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George Bradt
George Bradt
Offering a unique perspective on transformational leadership based on his combined senior line management, journalistic, and consulting experience. Founder of executive onboarding group PrimeGenesis, author of four books on onboarding and “The New Leader’s Playbook” weekly column on


Aug. 31, 2010 6:23 am
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas Edison Pick your cliche. We've heard it over and over again in a whole range of different guises. While there are certainly some notable exceptions, Generally, success is the product of persistent hard work. Like most endeavors, change management requires persistence across...  Read More
Aug. 29, 2010 6:56 am
Relationships are based on trust. Trust builds over time. This is why it’s so important to do things that build trust before onboarding, during your first 100-days, and on an ongoing basis. This piece, part III of the Trust Trilogy looks at building trust on an ongoing basis. During your first 100-days, you are under the micro-scope and, if you read the middle piece of this trilogy, you are...  Read More
Aug. 29, 2010 6:55 am
Relationships are based on trust. Trust builds over time. This is why it’s so important to do things that build trust before onboarding, during your first 100-days, and on an ongoing basis. This piece, part II of the Trust Trilogy looks at building trust during your first 100-days. Under the micro-scope In some ways, this is simple. Be trustworthy. It’s like you’re under a micro-scope. Since...  Read More
Aug. 27, 2010 7:23 am
Relationships are based on trust. Trust builds over time. This is why it’s so important to do things that build trust before onboarding, during your first 100-days, and on an ongoing basis. This piece, part I of the Trust Trilogy looks at building trust before onboarding. Get a head start before the start For almost a decade, we’ve been pushing the advantages of getting a head start before...  Read More
Aug. 25, 2010 6:41 am
TV Soap Operas Most television series devolve into soap operas over time. As explained in that source of all true knowledge, Wikipedia, “most soap operas follow the lives of a group of characters who live or work in a particular place”. Don’t get me wrong. Soap operas have an important place in the universe of entertainment. It’s just that not everything has to become a soap opera. ...  Read More
Aug. 23, 2010 6:31 am
Good article by Peter S. Goodman in the New York Times (8/22/10) on “ In Case of Emergency: What Not to Do ”. He looks at how British Petroleum, Toyota, and Goldman Sachs handled or mishandled their recent PR debacles. On the one hand, he points out that, “As conventional wisdom has it, the three companies at the center of these fiascos worsened their problems by failing to heed established...  Read More
Aug. 21, 2010 10:41 am
This is a true story of one of the worst onboarding cases in history as told by Wharton Professor Michael Useem. May 31, 1862. The Union forces were about to overrun the Confederate capital, Richmond. Confederate President Jeff Davis went out to the front to see what was going on for himself. There he found his commander-in-chief, Joe Johnston lying on the ground, wounded and unable to...  Read More
Aug. 18, 2010 11:19 am
Eleven jurors thought former Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, was guilty of several mis-deeds including trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat. One juror held out because she thought it was just political talk, "Politicians talking to politicians" according to jury foreman James Matsumoto. On the other hand she did think Blagojevich was guilty of lying to a federal agent. Politicians Talking to...  Read More
Aug. 18, 2010 6:23 am
For a new leader converging and evolving is generally the right approach to their own onboardign. Purely assimilating into a new organization is the easiest and safest approach over the short term, but has no impact. Shocking the system has the most immediate impact, but almost always leads to a systemic revolt against the intruder. Converging and evolving leads to safer impact over time. The...  Read More
Aug. 15, 2010 11:17 am
Routines, timelines, and structure to establish control are non-optional components of success. You don’t have to manage them yourself if discipline is not one of your strengths. But you must make sure someone is managing them. We’ve seen far too many leaders build teams of really smart people, aligned around really smart strategies that don’t produce results because no one followed...  Read More
Aug. 13, 2010 5:56 am
"Onboarding plans, no matter how well-mapped and detailed, should never result in a hand-off to the new leader. The onboarding plan should be a living document that both the new leader and the hiring manager regularly reference and update." So says Bank of America's VP of Executive Development and Talent Management, Matthew Walter in the summer 2010 edition of the HRPS' "People and...  Read More
Aug. 10, 2010 5:48 am
In general, the more prepared you and your organization are for a crisis, the better you will handle it. This is not about preparing in detail for every possible permutation of every possible crisis. Instead it's about building general capabilities and capacity - discipline and agility. John Harrald argues the need for both discipline (structure, doctrine, process) and agility (creativity,...  Read More
Aug. 6, 2010 11:59 am
The ideal organization is marked by a transparent focus by all on a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose. Unfortunately, many organizations are more dystopian than utopian, more obfuscational than clear, and have subplots upon subplots in the many corporellas taking place at the same time. It’s often hard to find the main nugget, heart of the matter, keystone, cipher, crux, core, hinge,...  Read More
Aug. 4, 2010 5:11 am
"As time has passed, we have found line managers wanting more and more assistance in developing onboarding plans—to the point that we have trained all our HR leaders. Now, the majority of new hires in management roles will have detailed 100-day plans developed ahead of their joining. Critical is the phrase “ahead of joining.” They need to walk in the door on day one confident in knowing what’s...  Read More
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