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Highlighting Bright Colors During Dark Times

My last post focused on our work with Aga Khan University; a remarkable example of a highly values and mission driven organization navigating through very turbulent times in difficult parts of the world. In my initial trip last June and my recent visit this May, I had some time to tour the teaming city of […]

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Building Our Resilience in Facing the F-Word

Failure. Is it temporary or permanent? Is it an experience or who you are? Do you learn from it or get crushed by it? Do you get traumatized, bounce back, or grow and become better off? The April issue of the Harvard Business Review is entitled “The Failure Issue: How to Understand It, Learn From […]

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Book Review of “Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility”

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old your body is? “You’re only as old as you feel” is folk wisdom that’s almost a cliche. In Counterclockwise, Harvard psychology professor, Ellen Langer, presents powerful evidence showing just how true that is. Langer’s life work is on illusion of control, aging, decision-making, and […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on….. The Destructive Power of Fear

Fear does have a place in our lives. The motivational power of fear can even be crucial to our survival. If we’re physically attacked, fear can jolt us with the adrenalin and motivation we need for fight or flight. Fear is like fire. It can be a life-giving energy source or it can badly burn […]

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St. Patrick’s Day: Driving Out the Snakes of Fear in Turbulent Times

Given the huge disaster in Japan, unrest in the Middle East, and shaky stock markets we especially need to nurture our “inner guru” (see my last post) to dispense the darkness of pessimism, fear, and worry. The positive energy and celebration of St. Patrick’s Day may be just the reminder we need. One of the […]

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“Barriers” Like Age Are Often Self-Created

A reader recently sent me a lengthy e-mail raising questions dealing with age and organizational culture. Here’s the essence of it: "My daughter is a youthful 29 years old (and short which doesn’t help!) working in the financial services industry. Over the past four years she has done very well with a few promotions. Her […]

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Leading Through Adversity: Reframing Tips and Techniques

My last post (“Bouncing Back from Adversity is a Core Leadership Skill”) featured PEAK’s Learning Adversity Continuum. The research that produced this response range for dealing with life’s setbacks, pain, and suffering showed that a tiny minority of people (strong Leaders) use adversity as fuel to move toward higher ever higher personal and team/organizational leadership. […]

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Bouncing Back from Adversity is a Critical Leadership Skill

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. The happiest and most effective people are Leaders who may need a “therapeutic visit to Pity City” but bounce back from changes, setbacks, and problems. However, most people are Followers and wait for someone else to show the way or help them decide how to feel or respond. And […]

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Leading Perspectives: No Arms, No Legs, No Worries!

I was just sent a link to a powerful video that shows – once again – how leaders change reality and shape perceptions – their own and others. The four-minute clip shows Nick Vujicic fully engaged in sporting activities and speaking to young people about perspective. Nick was born with no arms and legs. But […]

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Recommended Reading: Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive by Barbara Frederickson

Positive psychology is an exciting new and rapidly expanding movement pioneered by Martin Seligman, Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology in the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Psychology and director of their Positive Psychology Center. His book, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment, is one of the best […]

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Five Resolutions to Lead, not Follow or Wallow in 2010

Happy New Year! It’s been said that an optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in and a pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. Given the economic difficulties of 2009 many people (both optimists and pessimists) are happy to wave the year a hearty good bye. Now a […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…. The Slippery Subjectivity of Reality

My last blog post explored the endlessly fascinating and puzzling conundrums posed by quantum physics. This quirky science is really challenging our understanding of reality. What really is reality? Here are observations on the topic: “Reality: (noun) all of your experiences that determine how things appear to you; ‘his world was shattered’; ‘we live in […]

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Quantum Mechanics: Now what’s the Real World?

My last blog post was a link to the great podcast interview Anna Farmery did around a few key concepts from Growing @ the Speed of Change. The one area she had not heard of, and especially fascinated her, was the very strange new field of quantum mechanics. I find this topic incredibly intriguing and […]

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Deeply Engaging Interview on Change, Reality, Communication, and Letting Others Should on You

I have participated in many media interviews over the years. I am currently in the midst of a flurry of interviews right now with my new book. Recently, speaker and social media coach, Anna Farmery, interviewed me for her Engaging Brand podcast. It was one of the best interviews I’ve ever had. Many interviewers are […]

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The Victimitis Virus: Undermining and Giving Away Our Power

A major problem we see time and again in workshops and consulting work is how individuals and entire management teams learn how to become more and more powerless. The insidious thing about learned helplessness is many people don’t even recognize they have it. The Victimitis Virus is a silent killer moving so stealthily that sufferers […]

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Grappling with the Science of Reality: Dreams, Illusions, and Perceptions

“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 navigate these turbulent times […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm….on Resilience

I’ve spent all of 2009 with my head deep into research, writing, and speaking about dealing with change and adversity, personal growth, and leading ourselves and others “above the line.” That path inevitably leads into the critical topic of resilience. As the old truism reminds us; it’s not what happens to us but what we […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm….on Optimism

During turbulent times like we’ve seen over the past year, optimism is critical to our health and well being. Optimistic thinking is also a core skill of Emotional Intelligence. And bringing hope and seeing possibilities has long been a big part of what defines a strong leader regardless of his or her formal authority or […]

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Whining versus Leading

I just got a follow-up e-mail from “Bob”, an internal Industrial Relations/Human Resources professional within one of our larger Clients. He was a participant at a leadership fundamentals workshop I ran in June. Another participant in that session was an extremely vocal and negative supervisor who continually complained about her inability to lead because of […]

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Lessons in Perspective from the Dung Beetle

Perspective is everything. What some people see as an unmitigated disaster is an opportunity to others. Some people wallow in why-me misery, some people wait to follow someone else, and others lead. I’ve collected numerous stories, metaphors, and research over the decades showing that there is no “reality.” It’s all in how we frame life’s […]

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