Go Ahead: Be Dumb

No one wants to look stupid, but sometimes it’s okay to be stupid. I’m always surprised about how dumb I was 2 weeks ago and my recognizing that helps me forgive myself and take a risk on something else that I may not know how to do. The practice of reaching beyond what you know  what to do is the best way  to learn how to do it  

Career Refresh

A former client called me a few weeks ago telling me that she needed to reinvent herself. Her career had plateaued, and she was neither satisfied with her career path or hopeful about her future. Most of us will have 3 major career changes during our working life and perhaps upwards of 10-15 different jobs. While each of these changes may feel significant and probably scary, I prefer to see them as “reinventions.” In fact, over the past 10 years I’ve reinvented myself 3 times. The first was when I left my corporate job to begin my consulting practice, the second was when I refocused my work around resilience and the third is currently happening and is very exciting around Read More

Put Strategy First, Not People

Most organizations love to say that their people come first and then the business strategy. That phrase is designed to help people think you like them more than the business but that is not what people want to hear. What they want to hear is what the business is all about and how they can help the business succeed.

Swing Low Sweet Chariot

One of my Sunday rituals is to listen to Krista Tippet’s On Being podcasts when my dog Cody and I go out for our morning walks. The program, broadcast on National Public Radio is an examination of “what it means to be human” and is an inspiring counterpoint to the usually troubling updates on the world news. Her guests have included The Dali Lama, Yo-Yo Ma, Maya Angelou and Elie Wiesel. This past Sunday, I listened to one of her early and most powerful shows with the late singer Joe Carter. Mr. Carter was internationally acclaimed for bringing his messages about the power of the African American Spirituals to audiences around the world. In this uplifting show, Carter tells and Read More

Don’t Knock Down Silos; Connect Them

Although I did not grow up on a farm, I did spend 10 years in Nebraska and saw my share of silos. They are built to withstand all kinds of natural and man-made disasters and are not easy to topple. Most people think, that in the corporate setting, they should knock these down. Think again. Both on the prairie and in the office, silos are strong and resilient. The primary reason for this, at work at least, is because they protect the tribes of the organization. Marketing people like to hang with other marketers; finance people talk only numbers and dollar signs among their brethren and operation folks just want everyone else to stay away and let them do their Read More

The New Year: Look Back First

I gave up on New Year’s resolutions a number of years ago, but I do plan on setting goals and creating mental images for what I want to happen in 2020. In the meantime, before 2019 gets way from us, how about remembering what worked and what did not work this past year. Taking a few minutes to assess this past year can help us frame our goals for the one. Here are a few actions you can take to make sure 2020 is a great year for you: Go back through your calendar and make notes of people, events and actions you took that were fun and enjoyable. Also note down the people, events and actions that were not Read More

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

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