Patty Azzarello

Patty Azzarello is the founder and CEO of Azzarello Group. She's also an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/business advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35, and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk). You can find her at .

Articles by Patty Azzarello


Real Leaders? They Don’t Get Caught Up in Their Own Personal Power

Female women leaders

People often ask me if it was hard for me to go from running really large organizations to having my own (implied — “much smaller”) company.

This was never an issue for me because I always maintained a psychological distance between the power of my role, (managing a $1 billion plus global business, multi-hundred million dollar budget, and thousands of people) and my own personal power.

I took responsibility for the power of the large role very seriously, but I never pretended that I personally owned that power. Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

Missing Deadlines: What You Can Do to Get The Team Back on Track

123RF Stock Photo

The reason why so many organizations have so much trouble doing what they intend to do, on time, is because when they fail to meet a deadline, nothing happens.

The dates come and go and no one talks about it.

And then there is no new focused deadline established because no one is talking about it at all. Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

Would My Leadership Job Be Easier in a Parallel Universe?


Sometimes leadership and management jobs just feel ugly and impossible.

I can remember feeling at various points in my career, that the mission just didn’t make sense, or that it was unsupported. I felt like I was out on a limb owning all of the risk, and with not enough resources to succeed.

Or, I felt like the corporate bureaucracy — the board, or another group or particular adversary –, was blocking me (or sabotaging me) from doing the right things that I knew desperately needed to be done.

Welcome to being a leader. Read more…

Classic TLNT

What Great Leaders Know: Sharing Power Builds Trust and Loyalty


Editor’s Note: Readers sometimes ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday.

This is not a deep psychology dive on ego and power in business leadership, which is a huge topic.

But I want to share some practical observations about how good leaders build a powerful team by sharing power, and how others build themselves up (falsely) by imagining they can hoard power personally. I am a fan of the former.

What I have found is that the people who imagine that they have more power than they do can’t distinguish between the fact that their role has power vs. that they are powerful personally. Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

Management 101: Why You Must Aggressively Manage Ruthless Priorities

123RF Stock Photo

Ruthless Priorities,” which I often talk about as a concept, is a wonderful way to focus your time and energy, but perhaps even more important and valuable, are the conversations that having clear Ruthless Priorities allow.

Let’s face it – just because you decide to think and work more strategically, doesn’t mean the rest of the world will back off and let you! All the demands, pressures, and crises will still come at you.

You need a strategy to defend your time and protect your ability to get your Ruthless Priorities done. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

Management 101: What to Do When You’re In Over Your Head?


I was recently telling a story about a time in my career when I had an all out panic.

When I got my first general manager job at Hewlett Packard, early into the role my team had identified a significant gap in our product offering, and the recommendation was that we acquire a technology from another company.

Great idea … but I have NO idea how to do this! Read more…


The True Cost of Bad Managers – and Why You Need Really Great Ones

123RF Stock Photo

When bad managers are allowed to run free, everyone suffers.

  • Employees suffer – Employees feel unsupported, undirected, bullied, confused, unmotivated, unappreciated, frustrated, and constantly questioning, “is it me?” So they are not engaged and they are not productive.
  • Executives suffer – When executives lack confidence in the team beneath them, they have to cover for, or recover from poor work and decisions from ineffective managers. They become overloaded because they have to do their job AND the job of their managers. Read more…
HR Insights, Leadership

The Very Real Problems When You Decide to Fly Under the Radar

123RF Stock Photo

I often hear people say something like: “I like to fly under the radar. I like to keep my head down and just do the work. It’s the work that matters. I don’t want to be one of those annoying, political people.”

I find that very often when people take this position, they believe that they are on the high ground — that they are somehow morally superior to those who are more visible. And that being visible is, by definition, a shallow, self-serving endeavor. Read more…


New Is Stressful, And It Means You Are Probably Doing It Right


I want to share two important ideas that I learned from one of my key, long-time mentors, Jim Davis. These have proven to be profoundly valuable through my career.

Big Idea No. 1 — New is stressful mistake

There was a time when I started a big, new, executive job, and the enormity of what I needed to learn was crushing. I was terrified.

And I was very stressed because I felt like I couldn’t possibly learn enough, fast enough, to add enough value soon enough — and I was going to get found out and lose my job. Read more…

Leadership, Training & Development

Want a Competitive Advantage? Get Your Team to Make Faster Decisions

© Stuart Miles -

Can your team make a decision?

I was recently thinking about a moment in my career that taught me several things about team decision making.

It was many years ago in my staff meeting. I had opened a topic for discussion that I knew the members of my staff disagreed strongly about. Read more…