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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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Are You Being Poisoned by a Toxic Culture?

During a retreat with the leadership team of a large healthcare organization, we were running a little behind schedule so I said we’d move fairly quickly through the Responsibility for Choices principle in our leadership discussion. Fortunately, an astute participant piped up with, “Jim, I think we need to talk about our ‘blaming and disclaiming’ […]

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Are You a Leader on the Grow?

Stanford University professor of psychology, Carol Dweck, has become well-known for her work on the power of a growth mindset. Her research shows this is vital to success and fulfilling our potential. Spring is a great time for gardeners in the Northern Hemisphere to reflect on growth. I enjoy perennial gardening in our yard. As I […]

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Don’t Get Sucked in by the Gloomy Headlines: The World’s Getting Better and Better

It’s time for our annual dose of reality. Let’s start the New Year with a perspective check. We’ve heard way too much from the “nattering nabobs of negativity,” purveyors of pessimism, and deliverers of doom. Let’s ditch the “crap glasses” and get real. Let’s look at what’s truly going on in the world. This annual […]

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Season’s Readings for Reflection and Renewal

This is a great time of year to put our lives in perspective. As business slows down during the holidays, we can step back from the life canvass we’re painting with our daily brush strokes to review our personal masterpiece. Year-end reviews are highly valuable to my personal growth and development. Decades ago, Heather and […]

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Don’t be Spooked: How to Make Chilling Changes Less Scary

Today is Hallows’ Evening or Halloween. Many believe Halloween traditions came from ancient Celtic harvest festivals. Today little ghosts and goblins harvest treats at neighborhood doorsteps. Halloween is frightening images, blood curdling sounds, and creepy creatures. This can be positive fun and enjoyable when not taken too seriously. Or it can be darkly negative and […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm on…Enlightenment Now

Bill Gates calls this “my new favorite book of all time.” Read my review here. Here’s a small taste of Steven Pinker’s forceful case for reframing where the world is today: “…although the world remains highly unequal, every region has been improving, and the worst-off parts of the world today are better off than the […]

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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

One of my favorite bedtime stories as a kid was the story of Chicken Little. It’s a very old folk tale about a little chick who was hit on the head by a falling acorn. The chick believed the world was coming to an end, and set out to warn the King. “Despair springs eternal,” […]

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Hardiness and Resilience: When Giving In Can Give Us a Lift

When you experience failure, loss, or a serious setback do you see it as temporary or permanent? Is failure an event or who you are? Is it a learning or crushing experience? Does it traumatize you or become a springboard for growth? Confucius said, “our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising […]

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The Key to Unlocking Your Career Highs Again and Again!

How do we create extraordinary work experiences that can be repeated again and again? Discovering purpose in our work drives personal satisfaction and organizational success. Unfortunately, we often allow ourselves to go too long without it. In this webinar Jack Zenger and Joyce Palevitz describe being “in the zone” or the sweet spot at the intersection […]

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Escape the Speed Trap: Lead Smarter, Not Faster

I once sat through a frantic, high-energy presentation by an author on knowledge management. He deluged us with a flood of statistics showing how the world’s knowledge was growing at mind-blowing rates. The gist of his presentation was that we need to re-train our brains to absorb more information at faster rates so we could […]

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The Key to Unlocking Your Career Highs Again and Again

What’s your combination of strengths or competence, passion, and organizational need for your work? Are you playing to your strengths and filling an organizational need, but it’s a real chore and your heart isn’t in your work? Then you’re likely serving time in “day prison.” What if you’re doing work you love, and it plays […]

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Webinar: 6 Key Ingredients for Inspirational Leadership – Discover Your Personal Recipe!

What does it take to be an inspiring leader? Positive and perky? Pep talks? High fives? I was invited by a hall of fame NFL quarterback to give a leadership presentation to his senior management team in their offices. He was building a very successful national company on a high growth trajectory. As we toured […]

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Just my Luck: Choice More Than Chance Determines Our Circumstance

Luckily, I caught Richard Wiseman in a radio interview late one night on my way home from the airport. When I got home, I immediately looked him up on the Internet and ordered his book. Wiseman is Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. He’s been […]

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Facing Reality: Are you a Rational Optimist or Unrealistic Pessimist?

A few years ago, I ran into an old colleague I hadn’t seen for a while. Our short conversation confirmed just why I hadn’t seen him in a while. I greeted him with, “Hey Phil. How’s it going?” His response was, “Oh, you know; same crap, different day.” He then proceeded to proudly pile up […]

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Don’t Get Dragged Down by all the Negative News: Life’s Better Than Ever

Our world has never been in better shape or more prosperous. But you’d never know it by reading the news. “A lot of people look at the news these days and think that the world is falling apart,”. Bill Gates says: “I have a different view. I think the world has never been better — […]

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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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From Bah! to Aha! Five Leadership Lessons from Ebenezer Scrooge

One of my cherished holiday traditions is watching various movie versions of Charles Dickens’ much-loved classic, A Christmas Carol. Once our grandkids become old enough (a major highlight of this year was all three of our kids each had a baby), I’ll be able to watch my favorite version, The Muppet Christmas Carol, with them. […]

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Are You a Learning Leader on the Grow?

Greek mathematician, Euclid, was hired to teach geometry to a young, impatient Egyptian heir to the throne. The prince was an unmotivated student. He especially resisted learning basic formulas and theories before getting into practical applications. “Is there no simpler way you can get to the point?” he asked. “As the crown prince I should […]

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What is “it” that drives you and your team?

In the movie “City Slickers,” Billy Crystal plays Mitch, a middle-aged man in crisis who has lost his direction. He and his friends go to a dude ranch to participate in a real cattle drive and search for the meaning of life. Jack Palance plays Curly, a crusty old cowhand whose job it is to […]

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