I am excited to introduce this new video blog (vlog) series: purpose@work. SIGN-UP for my infrequent newsletter to get the latest Conversations That Matter. The one thing I am focused on with this series, and all my services, is how to increase employee engagement from this very sad 15% globally (according to Gallup). There is a lot of research that proves, purpose-driven leadership is a key element in having more inspired employees (even higher than engagement). ASK ME for my white paper: The Playbook for Purpose-Driven Employee Engagement where I've curated the latest research on the current and future state of engagement.Read More
In life and in work, how often do we connect with our fears? Truly connect. Not hide, repress or deny them. Not sugar coat them with “positivity” or brush them under the desk. We know that a key trait of a great leader is taking ownership for outcomes and results: “The buck stops with me.” We also know that being authentic and vulnerable is a great way to build trust. Yet, most leaders shy away from owning their fears, those things that haunt them and they are reluctant to admit.
It’s one thing not to name them to others, but the first step is to be aware of them with ourselves. When we are unwilling to admit to ourselves we fear a situation, an outcome, a person—the situation often persists and gets worse. It becomes a cancer. And soon we are so consumed by it, we forget its origin and why we are giving it so much energy. It becomes a habit. Check-in with yourself and see if any of these examples are true for you:Read More
Find me one person who feels they are not tight on time and we must talk. Even retired folks are so busy these days. Multi-tasking has been proven to be counter productive. There are endless distractions from being online constantly to our phones buzzing with notifications. Oh and then there's "back-to-back" meetings.
The only real solution all of us have to take control of my time is CHOICE. I get to say "yes" and "no" at every decision point. The question is--are we conscious of this fact? Do we take deliberate action to be mindful of how we use our time?Read More
Spoiler-Alert: If you haven’t watched “The Lorax” and may want to—some of the story may be revealed in what follows…
Here’s a quick recap of the story-line. Twelve-year-old Ted lives in a place virtually devoid of nature; no flowers or trees grow in the town of Thneedville. Ted would very much like to win the heart of Audrey, the girl of his dreams, but to do this, he must find that which she most desires: a Truffula tree. To get it, Ted delves into the story of the Lorax, once the gruff guardian of the forest, and the Once-ler, who let greed overtake his respect for nature. In the movie, the creator and business tycoon of Thneedville is O’Hare.Read More
Thank you Disney, Zootopia and Shakira (video and lyrics) for the inspiration to reframe the lessons in this film to leadership and company culture. Quick clarification--I am a big fan of Yoda's "Do or do not. There is no try." This Try is different. It's about learning and growing. It's actually about doing.
Let's look at a few lines from this song:
"I messed up tonight" How often do we admit to ourselves when we mess up at work (and in life)? Self-awareness and ownership is the beginning of change. Having the courage to admit it to your leadership/peers/team is powerful stuff.Read More
Yes. I'm guilty of mindlessly playing games on my phone as an escape. No. Not at the point where I need to find a 12 step program to let go of this addiction. My current favorite is Merged. Do watch the video.
Here's what occurred to me and how this relates to business and people development:
The objective is to connect three similar colors and they disappear--they open space for you to progress. In business, we set goals, we get things done and then we open space to do other things we deem important.Read More
Most companies have integrity as one of their core values. Enron did. The question is how exactly do you define it as a company and even more important how do individual employees define it?
The first definition I saw at Dictionary.com take the path of moral and ethical principles. That's perhaps about being honest, but then say honest. The second definition is more generative for a co-creative culture:
"The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished."Read More
Napoleon Hill said all creation happens in these three stages: conceive, believe, achieve. The challenge is, the middle. Most of us have a hard time really believing anything is possible. That we have what it takes to follow our bliss and create the life and work of our choice.
That's the premise of my book "The 101% You: Seven Steps to Create the Life of Your Choice." The steps emerged from a powerful peak event I accomplished.Read More
Recently, my nine year old daughter brought this play on the word "impossible" to my attention: I'm possible. Wow! Perhaps you've heard this before, but it was a first for me. Here are three tips to reframe those things we believe are impossible:Read More
Let's face it, most companies create corporate core values and they get relegated to posters, fancy slogans and initiatives. The companies that are committed to walking the talk of their core values are those that integrate their values into everything a business does--with both employees and customers. From the way you hire, onboard, provide feedback and the day-to-day way you conduct business to those "moments of truth" when you take the higher road in challenging situations.Read More
Interpreting Dr. King's philosophy of nonviolence to business today, here are steps you can take to practice these principles TODAY and co-create the promise of "I Have a Dream" (he was talking to each of our individual dreams that add up to the collective global dream of love, freedom and oneness).Read More
The need to be understood is fundamental to human existence and happiness. We are attracted to like minded people and gather in tribes. Organizational cultures thrive when there is a common understanding of purpose, values and intent to co-create a desired outcome.
Yet as humans we all have unique perspectives. It's those conversations when there is a disconnect that can be the greatest moments for self discovery and growth. As always, each of us are at choice. You can ignore what just happened. Make up stories about the person and interaction. Walk away with a grudge.Read More
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average U.S. worker spends 1,789 hours working in 2014. As Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft) recently said at DreamForce:
"We spend far too much time at work for it not to have a deeper meaning."
Ask yourself, do you really evaluate your choices, your goals against this criteria--doing work that matters?By now, you've likely decided on your goals for 2016. See if the concept of The 101% You (title of my book) applies to the goals you’ve chosen:Read More
Lots of research shows that New Years resolutions don't last. SMART goals, with support accountability and consistent practice do work.
I smiled reading a poster I noticed at Starbucks this morning "Pour Your Heart Into It." I believe I just received my theme for 2016. There's more research that says our heart is our true brain. Do we need evidence? Hopefully you are with me. The evidence is in our own results. For me, I definitely have been most successful when I pour my heart into what I'm doing. Flow (thank you Mihaly Csiksgentmihalyi) happens when challenge and skill increase together, until we reach that top right quadrant.Read More
A recent pleasant surprise led me think, what if we could clear our negative self-talk and patterns of belief? Here’s what happened. We were having challenges logging in to our Netflix account across various families devices. I did my own trouble shooting for about two weeks, with mixed results. When the pattern kept recurring, I decided to give Netflix a call, fully expecting to be put through several hoops and consuming a lot of time.
I got through to a pleasant Netflix representative right away (perhaps it was 2-3 minutes but felt immediate). And had my problem resolved and was a happy camper in another 2 minutes or so. The solution: to simply type www.netflix.com/clearcookies on my browser. It worked and was so simple.Read More
These are the worst of times and the best of times. The question is are individuals, organizations and media willing to shed light on what’s truly not working. Thank you Dunlavey for this fun visual that is one take on Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey.
First a primer on the Hero’s Journey: it is the foundation of every single classic story/film from Star Wars, The Matrix, and Harry Potter. They all follow these 3 core steps: Separation, Initiation and Return. This process is true for individuals–be it your career, your relationships, or aspirations in life. It plays out with brands just as powerfully from the launch and rebirth of a product–it’s all the same stuff.Read More
Bet all of us have experienced those “change of plan” moments when an executive asks for something or invites you to a meeting at the last minute, impacting your other commitments. Most of us drop everything and step up to serve our leaders. Execs Happen. The chain of power says you bow to their requests (in many cases—commands).
In the spirit of what I teach and practice, I always attempt to stop and get self critical about what’s my part (one finger pointing out = at least 3 pointing back at me). Here are some choices to consider to be in integrity with yourself:Read More
Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" is often quoted for what he says about children: “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself..." Recently I happened to open the book to a part I didn't know existed--about clothes. Here's what Gibran says:
"And the weaver said, "Speak to us of Clothes." And he (The Prophet) answered: Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful."
That got me thinking; imagine if we all walked around naked, even in corporate work environments. After all, our clothes are one way people judge us as the cliché says by the “book cover:” most sales people dress great and look like a million dollars; engineers wear shorts/jeans/t-shirts; executives in some organizations still wear a suit daily, even internally.Read More
Most companies and leaders emphasize team spirit and collaboration. Few get the true benefits of starting with the individual, one person at a time. It’s like the flight attendant announces “put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting a child or someone else.” You can’t create an effective team without first understanding each person that makes up the team.
The “Me” is reflected in the “We.” It takes each person to be engaged, energized and empowered in order to have a team that works collaboratively toward common goals.
Yes, it takes time to do this and it’s certainly less painful than dealing with dysfunctional teams later. You choose.Read More
According to Gallup “of the approximately 100 million people in America who hold full-time jobs, 30 million (30%) are engaged and inspired at work, so we can assume they have a great boss.” It’s true, the biggest reason people are dissatisfied and leave a job is their boss and the reverse is true.
A lot of attention is paid to managers’ responsibility to create a conducive environment for people to do their best work. True. That’s important. I invite us to flip that. What’s an individual’s responsibility to “do what they love and love what they do?” Knowing we all face challenging work environments, here are five keys to making work fun for yourself, in any company culture and with any manager.Read More