Build A Full Head of Esteem

I am not really surprised that so many leaders question their own value and contribution to their organization. Over 20 years ago, author Pauline Clance wrote about her interviews with highly successful business leaders in which they reported feeling like frauds in their work (imposter syndrome). Despite all evidence to the contrary, these leaders were sure that sooner or later, they would be discovered as fakes and their gig would be up. Self-esteem or the belief that we are competent, capable people is something that we can only give to ourselves. It cannot be bestowed by others (despite their best efforts). Everyone experiences bouts of low self esteem and for leaders it can even be a greater challenge as you Read More

Your Job Is Important, But Is It Pivotal?

All jobs are important, but some are more important than others. Pivotal jobs are ones where that role contributes to a direct impact on revenue or market share and where the value created by the role makes a notable difference in business success At your favorite convenience store such as GetGo, Sheetz, or 7-Eleven, you may think the front counter person’s role is most critical as they interact with customer’s every day. While that job is important, it is not pivotal. A better description of a pivotal role in that business would be the woman who is buying and hedging gasoline. Convenience store’s greatest revenue comes from fuel sales and finding a commodity sale that is a quarter of a Read More

I Got This!

Professional golfer Gary Woodlands won the US Open this past Sunday at Pebble Beach. Gary caught my attention last March at the Phoenix Open when he played a practice hole with a young 20 year old college golfer named Amy Bocerkstette. Amy is a special needs athlete and it is obvious from the video that both she and Gary had a great time. Amy played a famous par three where she put her first shot in the sand trap, followed up with an excellent sand shot out and then drained a right to left 15 footer. Gary shared that he kind of channeled Amy this weekend including her now famous mantra of “I got this,” which she said to herself Read More

Concern, Aggravation, Grievance: Don’t Do This to Your Customers

I’m attending a high-end conference event at one of America’s finest resort hotels and if I shared the name of this property, most everyone would identify it as a place with a reputation for impeccable customer service. That is what I thought too, but a funny thing happened the other day. My room didn’t get cleaned the entire day. I was a bit surprised when I came back to my room for a little rest over lunch to find that the room hadn’t been made up. Understandable, but a bit concerning given the fact that the Hotel was not that crowded. I came back at 4 PM…still no service. Now, I was a bit aggravated and called the front desk. Read More

Go Ahead and Waste Your Time

There are only 24 hours, 1440 minutes and 86,400 seconds in a day. That is it and so the idea that you can somehow manage time is pretty ridiculous. Its really the other way around which means that time is managing you. This idea that we can actually manage time is one of the reasons that we are so highly stressed and perhaps why we often feel overwhelmed. Taking a resilience approach means that we begin to see time for what it is…a commodity. Time is more like money in that we make choices about how we spend it and those choices makes a statement about our priorities and what is important to us. That is how we deal with the Read More

Glad I Had A Mindful Co-Pilot

My plane was delayed coming out of Boston yesterday due to ice on the fuselage and if at least one person in the plane thought it was due to a mindful co-pilot who saw the big picture. Returning from a meeting in Boston yesterday I sat next to a pilot who was riding along to his next destination and we started having a conversation about piloting. I mentioned to him about my work in resilience and that I am seeing mindfulness finally making it out of the meditation studio and into the Board room. He told me that as a pilot he is all about mindfulness as he obviously has to pay attention to all the details associated with flying. Read More

Get Your Day Going

How you start your mornings may very well determine whether you fulfill the wishes of your favorite barista, “Have a good day”. Research shows that letting your focus get defused in the morning can create a lack of success throughout the day.  Here are some ideas to kick off your day in a great way: Don’t wait to create a to do list when you get to the office. Build one the night before and then you have it for the morning. It could include picking out the right clothes for your kindergartener or waking up a few minutes early to get in a 15 minute mini-run. Put your cell phone and iPad anywhere but by your bed and avoid Read More

Three Holiday Tips

I was watching Sheila wrap gifts yesterday as we prepared for our trip to see family. She was having a fun time cutting paper, tying ribbons and labeling gifts. She keeps a diligent list of what everyone is getting to make certain that the number of gifts and costs of gifts are kept even among family members. While shopping for gifts is far from simple, wrapping is pretty straightforward and automatic. The only thing left to do after that is to put them under the tree or in our situation, into the suitcase. As we approach the holiday time, I’m looking for two ways to keep my energy up and to enjoy it all. Keep it simple–Remember the 80/20 rule. Read More

An Evening of Literary Conversation or “The Inner Nun”

It’s the way I like to go to performances. Just show up 5 minutes before and see what tickets are available. That turned out to be the plan when my wife Sheila suggested we go to the Pittsburgh Literary Speaker Series the other night. The speaker was short story writer Gary Saunders. A McArthur Genius award winner, I couldn’t help but think that I can only benefit from being around smart people. However, it was really my wife, Sheila’s idea (actually another smart person) to go see him, in part due to her recently published book, Warrior Mother and her commitment to be around great authors. The evening looked like it would be fun. It was amazing. Saunders was immensely Read More