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

Your Mantra of the Future

One of the fun concepts my co-author Michael Couch and I introduce in our soon to be released book, Strategy Driven Leadership (here is our new cover!) is the idea of using mantras to help people find short cuts that change behavior and are easy to remember. In working with one leader who tended to jump in and problem solve for his team before they even had a chance to finish their presentation, his mantra became “shut-up and listen” that he told himself in meetings. That simple phrase prompted him to pay attention to what others were saying before he gave his opinion. Our intentional use of mantras or rules of thumb builds off the neuroscience that an individual will Read More

The Conspiracy Bias

Ever since Daniel Kahneman came up with the ideas for cognitive biases in 1973, the world has been heading steadily downhill. We used to think that the brain was a clever thinking machine, working 24/7, creating new ideas that advanced the world. Instead, this Nobel Laureate showed us the brain is basically a lazy organ, just trying to get away with as little as it can, and coming up with one cute trick after another to make its life easier. Well, all that is not exactly true, but cognitive biases do serve as short cuts that the brain takes so as to preserve energy for survival. These biases allow us to reach quick decisions without much thought and there are Read More

The Best Ways to Coach Your Employees

One thing that I hear from senior leaders is how much enjoyment they get from coaching and guiding members of their team. They recognize that today’s aspiring leaders want guidance and want to get it in a way that is tasty and digestible. My colleague, Michael Couch and I discuss some of these strategies in our soon to be released book, Strategy Driven Leadership: The Playbook for Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders, which will be out in late November. Here are 3 ways for you to strengthen your coaching skills: 1. Focus on behaviors: People are understandably defensive when you use personality constructs (“you’re too critical”) but they can’t argue with empirical evidence. “When we were talking about project Read More

The Career Success Formula

Last week, when I provide you an update on our new book (co-authored with Michael Couch) Strategy Driven Leadership: The Playbook for Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders, I shared with you our “Career Success Formula.” In short, your career success is made up of all your Key Developmental Experiences (KDE’s), such as rolling out a new product and  where you learned the essential skills or  ]“Key Leadership Competencies” (KLC’s) that were needed to complete the job, such as getting everyone on board and behind the new product. Learning from the experiences is enhanced by regular reflection (Rfn) and feedback (Fdk), where you consider your learning and get information about how you are doing from others. For example, we have our Read More