An image explaining the basic, but not the hidden benefits of SMART goals. It says "SMART GOALS" across the top. Then it has arrows for each letter: S - Specific, M - Measurable, A- Achievable, R- Relevant, T - Time-based. It's not a particularly attractive graphic, with yellow, shades of orange, red, and maroon. But it explains SMART goals, so I'm using it.

The hidden benefits of SMART goals

Dave Labowitz Career, Leadership

Since their invention in 1981, SMART goals have become a way of life for leaders worldwide and for good reason. The most apparent benefits of SMART goals are that they improve communication when delegating a project as well as increase the chances the project will succeed. While the base acronym offers up a lot of value on its own, after …

If you want to talk to your boss about a problem, it's best to be solution-focused. This image is a chalkboard with two words written on it in white chalk: "Problem" and "Solution". The word "Problem" is crossed out in red chalk.

How to talk to your boss about a problem

Dave Labowitz Career, Leadership

What’s the best way to talk to your boss about a problem if no one likes a complainer? This is a challenging issue because the wrong approach can be rather damaging. You can accidentally hurt your relationship with your boss and even mess up your career if you get associated with the words “complainer” or “negative”. Of course, you probably …

This article is about Tom Cruise's rant on the set of Mission Impossible 7, so this is a picture of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The sidewalk background is black marble with specks of silver glitter, the board of the star, Tom Cruise's name, and camera icon are gold, and the interior of the star is red.

Tom Cruise’s rant shows why emotional intelligence matters

Dave Labowitz Leadership

If you keep up with Hollywood gossip news, you’ve probably seen some headlines about Tom Cruise’s most recent unhinged rant. He got upset about some COVID safety violations on the set of “Mission: Impossible 7” and melted down on the cast and crew. Unsurprisingly, now the story has broken that there’s a mass exodus amongst the movie’s staff. Even in …

Encourage Leadership: A picture of a man wearing a gray suit with a white collared shirt and orange tie. He is visible from his mid-chest up to his chin. His hands are straightening his tie and jacket. The words "Follow me" show in the lower left of the picture.

How to act like a VC-backed startup (#11: Encourage leadership at all levels)

Dave Labowitz Leadership, Scale

“Encourage leadership at all levels” is the eleventh part of a twelve-part series. It’s a deep look behind the scenes of the “business playbook” that makes VC-backed companies successful and how to apply these lessons to your business. If you’re looking for the introduction to the series and first article, please click here. If you’re looking for other articles in …

A picture of a woman wearing a blue track suit sitting on a sports field stretching her hamstrings. She looks frustrated and in pain.

Stretch goals: Use with caution!

Dave Labowitz Leadership, Scale

After over a decade as a startup executive, I’ll admit I cringe when someone brings up stretch goals. But Dave, according to Google, they’re best practice! It says it right there in their 10 things we know to be true philosophy document: “We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet …

A picture of Sisyphus toiling away, pushing his boulder up the hill.

The myth of Sisyphus and what it teaches about leadership

Dave Labowitz Leadership

I’ll get to the leadership lesson in a moment, but first let me tell you a story. According to Greek mythology, Sisyphus was the founder and King of Corinth, a city in south-central Greece. Sisyphus was famed for his cleverness, leading Homer to describe him in the Iliad as “the most cunning of men.” Unfortunately for Sisyphus, he was also …

A clip-art picture of a race, being run left to right. There is a pack of three runners behind the starting line on the left and a single runner who already has a sizeable headstart. The runner with the headstart symbolizes someone with a lot of talent. (1 of 3)

Why you Should Hire For Attitude and Mindset, NOT Talent

Dave Labowitz Leadership, Scale

“It is better to first get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then figure out where to drive.” -Jim Collins, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t” Generally accepted business wisdom agrees that the single biggest predictor of business success …

A picture of Lyndon B. Johnson swearing the oath of office for the US presidency. The picture was taken on Air Force One, shortly after JFK's death was confirmed. He is flanked on one side by his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, and on the other by Jackie Onassis, still wearing her blood-stained jacket from the day's events.

The Leadership Oath: A Hippocratic Approach

Dave Labowitz Leadership

My client’s employee had worked through lunch and it was already 3 pm. As a doctor prior to starting his business, he knew all the reasons this was a poor idea. “The first commitment I made was to do no harm! Go to lunch!” my client told her. When he told me the story, I was impressed. He had connected …