Category: Leadership

How Smart Leaders Can Stop Doing Stupid Things: Three Steps to Increase Your Self-Mastery

March 5, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Victor Frankl I used to be a customer service representative’s nightmare: indignant, self-righteous and impersonal. I rationalized my behavior as I turned human beings into objects. I relented only when someone met my demands and said the equivalent of, “You’re right, we’re wrong.” As embarrassing as all this is to admit, I wish I could say I reserved this behavior only for customer service representatives. Leaders Know Better Leaders can be reactive. Reactivity can look aggressive or passive. It can come in the form of loud anger as well as over-thinking, emotional […]

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How to Prevent Personal and Organizational Beliefs from Killing Your Change Management Process

August 9, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

“But, we’ve always done it that way!” In my book, The Business of Wanting More: Why some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don’t, I spend quite a bit if time on what I call “The Bubble,” that personal lens that surrounds us and distorts reality. Our Bubble is created by our personal belief systems, and the many conscious and unconscious ways we interpret what’s going on around us. Turns out, organizations have a bubble too – the cultural norms and collective belief systems that influence the way employees view the world. The quote above, which virtually every leader or manager has heard when trying to make changes for the better, is perhaps the most exasperating example of […]

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The Point of Purpose

July 11, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

I dropped a client a note today as a follow-up to a conversation about purpose. He asked a good question, “Do we need to work on developing a purpose statement for the company?” He is my note to him: I love that you keep thinking about culture – you have a blank canvas with your company and what you do with that challenge has the ability to drive change and aliveness in you. I think a lot about things like “purpose” – however it’s defined, purpose is something that is always there, we just get more and more clear about what our purpose is. I think the purpose of humans and the entire universe is to evolve, to get more […]

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Seeing the Opportunity in Conflict

July 5, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

What would happen if you were to view conflict as an opportunity for understanding and connection, instead of tension and defensiveness? “Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change.” – Ramsey Clark, former US Secretary of State While viewpoints often differ, disagreements can be healthy if you can overcome a lifetime of conditioning to avoid conflict, and resist any impulse to attack the person with whom you disagree. The messages we hear growing up: “If he hits you, hit him back,” “An eye for an eye,” or “Don’t rock the boat,” and “Leave well enough alone”, have trained us to either respond aggressively to conflict or to sidestep it whenever possible. Yet, the […]

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All You Need is a Simple “Why”

June 21, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs As mentioned in a previous post, How to Simplify Your Life to Achieve Better Balance, my current Big Goal is to stay present, in all things at all times. I find I’m best able to do that when my mind is not focused on multiple goals, judgments, hopes, criticism or any of the other forms of head trash my mind generates. I am doing a lot of different things this year but at the core is being present – everything I […]

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The Power of Expectation

June 14, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

We rise or fall to the level of others’ (or our own) expectations. “The power of expectation subconsciously controls your life to finally create self-fulfilling prophesies. The expectations of those around you modify your behavior for better, or for worse. Your own expectations can fill you with energy, or drive you into despair and despondency.” (EffectiveMindControl.com) It turns out that our brains are wired to use imitation as the tool for behavior and action. We do what we expect we can do. We subconsciously narrow our choices, as well as our expectations of reward or punishment for our behavior. If you have accomplished a lot, chances are either your expectations for yourself and/or the expectations of key influencers in your […]

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2 Secret Leadership Weapons

May 31, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Great leaders are simultaneously visionary, relentless and empathic. They possess both vision and understanding; a view of the long-term needs and goals of their organization, unwaveringly committed to achieving their goals and realistic about the fact that not everyone will comprehend or invest in these things as fully as they do. “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” – Charles Swindoll Most of us focus on our own short-term needs and goals rather than those of the organization. Feeling frustrated over this reality is a waste of energy and takes you farther away from your personal goals and those you have for your organization. What’s empathy? Empathy – Extraordinary leaders stay connected […]

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Some Slightly Random Thoughts on Leadership

March 15, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

The truth is, not everyone can be a leader. Either by temperament, talent, or skill set, there are people who simply cannot fill the leadership role, whether they seek it or it is thrust upon them by circumstance. And, while some seem “born to” the role of command, others must learn the skills required to lead. With that in mind, I offer some slightly random thoughts on leadership… “It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” – Adlai E. Stevenson II What does this have to do with leadership? Well, for me, it helps to illustrate the fallacy of “Style over substance” as a value. If you think you “look funny” in […]

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Your Beliefs May Be Killing Your Success – And You!

March 8, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

In my book, The Business of Wanting More – Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don’t, I spend a significant amount of time exploring the concept of limiting beliefs, and the distorted view of ourselves and the world that they can lead us to accept. Since your belief system colors everything you think, say, and do, holding onto assumptions that do not serve you well can lead to stress, struggle, and lack of fulfillment. What are “Limiting beliefs?” Limiting beliefs are those articles of faith which you hold dear, yet which also constrain you in some way. Because these opinions and conceptions are generally ingrained into your subconscious early in life, they can be very difficult […]

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Employee Engagement – Nature or Nurture?

February 23, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Are engaged employees found, or made? A couple of recent articles on employee engagement have me thinking that many employees are engaged by nature and it’s not the organizational system that engages them (or doesn’t). Employee Engagement Isn’t Getting Better and Gallup Shares the Surprising Reasons Why, by Mark C Crowley, tells us that, despite our best efforts, growth in engagement has remained flat, with apathy and discontent among the workforce relatively constant. How Southwest Airlines Hires Such Dedicated People, by Julie Weber, provides far more hope for developing a fully engaged workforce. She explains it like this: “That’s because we view engagement as a two-way street. Yes, an employer must work to keep employees engaged by offering good pay […]

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