How Goals Limit Us

In one of Malcom Gladwell’s books (I believe it’s in “Outliers”), he discusses a phenomenon of how goals limit performance. New York City cabbies were the subject of a productivity, performance and goal-setting study. Apparently NYC cabbies have a daily fare generation goal and, on slow days, the typical cabbie works as many hours as it takes to hit that …

Change, Daring Greatly

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on change. I’m struck by the juxtaposition of emotions this causes: buying a house, getting a promotion, having a child leave for college and then leave again for whatever is next, can simultaneously be exciting, thrilling, fun, hugely gratifying AND terrifying, threatening, daunting and overwhelming. It’s part of the human condition. We need, want, strive for …

Integrity, Scarce and Powerful

Integrity is binary: It’s either on or off. You can’t be ‘somewhat’ in integrity. It is not morality or ethics, which is a societal value of good and bad, right and wrong. Integrity is keeping our word, on time, as promised. We are in integrity even if—or especially if—we cannot keep our word but inform all who are affected immediately …

The War of Art

“Most of us have two lives: The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” So writes Steven Pressfield in his book, “The War of Art.” Why do we not take that risk, finish that project, accomplish goals we set—the real goals that could alter our lives’ trajectory, manifest our souls’ destiny? This, says …

Leading With Emotional Intelligence

I’m certain that not one of you reading this woke up this morning looking forward to feeling sad or hurt, scared or angry today. There’s a whole bucket of emotions that we label “negative,” and once they show up, we often act as if we’re under siege and need to get ready to fight off an alien invasion. Recently I …

What To Do With Feedback

What do you do when you get really tough feedback? I don’t care who you are—this is difficult. You hear something harsh about yourself, and it makes your heart sink, your mouth go dry and despair sets in. I’m not immune to this, but I’ve learned a few things along this crazy journey called Life to strive to accept—if not …

Leadership is Local

Leadership is local. Actually, I believe it’s hyper local—meaning everyone, all the time has the ability to lead. We simply don’t own this extraordinary influence we have, right here, right now. Early in my career, many years ago now, I had an amazing intern—she was (actually still is) smart, dedicated and driven. She was searching for her first “real job” …

Our Myth of Excellence

In this country, we have a common myth that does not serve us well. We collectively believe that many critical attributes are innate; part of our DNA or our genetic heritage—we either have them, or we do not. If we’re the lucky few, we’re blessed with skills, and then things come effortlessly and perfectly to us. And if we don’t, …

True Gratitude

Dear Friends, “I had an emotional breakdown during my sophomore year of college, and it was one of the scariest and most painful experiences I can imagine. But I am grateful, because from that point forward, I re-evaluated what I was doing, made dramatic lifestyle changes and have a much better life now than I otherwise would have.” “I loved …

Feedback

I define effective leadership and high-functioning teams in almost the same way. A leader will create an improved outcome. A great team will ensure that each member is better within the team than they would have been otherwise (an improved outcome). In other words, because of the great team or leader, you are a better you; better than if you …