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From Silicon Valley corporate attorney to thought leader on the evolution of managers, entrepreneur at LifeMoxie Consulting, author of three books, and cross-country cyclist adventurer, Ann Tardy influences people to think from a kaleidoscopic perspective and approach the world with an innovative mindset. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Articles by Ann Tardy

Smart companies engage in succession planning. Exceptional companies focus on legacy creating.

Bank of America and Citigroup

When Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis and Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit announced their departures unexpectedly and with little warning in 2009 and 2012, respectively, each organization scrambled to identify a replacement. As a result of such unpreparedness, stock prices fell, the executive team became unnecessary distracted, initiatives stalled, growth stagnated, and employees felt uneasy and uncertain.

May 29, 2013

Aretha Franklin was on to something. She sang it loud and proud, "All I want, honey, is a little respect." And that applies to work as well. The number one reason people leave a job? A disrespecting boss. Not lack of money. Lack of respect.

What if joy was a leader's responsibility? A skill required. An expectation of good leadership. A competency no less important than thinking strategically or leading change.

What is joy?

January 7, 2013

It’s the end of the year. Rampant pressure is mounting. Justifying our existence this year. Qualifying our survival next year. Pressure from above, pressure from below. As unyielding at home as it is at work.

And then the flood of depressing headlines, screaming from every screen. People killing each other intentionally and recklessly. Fiscal cliffs, cancers, divorces, bankruptcies, hurricanes, suicides, layoffs, greed, unfunded pensions, strikes, taxes, poverty, violence, pollution, war, bombings, the economy.

December 18, 2012

Forbes published an article in August 2012 entitled "Three Incredibly Simple Questions the Most Successful People Use to Change the World" written by Mike Maddock.

Of course I was intrigued. In this day of 140-character tweets, drive-through windows, and instant text messages, I knew the answer would be brilliant in its robust simplicity. And I was not disappointed.

3 Simple Questions to Change the World:

October 8, 2012

The mind-boggling stories of unintentional leadership breathe color into every headline. From the Coach of the New Orleans Saints to John Edwards to the “improper conduct” of HP and Best Buy CEOs, it is almost difficult to be surprised anymore.

Each incident, however, is exacting an additional toll on leadership, forcing the rest of us leaders to stay vigilant to the power we wield.

Here are two irritating examples of accidental leadership creating missed opportunity to intentionally lead:

Lady Gaga’s Missed Opportunity

May 21, 2012

Sheila from the Radisson Indianapolis Airport Hotel

It was 3 a.m. when I called the front desk at the Radisson Indianapolis Hotel to beg for ointment for a wound. Sheila answered the phone but had nothing to offer, “I’m sorry sweetie. We only have Band-Aids down here.” Petulantly, I declared that I would have to find a 24-hour pharmacy.

Quickly recognizing my excruciating pain, Sheila said, “Let me call the hotel across the street and see if they have anything.” She phoned me right back and said, “Good news! They have ointment. I’m going to get it for you.”

April 10, 2012

I asked a manager recently, “Would you want to work for you?” Stunned, he stopped, wordless for once. Then meekly, he admitted, “No, I wouldn’t.”

Why this manager (and many others) answer “No”

Manager Mike knew he was difficult and habitually gruff. Demanding and impatient, he was often accused of being in a bad mood. He was constantly complaining to his employees about his boss, his peers, the company, the policies, and even the economy and politics. He was so busy managing up to his bosses and out to his customers, that he forgot to lead down and around.

March 16, 2012
2011 Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge
The Cleanup X Challenge offered $1 million to the team that could invent an oil-recovery system able to recover oil from the surface of the ocean at a rate two times the industry standard. The building and testing of such a device was already an improbable feat, but the stakes were raised even further: contestants have 90 days to complete it. 
Team Elastec met the challenge 
February 10, 2012

Mentoring Saved Best Buy’s Future President

January 10, 2012

Whole Foods Employees Vote for New Hires

Every new hire at a Whole Foods store is subject to a peer-based selection process. The newbie is provisionally assigned to a team, for example in bakery or produce, pending a 4-week trial and a team vote. After the trial period, that team votes on the newbie’s suitability and ultimately his or her fate. A two-thirds majority vote is needed to achieve a full-time slot on the team.

Pret a Manger Employees Vote Too

November 8, 2011

Flight Attendant vs. Consultant

“They paid some consultant millions of dollars to figure out how to load this plane. They should have just asked me. I’ve been a flight attendant for 22 years.” I overheard this on a recent flight when the boarding process caused a traffic jam of people.

Office Managers vs. Corporate Headquarters

October 13, 2011