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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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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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War, Pandemic, Inflation, Climate, Politics, …Let’s Not Lose Perspective

Which dot is bigger? It looks like the right dot is quite a bit larger than the other one. But they are the same size. Go ahead, measure them. The framing around each dot changes our perception of its size. When hanging a painting on your wall, the size and color of the frame or […]

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The Great Resignation Calls for Values Rededication and Integration

Recently I was asked to facilitate an executive retreat for the leadership team of a professional services firm. With everyone working from home, the firm came through the pandemic with strong financial results. Client satisfaction was high, and the firm won awards from industry peer groups for the professionalism and effectiveness of their services. However, […]

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Reality Check: Are Your Values Hot Air and Gas?

An elderly man went to the doctor with a complaint about a gas problem. “But,” he told the doctor, “it really doesn’t bother me too much. When I pass gas, they never smell and are always silent. As a matter of fact, I’ve passed gas a few times since I’ve been here in your office. […]

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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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Antidotes for the Pessimism Plague

New Year, new newsletter! Since LinkedIn has become such a widely used professional network (nearly 800 million members), we’ve moved The Leader Letter to LinkedIn’s Newsletter platform. The Leader Letter will now become a “try-weekly” — I’ll try to post a weekly article. Each issue will focus on one of the personal, team, or leadership/organization […]

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Are You the Servant or Master of this Powerful Force?

I am your constant companion. I am your greatest asset or heaviest burden. I will push you up to success or down to disappointment. I am at your command.   Half the things you do might just as well be turned over to me, For I can do them quickly, correctly, and profitably. I am […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Mindfulness

Don’t believe everything you think. “… listen to your thoughts with mindful awareness. You will see the evanescent nature of thoughts, that they are fleeting ideas, all impermanent. And then you can begin to realize that just because you have a thought doesn’t mean you have to believe it — much less act on it […]

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It’s Now Forever: 9 Tips for Gifting Yourself the Present of Presence

A road sign on a winding mountain highway warned, “Slow Down or Die.” Simple, succinct, and great life advice as well. If day after day of stressful racing around doesn’t manage to physically kill us before our time, it will surely kill our happiness and enjoyment in being here. Think of times you’ve felt high […]

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Time to Reflect and Redirect to Course Correct?

With this fall’s release of Peter Jackson’s documentary series, Get Back, and Paul McCartney’s book, The Lyrics, I’ve enjoyed hearing more about The Beatles’ groundbreaking work. As a long-time fan, it’s fascinating to get more background and context for some of this iconic music. Year-end is a time for reflection. And after a year like […]

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