Why Complaining is Important For Workplace Success

I was having lunch with the CEO of a mid size company last week and he was telling me how stressful the workplace is for his team. Among the many challenges they have, perhaps the greatest is meeting the financial and operational demands put upon them by their venture funders. I asked him how he addresses the stress on the team and he told me that when he brings it up, he finds that it usually transitions into “complaining”. He knows that his team’s concerns are legitimate but he doesn’t see how he would be able to address them satisfactorily while maintaining the high demands of the workplace. I suggested to him that he should actually encourage the complaining. While Read More

The Power of the Personal

Everyone views his or her own life challenges in a highly personal way. What some people may say is an incredibly difficult work situation; others may say that those kinds of demanding circumstances get them juiced. That is a function of our DNA and life experiences. Resilience is a bit like politics; it is all local, and that locality usually begins with those 4 or 5 inches of matter between our ears. I was talking to a client a few days ago who was understandably upset about a report written about his business group’s poor operational effectiveness. He disputed the findings and did his best to explain away the identified problems. When I took a look at the report, jumped Read More

The Power of the Pause

Sheila and I were on holiday this past week at The Sea Ranch, one of our favorite places to get away from it all. The Sea Ranch is located on the Northern California coast about 2 ½ hours from San Francisco. On one side of Highway 1 is a small swath of land where homes are built so as not to disturb the natural landscape of this rugged and beautiful land. While relaxing and enjoying the fog rolling in off the Pacific in the mornings and the sun breaking through and warming the beaches in the afternoon, we’ve also been doing a personal workshop with Jamie McHugh an international expert in mindfulness. Jamie’s unique approach to this work is his Read More

The Power of the Ask

My friend, Will Clower posted a brief video of his radio request to the Cunningham Draw Bridge (North Carolina) operator to open the draw bridge so that he could take his sailboat out into Pamlico Sound. The request: “Cunningham Bridge, this is the SV Amari requesting opening outbound.” Then a voice returns on the radio, “Roger that Cap’n, we’ll have one ready for you.” Then, like magic, traffic stops, the Bridge roadway goes up and Will and his crew boat on through. If only all our requests were met with such agreeableness and ease. Asking others to help us can be challenging. We don’t like to impose or inconvenience other people always thinking that is it a great imposition to Read More