Category Archives: Uncategorized

How an Executive Performance Assessment Process helped a COO become a CEO.

Self Knowledge - Populating Your Johari WindowLeaders of fast growing, early stage organizations operate at such a fast pace that often the last thing there is time to do is assess each member of the top team’s performance to determine how to prepare them for the next stage of evolution.

Most team members know each other pretty well. They have a good idea what each other is good at, has contributed, how they have grown, and what they should focus on next for success. However, team members rarely have the time, energy, training, or nerve to share what they know in a forthright, supportive conversation with one another. Continue reading


Bob Morris Interview Part 2 ScreenshotTop-100, Hall-of-Fame Amazon Business Book Reviewer, Bob Morris, recently conducted a two-part interview with IntelliVen CEO, PeterD. Click the image at left to see Part 2.  Click here to see Part 1.

Excerpts from Part 2 follow:

Morris: In your opinion, what are the most significant differences between great leadership and great management?

DiGiammarino: I agree with those that say you manage things and lead people but you also manage things in order to lead people so the two are not so much different when intertwined in great leaders. That ties in with the double meaning of the title of my book. Manage to Lead helps you to

  • Manage yourself to do things that every leader ought to do and when you do them you are de facto leading.
  • Squeak by in the role of leader even when you do not happen to be a born leader but you are a good manager!

Continue reading

Introducing BusinessBecause

BusinessBecauseOne of the top-5 most popular IntelliVen posts ever published (based on number of views) is on why top MBA students should consider a career in operations instead of in finance.

The post includes a video interview on how operating leaders participate in venture success which was suggested, filmed, and first published by BusinessBecause. BusinessBecaue launched in late-2009 as the first “niche network” connecting business students, employers, business school applicants and business schools around the world.

BusinessBecause publishes fascinating, people-focused stories and provides useful information on choosing a b-school (e.g. Why MBAMBA rankings) and finding a job.  BusinessBecause now has more than 100,000 monthly visitors and a vibrant 20,000-member worldwide community that shares information with each other and that use the network to build valuable career connections internationally.

BusinessBecause also runs EngineeringBecause, for the world’s top engineering students, and a technology business, NetworkBecause, building alumni platforms for organizations.  This IntelliVen post is to announce that IntelliVen subscribers that sign up before October 6, 2013 with the following code receive a free, one-month premium membership to

Premium code: HO7R85RY. 

Expires on October 6, 2013. 


Manage to Lead now available as interactive, digital content powered by the leading provider for higher education textbooks.

MtL_Cover_optManage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World is now available as an interactive digital workbook at

Click on the book cover icon to access its catalog entry on  Download the free chapter to try it out on any iPad, any iPhone, or on any Mac or PC using the Chrome browser.

Manage to Lead will soon also be available in print and as an e-book at Amazon.  Access from Android devices is slated for later in 2013

The interactive, digital workbook has:

  • Work problems,
  • Templates,
  • Animations,
  • Assessments,
  • Videos,
  • Graphics, and
  • Executive team exercises and meeting agendas.

Continue reading


Welcome new subscribers, feedback request, and mechanics.


IntelliVen is a site for students of organization and leader development and for IntelliVen clients, subscribers, and followers who seek to help leaders and organizations get on track to long-term growth and performance. Think of the site as a workbook of constantly expanding and improving content and resources related to growing leaders and organizations.


  • If you are a veteran intelliven subscriber please complete a short survey to let us know how we are doing and to help us improve.

  • Welcome new subscribers; especially those referred by Jose Luis Romero at  We hope you find IntelliVen content as interesting and useful.

The remainder of this post is an update on how to use the site. Continue reading

How emerging executives can achieve high-impact with key players more senior than themselves.

An up-and-coming executive engages with an important sales prospect, client, supplier, partner, or colleague on par with his or her degree of comfort and security with the other party.  The more seniority the other is perceived to have relative to his/her own, the more anxiety and insecurity is induced, the less is said, and the less impact results from the interaction.  Pushing to the highest possible level of engagement drives the best results and accelerates career progression.

It makes sense for the up-and-coming executive to think of it as climbing a staircase. Levels of Executive Engagement - IntelliVenThe first step is the most basic level of engagement, is easy enough to do, but adds little-to-no value.  Each step is easier than otherwise when it builds off of the last but is progressively more difficult and riskier to take.   Continue reading

How to talk about leaders and organizations for success.

Those in charge of any organization — no matter how large or small — and those who aspire to hold leadership roles, are wise to use terms and phrases in precise ways in order to be clear about what they think, say, and do.  This post compiles a number of such terms in one place for easy reference by IntelliVen readers, clients, and students.

Term Definition
Core Leadership Team No one leader, and not even any two, has the breadth of competence and depth of capacity to do anything of much significance alone. Successful organizations often have a Core Leadership Team of three to seven top executives who are aligned to accomplish specific goals as a cohesive unit.

The executives in a successful organization’s Core Leadership Team are very good at different important things; they enjoy working together; they all want to accomplish the same thing and give credit for any success to everyone else.

Term Definition
How initiative is performing Continue reading

How to leave a job you love and not get pulled back in.

Leave JobLeaving a long-held, cherished job is not easy. Even with a new dream job in-hand, cutting the cord that connects you to a place you have become part of can be one of the most difficult challenges you ever face in your career. While there is no surefire method, the steps below reflect lessons from the experience of those who have been successful in so doing.

To quit, follow the steps below in order and as precisely as you possibly can. Make sure first, though, that you have really decided to quit and that it is not just a ploy to get your employer to talk you in to staying and giving you a raise. If you want an offer to stay (even though when you announce and then decide to stay it is likely that management will from then on question your loyalty and motives which may be a fatal blow to a thriving upward progression) then this is not the method to follow.

  1. Remember that you need to be loyal first to yourself, not to your employer or your colleagues no matter how much they have done for you up to now. Almost everyone thinks their own departure will be more catastrophic for their organization, its employees, and its customers than it will really be. Any one of us in virtually any position leaves a hole upon departure about the size of the hole left in a pitcher of water when a clenched fist is pulled out from it.
  2. Come up with three iron-clad reasons that explain why you have decided to quit. Any more than three leaves you open to having the weakest refuted allowing your employer to claw their way back to convincing you to stay, and their instinct will be to try to talk you into doing exactly that. Memorize your three reasons and become glib with them.
  3. Say out-loud that you are leaving and why, over and over again, in front of a mirror so you will have heard and felt yourself speak the words in a safe and unemotional setting. The last thing you want at the moment of truth is for a tear to come to your eye or for your lip to quiver. Practice quitting to a few close friends, family, and advisers. Ask them to help you state your points more firmly, with more authority, with less emotion, and to tighten up the message.
  4. A day or so ahead of announcing, do something to manifest your decisionto leave; for example, exercise and sell all of your vested stock options, take your favorite knickknacks out of the office, give up your parking space, or something along these lines to convince yourself and to show colleagues and management that you really have checked out.
  5. Set up a time to speak with your manager; ideally in-person but electronically if it is the only option. Use the departure letter template to draft your resignation letter that says:
    • You resign as of a specific date to pursue a specific other opportunity.
    • You have strong positive feelings for your time at the organization.
    • You are committed to do all you can to orchestrate a smooth transition.
  6. At the start of your meeting, hand over the signed letter and allow time for your manager to read and absorb its contents. Offer to talk through the three reasons why you are quitting and explain what you have already done to mentally and physically check-out. When s/he attacks your reasons for leaving it is important to say exactly this: “I appreciate you helping me to rethink my decision but it is my decision to leave”.
  7. What will follow is a gradual progression through a series of predictable stages of acceptance: shock, denial, pain, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. Stay calm and help orchestrate the progression through the stages until acceptance is reached.

Good luck departing!

Related posts:

Tips on how to get all you can from your last job

How to orchestrate the best entry to your new position


Peter DiGiammarino is a professional CEO, professor, and author with 30+ years of success leading public, private, private-equity-owned, and venture-capital-backed software and services firms. He consistently helps leaders, top teams, and organizations achieve their full potential to perform and grow in the name of IntelliVen..