Basic Instinct: The One Thing Every Great Leader Knows

May 11, 2018 | By | Add a Comment

Know Thyself. – Inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi The most important work leaders can do is anything that increases our awareness of our brilliance as well as our shadows. This awareness increases self-mastery and leadership capacity. Self-aware leaders have the capacity and courage to give real answers to these important questions: “How are you feeling? Why are you doing this? What are you thinking?” When we replay our response to any situation, we can often see that we were driven by deeper instinctual impulses than we realized or were willing to admit in the moment. When we are disconnected from our deeper motivations, we radiate an incongruence between what we say and what’s going […]

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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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Living in Flow: How to Live and Lead with Less Effort and More Joy

December 18, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

The burden is never life. It’s what you’re thinking and believing about life. – Byron Katie You know the feeling of flow. Researchers describe flow as a temporary state during which you are fully present and immersed in what you’re doing. You have an energized focus and results seem to come almost effortlessly. I want flow in my life because I want to feel connected to and supported by something bigger than my own will. I want less friction and resistance and I want to be aligned with the flow of energy around me—and in so doing, to live with more ease and amusement. I want to do work that taps my genius. I want to feel a sense of […]

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Parenting, the Biggest Job You’ll Ever Have: Three Ways to Set Your Children Up for Well-Being

July 24, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

I wish you bad luck… from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved… -Chief Justice Roberts in his June 3, 2017 commencement address to his son’s middle school graduation Parenting has been our biggest job and the one for which we were least prepared. As relatively new empty-nesters, now we are enjoying watching our daughter, age 22, and our son, age 20, compose their lives. Here are three principles that have informed our parenting and helped our children tap their potential. Acceptance Acceptance, aka unconditional love, takes work. We assume everyone is on a unique trajectory through life. This idea keeps us […]

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Freedom from Worry: How to Move from Control to Faith

June 20, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

I’m a lover of reality. When I argue with What Is, I lose, but only 100% of the time. –Byron Katie My daughter graduated college this May. She’s busy having fun travelling and submitting job applications. She says I ask her too often about her plans. What I consider to be helpful, she considers to be hovering. She’s right, I do worry too much about my kids. My daughter’s career, like her entire life, is “her business.” My angst about being the perfect parent and making sure my kids are set for life is “my business.” Maybe I should be worrying about my plans, not hers. The Cost of Comfort On a recent walk with my friend Tom, I realized […]

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Getting on the Fast Track to Wisdom: 4 Ways to Benefit from Difficult Times

March 15, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come. -Unknown Jennifer’s voice was tentative. Absent was the ‘Take no prisoners’ energy I had found so inspiring over the ten years I had known her. She loved her work and how her CEO role kept her in the lime light. She quickly shared the intensity of the day when the private-equity investors fired her. She had delivered seven years of strong financial results. Then the company hit two choppy quarters and the investors’ limited patience ran out. I could relate. Twenty years earlier I was sitting across from the Chairman of the Board in an unscheduled meeting as he […]

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The Good Life: What to Do When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan

January 18, 2017 | By | Add a Comment

Everyone has a plan ′till they get punched in the mouth. Mike Tyson Are you living the life you envisioned when you were 21? I don’t know many people over 50 who are still on their “Plan A.” My Plan A went out the window the day my parents told my brother, sister and me they were getting a divorce. We each turned to each other and said, “This happens to other people’s families, not to our family.” Unexpected things happen on the way to realizing our vision of an accomplished career, growing business, sizable net worth, marital bliss, above-average children, and a low handicap. Life is just a series of unexpected events. Life Happens We live our life torn […]

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The Happiness of Pursuit: How to Focus Your Life on What Really Matters

December 14, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. ~ John Lennon Do you think you should be happier? In his recent autobiography Shoe Dog, Phil Knight, founder of Nike, recounts a major milestone in both his life and the life of Nike. The year was 1980, it was the night of Nike’s wildly-successful IPO and Phil’s shares in Nike were valued at $178 million. As he rested his head on his pillow to go to sleep he had one overwhelming and unexpected feeling, regret. He knew that while the IPO marked the beginning of a new and expansive stage in the life of his company, it was also the end of one of the most exciting […]

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How to Cultivate an Open Mind

November 14, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

Ignorance is never random. ~ Gunner Myrdal We are living in a period of dramatic change. It became obvious on 9/11. The 2008 financial crisis, Brexit and the US Presidential election are more recent markers of a big shift. Humans are changing the way they view morality, religion, politics, education and marriage, just to name a few domains. The old is breaking down and the new is emerging, albeit clumsily at times. When I get rattled I have to remind myself to look at the big picture and recognize I am living in the middle of a broad cycle of human evolution. We typically resist deep change. Most of us settle for the devil we know. Then we get thrown […]

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Three Key Ingredients of a Successful Relationship

October 18, 2016 | By | Add a Comment

By Tricia and Brian Gast ‘T is a fearful thing To Love What death can touch. To love, to hope, to dream And oh, to lose. – Judah Halevi or Emmanuel of Rome We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last month in Southern Spain. Specifically, we celebrated the friendship, support, depth and intimacy of our relationship. We celebrated the feeling that in some ways our relationship is just getting going and we wonder about its potential. Relationships are often challenging. The first five years of our marriage were not as good as the last five. Yet we are not the same people now that we were in our thirties. We’ve each grown and we relate differently. Our relationship has worked […]

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