Session 1

James R Lewis Ph.D

Lewis Institute

North Carolina State University



Most executives learn by the seat of their pants or OJT. Most are not trained in Project Management [PM]. However Dr. Lewis asserts that Exe. Leadership is PM.


Peter Drucker says

Managers – do things well

Leaders – do things right




Bottom Left – The reality is you can not save everyone. The people in this box are the ones you need to let go. Otherwise, you will spend 80% of your time trying to fix them.

Bottom Right – These people usually lack the skills needed to perform well. However, they may be hard workers at what they attempt.

Top Left – These folks have good skills but lack focus.

Top Right – These are the folks you want, skills, motivation, exceptional performers.


Dr. Lewis recommends conducting long-term planning to avoid short-term mishaps. The above curve shows that out of 1000 Exe. About 13 will be exceptional.

1 Hour of planning beats 3 Hours of execution.


It has been observed that most Exe. do not listen well, but they can communicate to beat the band.

Great leaders use WE not me or I



It is important to empower your front line employees because they are the ones that interact with the public. A bad meeting can be detrimental to the organization.



Dr. Lewis says we all, employees, board members, and Exe. are interdependent upon each other for success.

Itay Talgam – Ted talk about conducting and leadership.



Also, take care of your staff, or they can leave you hanging.


If you do not take care of your staff, they will under perform. Also, realize the element with the greatest variability controls the organization. Therefore, you must give clear guidance, not boatloads of rules, which de-motivate.


Managers make rules to control the variables; it is a negative approached that does not work well. It kills creativity. It creates compliance police.



You will never be able to control your organization if you do not empower your people.



We lose focus because some much is pulling at our time. However, we get 80% of results from the 20% of what we do. We need to prioritize the 20%



Set aside blocks of time a day where you can not be interrupted – period

Turn off ringers, email, block staff out

You will become highly productive; each interruption averages 15 minutes of wasted time.