The Season of Change

The sun will reach its nadir this Saturday at 11:19 PM as many people are tucked into bed (on the East coast) and getting ready to begin their holiday celebrations. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we will begin our 6-month journey back to the warmth of the summertime. It’s no wonder that we are built for resilience as nature showers her experiences of recovering from the depths of winter’s darkness towards the fullness of summer’s long days like the clock that she is in our lives. At our home on the Allegheny River, we always joke about the Two-Suns that we see on many of these winter days. The sun is low in the sky over the Read More

Oh that Sunny Side

In the late Hans Rosling’s book, Factfulness, he changes the way we think about the world and the progress that continues to be made every day. Rosling points out that despite what we may think, the truth is that world is becoming a significantly better place. Over 80% of all children across the globe have been vaccinated against many diseases. Animals that were previously on the endangered species list like giant pandas and black rhinos are no longer critically endangered. His list goes on and you can take his Factfulness Quiz to see how knowledgeable you are about our world. As I’ve written before, we tend to take the negative view of our world and life because of the negativity Read More

The Neighborhood

I was apparently the only person in the movie theater wearing red this past weekend for a mid-day showing of the new movie about Pittsburgh’s beloved Fred Rogers. I knew this because the theater manager, working to get everyone seated in the full house, pointed me out, asked me to stand and be acknowledged for honoring Mr. Rogers. He went on to point out to the other patrons that they should be sure to wear their red sweaters when they came back to watch the movie a second time.  Just for the record, however, it was a red sweatshirt. Last spring at my annual birthday party, one of my friends told me that they thought my finest quality was my Read More

Short Cuts to a Great Thanksgiving

Tomorrow, we’ll all be celebrating Thanksgiving, the most psychologically correct holiday on our calendar. While the turkey is in the oven and the gravy is simmering on the stove, here are some additional recipes for creating memorable family interactions and memories. Greet people with an appreciation for what they mean in your life. No need to express gratitude just at the dinner table. Make it a weekend festival! Repeat the rituals that your family does every holiday, whether it’s taking a hike in the woods, playing touch football in the yard or going through old photo albums. Honor the ancestors by making Grandma’s best pie recipe or mixing up Uncle Harry’s favorite adult beverage. Include them in your story telling Read More

Looking Back/Looking Forward

My copies of Strategy Driven Leadership arrived at my door this week. Dr. Jonas Salk, the pioneer researcher who developed the polio vaccine while working here at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was once quoted as stating that “our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.” Forebearers of the Iroquois Nation understood the importance of how their actions today would impact their world going forward 7 generations from that moment. We’re usually so caught up in our own day-to-day life that it is difficult to sometimes look forward just a few days or weeks or certainly years. Looking back is equally challenging as I often ask people what they were worried about a year ago, which in our Read More

Strategy Driven Leadership: The Playbook for Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders

My copies of Strategy Driven Leadership arrived at my door this week. If you have a job and want to advance in your career, then this book is for you. My co-author, Michael Couch and I have always felt that this book is important for C-Suite leaders and human resource professionals who focus on developing talent in their organizations. After all, these people are responsible for developing the leaders for their organization who will drive business success today and into the future. Beyond those folks, however, this book holds some important secrets for anyone who aspires to achieve more in their work: If you aspire to leadership roles in your organization, you’ll understand how your company views leadership development and Read More

The End of the Line for Resilience

Unfortunately, resilience does not always work for some and the unfortunate result can be the devastating impact of suicide. I was meeting recently with the senior leaders of a health care organization and the topic of conversation came around to the stress that medical professionals, particularly physicians and nurses are experiencing. These two health caregivers possess the highest rates of any profession. As disheartening as this is, two additional articles I saw recently give me some hope that we may finally be coming to terms with the impact of depression and mental illness. One had to do with preventing depression and promoting mental health in the construction industry. It seems their stress level from strict timelines, often working far from Read More

What’s It All About!

Sheila and I were at a dinner party over the weekend with some friends including my favorite musician friend, Jett. Jett plays piano for our improv troupe and is a masterful singer whose range is from country to opera. Jett runs a studio where she teaches the art of singing to aspiring artists and musical wannabees and then arranges concert events where her students get to sing live in front of an audience. I’ve been the audience numerous times and have been thinking lately about taking some of her classes and working on my singing voice. Unfortunately, that old message that we all heard from when we were kids (and adults) pops into my head after I’ve sung some choruses Read More

The Seasonal Change

Over the weekend, Sheila and I went through one of our classic fall rituals. The turning of the closet. This is where I help her move her summer clothes up to the upper racks of her closet while moving the winter clothes down to street level. As for me, I take my sweaters out of the cedar lined chest and move my shorts and t-shirts into their new home where they will hibernate for 6 months. It is a ritual we’ve been doing for 40 years. The seasonal change is all around us. The leaves are beginning to turn and the cool air and mist coming off the Allegheny River every morning reminds me that we are entering the days Read More