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In the topic 'Personal Vision, Values & Purpose'


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Who Are You and What Do You Want?

At a leadership conference years ago, I shared the stage with the CEO of a top-performing company known for its powerful combination of management discipline and people-focused leadership culture. He illustrated the defining role of vision, values, and purpose with a great personal example. He told us he called a friend and got this message; […]

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Tips and Techniques for Clarifying our Core Values

As the Greek philosopher and priest at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Plutarch, said, “If the ‘Know Thyself’ of the oracle were an easy thing, it would not be held to be a divine injunction.” Knowing what really floats our boat can be tricky. Are we allowing other people to “should on us?” Are […]

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The Value of Values: What Floats Your Boat?

A young boy came home and told his dad that the other kids kept stealing his pencils at school. The father stomped off to the school to complain. “It’s not about the pencils,” he bellowed to his son’s teacher, “I get plenty of those from work. It’s the principle of stealing that bothers me most.” […]

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The Yin Yang of Vision and Values

Visions are values projected outward to the future. Values are visions turned inward. Both reflect and create each other in a synergistic — often unconscious — interrelationship. To see it, we need to be it. Intertwined visions and values are the core of personal, team, and organizational leadership. As with our visions or pictures of […]

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If You Can’t See It, You Can’t Be It

In his book, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism, reflecting on decades of research leading him to found the field of positive psychology, Martin Seligman writes, “I spend an enormous amount of my time imagining futures, daydreaming what-ifs, turning possible scenarios over and over, upside down, and backward, and the older […]

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Coming Attractions: How to Be a Fortune Teller

A wise old sage hosted a dinner. Toward the end of the meal, everyone was given fortune cookies and told that they’re holding their future in their hands. The guests eagerly opened them to read the words of wisdom they contained. The paper slips inside each cookie were blank. “Is this a joke?” they asked. […]

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Use the Force and Foretell Your Future

Visualization sparked my career and energized my life. When I was just starting out, someone recommended I read Claude Bristol’s book, TNT: The Power Within You. The book sparked such an intensity of energy and profound new awareness that I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep for almost a week. Even now, as I thumb […]

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5 Ways to Keep Growing and Energizing Your Dreams

I’ve been studying and applying the power of positive pictures for most of my life. These skills, habits, and techniques are often called visioning, imagery, and visualization. They have a power for change, improvement, and energy creation that we’re only beginning to understand It’s hard to picture a positive, hopeful future if we’re not positive […]

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Tips and Techniques to Harness the Power of Visualization

Visualization energizes our dreams. The more vivid our visualization, the higher our energy and magnetic attraction. Neuroscience shows we’re hardwired to look for what’s wrong. If our ancient ancestors missed catching lunch, they’d keep trying for dinner. If they missed that rustling in the bush, they became lunch. We have a natural ability to imagine […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Visualization

That we are drawn by the future rather than just driven by the past is extremely important and directly contrary to the heritage of social science and the history of psychology. It is, nevertheless, a basic and implicit premise of positive psychology. Martin Seligman, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being  When I […]

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See It to Be It: Visualizing Your Ideal Future

Decades of research has proven the power of visualization in athletics, health, and personal, team, or organizational effectiveness. We become what we think about. The following is an exercise I’ve used personally, with my wife, Heather, and many groups. Recently I led a group of high potential leaders through this guided imagery process as part […]

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Year End Reflections: Looking Back to Better Move Ahead

The comedian Phyllis Diller once joked, “What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” Hopefully, you’re not in that situation during the Holidays! This is a great time of year to step back to see if we’re caught in the speed trap. As the pace of life […]

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What’s the Meaning of Your Work?

Any job can become a career or calling, and any career or calling can become a job. A scientist, physician, or pastor may have initially felt called. But if he or she finds work has become drudgery, it’s now a job. An hourly production worker or hospitality server may have started in a job and […]

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Is There a Place for Ego in Effective Leadership?

A few months ago I posted a blog on “What’s Your Me/We Ratio? based on a salient observation made by Donald Cooper in his newsletter about managers’ use of “I” and “my,” rather than “we” and “our.” They seem to live by the American pop music star Madonna’s creed: “everyone is entitled to my opinion.” […]

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Three Core Questions to Start Your New Year

Happy New Year!! May this be your best one yet! The start of a new year is an excellent time to renew and refocus ourselves, our teams, and our organizations. It’s an essential part of centering or grounding ourselves. In The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age, John […]

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Native American Folktale Illustrates the Power of Expectations

I don’t recall how this Native American fable ended up in my database: A native brave came upon an eagle’s egg which had somehow fallen unbroken from an eagle’s nest. Unable to find the nest, the brave put the egg in the nest of a prairie chicken where it was hatched by the brooding mother […]

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Focusing on What We Want to Create and Emotional Intelligence Resources

A reader responded to my December “Tips and Techniques for Reviewing, Assessing, Celebrating, and Refocusing” blog with this comment: “Hi Jim, Just like to echo your thoughts on staying focused on successes. For many it has been a tricky year in our global economy. Focused thinking has never been so important. Focus your thinking on […]

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True Leadership Values Shine Clearest in Tough Times

A web site visitor described an all too common occurrence today: Our company treats firings and layoff exactly the same. The person being laid off or fired is called to the HR department, given their pink slip, escorted back to their station with an HR person, a hand truck , and boxes. Thirty minutes later […]

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