"No amount of planning, strategy, execution or management can effectively compensate for an organization’s cultural weakness in communication, partnership and integrity."

Our Leadership Blog


Written by Susan Topping Gauthier, Partner-Owner

Disruptive Times Demand Disruptive Thinking

One of my favorite quotes from a contemporary master of business success reads “Embrace reality and deal with it.” As with many such words of wisdom, it is easier said than done.

The author is Ray Dalio, and the quotation is a chapter heading in his book Principles (Simon and Schuster, ©2017). CIO Magazine refers to Dalio as “the Steve Jobs of investing” pointing to his acclaim for building the largest hedge fund in the world1. His book is a compilation of unconventional principles in life and in work that he says he learned over a lifetime of making a lot of mistakes and spending a lot of time reflecting on them. In other words, Dalio is someone who took on his personal experience of reality and sought to bring his best thinking to bear on the matter at hand. 

Similarly, we find that great leaders are both willing and able to take on their personal experience of reality. 

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Real Excellence in Organizations


Image of the final minutes of the February 2021 landing of Perseverance, Nasa’s Mars rover.

Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech, via https://mars.nasa.gov

Seven Minutes of Terror

Written by Toni Kendall & Michele Schleicher 

February 2021…
293 million miles away…
A journey of 6 months…
Travelling at 12,000 miles per hour…
Carrying a mini helicopter on its back…

…Perseverance, NASA’s Mars Rover went barreling through space to the point of having seven minutes to decelerate to Zero mph, and stick the landing on the surface of Mars – and it did!  This is the fifth perfect landing on Mars for NASA. That is five out of five for NASA since 1997.

The “Seven Minutes of Terror” were the seven minutes Perseverance entered Mars’ atmosphere; NASA had no radio signals to know if it would burn up, crash or safely land.

If the engineers at NASA had not “stuck the landing” on Mars, they would have burned up $2.7 billion in seconds!

What NASA accomplished is a demonstration of what real excellence is in organizations.

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