Tim Keenan’s Advice To His Kids: “Eliminate Fault & Blame From Vocabulary”

Tim Keenan, Keenan and Associate

WashingtonExec Series:

WashingtonExec asked the simple question to top area executives:

“If you could give your kids only three pieces of advice, what would they be?”

Today’s insight is from Tim Keenan, CEO of Keenan and Associate.

Tim Keenan: The Best Advice I ever got coming up through the industry:

-If you don’t know where you want to go, you will probably end up someplace else… Develop the skills of introspection/vision to a point of mastery. Only by developing a deep understanding of yourself can you hope to lead others on the journey of growing a company.

-A brilliant strategy without action is a daydream but, action without thought is disaster…focus your teams efforts on the most important aspects of your strategy like a zealot.  If you don’t have focus you will misdirect your precious resources to less priority actions.

-Don’t allow barriers to stop you, they are merely tests of your resolve…you have four choices when a barrier presents itself, go over, under, around or through, but stopping is not an option.  You must develop this key skill in your team to push through barriers to succeed in the long run.

-Eliminate “Fault & Blame” from vocabulary, replace with “Accountability & Responsibility” (self explanatory)

-Apologize w/ enthusiasm & listen with both ears. Set the example for your team that you hold yourself to the same standards that you expect from them.  If you screw up then apologize openly and loudly.

-Hope is not a strategy but it is the key contribution of a leader.  I hear many entrepreneurs say “I hope we can meet this or that milestone”.  Hope never achieves anything, only action does.  Hope is not a verb.  However, you need to be the chief source of enthusiasm within your firm to the point that it becomes contagious.

-Marry that girl, stupid!  When my boss met my wife of now 25 years he gave me this very insightful advice.





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