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The Way Out of Overwhelm

The Way Out of Overwhelm

One of my current clients – I’ll call her Tonya – is struggling with a pattern that I see in many leaders. Tonya is a member of the executive leadership team of her organization, and she has too much on her plate, more than is humanly possible to achieve in the hours available to her.Continue Reading

Do You Work Harder Than You Need To?

Do You Work Harder Than You Need To?

Last year, I worked with a client who was smart, ambitious, and very committed to doing the best work possible. I’ll call him Sam. As an individual contributor in the financial services industry, Sam had always worked hard and shown initiative, and he had risen quickly in his organization. At the time we worked together,Continue Reading

Tool Box: Resilient Leadership

Tool Box: Resilient Leadership

In all my years as a coach and consultant, some of the most valuable tools I’ve used with clients have come from the work of people who have applied family systems theory to leadership and organizations. Recently, I attended a training that deepened my understanding of this theory and how it works in organizational life,Continue Reading

What’s Your Leadership Identity?

What’s Your Leadership Identity?

Who are you, as a leader? The first way most of us typically answer the question “who are you?” is with information, from our own perspective. If you and I met at a professional event somewhere and fell into conversation, that’s probably where you would start, too. You’d tell me your name, where you work,Continue Reading

What Did You Say, Again?

What Did You Say, Again?

“Fundamentally, you have partners in this enterprise speaking different languages.” This quote by John Logsdon appeared in an article in the LA Times on October 1, 1999. At the time, Logsdon was the director of the space policy institute at George Washington University, and he was referring to the loss of the $125 million MarsContinue Reading

What Sustains You?

What Sustains You?

Let me tell you about the morning I had today. One of our cats has diarrhea, and I cleaned up after her four times before 9:30. The other cat caught and killed a cardinal, despite the fancy collar that I had fitted around his neck just last week that is supposed to make it easierContinue Reading

Fake It ‘Til You Make It?

Fake It ‘Til You Make It?

About a month ago, I had a conversation with a client that I’ve been thinking about ever since. I had asked her to watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on how our body language and physical postures shape how we think and feel about ourselves. In her research, Cuddy demonstrates that open, powerful physical poses affectContinue Reading

Things Aren’t What You Think!

Things Aren’t What You Think!

I was at a conference the other day and saw a brief video that demonstrated something called the McGurk effect. I had never heard of this phenomenon, and found it fascinating. The presenter asked half the room – myself included – to close our eyes, and played 4 seconds of video which the other halfContinue Reading

Whatever You Do, Don’t Build Your Team!

Whatever You Do, Don’t Build Your Team!

I have been thinking about one of the most common phrases associated with teams: “team building.” I don’t know about you, but I have an automatic, skeptical response when I hear that phrase. Some of that comes from too many experiences of team building activities that fail to engage teams in their real challenges. TheseContinue Reading

Fun and Inspiration for the New Year

Fun and Inspiration for the New Year

In honor of the New Year, this post offers some fun and inspiring examples of teamwork, and ideas that can inform your thinking about teams and how to build environments where they can flourish. So go get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and then enjoy a few minutes of rest from the dailyContinue Reading