Being the Change

Being the Change“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:

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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

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

Becoming a Revolutionary in Pearls

Becoming a Revolutionary in PearlsLeaders today are facing a big problem, and many of them don’t see it clearly.  As the world rapidly becomes more and more complex, with economic, cultural, and political shifts of tectonic proportions, leaders can’t just go about their business of being the leaders of the last century.  The world is rife with disruptions, and it calls for leaders who can themselves be disruptive.  We’re seeing that happening on the global political scene.  But interestingly, the disruptors haven’t burst forth from the business ranks yet.

If you think the institutions of government are staid and resistant to change, take a hard look at your own organizations.  Continue reading

Offering the Gift of Hope

Offering the Gift of Hope“A leader is a dealer in hope.”  So said Napoleon Bonaparte.  Coming from the mouth of a conqueror of nations, Napoleon’s quote can sound Machiavellian.  But leaders who know how to generate hope create powerful motivation.  They tap a human longing to believe in – and advance – something more beautiful than what they see in their current circumstances. Continue reading

The Generative Work of a Leader

man and woman look at the cityA wise CEO, Rob, recently described to me what he’s looking for in the leaders he asks to join his organization: “We need leaders who keep their eyes up instead of down in the details, who can ‘see around corners’.  It’s like when you learn to drive a car: first you’re focused just over the hood, but then you need to learn to look ahead to the next stoplight, and the best drivers are looking for what’s around the corners.” Continue reading

How Does a Leader Approach 2017?

Business plan for 2017We made it through a tough year.  2016 was marked by turmoil of types and impact that have shaken a sense of ‘normalcy’.  In the world, the political and economic upheaval of Brexit, the brutal war in Syria, the flood of refugees that added to destabilizing political situations in many countries, and the reality of terrorism.  At home, a long and bitter campaign and a transition of presidents that promises to bring unknown impact to our lives. Continue reading

Getting Communication Right

Group of Business People Meeting with SymbolsWhen leaders talk to us about the things they most want to improve in their business lives, one of the most prominent requests is to learn how to communicate effectively, especially around change that needs to occur, both one-on-one and in groups or public venues.  They want to assure that messages are understood, and that people feel motivated and willing to share the journey.  They want to feel believed and connected. Continue reading

Involvement – What Do They Want?

to disputeAs a leader, you’ve heard it as a request, and maybe even as a complaint: managers and employees wanting more ‘involvement’ in the decisions of the organization.  How often have you been frustrated, because you thought you’d already ‘involved’ them?  How often have you said to yourself, “We’ll never get anything done around here if every decision has to be made by full consensus of everyone touched by it?” Continue reading