Going to Hell

We were in New York last week celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary when we headed off to the Broadway half-price ticket window and bought tickets to a new and mostly unheard of show called Hadestown. This musical recalls the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and their journey to dark reaches of the underworld. The play is presented as if it appears in a New Orleans jazz club with an onstage 7-piece band. The show picked up 8 Tony awards this past Sunday including Best Musical. I gave it my “Rich Standing “O” honor at the end of the performance. The musical has had a long journey to success. Author and songwriter Anais Mitchell began her work on Hadestown Read More

Learn Something New…3X10

Learning something new isn’t just about concentration but is more about practice. Dr. Douglas Fields, a neurologist at NIH, reported that spaced learning which provided three learning opportunities with 10 minute intervals between each session created a much higher percentage of the learning having “stuck” in the individual learner’s mind and then being able to apply it rapidly and effectively. In practical terms  that translates to repeating a particular learning experience one time and then taking  a 1o minute break before doing it again. A bit of rinse and repeat and repeat. In our new book, Retooling Leadership Development, Mike Couch as I assert that learning new leadership skills must happen in the day to day world of the aspiring or established leader and Read More

The Operating Agreement

Most teams run by working through an agenda and then sending everyone out to do their thing. They rarely work together and even worse, just assume that everyone understands how to be a good team member, as if it is genetically programmed. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most people don’t know how to be on a team and even if you played on your HS Soccer team or were in Drama Club, operating as a team in your business is a completely different ball game. The consequences of not having and knowing the rules will probably explain why your projects are not as successful as they can be at best and may help create a toxic Read More

How to Start Your Mornings

Getting the right jump on your morning can set the tone for your entire day. You already have your ritual in play and it may include reaching for your phone to see if your boss sent you an email over night or checking out the morning’s news shows where you’ll get caught up in the next global tragedy. Research now shows that how you start your day off sets the tone for whether you view your day as successful. In a 2015 study, researchers Michelle Gielan and Shawn Achor studied 110 participants who were placed into two groups. One group watched 3 minutes of negative news before 10 AM and the other group watched 3 minutes of solution focused news. Read More

“Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal” – Pablo Picasso

I attended a meeting last week with my mastermind group and our coach, Alan Weiss in Washington, DC. I was discussing Retooling Leadership Development (my new book with Michael Couch due out in early 2020) and the best ways to promote a book after it is released. The group came with a variety of best practices that had worked for them and given that this group had written over 70 books in total (with Alan writing about 60 of them) there were a lot of impressive ideas that I could follow as well as a few specific ideas I plan to steal. Some of the most successful people in the world have begged, borrowed or stolen their great ideas from Read More

The 5 Glitches

I was listening to an interview that Krista Tippit (from the podcast and radio show On Being) did with Sylvia Boorstein, who is a Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist living in Detroit. She talked about Buddhism’s five “genetic fallback glitches,” which are biological explanations for how we behave when we are challenged. These are: Fretting or worrying (anxiety) Anger Discouragement Self-blame Seek out comfort (“where’s the chocolate?”) Her point, which we’ve seen validated in our work with leaders and in organizations, is that under stress we usually default to a particular set of behaviors that seem to be hardwired into us. She points out that these are not moral flaws, worthy of additional flagellation, but instead to be thought of as Read More

Going Beyond

Last week the hottest IPO of the year came on the stock market. Beyond Meat (symbol sticker BYND) was priced at $25/share but opened at $46 a share and closed the week at $66.79, up a whopping 163%. Are you ready for your next soy based “Beyond Burger,” now available at TGIFridays, Del Taco and your neighborhood Safeway? The push to plant-based foods has its origins in many places. Of course, healthier eating is usually cited first and foremost, but environmentalists like to point out that 25% of all greenhouse gases are contributed by livestock flatulence and decomposing poop. Cattle housed in close quarters are fed low doses of antibiotics raising concerns about antibiotic resistant germs and finally animal welfare Read More

Settling Down

In the movie “The Right Stuff,” actor Ed Harris, playing John Glenn starts humming “Battle Hymn of the Republic” during re-entry from his first orbital flight. His fellow astronauts on the ground remind everyone that this is how Glenn deals with stress and of course, he makes it back, cool as a cucumber from that fiery ordeal. Wouldn’t it be nice if we call could just settle ourselves down even in the most challenging of situations? Guess what, we can. All we need is to do a little self-soothing, just like Astronaut Glenn. I’ve been reading a lot about self-soothing recently and seeing ways that it is a powerful tool for mitigating stress. The notion of self-soothing, is that we Read More

Our Search for Heroes

I’ve always been a fan of Tiger Woods and most probably, so have you. As a golfer, I’m in awe of his shot making prowess, determined focus and theatrical understanding that professional sports are all about entertainment. His success as an African American golfer has broken barriers for young boys and girls of color who previously saw this sport as inaccessible. He sacrificed much of his life in pursuit of his goals and his success shined such a bright light on him that there was probably a weigh station that was in his path to greatness. He found that in 2009. Tiger lost his way that Thanksgiving weekend and, along with those salacious stories, we all lost a bit of Read More