Selecting, Retaining, and Developing 
Executive Leaders and Teams

December 2016

Leadership Tips
  • Hiring - You wouldn't go to a doctor that determined your health without assessment data. Why would you hire someone without using assessment data?
  • Derailment - When pushing change, don't go too fast or too slow. Either can derail your career.  Shoot for a measured pace.
Getting the Brilliant but Boring Right - 
5 Strategies for Staying Competitive

As you may know, playing and watching football has been a lifelong passion. In fact, for my 60th birthday my family coordinated a flag football game. I had a blast! So, you can understand why this is my favorite time of year.

Last Sunday I was watching one of the NFL pre-game shows where ex-football players and announcers discuss the upcoming games. Trent Dilfer, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ths in 2007 was asked why the Seattle Seahawks keep winning late in a season. His answer was provocative and insightful.

Dilfer responded with the statement: "They are excellent at what is brilliant but boring." He continued to explain that coach Pete Carroll focuses on practice in defense, special teams, and boring details.

Being successful in your career or building a successful business requires you to be excellent at the boring but brilliant components of your work. In business, as in professional football, there are specific activities that seem boring, but when done to perfection seem brilliant.

Here are five strategies to staying competitive by identifying and executing the "boring but brilliant."

Strategy #1 - Audit the boring.
Think about your day. What tasks did you postpone because they were repetitive and boring? Which tasks did you go to bed thinking about because you didn't do them.

Strategy #2 - Prioritize by Pareto
(who developed the concept of the 80/20 rule). Identify the 20% of your boring tasks that contribute 80% of impact on your success or bottom line. For example, doing a budget and forecast can be boring but when done brilliantly will provide you 80% impact when making critical strategic decisions.

Strategy #3 - Become brilliant at the boring.
Take time during 2017 to become brilliant at the 2-3 boring tasks that make the biggest contribution. Put together a plan for development. Ask someone to coach you on becoming excellent at the boring tasks that continually make a difference.

Strategy #4 - Do the boring tasks first. Schedule the boring but brilliant tasks to be completed before 10am. Doing what is boring first will be a relief and allow you the opportunity to engage in activities that you enjoy.
Strategy #5 - Remember Premack
(who proved that a boring task followed by a positive task will increase the probability the boring task will be completed and repeated.) When scheduling your day, schedule an enjoyable task right after a boring task.
"Above the Line- Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season"
by Urban Meyer     
Biographies are one of my favorite genre of books to deepen my understanding of leadership and success.

Urban Meyer is the head football coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He was the first coach to win a national championship by winning each playoff game. He transformed a losing football team into national champions. A feat rarely accomplished.

Meyer posits that "staying above the line" means doing what is right. He introduces the formula E+R=O, that is Event plus Reaction=Outcome. There are events that are in our control and out of our control. Either way, we choose our reactions. Our reactions cause the results. According to Meyer, success is not the result of a situation that is experienced, it is the result of how one chooses to manage the R (Reaction).

Meyer believes there are six R-factor disciplines required for success. The six R factor disciplines are press pause, get your mind right, step up, adjust and adapt, make a difference and build skill. Supporting the six R factors are critical core beliefs of relentless effort, competitive excellence, and the power of the unit. In other words "going as hard as you can at all times, focusing intently on preparation, and an unwavering commitment to those around you are at the heart of any success.

These are disciplines and beliefs that, when flawlessly executed, can only result in complete success.


Boredom Equals Innovation
Researchers believe that being bored can lead to some of our most original thoughts.

During  a study by UK psychologist Sandi Mann , researchers gave subjects various boring tasks to complete and then asked them to use their creative thinking. The subjects who had the most boring task - reading the phone book - came up with the most interesting uses for plastic cups, which is a standard test of creative thinking.


Doing what is brilliant but boring can be baffling. By understanding the link between success and completing boring tasks, will prevent you from procrastinating. Instead you will do what is brilliant but boring with greater ease. The result will significant contribute to your success.

In This Issue
Solving People and Management Issues

The Heller Group focuses on coaching for senior level executives.  We facilitate change within an organization that results in more effective leadership,  increased productivity, innovative thinking, and improved employee morale and retention.

Learn more about The Heller Group, Inc. at
Dr. Bruce Heller

Dr. Bruce Heller, founder of The Heller Group, Inc., has over 20 years experience consulting with managers and executives on executive education, leadership development, and organizational.   


He is an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School. 


Dr. Heller is a consulting psychologist and member of the American Psychological Association Consulting Psychology Division. Dr. Heller holds a Ph.D. and Masters Degree in Education from the University of Southern California.  


Dr. Heller is the author of The Prodigal Executive-How to Coach Executives Too Painful to Keep, Too Valuable to Fire.  

Read the book.