Does Logic Suffice?

Does Logic Suffice?In our Western understanding of how to find meaning, our philosophers over the past few centuries have gravitated to logic models, trying to apply scientific method to the complex understanding of all things.  Even the names of recent Western philosophies have borne such names as Rationalism, Analytical Philosophy, and Logicism.  We live in an age that celebrates and reveres logic as meaning.  Data and metrics are the answer.  What’s the question? Continue reading

Is Self-Actualization All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Is Self-Actualization All It’s Cracked Up to Be?In the 1960s, psychologist Abraham Maslow popularized a hierarchy of individual needs that culminated in what he characterized as a basic human desire for self-actualization.  His theory was premised on an understanding of people as wanting to reach both personal fulfillment and a connection with the external world.  He saw self-actualization as an end state in which people found meaning in their lives and used their personal self-fulfillment in positive ways as they lived within their environments.  But clearly, his focal attention was on the individual more than on the society in which the individual operated. 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

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 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

Integrating a New Leader

Integrating a New Leader You’ve got a bright new leader who’s just joined your organization, and you prepared a great onboarding process to get her acclimated and launched.  Or did you?  What was covered in your onboarding process? Continue reading

How New Leadership Positions are Like New Sports Cars

How New Leadership Positions are Like New Sports CarsLanding an exciting new position is like getting the keys to a shiny new Ferrari – you’re exhilarated, ripe with anticipation, eager to test your skill.  But….. how do you get the thing started?

The analogy is probably truer than we realize, because even if you salivated over that Ferrari for years, it’s intimidating to get behind the wheel, realize the power you have to channel, figure out all the mechanics and electronics, test your limits behind the wheel, and make it really perform! Continue reading

Making the Most of Conflict

Making the Most of ConflictYuck.  It’s the ‘C’ word again.  No one likes to deal with it.  We avoid conflict and are asked to step up to it instead.  But still we avoid it.  We squirm even when we think about it.  Conflict is uncomfortable and uncertain and unwelcome – or is it necessarily so? Continue reading