A message from Executive Leader Coach Dave Kinnear.
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dbkAssociates, Inc. Home of the Executive Leader Coach

November 2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues

Well, the best-laid plans of mice and men, as the saying goes. I usually schedule my work so that I have the first week of the month "off." That gives me time for my personal needs, such as medical appointments, writing the newsletter, catching up on reading, etc.

Out of Control
But last month, my schedule was totally out of control. So I never got to sit down and write the October newsletter. Some of you noticed, and I appreciate your comments and expressions of concern. All is well, though, and it was merely a problem of running out of time.

Alone Time
One of the reasons for my time-crunch was a trip over to Las Vegas for a workshop. I chose to drive over instead of flying, and the image above was taken at Red Rock Canyon while driving back home.

Choosing to drive rather than fly was a poor choice for the newsletter but was suitable for my alone time needs. And it was also something that I had wanted to do, which was to take a trip outside of the range of my electric vehicle. I'm used to no range anxiety since I usually do not travel any further from my home office than south to San Diego or north to Los Angeles. I'm about equidistant from both cities, and the round trip is well within the range of the car.

A trip to Las Vegas, however, requires that I plan to stop and charge the car on the way out and also at Las Vegas and then again on the way home. It turns out that I had nothing to fear. The road from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is very well-traveled. There are enough all-electric vehicles making that trip that there are abundant charging stations along the way.

New Future?
While I had no difficulty finding a charging unit at the various stops (one location had 40 charging stations!), I also never found one place without at least a half-dozen cars plugged in. And, perhaps more interesting, was the wide variety of electric vehicles I spotted on the trip, from many different manufacturers. Is it possible that we, in the U.S.A., are ready to make a move away from the venerable internal combustion engine? Or maybe it's just those of us on the west coast that are willing to make the change. Whichever might be true, it will be interesting to see if the trend continues.

In This Issue
I find that, like many things, curiosity can be both a strength and a weakness. The first article, Curiosity Disruption, explores that concept in a bit more depth.

In the second article, Technology & Jobs—Part III, I take up the latest thinking on the topic of how technology will affect our jobs as we move forward. There seems to be a trend toward being a bit more circumspect about how we will transition our workforce in the face of relentless technological advances.

The Credibility Gap is a post that once again explores how the sales process has been drastically changed through the use of technology. I'm amazed at how so many service providers are clinging to the old methods of engaging clients.

Finally, in the Nullius In Verba column, I visit the school of hard-knocks and try to figure out how that school will fare in the future. What is a "hard-knock" anyway?

On the Economy
Here's an interesting thing (at least I find it interesting). The folks over at ITR have this to say, "Parts of the US economy are in recession, and more will follow. US GDP is slowing. As angst builds in corporate offices and boardrooms, we are frequently asked for the "good news." 

And then we have the CEO Confidence Index, which says, "The latest survey of CEOs conducted by Vistage found that the economic confidence of small and midsize business leaders has continued to decline" to an eight-year low.

The reason I find that interesting is because often, we find that there is a self-fulfilling consensus. What do you think? If you believe we're in for at least a significant slowdown in growth, are you getting your ship in order?


Best Regards,
Dave Kinnear
Executive Leader Coach
Vistage Chair

Curiosity Disruption

The Curiosity Trap:

As mentioned several times on this blog, curiosity is a common trait of successful leaders. Many leadership coaches consider curiosity to be a requisite leadership strength. Also, on the blog, I have mentioned that one’s strength is also a weakness. How do these two precepts jibe? When is curiosity a weakness?

[Read the full post . . .]

Technology & Jobs—Part III

On a More Even Keel:

A recent report, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence: How Machines are Affecting People and Places, puts things in a better perspective than we might have held starting several years ago. Gone is the panic over “all jobs going away.” Moreover, gone is the blasé attitude that no loss of jobs will occur.

[Read the full post . . .]

The Credibility Gap

Sharing Before Caring:

Recently I was in a meeting with two other well-established service providers. These are successful men (yes, it happens all three of us are male); at least I believe many would consider them to be successful. The conversation turned to how difficult it is to get potential clients to “pull the trigger” and hire them for their respective services. They intend to grow their businesses, but seem to have “hit a wall.”

[Read the full post . . .]

Nullius In Verba

The School of Hard Knocks

Who Hasn’t Been to That School? Recently in an e-mail exchange with a long-time friend, he wrote, “You have a degree from college, and I have one from the School  of Hard Knocks, and we both seem to be doing ok….” That common idiomatic phrase got me thinking.

[Read the full post . . .]
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Leaders are

Here's what's new in the reading stack!

I wound up not getting to Black Box Thinking like I had planned to do. Instead, I wound up reading a couple of other books that were necessary for me to slip in for client work. This month, I hope to get back on track first with The Conscience of the Constitution by Timothy Sandefur, and then get back to Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed. So many books so few hours!


Local Events

ENP Institute

For those of you in the Scottsdale, AZ area . . .

Global to Local Innovation Ecosystem: Opportunities for Sustained Growth & Scale


December 10, 2019

12:30pm-5:30pm Strategic Connections Reception 5:30pm-7pm

Skysong Innovation Center
1375 N Scottsdale Road
Synergy, Building 3
Scottsdale, AZ

Register Here

Tech & Employment

BAE Systems recently performed a study that found that 47% of people aged 16-24 think that they'll have a career in a job that doesn't exist yet. 

Of the people surveyed, only 18% believe they have the skills to future-proof their careers and nearly 75% believe that they don't have enough information on the jobs that will be available in the future. 

BAE asked its futurists to predict the top six jobs of 2040. 

1: AI Ethicist

In July 2018, engineers, scientists, and tech leaders signed a pledge against lethal autonomous weapons systems (killer robots). As autonomous systems receive more responsibility, AI ethicists will make sure they don't show bias and make decisions that best serve the business. It's like Asimov's three laws if you replace "human being" with "the company."

Study: History, Math, and Philosophy.

2. AI Translator

An AI translator will train humans as well as their AI assistant or robot counterpart. They will tailor the AI to meet the worker's needs and tune it to acknowledge and correct human errors. 

Study: Cybersecurity, IT, and Mechanical Engineering.

3. Human e-Sources Manager

Human e-Sources Managers will analyze data collected from exoskeletons, smart textiles, and wearables to perform predictive and preventative maintenance on human workers. Sensors will send alerts to the manager when you're overworked, overstressed, and otherwise unwell. 

Study: Biology, Medicine, and Psychology. 

4. Automation Advisor

As companies become more reliant on robotics and automation, automation advisors will make sure that the automated workforce is in line with regulations and identify opportunities for upgrades. 

Study: Mechanical Engineering, Physics, and Robotics. 

5. Systems Farmer

They call it "chemputing." Systems Farmers will help companies grow large multi-function parts with nanoscale features. These durable parts will sense, process, harvest energy, and even be able to self-repair.

Study: Biology, Chemical  Engineering, and Chemistry. 

6. VR Architect:

As AI models are used to predict maintenance, VR Architects will use virtual and augmented reality to monitor components and manage maintenance activities. BAE predicts this as a role primarily used in aviation and automotive, but it also translates to the manufacturing industry. 

Study: Graphic Design and IT. 

So, study AI, Robotics, and VR, and you should be able to future-proof your career. 

[Read online here.]


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Self-esteem and self-worth are a matter of attitude about one’s own value to loved ones and the community. If a person also has a strong sense of humility to go along with strong self-worth, then the stage is set for a very effective leader.
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CCE - Board
Certified Coach
Certified Veteran
Development Coach
Dave Kinnear, Executive Leader Coach
Dave Kinnear
Vistage Chair, CCE-Board Certified Coach, Certified Veteran Development Coach, and
 Executive Leader Coach
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