How Does Your Fear Hold You Back?
I love and hate this picture of a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.
What do I love about it?
The photographer captured the exact moment that a lateral wave hit the raft at just the right angle and speed to tip it up on the left outside tube, allowing it to balance for just a few seconds before the raft flipped completely over.
12 Things a Leader Should Never Do
Last fall I had a person reach out to me who was in charge of a huge change initiative in his company. He asked if I would identify a number of behaviors that leaders should avoid at all costs.
Have You Ever Eaten a Bicycle?
When I was in college, I had a roommate who was determined to get into The Guinness Book of World Records for eating a bicycle. Every night when we returned from studying in the library, we would all sit in front of the TV and watch M*A*S*H. He would take a file and grind himself a teaspoon of bicycle. Then he would place his bicycle “grounds” in his hot cereal the next morning.
Fear of Failure? 10 Tips to Insure Your Success
At the beginning of a new year, we often begin new projects and set goals for ourselves. Many times our attempts at improvement are not as successful or don’t deliver the results that we expected. When this happens, it is easy to become discouraged.
10 Tips to Help You Get More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t
Recently I was sitting with a group of leaders who were discussing how difficult it can be to talk about what matters most, particularly when others don’t share your view.
12 Tips for Improving Emotional Control
Recently my college-age son hit a large piece of asphalt while driving our 1997 Toyota Avalon down a country road at night. The impact against the undercarriage caused the airbags to deploy and shatter the car’s windshield. Thankfully, except for a concussion, my son was not seriously hurt. Days later, when talking with him about the accident in person, my initial feelings of gratitude turned to worry about the cost of fixing the car, and disappointment and anger due to his lack of judgment.
Are You Engaging in “Fake Focus?"
During the last several months, we have heard a lot about “fake” news or “fake” media. The frequent use of these terms made me think of the term “fake focus” and how it can cause problems in our organizations. So what does the word “fake” refer to? “Fake” may be defined as something that is not real or it may mean to pretend, falsify, or fictionalize something. “Focus” is defined as a concentrated activity or influence that leads to a particular outcome. Consequently, one’s focus is a devotion or dedication to a particular effort with a specific outcome in mind.
Can You Help Others to Understand a Different Perspective? Seven Steps for Increasing Understanding
Being in the business of leadership development, I frequently encounter individuals who believe that they know everything about a topic. This assumption of “I’m right, and you’re wrong,” has such a limiting effect on a person’s ability to learn or even consider other viewpoints that it is well worth our reflection.
Have You Learned Your Lessons? 11 Communication Tips for Improving Your Change Initiative
I once worked with a company during a change initiative when a company’s business was not going particularly well. The CEO called a meeting of his upper management to discuss how things weren’t going particularly well. A huge process change was three months behind schedule and already $20 million over budget. He began by opening the meeting with, “I want to know who is responsible for the mess we are in, so we can fix this.”
How Easily Do You Take Offense? Seven Strategies for Maintaining Your Cool
Jane was sitting in an online meeting where current deadlines were being discussed among team members. At the close of the meeting, Jane’s manager asked if anyone had any other concerns that needed to be addressed.
Jane broke the team’s silence by stating that the IT group had committed to solve a software problem for one of her clients by July 1st.
Are You Lost in Your Assumptions? Seven Questions for Challenging the Accuracy of Your Thinking
A good friend of mine recently sent me a link to an interesting article. It seems a summer intern was not particularly happy with the strictness of the company’s dress code. This person decided to let the issue go until it was discovered that another company member was allowed to wear cloth shoes and sometimes running shoes.
Are You Wearing the Emperor's New Clothes? Six Questions for Improving Your Results
We are all familiar with the Hans Christian Anderson story of the emperor who thought that he was arrayed in magnificent attire when in reality he was naked. And yet, no one would tell him what was obvious to everyone.
Are Your People on Board? 6 Questions You Need to Answer if You Want Change to Succeed
In one of the first cultural change projects that I worked on, I was tasked with teaching company members process improvement and critical thinking skills. The organization was committed to involving everyone in improving their processes and making a difference in the way they served customers with increased efficiency.
Are Your Assumptions Getting the Best of You? 9 Questions for Challenging Your Thinking
Last November, I wrote a blog post about dealing with difficult people. I told a story of coming together for a family dinner at Thanksgiving.
Nine Questions to Consider When Changing Your Culture
When I first started working in the field of organizational development, my mentors told me three things that I always needed to remember about change: people don’t like it; people don’t understand it; and people won’t like you for trying to implement it. For the most part, I believe that is the case. Why?