The Polar Vortex: Your Risk Assessment

I heard from a number of people last week about whether the canceled schools, closed coffee shops and businesses, delayed mail delivery and (OMG) neglected beer drop-offs at neighborhood bars was a sign that we’ve all become weak and overly coddled. I pushed back on this even though I discuss the fact in The Resilience Advantage that there is research about how children are more shielded from risk today than in previous times with the result being that they may not have enough routine opportunities to build their own resilience to challenges. I ran into a motorcycle cop friend at my gym this week and asked him if he rode during the Polar Vortex. He told me he had to, Read More

Say “Yes” for Success

If you’ve attended one of my speaking gigs, you’ve probably heard me talk about some of my pet language peeves like, “the reality is,” (no, it’s not the reality, it’s your reality) or how people use the word “but” when praising someone’s thought and then go on to tell them what they really think as in, “What a great idea, BUT…” As others of you know, I am an improv artist with the Wing and A Prayer Pittsburgh Players and we use the improvisation art form of Interplay to share and present our performances in business and non-profit settings. Interplay is improv for noble purposes. Sure, we use comedy, but we go far beyond the laughs to find the joy Read More

Non-Violent Yoga

I’ve attended yoga classes for many years. As I discuss in my book The Resilience Advantage, yoga meets 2 of the 5 key fitness exercise goals which are developing flexibility and experiencing relaxation. (The other 3 are endurance, strength, and cardio fitness.) In the past several weeks I’ve been going to a new class, a class one of my friends described as the “most permissive yoga class in town.” By “permissive” she means that the instructors want you to be aware of your body and to not go beyond your physical comfort. The instructor, Jackie, reinforced that idea right from the start of class. She told us, “Do not do violence to yourself.” She went on to explain that it Read More

Agility…Is It in Your Company?

One of the hottest trends in management today is to be an agile leader. These folks move quickly, respond to challenges in novel ways, and are able to be present in the moment so that they can gain and act on insights from those around them. In meeting with some C-Suite leaders recently, I brought up the question about agile leaders. They pointed out that agility is one of their core competencies for leadership, so they were confident that they were developing this skill in their management corps. I then asked them another question about agility. Are they an agile company? They were not so quick to respond to that inquiry. They had recently heard from their employee survey that Read More

Some Resilience Efficiency Tips for the New Year

The Resilience Advantage goes well beyond recovery to find way to decrease stressful situations before they occur. To that end, lets kick off the year by looking at some better strategies for 2 key activities you’ll want to do this year to improve performance—Email management and making time to think. Be a Better Emailer: Getting your head around this monster just involves small incremental steps: Don’t use the best energy time of your day (usually the morning but not for everyone) to spend all your time doing email. If you feel you must review email first thing when you get going, set a timer for 15 minutes and just go through the critical few. The rest can wait until you Read More

The Beauty in Imperfection

We spent our Christmas holiday in the Palm Springs area, with family, where there are an extraordinary number of resale shops. Their rows of barely perfect second or maybe third hand goods are rediscovered by new consumers every day who are taken with the flaws that usually accompany these products and look forward to repairing and enjoying them. The Japanese have a term for this concept that they refer to as kintsukuroi. In practice this translates to an art form of repairing broken pottery, with a special lacquer and powdered gold, that highlights the breakage as part of the object. The value and beauty of the object come from recognizing and honoring its travails and imperfections. Despite our best efforts Read More

The Season of Change

The sun will reach its nadir this Friday at 5:23 PM as many people are headed home from work (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 Read More

Holiday Gifts for The Stressed Out

‘Tis the season to give and so our crack editorial team at Resilient Wednesday want to lighten your gift giving responsibilities by helping you find the perfect gift for your stressed-out friends, colleagues, and family member. So, here are our top 5 plus a bonus: Ugly Christmas Sweaters: You still have time (until Friday, December 21) to buy yourself an ugly Christmas sweater. It’s the gift that gives others pleasure in seeing it on you and there is nothing better than people laughing at your own good sense of humor to build your resilience. Stress Relief Kit: Want to help that angry co-worker or boss deal with their challenges in a more effective way next year. Give them the gift Read More

The Resilient Organization: The Contagion of Resilience

Emotions are contagious. Think about a recent win you had at work. Perhaps it was landing a new contract or having your department pass its compliance audit. Hopefully you had a celebration and with it you saw a sea of smiles and high fives. What about a recent failure? Maybe you missed your budget numbers or a client decided to go with another firm. Hopefully you had a post-hoc analysis with your team and you could not have missed the disappointed and perhaps sullen mood among your team members. These emotional responses aren’t just from the events themselves but are also a function of how people respond to each other. These kinds of positive and negative emotions happen every day Read More