I finally settled into Seat 7D. After a two-hour delay I managed a smile as the Captain quipped apologetically that the airline hasn’t found a way to control lightning. My quiet respite in my seat was disturbed by a disgruntled posse of travelers around me. In particular, one person was squeezing in a final call before takeoff. The flight attendant took the microphone and reminded the passengers that it was time to conclude use of cellular devices. The not-so-subtle reminder was clear. “Finish the call!” Whether it was because the announcement drew our attention to the call or the fact that the passenger was aRead More →

Recently, I was reading Richard Hallowell’s book Driven to Distraction at Work. In his Introduction, Hallowell refers to comments from Tim Armstrong of AOL regarding his mandate for scheduled “think time.” Frankly, the comments provoked some thinking of my own. First, I scoured my schedule and noticed that I did not have any white space specifically set aside for cerebral exercise. Next, I decided to make a list of benefits. What might I be missing by failing to nail down a few minutes exclusively devoted to thinking? My list of benefits came to mind quickly. Think time will help me realign my identity with whatRead More →

Recently, I was sitting in a restaurant with a group of friends. One of my friends left his reading glasses in his car. When he strained in a desperate attempt to read themenu, I smiled and offered my glasses. Apparently, his desire to save a trip to the car was sufficient motivation to give them a try. My prescription was less precise than he expected. After a little effort, he was able to make out the words and order his meal. Problem solved. There was another solution. I could have read the menu to him and offered some suggestions. After all, I could see theRead More →

Do you have a strong desire to learn? It’s hard to imagine a context in which a leader would respond negatively to such a question. With all the deluge of content aimed at lifelong learning and learning organizations, it seems to be a given. Leaders are supposed to say, “Yes” to learning. What is your current level of curiosity? The last time you were asked to identify your strengths, did curiosity make your top five? Before you answer too quickly, look up the definition of curiosity. CU·RI·OS·I·TY ˌkyo͝orēˈäsədē/ According to Merriam-Webster.com, curiosity is defined as “the desire to learn or know more about something orRead More →

  At my college commencement ceremony, the speaker reminded us of something – that failure is inevitable.  It happens to everyone.  Everyone has to face it at some point in their life.  But eventually, failure is going to become a part of your success.   Marti Wronski reminded me and the rest of my graduating class that baseball players are considered great if they can bat .300 for a season or more – that means that they fail seven out of every ten times they are at bat.  Failure is going to happen throughout life, and especially throughout careers.   Failure impacts everyone differently, andRead More →

Executive Retreat

“Man is so made that if he is told often enough that he is a fool he believes it. By telling himself so often enough he convinces himself, because when he is alone he carries on an inner dialogue with himself which is important to keep under proper control.” Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)  Leadership integrity is about alignment. Integrity aligns what you know with who you are and what you do. When you lead at your best, the connection between the three aspects of your leadership conveys authenticity. Consistent alignment over time builds trust and credibility. It defines your character. If you have ever taken yourRead More →

Effective leadership requires accurate information. That’s obvious. It seems that most conversations about information have shifted toward complaints about quantity. It’s understandable. Digital engagement often leads to an overwhelming torrent of attention grabbing messages. However, when you sift through your proverbial inbox, you need to sharpen your focus. Are you receiving the right information? The quality of information you receive is critical for your success. When it comes to accurate information, the climb up the corporate ladder can feel like a journey toward isolation. Your destination is an island where impeccable communication is limited. Some have referred to this malady as CEO disease. An acuteRead More →

It’s winter and the weather seems to grab the headlines on a regular basis. Some parts of the country have had more than their share of snow, ice and cold. Harsh weather conditions affect some more than others. Some cities are able to take a couple of feet of snow in stride. In other places, schedules are adjusted at the mere threat of a few flurries. But, whether harsh weather is the norm or rare occurrence, most areas have a similar guiding question. Is it safe to venture out, or is it wise to stay in? Safety is always a concern. Whether real or perceived,Read More →

There will be a lot of talk about decisions today. It’s the morning after Super Bowl XLIX and there’s plenty of talk. If you are into statistics, it might be interesting to determine the percentage of Monday morning quarterbacks and coaches among the millions of viewers who watched the game last night. Listening to all the buzz stirs my thinking about how decisions are evaluated. There’s no shortage of evaluation today. As I listen to the break down of plays, players, coaches, commercials and entertainment this morning, I have distilled a few questions of my own. It all begins with a two-word question.   WhatRead More →

For the next few weeks the media will flood your mind with lists. You can discover the top news stories, the top songs, the biggest winners and losers for the past year. You can learn about the athlete of the year, the most influential person, the man of the year or the woman of the year. It’s a popular way to reflect on the year and categorize some big events. North American culture seems to have a love/hate relationship with lists. You love to guess who will show up on the list. You love to read the list and see if “they” got it right.Read More →