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

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 Dangers of Generational Labels

How do you like being called a millennial or boomer? I can certainly agree that being called a Globalist would be cool as it would kind of mandate that you have to travel around the world to maintain that moniker. Yesterday, I had the pleasure to hear Anna Liotta, the current president of the National Speaker’s Association speak to the local Pittsburgh chapter about her work in what she calls the “Generational Codes”TM    She detailed the 5 different generational groups Traditionalists—1927-45; Loyal, hard working and humble Baby Boomers-1946-64; Optimistic, status motivated and driven Gen Xers-1965-77; Skeptical, independent and blunt Millenials (Gen Y) 1978-99- Tech savvy, collaborative and entrepreneurial Globals (Gen Z) 2000-2016-Inclusive, tech dependent and cause driven Anna’s presentation was Read More

Destroying the Negativity Bias

One of the ways that our new book, Strategy Driven Leadership and my work in resilience have dovetailed together is in how we’ve worked to identify and destroy the Negativity Bias. You probably remember (or will experience today) our biological and cultural expectation to be overly critical and disapproving of any variety of behaviors we engage in, whether it be how we presented in a meeting or whether we listened with full attention to our daughter’s concerns about her soccer coach. It is easy for us to beat ourselves up instead of recognizing the successes we have on a daily basis and building our skills from there. In our new book (co-authored with Michael Couch), we discuss the importance of Read More

Down With The Soft Skills

For several years, i have railed against the use of the term “soft skills” to describe the all-important skills that are used every day in our work settings. My primary concern is about the fact that many senior business leaders continue to think of “hard skills” as being those that drive business success while the other skills are nice to have and help people feel better in the workplace. Soft skills, as a result  have always taken a back seat to these other skills that were always seen as more important to job success, which we now know is not true. In Strategy Driven Leadership, my new book co-authored with Michael Couch (available for pre-ordering on Amazon) we suggest that these Read More

How to Relax on Resilient Wednesdays (and other days)

When I was 16, I broke my wrist playing quarterback in a sandlot football game. I did complete the pass for the touchdown but when I got up from being tackled, I noticed my wrist was bent in a most unusual way. My parents called our doctor who referred us to an orthopedic surgeon who told us to meet him at his office where he would set my wrist and place it in a cast. When we got to his office, he shot my wrist full of Novocain and told me in no uncertain terms to “RELAX MY WRIST.” Not having much sensation in my hand and feeling pretty anxious about the whole episode, I didn’t really know exactly how Read More

A Day to Remember

I’m in New York this week and today this City will go take some time at 8:46 AM to remember the fallen from that tragic day. The modern-day resilience movement began 18 years ago today. We all began to understand that we could not control highly unpredictable events from happening and so we somehow had to do our best to be ready for them. On one side of the equation, that meant cameras on every street corner in every major city in the country perhaps reducing our personal privacy. On the other hand, it provided new technology to help reduce crime and provide a new layer of personal security. Our resilience from this day took us in directions we could Read More

How’s Your Wife Doing?

It seemed like a simple enough question coming from a colleague over lunch last week. “Pretty good,” I told him and went on to share with him that I attended a program Sheila did last week where she spoke about her work in grief and loss. To a room full of participants, Sheila shared about how, in our most difficult times, we have to look for and find the gifts from the pain and anguish we experience when we lose a loved one or find ourselves in a life crisis and which is detailed in her award winning book, Warrior Mother. My lunch partner went onto tell me that for the past 20 years, ever since college, he has had Read More