That Trip to Mars

NASA is planning a human trip to Mars in less than 20 years. Robotic missions to the Red Planet (orbiters, landers and rovers) have provided good data on the technological challenges and NASA has a three-phase plan that will build the skills and science that will allow a surface landing. A still significant issue is in developing the psychological hardware that will be required of the space travelers. Research being done right now is attempting to mimic the elements of the journey that will entail a small crew being placed in a vehicle about the size of a 6 bedroom house for over 3 years. Scientists point out that it is difficult to mimic the same kinds of circumstances associated Read More

Making Meetings Meaningful

One of my clients had to laugh last week when I pointed out I knew his schedule for the day so I was only going to meet with him for 45 minutes so that he had enough time to hit the restroom before his next meeting started up. He agreed and with a chagrined look, thanked me for the extra time and told me he would use it to check emails! There is just not enough time to get everything done but if would could do some things more efficiently, that would be a good start. Ineffective meetings are big drainers of time and lost energy. Starting late, lacking structure, not making meetings relevant are all low hanging fruit in Read More

Happy Birthday to Me

I have a birthday this weekend on May 19th. I have a bit of a tradition in that I like to celebrate my birthday during the whole week leading up to that day. Each day this week, I’ve been doing something special to help me appreciate my world a bit more. For example, on Monday I posted on my Facebook page that I’ve recently joined the Board of the Women’s Center and Shelter here in Pittsburgh and so to acknowledge their great effort, I’ve created a birthday fundraiser. Today, I thought I would share a bit of my gratitude list for my birthday. I always think that moms should be celebrated on their children’s birthday since they did all the Read More

The Kissing Cousins of Resilience and Adaptability

I just presented to a group of senior staff members on being adaptable and resilient. Their organization is going through a number of significant changes including new leadership, high demand for their products, and needing to bring in new staff to help grow the business. They told me that coming to work every day not knowing what new demands might be put on them, hearing from colleagues that work is “crazy”, and finding the responsibility for growing the business has been unbelievably challenging. As we explored ways to strengthen their leadership, we came back to the idea of mindset as a key aspect for adaptability and resilience. As we discussed these, we agreed on the following 5 mindsets as being Read More

Whose Reality Is It?

One popular phrase I disdain is when people tell me… “the reality is…” It’s as if the speaker wants me to know that there is just one explanation for an event or phenomenon and not surprisingly, the speakers’ perspective is the correct one. I always think to myself, “No, that is not the reality, it is your reality” Anna Devere-Smith, the acclaimed actress and McArthur “genius” was in town last week bringing her unique approach to dealing with multiple realities, to the August Wilson Center. Her performances, which have created a new genre in American theater, are based on interviews she conducts with people who have experienced an event from various different points of view; a prisoner, a guard, a Read More