Vulnerable Is The New Bold

“Start Close in. Don’t take the second step, or the third. Start with the first thing, close in; the step you don’t want to take.”   ~ David Whyte

All too often leadership failure is simply the predictable outcome of a “failure to lead”. At first reading this might seem an obvious truism but stated a little differently one might say the greatest leadership failures result not from ill-conceived strategies or poorly articulated visions, but rather from resigned acceptance of current state and reticence to take initiative. The real failure is not that someone has failed at the act of leading, but rather that no one has acted to lead at all. [Read more…]

How long would you keep your job if…?

In the interest of brevity and clarity I promise this essay contains no outrageously obscure words or pompous rhetorical flourishes (in which I admit I occasionally indulge).  Neither will it exceed 400 words. This is going to be straightforward and fourth-grade simple.  Just answer this question:  “How long would you keep your job if your performance was effective, useful, productive, correct or successful a mere one-third of the time?” [Read more…]

Wisdom Was Not Solomon’s Greatest Leadership Asset

Most of us have heard the biblical tale of the infant claimed by two new mothers and the clever gambit King Solomon employed to ferret out the truth of the matter. This oft-told story from the first book of Kings forms the basis of the ages-old desire of aspiring leaders to possess and exercise the “Wisdom of Solomon”.  Among those familiar with the story, especially us leadership geeks, it is widely believed that the great secret of King Solomon’s success as a leader was the unparalleled wisdom gifted him by God. And like so many other widely-held beliefs, it is not entirely correct! [Read more…]

The Indispensable “I” in “Rebirth”

Can we all agree, the extraordinarily groan-worthy cliché, “There is no “I” in Team”, has been creeping around meeting rooms way too long?  So at the risk of being branded cliché-by-proximity, I would like to ask you to think about a different “I” – the indispensable “I” in Rebirth.

Pervasive, positive change invariably traces its origins to a place deep within one human heart.  Spawned and nurtured by constructive death, fragile seeds of transformation germinate and feed on the decaying remains of ego, namely:  Pride, Anger, Arrogance, Resentment and Greed. From the humus of hubris spring forth the delicate sprouts of intellectual progress, emotional evolution and spiritual awakening. [Read more…]

R.O.I. = Return On Inspiration

Studies continue to pour in regarding the alarming levels of disengagement in the workplace. While the exact percentages vary from study to study, it is generally accepted that only one in three employees is “engaged”; one is “passive or detached”; and the third is “actively disengaged”.  Stated in capital equipment terms – Of three machines:  One is running consistently and capably; one is struggling to occasionally make standard; and one stumbles along far below capability.  Such performance would never be accepted by a world class company.  How then can we countenance the deplorable underutilization of creativity, enthusiasm and loyalty readily available to any organization, lying latent within the workforce?  Better yet, how do we instill the trust required to change the dynamic from “Coerced Compliance” to “Enthusiastic Engagement”? [Read more…]

Speak With The V.O.I.C.E. Of Sincerity

The currency of leadership is credibility! Collins & Porras articulated this clearly and forcefully  in their 1994 book, “Built to Last”. Draw the ‘credibility’ account down too low and you risk losing your team, and quite possibly your job. So how does one maintain a strong ‘credibility’ current-ratio?  The answer is simple…learn how to use your V.O.I.C.E.  This simple acronym will help you remember the fundamentals of credibility that inform the attitudes and habits of successful Conscious Leaders: [Read more…]

Pope Francis Encourages An Economics of Service

Not since Leo XIII spoke of the dangers of unfettered greed in “Rerum Novarum” in 1891, has a Pontiff made so clear a call for business to serve the needs of all.  In his new APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION, EVANGELII GAUDIUM  Pope Francis warns of a ‘New Tyranny’ of unfettered Capitalism and the idolatry of money.  He encourages us to work for the creation of an economic system which serves rather that rules. [Read more…]

Darkness Triggers True Colors of Leadership

Since childhood we have all heard stories about why and how the leaves of green deciduous trees display such a wide variety of colors in Autumn, before they fall to the ground. Some of these explanations are far fetched and some come pretty close to the actual chemical mechanism.  Here’s how it actually works:

As most everyone knows, the chemical, chlorophyll, is responsible for the dominant green color palette we observe in Spring and Summer.  Like any chemical, chlorophylI decays over time and must be continually replenished and fortified with nutrients. [Read more…]

Conscious Leaders Energize Both the Feminine and Masculine

“Now is the time to unite the soul and the world. Now is the time to see the sunlight dancing as one with the shadows.”      ~Rumi

One can scarcely open a business publication lately without being bombarded by fifty shades of Marissa Mayer, Sheryl Sandberg and Mary Barra. Over the last year the topic of Female Leadership has had more ink thrown its way than the upper bodies of the combined rosters of the NBA and NFL. Business media, like all media, tend to regularly cycle through a dog-eared list of catchy topics and for some time now one of the favorites has been ‘Female Leadership’ in general, and noteworthy individual female leaders in particular. [Read more…]

Leaders, Beware the Seven Deadly Sins of Disrespect

Over the last two months, the Christian world observed the season of Lent.  During that time period the faithful are called to search inside, critique their lives and discover opportunities for improving their spiritual being, by improving relationships with their fellow human beings. The traditional, more superficial idea of “giving up” things like candy or alcohol, has given way to a more introspective call to “work on” faults and failings; in order to become a better version of self. [Read more…]