care for many …your immediate and extended families, your employees, your vendors and your customers. As well as, institutions and charities that are important to your sense of community and shared fate.

Your caring role has many names, parent, daughter, son, sibling, spouse, cousin, uncle, aunt, benefactor, member, congregant, manager, leader, partner, owner.

Many people will turn to you for comfort and reassurance or ask something of you in their time of need. You will have to make thoughtful financial choices in order to provide for and maintain the personal and business relationships that are dearest to you.

Others will count on your calmness, decisiveness, candor and transparency…your leadership.

However, empathy will be your greatest gift to those in need; that is, the ability to listen and care about other’s fears and anxieties, their doubts and fragility.

Listen and speak from the heart.

Empathetic leadership moves people to their better selves and gives them strength to confront their own realities.

Richard Lavin

917-405-6987 Cell


Copyright 2020

Finders, Minders & Grinders: What’s Your Role?

04 Nov
November 4, 2018

A LEVERAGEDWISDOM Member, founder and managing partner of a prominent accounting firm, once described his workforce as divided among Finders, Minders and Grinders. In the context of a professional services firm one can quickly imagine what these roles entail: Read more →

Enough With The Shovel: A LEVERAGEDWISDOM Insight

14 Oct
October 14, 2018

We all know the rule of holes…if you’re in one, stop digging! 

A hole in business is an unpleasant place where:

1)         There is no return on the investment of time or money.
2)         A business relationship continues to be disappointing.
3)         The potential for an idea continues to be unrealized.
4)         A non-performing business silo lives on.

Read more →

Success as a Blind Spot, No Lessons Learned

27 Sep
September 27, 2018

Most entrepreneurs are smart and if nothing else, resilient. Their tolerance for pain and risk would impress a US Navy Seal. They work hard, duck, bob and weave, believe when others don’t, pull wins out of thin air and sometimes get lucky. And when the “wins” do come that is what they focus on. That’s where they get their psychological strength and what sustains their resiliency.

Read more →

Purple? No. Meet For Drinks? Yes!

15 Jul
July 15, 2018

Twelve CEOs were staring at six bottles of nail polish I had placed on the conference room table. (Two women and ten men were participating in their monthly LEVERAGEDWISDOM peer learning meeting. I asked the women to hold their answers.)

Raising one small clear glass bottle filled with nail polish, I asked, “What color is this”? Purple?  No!  Plum?  No!  Blue-violet? No!
Holding up another bottle, I asked, “and this one?”  Deep pink?  No!  Rose?  No!

One more. “How about this one”?  Red?  No.  Maroon?  No! Read more →

If You Run Your Business as Though You’re Going to Sell It, What’s the Number?

28 Jun
June 28, 2018

As an entrepreneurial CEO, owner, how do you benchmark your performance and that of your company as you go through the stages of growth and meet your “lifestyle” aspirations?

If you’re like some CEOs I know, you may find yourself in an “entrepreneurial comfort zone,” where you lead and manage the business to the point where it has become your own personal ATM. The enterprise throws off enough income to satisfy your aspirations and standard of living. It can be difficult to escape this comfort zone or for you as an owner to acknowledge your responsibility to maximize the equity value of the enterprise beyond a “lifestyle” business. Read more →

Stand on your desk!!! Get behind the counter!!! Break down the walls!!! You’re boring!!!!

18 May
May 18, 2018

A CEO’s perspective and vision are often defined by their routines. So, it is useful for them to break their routines in order to gain new perspectives.

Example: Stand on your desk!!!
Read more →

Process Choke Point: Indecision is a Decision.

15 Feb
February 15, 2018

Being CEO/Owner means you have to make decisions in a timely and effective manner.

Yes or No…Heads or Tails…Left or Right.

At LEVERAGEDWISDOM, we’re all for a well-researched thoughtful measured decision making process that’s inclusive of others.  After all we are a CEO/Owner peer learning organization; but, at the end of the day…somebody has to pull the trigger.  However, too often, leaders insist on more information and more time…more meetings and more opinions, more of this and more of that.  Bottom-line, if the decision process takes too long it becomes a Choke Point. Read more →

Choke Points #1: Person, Position or Process

11 Jan
January 11, 2018

At LEVERAGEDWISDOM we work on our Member CEO’s choke points often leading to unusual action steps.

In military strategy, choke points are geographical features; such as bridge, valley, or strait which an army or navy is forced to pass through. The choke point increases vulnerability, decreases combat power and compromises the ability of a unit to reach their objective.

In business a choke point is a person, position or process that decreases the company’s operational excellence when delivering products or services to customers; thereby, compromising growth and/or profitability.

Process Choke Point: Case Study Read more →

What’s the expiration date on your business?

03 Dec
December 3, 2017

“We tackle the tough questions that keep owners of privately held businesses up at night.”
Richard Lavin

The stark reality is that there is life cycle to everything.  At some point even the greatest waterway has to be widened (the Panama Canal).  A company built on rock-solid chemistry is blindsided by digital process (Kodak).  A disease defeats its medicine (TB).

Read more →

Choose One At Your Peril: The Disciplines of Market Leaders

12 Oct
October 12, 2017

The Discipline of Market Leaders became a much revered business book in the mid-90s. At LEVERAGEDWISDOM the book generated vigorous discussion and ultimately disagreement with the authors.

Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema claimed that market leadership derived from choosing one of three disciplines; operational excellence, product leadership or customer intimacy. To attempt to master all three would lead to weakness and mediocre standing in the market place.  They offered extensive research and specific examples of companies who chose one discipline among the three and noted their prosperity. Read more →

The Next Entrepreneurial Generation: Still Lonely at the Top

21 Aug
August 21, 2017

Among the members of LEVERAGEDWISDOM is a new generation of entrepreneurs, including the sons and daughters of former members. I call them “Educated – Inventive – Driven.”

This new generation “gets” what LEVERAGEDWISDOM is all about and is predisposed to collaborative thinking and peer process.  What took their parents years to acknowledge, “That no one of us is as smart as all of us,” these new leaders have already embraced as part of their educational process. Read more →

Quitter, Camper, Climber: Who’s on Your Team?

14 Jul
July 14, 2017

I met Doug Tomkins when we were both in our 30’s. He was building successful business including North Face and Esprit. He was selling several hundred million dollars of merchandise.

I had built five women’s boutiques, struggling to manage my success and fearful of growing further beyond my skills. Eager to learn and curious as to how he had accomplished his success, I asked a lot of questions. Where do you get your ideas? How did you get started? How did you finance your growth? What made you…? Read more →

Wisdom of Crowds

09 Jun
June 9, 2017

“No one of us is as smart as all of us” or The Wisdom of Crowds.

A LEVERAGEDWISDOM Member recently summed up his meeting day experience by declaring, that it seemed “No one of us is as smart as all of us.” He had presented to the assembled CEOs a troubling issue about a long time key employee. He had come to believe his CFO’s level of competency no longer matched the demands of the organization. Read more →

This will be for “the “S” curve of life and business.

16 Mar
March 16, 2017

How Business Owners Can Avoid the Next Liquidity Trap

18 Feb
February 18, 2017

If you survived the economic tsunami of the last 36 months, you know that not everyone lost their house, but everyone got wet, and some came out soaked to the bone. John Keynes, the influential British economist, once said “the market can stayirrational longer than you can stay solvent.” Read more →

Beware of Black Swans and Dead Elephants

20 Jan
January 20, 2016

In “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable,” author Nassim Nicholas Taleb contends that our belief in the predictability of events, based on what’s happened in the past, is so ingrained that we either overlook or can’t conceive of the fact that genuinely important events can’t always be predicted.

If, for example, as a life experience, you encounter one white swan, 10 white swans or 1,000 white swans, this does not in and of itself prove that all swans are white. But if in the course of encountering all these white swans, you come across one black swan, this definitely proves that not all swans are white. Read more →

2016 Copyright - LEVERAGEDWISDOM™