Vivek Murthy, until recently the U.S. Surgeon General and tasked with the country’s health, observed about the United States, “I traveled the country listening to people. What I sensed was that people were experiencing a high degree of emotional pain….. I am deeply concerned about the level of stress that our country is experiencing. I think it’s preventing us from experiencing our full potential.” Continue reading
If you ever doubted the importance of culture as a living, breathing, embedded influence in your organization, try doing something inconsistent with the culture. Try inculcating innovation and entrepreneurship in a culture of unquestioning respect for authority at each level. A slog. Try taking away a seemingly insignificant employee benefit at a company that’s been paternalistic. A mutiny. Continue reading
Writing in the HuffPost blog on July 30, contributor So-Young Kang talks about a person’s integrity, not as a philosophical concept, but as a lived reality, clarifying all the elements it takes to ‘live’ in integrity. It’s more than just practicing it; it’s making integrity what you are about. The post is worth a read.
From Ms. Kang’s post, let’s dive a little more deeply into the elements of the full definition of integrity that she so aptly calls out: Continue reading
Think for a moment about the best boss or mentor you ever had. What traits made him or her so precious? Chances are good that many of those esteemed traits would revolve around how well that boss or mentor helped you to grow as a leader in your own right, offering autonomy, encouragement, and support. Acting as a coach and guide. Giving opportunities to try out new skills, and making sure you succeeded in new ventures. Continue reading
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi is attributed with saying, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It turns out he didn’t actually say that, but it’s not a bad simplification of what he did say. Gandhi knew that change is difficult, at times even overwhelming, and pragmatically, he knew two things:
Raise your hand if you have ever started off a conversation to offer difficult feedback by giving a compliment. I can literally hear the rustle of thousands of hands being raised. We’ve all done it. No one wants to see pain inflicted on another human being. We put ourselves in their shoes, and feel the agony of knowing we didn’t live up to a standard.
But on the other hand, we don’t put ourselves in their shoes completely. Let’s try on your shoes for a moment. You might not want to hear how you’d disappointed someone, but what other things might be in your head when someone approaches you with a suspiciously nervous start to a conversation? Continue reading
Agility, Intrapreneurship, Sustainability, Crowdfunding, Artificial intelligence. Have you been hearing these terms a lot this year? Is your organization in active process of pivoting (another trendy word) to these new best means to gain competitive advantage?
These ideas, of course, are not the full laundry list of the new and better ways of conducting your business. Depending on which business article you read, you’ll find that the gurus have hundreds of takes on the most important new things to adopt in your business. Continue reading
“This company used to be known for its great customer service and its caring attitude toward its employees,” lamented Tina. “We had better benefits, greater job security, and more respect from management, and the company got really great service for its customers as a result. We need to go back to the way it was.”
We’re hearing a lot of these laments lately. Companies, governments, and all types of organizations are changing. The complaints are often about abandoned non-verbal contracts between employers and employees, about lost cultural norms, and about ethical issues emerging as the change occurred. And the knee jerk desire is to ‘return to better times’. Continue reading
Today’s leaders can learn a lot of lessons from the upheaval in the political environment – some highly useful, and some perhaps not to be emulated. But one friction point that is creating a useful dialogue for reflection right now is whether it is better to defend and promote the value of traditional values, norms and ways of doing things – or conversely, to embrace disruption as a means to jar a tired old system into needed action. Continue reading