Listen Up

I did some follow-up with participants from a workshop I conducted last week with one of my global clients. I found a consistent message from each of them as to their takeaway from the session. While they appreciated the content material I shared with them, the best part of the program was that I built in plenty of time for them to talk and listen to each other. My belief about these sessions is that the wisdom is in the group is that is what makes the program successful. The problem is that not everyone knows that and they think their wisdom is greater than everyone else’s. Fortunately, the leader of this group believes that and he demonstrated good listening, Read More

Find Your Groove

I met with a client at 7:30 AM last week and he told me he likes to get going early in the morning. While there are several reasons, his primary one is that he doesn’t have time to watch the news, which is always a downer. I liked his thinking until we started discussing his work in sales and he began explaining to me that he couldn’t hit his sales numbers because of (fill in the blank), “software not working properly,” “leads not returning calls,” “colleagues not feeding him prospects…” and the list went on. I refocused him on the strategy we laid out previously and discussed the small steps he could take this week to refocus his energy, but Read More

Getting Focused

How would you like to work 4 days but get paid for 5? I’d like it and so do the employees at Perpetual Guardian Trust Company in New Zealand. A research project at this financial firm undertook to determine how productive employees were over a 4-day workweek when they were paid for 5 days. The research showed and company founder Andrew Barnes agreed that his employees got done in 4 days what was previously accomplished in 5. In addition, employee engagement and satisfaction were reported to improve during the project period. Meetings were reduced to 30 minutes and colleagues created signals letting others know that they needed undisturbed time to get their work done. Their HR leader concluded that people Read More

The Crazy News Cycle

We are inundated with news 24/7. Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on, national and local issues juice our brain into ruminating, worrying, and contemplating the future of civilization. Its been building for 30 years since Ted Turner started the all day news cycle with CNN and has now progressed to where we can watch TV shows, listen to news radio, and carry internet podcasts in our pocket. All this energy driven to our issues rile us up and have us cheering or jeering around our causes. It’s a great way to ensure citizen engagement, but not so good in that it creates a high allostatic load which is the wear and tear that happens in our Read More

Building New Skills

I facilitated a leadership development program last week where participants were asked to take a company based assessment of their leadership skills. The assessment identified a number of strengths but for most of the folks, the results also came back with about 8-10 “areas of opportunity” for improvement. Most folks had a worried look on their face as they reviewed the findings asking, “What the heck do I do now?” Research conducted by Mckinsey in 2014 indicated that the context in which leadership development occurs must be taken into consideration to determine which skills are the right skills. If your company is needing people strong in decision strengthen your decision making skills. At home, if you’re kids are becoming teenagers; Read More

Just One of Those Days

This past weekend was beautiful here in Pittsburgh and I spent Sunday morning over at the golf course. I was excited about playing that day and really thought I would have a good round. I was wrong. My golf game was horrible! I couldn’t drive the ball off the tee very well. My iron shots to the green went left or right. My chips and pitches were short or long of their targets, and my putts were just not finding the hole. Nothing was working and by the third hole I knew it would be a long day of golf agony. It was about that time when I decided that it was just going to be one of those days Read More

OMG USA HBD

I’m reading Walter Isaacson’s wonderful biography of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was the embodiment of the American archetype. On one hand, he was a self-made man who ran away from his family in Boston and established himself as a success in Philadelphia. He always believed in the civic good and served his community with everything from microloans for small businesses to encouraging diversity of religious thought. Issacson shares the story that when a hall was being built to allow for visiting preachers to speak, Franklin urged his fellow citizens to donate so that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism, they would find a pulpit for his service.” Imagine that! On this our 242nd Read More

Power Athlete

Last week I was the guest on Power Athlete Radio which is a global strength and conditioning organization. I connected with them through my Crossfit coach who thought they would want to hear about my resilience work and its application for elite and professional athletes. The 90-minute interview was headed by John Welbourn, a former NFL lineman turned performance entrepreneur and CEO of Power Athlete, along with two of his top coaches. While we had a great time talking about resilience for athletes young and old the most interesting part of the conversation was their take on praise. Seems that John’s approach is to minimize or eliminate praise in the belief that people should gain satisfaction by knowing and doing Read More

Stepping into the Breach

Ford Motor Company announced the acquisition of the 105 year old Michigan Central Railway station in the heart of downtown Detroit last month. The train depot and its 18 story office building were abandoned in 1988 and while undergoing some renovations it was far from being occupancy ready. Ford plans to turn the building into their headquarters for autonomous vehicle development but more importantly they want it to be seen as their commitment to restoration of that dilapidated part of Detroit. Establishing it as a centerpiece for what will be a new automobile technology hub, they are hoping to attract young professionals committed to 21st century emerging industries. The takeaway from Ford’s initiatives is that while difficult and even painful Read More

Resilience Overdone

When I opened my door to walk Cody the other morning, there was the annual surprise that I don’t ask for waiting on my porch…the 2018 edition of the Yellow Pages or as they refer to themselves, “The Original Search Engine.” This year’s soft covered, thin-paged edition is loaded with ads by attorney looking for medical malpractice cases, home repair companies looking to fix roofs, and restaurants with B ratings from the health department offering discount coupons. Oh and did I mention that the attorneys are looking for medical malpractice cases? Obviously there must some economic value to the Yellow Pages for Verizon who is selling all those ads and hopefully for those few folks who reference those pages and Read More