Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious

05 Nov 2018. Bob Kaplan

It's always interesting, if humbling, to suddenly notice what's missing in a situation that's utterly familiar to me. All the more so when that thing is totally basic and... More

Unstoppable Top Executives And The Forces Of Restraint

29 Mar 2018. Bob Kaplan

It's always a problem when too much power is concentrated in the hands of the top person.  That's almost a given in start-ups run by the founder. Inevitably,... More

Wronged: A Story

15 Feb 2018. Bob Kaplan

From behind his massive mahogany desk, polished to such a sparkling gleam it almost hurt my eyes, Sam Califon sat high in his black upholstered desk chair. A big man,... More

Between Your Ears: Your Mental Game Is Everything!

06 Oct 2017. Bob Kaplan

Have you been told or seen for yourself there's something wrong with the way you lead and, like many leaders, you decided to fix it, like you'd solve any other problem,... More

High-Powered Couples With Kids: Don't Make It Harder On Yourselves — Try This

29 Jun 2017. Bob Kaplan

I'm always rooting for couples. I want them to "win." I'm always cheered when someone tells me, with feeling, "I'm happily married." So I'm always pained when couples... More

The Value of Griping

12 Apr 2017. Bob Kaplan

When I bump into my neighbor, who happens to be a CEO, it's the same sad song, the same resentful lament. "I'm so frustrated," he says. Anytime somebody says with feeling... More


21 Dec 2016. Robert E. Kaplan

At our very first meeting EmmaJean bared her soul—uncharacteristically, I later learned. "Look," she said, emphatically, "If I'm going to get anything out of this, I... More

More Is Better, Up To A Point — and Then It's Worse

26 Aug 2016. Robert E. Kaplan and Robert B. Kaiser

Too much of a good thing—you've heard that before. Strengths taken to an extreme are weaknesses—that's not news. Chances are, though, you haven't seen that reality... More

Can leaders change their basic character?

01 Jul 2016. Robert E. Kaplan, Jennifer Farrer

"Holy shit! What a revelatory experience," wrote Charlotte Frye, who did not normally swear. A first-time CEO with one year on the job, she had just completed a two-day... More

Ego Leakage

25 Mar 2016. Robert E. Kaplan

Does your ego leak, even a little? Mine does. I’m sure I don’t know the half of it. I do notice a tendency to enthuse about something I’ve just experienced—an... More