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

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

Co-opting Your Employee’s Development

Portrait of a positive manager with his team sittingJan watched with dismay as her employee Henry forged ahead in his presentation to the senior leadership team, failing to read the body language that should have been signaling to him that the group was clearly not buying in to the foundational rationale for his proposal.  She tried to catch his attention, but even when she did, he did not seem to pick up on her concern, and kept right on going.  Finally, Jan stepped in.  “Let me add some information about Henry’s rationale for this proposal,” she said, and took over the description of the research that had anchored the proposal.  When she was sure the leaders were back on board, she asked Henry to proceed.  All the questions after that point were addressed to Jan, not to Henry. Continue reading