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Review of From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life

  One of my favorite annual Christmas season rituals is watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring a young Jimmy Stewart. It’s a 1946 classic that tells a compelling story about making a difference in the lives of others. In the movie, Jimmy’s character, George Bailey, becomes a reluctant leader in his small hometown […]

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I Exam: Negative Nuggets of Pessimism or Positive Points of Optimism?

In the Shakespearean tragedy titled after the main character, Hamlet ponders his imprisonment by Denmark and the King as well as in his own mind when he says, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” In my previous post in this series of posts on the nature of “reality,” we […]

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Are You Wearing C.R.A.P Glasses?

A few years ago, I ran into an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen for a while. Our short conversation confirmed just why I hadn’t seen him — and wouldn’t again soon if I could help it! I started off with, “Hey Phil. How’s it going?” His response was, “Oh, you know; same crap, different day.” […]

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Is Reality Stringing Us Along?

Edward Witten, an American mathematical and theoretical physicist, is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He’s a leading researcher in string theory, quantum gravity, supersymmetric quantum field theories, and other areas of mathematical physics. Witten said, “String theory is 21st century physics that fell […]

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What’s “Real” and What’s Virtual : Are We Creating Our Own Metaverse?

The term “metaverse” was coined in the 1992 science fiction novel, Snow Crash, as a combination of “meta” — meaning more comprehensive or transcending — and universe. A core component of the metaverse is virtual reality (VR). VR often uses headsets and motion controllers to create a computer simulated environment. VR is used for gaming, […]

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Real Strange: What Does Your I of Reality See?

“Get real!” “You’re not living in the real world.” “That’s a pipe dream that’s completely out of touch with reality!” “Your delusional flights of fancy sound good but in actual fact…” “The reality of our situation is….” “Let me give you a dose of reality.” Anyone trying to stay positive and lead in these turbulent […]

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The Sands of Time: The Only Permanence is Impermanence

Julia was exhausted. Business was outstanding. Her team was scrambling to keep up and she was stretched thin. They had trouble finding enough good people to fill the new positions that were being created by the company’s rapid growth. During a family gathering she talked about her crazy-busy life and shared her frustration with a […]

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Life Isn’t Fair: Our Choice is How to Deal with It

Life isn’t fair. The world is full of injustice and inequality. Billions live in horrible poverty. Brutal wars kill and maim millions of blameless people. Corrupt governments destroy entire countries’ quality of life. Crooked leaders bilk thousands of investors out of their life savings and drive economies into ruin and throw people out of work. […]

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Surfing or Sinking on the Waves of Ceaseless Change

How well does this describe our world today? These social and economic changes… were uneven and unsettling. They opened up differentials between groups and between different societies. They spawned lust for wealth, envy, and distrust of neighbors. They led to overseas wars, unequal taxation, social turmoil, and the questioning of established authority, royal and religious. […]

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Quotes to Note from “The Trifecta of Trust”

Last week’s post, How to Build and Restore Trust, was a review of, and key points from, Joe Folkman’s new book, The Trifecta of Trust: The Proven Formula for Building and Restoring Trust. My copy is full of yellow highlights. Here are a few of the most notable ones: After years of analysis, I discovered […]

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How to Build and Restore Trust

Trust is the currency of leadership. Like money, leaders can earn it, squander it, or leverage it for a high return on investment. Leaders, teams, and organizations have highly variable trust accounts. Some are rich with trust, some are getting by, and some are bankrupt. Trust is easy to talk about. But it’s tough to […]

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Shift Happens: From Just Surviving to Thriving in Turbulent Times

The light dawned. I was in a meeting with my colleagues, reviewing the rapid changes in our training and consulting business and sorting through our priorities for the coming quarter. We had doubled our already substantial business over the past 18 months. While the growth was exciting, it was also exhausting. We were piling on […]

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Is it About Time: Tips and Techniques to Mind Your Busyness

Brian’s head was starting to throb as he scrolled through the two-dozen new voice and e-mails messages on his phone while walking to his cubicle. Looks like another crazy day in the hamster cage, he muttered to himself. Brian was growing increasingly frustrated. Despite working 50 hours and more per week (with an increasing amount […]

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To Keep You Growing: How to Avoid Being Stuck in the Muck

The lotus flower is an ancient and widely used symbol for growth and beauty blossoming from the mud. It’s an example of drawing new life and beautiful growth from decay. My last post asked are you green and growing or ripe and rotting? Sometimes it’s not easy to recognize the symptoms of slow decay. We […]

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Are You Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting?

As a gardener, I love this time of year. My office looks over our back gardens. After looking at a brown, dead landscape for the past months, the garden is alive with spring flowers and vigorous green growth. The 19th-century British theologian and essayist, John Henry Newman once said, “Growth is the only evidence of […]

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May the Force — of Inspiring Leadership — Be with You

Today is Star Wars Day. May 4th has become an annual commemoration of the Star Wars media franchise. “May the Fourth be with you” is a punny take (I do like to jest for the pun of it…) on the Star Wars catchphrase “may the force be with you.” I don’t dress up on any […]

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Inspiring Leadership: Bringing Purpose to Life

I wrote this story for the Purpose chapter in Pathways to Performance: Two workers were digging a trench and laying cable. A neighborhood boy came by on his bike to inspect the work. He asked one of the workers what he was doing. The worker replied, “I’m laying a new combination phone and fiber cable […]

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Quotes to Note on Purposeful Leadership

As mentioned in my recent post, On Purpose: What Condition is Your Mission In?, spirit and meaning are missing in many organizations. The huge disconnect between our existential search for a deeper purpose and the empty words of mission statements is a major factor behind The Great Resignation.   “Those who are able to inspire […]

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Telling Tales: Fable Shows the Dangerous Growth of Autocratic Leadership

In his weekly Guardian column, Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, and author, explained how “Dictators like Putin surround themselves with liars and propaganda. That leads to very bad decisions.” He writes, “Trump, Putin, Xi — these men aren’t stupid. But they […]

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To P or Not to P: Does Your Purpose Provoke Passion?

A recent report by McKinsey and Co. found the pandemic has caused half of employees surveyed to consider leaving their current job. This research also found that 70 percent of workers said their purpose is defined by their work. The Big Resignation is a big pain point for many organizations. Attracting and retaining top people […]

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