Pre-judging

I’m not sure a white man should post about prejudice during Black History Month. But here are two stories about prejudice, one that brags on my family, one that shows my failings: My great uncle made the trek from Mexico to visit back when I was in college. We didn’t get to see Uncle Dick much, but I certainly made …

King David was a redneck.

Swept under the rug Rednecks have a communication problem. It may be one you share as a leader. Following is how to address that communication problem. But first, a tragic cautionary tale from a famous redneck: King David. King David’s son, Amnon, raped his half-sister, Tamar. Amnon pretended to be sick and asked their father to send Tamar to tend …

Fast Company on the power of vulnerability

An incredibly successful client had an employee team blow up. They were originally excited to be tasked by management to address a big employee headache. It was to improve a process that touched a lot of people in the organization. And then the team self-destructed. It was due to poor communication and ego. (But isn’t it almost always that?) The …

Want fulfilling work? Take naming seriously.

Made to Work I was sitting across the desk of a man who had worked his way up in a corporation to be managing partner. He ran one of the company’s locations, had a minority stake and participated in leadership’s inner circle.  He was facing retirement. And he was not happy about it.  He had done well for himself and …

Emotional Intelligence primer

This is a lovely summary of Daniel Goleman’s seminal work on Emotional Intelligence. It starts with what and who, then moves into why, EI matters. Great quotes from the book are listed at the bottom. I’m posting it here because it’s good stuff … and also because it ties in directly to our current podcast series on “The Lost Tools …

Is “How are you?” a bad question?

CNBC published an article with a bit of clickbait: “Stop asking ‘how are you?’ Harvard researchers say this is what successful people do when making small talk.” Despite all the ads on the page, the article has some good points on how to converse with small talk. Here’s an overarching principle worth memorizing: If you can figure out a place …

“Change is hard, I should know”

“I want to make a career change and know I need to work on my mindset if I’m going to be successful.” “Our staff have to become truly responsive to customers.” “My marriage is in trouble if I don’t adjust how I run my company.” You get the idea. These are paraphrases of things clients have said to me over …

“What’ll THAT get you?”

“What’ll that get you?” It’s a question I often ask. (Hat tip to one of my teachers, executive coach Gary Wood, for teaching it to me.) Once a client told me he wanted to be no. 1 in his market. “What’ll that get you?” I asked. “Well, then I’d win,” he said. I had to ask: What would winning get …