Don’t Make Boeing’s Mistake Your Mistake

It’s been just about a week since Boeing 737 Max airplanes were grounded around the world. We’ve heard from politicians, safety experts and airline passengers but surprisingly little from Boeing itself. They’ve posted a half-hearted statement on their website indicating their support of the action taken but no large scale communication initiative has been undertaken by the company. There are 2 types of actions an organization can take to address critical issues. The first is preventive, where a known problem can be mitigated before it occurs. It seems as if this opportunity may have come to Boeing even before the Lion Air plane crash. Recent reports suggest that safety training for pilots may have been compromised to help save money Read More

Strike A Pose

Last Friday was International Women’s Day and I loved seeing all the social media posts of strong women. Like the “Fearless Girl” bronze statue that stands proudly at Bowling Green down in the Financial District of Wall Street, women from all over the world were expressing how they are standing up for their beliefs and actions. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s 2012 TED talk on “power posing” has garnered over 50 million views. Her message was simple. Our body language affects our thinking and by striking a mighty position we create a mental mindset of personal power that translates into how we think which then creates a loop of personal empowerment. Cuddy’s work came under intense scrutiny due to other researcher’s Read More

This Goes A Long Way

We attended a local college dance recital last weekend and as I was waiting for the show to begin, I overheard a conversation a few rows ahead of me. Seems that a student was introducing herself to one of the professors sitting nearby. As he asked her about her background, she responded, “Oh, I’m just a freshman,” she said, and I loved his response. “Just a freshman,” he stated, “I consider freshman to be our most important students. They bring in fresh ideas, new excitement, and they are always teaching me about things that I didn’t know was going on in the world.” “Believe me,” he told her, “you are way more than just a freshman.” With that a big Read More

Never Choke Again

Maybe you have a big presentation coming up and you are really nervous that you might bomb. Perhaps you are coming up to a deadline for a major project and you’re scared that you won’t finish it on time. What if you are in a tennis league and you’ve made it further in the annual tournament than you ever have before and are panicky about your upcoming match? All these fears have one logical, fearful component that has you rattled. You are worried that you are going to choke at the critical moment. It may have happened to you before and that body memory is instilled and causing you all kinds of angst. Bad news all around, perhaps but this Read More

Reframing Your Worries

My friend Lynn had an unexpected family emergency and given some difficulties with airline connections, she decided to drive the 9 hours to her destination. When I saw her the day before she left, she was not particularly excited about the drive but the next afternoon, I received the following text from her. “Hey Rich, how is this for resilience; I decided that I often work a 9-hour day with only short breaks and so my job today was just to drive 500 miles. Once my brain approached it like a work day, it became very doable. Gratitude for good weather, podcasts, music and cruise control. Here safe and sound.” Lynn’s used the resilience technique of “reframing,” which entails changing Read More

Who’s Your Lover?

Our modern-day version of Valentine’s Day is all about expressing love for those closest to us as well as maybe passing around a bit more of it in the world. As you finalize tomorrow’s rituals and routines make certain that you don’t forget that very special person in your life who needs your love and attention more than anyone—Yourself. It’s easy to share love with others but maybe not so much ourselves. Our negativity bias usually finds what is wrong with us first and drives our imperfections, sometimes in a frenzy, like a Formula 1 driver doing 200 mph down a straightaway. Let’s turn that around tomorrow and while your sharing affection and friendship with others, please include yourself. Here Read More

The Polar Vortex: Your Risk Assessment

I heard from a number of people last week about whether the canceled schools, closed coffee shops and businesses, delayed mail delivery and (OMG) neglected beer drop-offs at neighborhood bars was a sign that we’ve all become weak and overly coddled. I pushed back on this even though I discuss the fact in The Resilience Advantage that there is research about how children are more shielded from risk today than in previous times with the result being that they may not have enough routine opportunities to build their own resilience to challenges. I ran into a motorcycle cop friend at my gym this week and asked him if he rode during the Polar Vortex. He told me he had to, Read More

Say “Yes” for Success

If you’ve attended one of my speaking gigs, you’ve probably heard me talk about some of my pet language peeves like, “the reality is,” (no, it’s not the reality, it’s your reality) or how people use the word “but” when praising someone’s thought and then go on to tell them what they really think as in, “What a great idea, BUT…” As others of you know, I am an improv artist with the Wing and A Prayer Pittsburgh Players and we use the improvisation art form of Interplay to share and present our performances in business and non-profit settings. Interplay is improv for noble purposes. Sure, we use comedy, but we go far beyond the laughs to find the joy Read More

Non-Violent Yoga

I’ve attended yoga classes for many years. As I discuss in my book The Resilience Advantage, yoga meets 2 of the 5 key fitness exercise goals which are developing flexibility and experiencing relaxation. (The other 3 are endurance, strength, and cardio fitness.) In the past several weeks I’ve been going to a new class, a class one of my friends described as the “most permissive yoga class in town.” By “permissive” she means that the instructors want you to be aware of your body and to not go beyond your physical comfort. The instructor, Jackie, reinforced that idea right from the start of class. She told us, “Do not do violence to yourself.” She went on to explain that it Read More

Agility…Is It in Your Company?

One of the hottest trends in management today is to be an agile leader. These folks move quickly, respond to challenges in novel ways, and are able to be present in the moment so that they can gain and act on insights from those around them. In meeting with some C-Suite leaders recently, I brought up the question about agile leaders. They pointed out that agility is one of their core competencies for leadership, so they were confident that they were developing this skill in their management corps. I then asked them another question about agility. Are they an agile company? They were not so quick to respond to that inquiry. They had recently heard from their employee survey that Read More