Tag: leadership

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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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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My Best-of 2015 Blog Posts

December 21, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

I’ll start by coming clean, except for the chance to slow down and take a big exhale near year-end, I’m not a big fan of the “holiday season.” The festive and spiritual traditions have been overtaken by modern forces. I wonder if the current definition of holiday hasn’t become hol*i*day (noun) 1. Period of time that typically corresponds with increased stress, exaggerated interpersonal dysfunction (especially with family members) and a propensity to over-do and over-consume. 2. Period of time created by or exploited by the retail industry. What I appreciate about this time of year is the slowing that comes with winter weather (okay, so that’s not really working as it’s 64° in Denver today) and the time to reflect […]

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Create the Organization Your Heart Knows is Possible

September 18, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

Everything I learned about creating an employee-focused corporate culture I learned while working for a large New York bank in the late eighties. When I became a CEO in the nineties, I recalled my experience working for the bank. I took note of its training, leadership and HR strategies . . . and did the exact opposite. Hierarchical design and numbers-driven principles have built elegant, scalable organizations that have served as solid training grounds for leaders. Modern organizations are productive and sophisticated machines and yet we all know the negative, unintended consequences of its architecture and priorities. As with many companies, on the outside my bank appeared to be doing okay. Its share price kept rising, managers made nice livings, […]

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A Case for Compassion: How to be Happy and Realize your Potential

October 31, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

In times of uncertainty (isn’t that all the time?) it’s useful to balance fear with compassion. Notice why you do what you do. You may be surprised how often fear is your motivator. Fear of not being endorsed, of not having good career options, of pissing somebody off, of being stuck doing work that’s boring, of being part of a losing team, of not being realistic about what you want, of not being satisfied, of not being a good provider, the list goes on. Choosing Scarcity Many high-achieving executives needlessly suffer because they fear scarcity. There will not be enough. They won’t do enough, make enough, or be enough. The fear that they are not enough is beneath all fears. […]

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Reaching for Something a Mid-Life

January 11, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

I recently wrote an article as a guest blogger for ThoughtLeaders (also appeared in SmartBrief on Leadership). I love the topic of navigating the middle passage, exploring the unique. Click Here to read the article

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Leading with Optimistic Skepticism

November 21, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

I attended a Young Presidents’ Organization event last week that featured Denver Post columnist and CNBC analyst Dave Maney who spoke on the current economic revolution. I liked his observation that we are are in the midst of a whole-sale economic shift that comes once every few hundred years or more. He pointed out that the economic conditions or hope for change that we associate with past and current US Presidents are small symptoms of much larger shifts caused by changes in how work is organized and performed, the dying model of “employees” receiving steady paychecks, the use of Big Data to influence business decisions, etc. Maney addressed how we need to prepare our kids to survive in this new economic […]

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My Interview with ColoradoBiz Magazine

September 14, 2011 | By | Add a Comment

  I was interviewed recently for ColoradoBiz Magazine on a range of topics including leadership, coaching, mentoring and one stupid thing that smart leaders do. Watch the 7 minute video below: Here is a link to the article. http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/the-leadership-lattice-brian-gast/

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