Hearken Ye…..

Hearken Ye…..In the September 12 New York Times, OpEd columnist David Brooks wrote a refreshingly apolitical opinion piece that is a worthwhile reflection on aspects of leadership that are as pertinent today as they were in the stories that formed the Old Testament.  It’s worth a read for this reason alone. Continue reading

Rules of Civility

Rules of CivilityOverheard in a workplace conversation from an older worker to a younger one, “Please compliment your parents for having raised a very well-bred young man.”  The young man had not done anything terribly special.  But he had asked the opinion of the older man, had said, “thank you” when advice had been offered, and had added how he might apply that advice. Continue reading

De-Politicizing the Work Environment

De-Politicizing-the-Work-EnvironmentThis letter to a national news columnist describes an employee’s stress over what he describes as near-constant political discussion at work, not surprising, perhaps, given its prominence in the media.

The columnist offers advice to the employee about how to even-handedly discuss with fellow employees a preference to not hear the political rhetoric, and even to force the attention of the company’s Human Resources department if he feels the situation is stressful enough. Continue reading

If I Only Had the Nerve

If I Only Had the NerveFor the Tin Man it was a heart, for the Scarecrow a brain, and what the Cowardly Lion wished for was nerve.  He wanted the courage to stand up for himself, for things he believed in.  He wanted to be able to roar in the face of blustery bullies like the Wizard of Oz or the Wicked Witch of the West.

There are times these days when it can feel a little like we’re all Cowardly Lions, when roaring has unacceptable consequences. Continue reading

A Spoonful of Empathy

A Spoonful of EmpathyWe’re in a world right now of ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’, of super-charged words like ‘hate’ and ‘bigotry’ and ‘distrust’ and ‘fake’.  Of people calling each other out instead of bringing each other in.  Of pointing fingers in lieu of pointing the way.

We tend to put this negativity in a corner as a political phenomenon that can somehow be walled off from our workplaces.  But take a look around you and ask yourselves some simple questions. Continue reading

The Gift of Uncommon Caring

The Gift of Uncommon CaringThe final implementation date for the customer software was just a few weeks away.  The problems were mounting and everyone on the team was putting in long hours.  The stress level was high.  Maria kept a careful eye on her team members.  She began to be concerned about signs she saw in Elizabeth, who was short with her colleagues and was making some errors. Continue reading

The Gift of Uncommon Skills

The Gift of Uncommon SkillsWant to give your employees a gift that will last a lifetime?  Give them skills that transcend their current job.  In fact, give them skills that transcend any one job – that are valued no matter what job they are in.  Help them to be the value players no matter where they play.  In so doing, you also make them more valuable to you and your own organization, because you benefit from their enhanced abilities in these timeless talents. Continue reading

The Impossible Dream

The Impossible Dream“Tilting at windmills” – a phrase made famous by the off-kilter actions of knight-errant Don Quixote in ‘Man of La Mancha’ – signifies a misdirected idealism.  Indeed, crazy Don Quixote saw the beautiful in everything, no matter how much trouble it got him into, no matter how others derided his optimism. Continue reading

The Rain in Spain

The Rain in SpainMany of us remember the Pygmalion story of Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower-seller who was turned into a social experiment by Professor Henry Higgins, who bet a colleague he could turn this crass, accented person into a ‘real lady’.

Professor Higgins did his job, but Eliza didn’t let go of her spunk, and in the process, she changed Professor Higgins as much as he changed her. Continue reading

Standing Out from the Crowd

Standing Out from the CrowdWhat makes a leader special?  Not just good, but someone who stands out as most admired, who has become a revered legend?  And what can you learn about your own leadership from these paragons of leadership? Continue reading