Where Will You Be Found?

Where Will You Be Found?Recently I was at a woman’s memorial service in which the son read a poem he had written about his mother.  In the poem he spoke to sifting through all her things – her jewelry, her mementos from countless wonderful foreign trips, her photos, her clothing, to try to ‘find’ her, and each time he noted, “and you were not there”.  But finally, he said, he found her in the indomitable spirit of her children, in the devotion of a young man from another country she had relentlessly befriended, in the warmth in the eyes of the caretakers from her final days who rapidly adopted her as family. 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

Creating the Best Personal ‘Brand’

Creating the Best Personal ‘Brand’It’s the new ‘hot topic’ – how to create a brand for yourself.  Dozens of articles have been written about it, even in such august publications as Forbes.  Some of the advice out there isn’t bad, but in general, it has one major flaw: it focuses on how to get yourself noticed, not how to assure that you are what you’re selling. Continue reading

The Myth of Innate Leadership

The Myth of Innate LeadershipWhen you hear something repeatedly put forward as fact, it begins to take on a sacred truth that is hard to disprove:  “The world is flat.”  “Elephants have uniquely excellent memory.”  “Women are more emotional than men.”  And another:  “Leaders are born, not made.” Continue reading

The Myth of the Super Leader

The Myth of the Super LeaderThe cover of a recent publication shouts, “Wanted: Super Leaders”.  Obviously, they’re wanted because they’ve not yet been found.  Expectations continue to build for finding people who combine a set of traits that are a cross between the Dalai Lama’s serenity, Steve Jobs’ drive, Einstein’s intellect, and God’s omniscience.  Are you ready to take on the challenge? Continue reading

How to Acquire Resilience

How to Acquire ResiliencePeople really admire Jim.  His integrity is impeccable.  His spirit is boundless.  His intellect is keen.  But the one thing people comment on over and over again is Jim’s resilience.  After losing his wife, the treasure he spoke about endlessly.  After staring down cancer.  After almost-crippling other health problems.  After the business he started faced near-bankruptcy.  Jim just never seemed to bow under the pressure of life events, springing back stronger after each one. Continue reading

How to Undertake a Makeover

How-to-Undertake-a-MakeoverBrian was dismayed at the results of a 360-degree assessment he’d received through his company.  Although he was greatly appreciated for his strong problem-solving and decision-making skills, the feedback showed his style was getting in the way.  His staff saw him as not inclusive in making decisions that affected them, his colleagues pointed out a tendency to push too hard for decisions and to not wait for crucial data.  But most dismaying for Brian was that his boss, who had always been his champion, was also raising concerns about how he got his good results as well as the results themselves. Continue reading

The Five-Minute Emotional Intelligence Assessment

The Five-Minute Emotional Intelligence AssessmentDo people like you, respect you, and want to work with you?  Are you caring and supportive?  OK, check that box – you’re emotionally intelligent.  Not so fast, says emotional intelligence guru Daniel Goleman in a recent Harvard Business Review article. Continue reading

The Five-Minute Self-Assessment

The Five-Minute Self-AssessmentDon’t you love those 360-degree assessments you get on occasion?  It’s pretty painful, many times, to face the mirror and know that others see the warts we didn’t even notice.  But the truth is, we’re not always good at recognizing the warts.  Those warts are called ‘blind spots’ for a reason.  And like the blind spot in your car, they contribute to dangerous situations.  So it’s good to know what career accidents we might avoid by actually inviting an assessment of those blind spots. Continue reading