Challenged? Be thankful for the giants in the land!

All of us at one time or another have self-doubt. We look at the challenge before us and wonder if we have what it takes to overcome. As leaders, we may look at the organization we lead and wonder if our people are up for the challenge and/or equipped to face it.

My business partner and I have coined a phrase to repeat when we face difficult challenges and/or long odds: “there are giants in the land”. This simple phrase serves to instantly remind us of the need to be strong and courageous when our emotions might otherwise get the best of us and diminish our capacity for change. It also serves to remind us  Please Continue Reading …

The Most Powerful Experience of My Life

I have been blessed with many powerful experiences in my personal and vocational life. Some have been traumatically powerful, others euphorically…but none like what I have been experiencing currently – none so hope-full.

I have studied, worked, and spoken extensively in the area of values-based leadership and culture, and I have grown to understand that all of this culminates in the aspect of character – within the incorporated collective as well as the individual. The whole of this activity has been compelling to me – Please Continue Reading …

Who paid the piper?

“Someone paid the piper and we all sang along, but we’ve forgotten why we’re singing; we’re lost in the song.” Lost in the Song, David E White, 1999.

I wonder…what disturbs our peace and contentment so persistently, yet invisibly? We find appeal in the concept of the simple life, but we continue to fill our schedules with obligations, responsibilities, new pursuits and causes to serve. For all the years that humankind has been on the planet, the vast majority of lives have not been famous, remarkably significant, or even remembered, yet something in us seems to long for significance.

Is a leader, who has served in relative obscurity, less significant than one who has achieved fame? Is fame important; does it define the quality of a person, a leader, in any way?  Please Continue Reading …

What can I do if my leadership doesn’t “get it”?

As I have traveled to speak throughout various regions of Canada, I have frequently had this question asked of me – enough so that I finally decided to sit down and record practicable principles, with the hope of encouraging those who find themselves in this situation.

 Auschwitz Entry Gate, Poland

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human
freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl

The question follows sessions where I have spoken about culture being leadership behaviour, and the necessity of leadership modelling; about how (bilateral) accountability and grace are imperative for optimal performance, and about how leadership must evolve to become  Please Continue Reading …

Trust

Something I am learning about myself is that I trust easily upfront, but then fear abandonment and betrayal in certain circumstances, which leads me to plan escape routes from the potential to be wounded.

No one truly enjoys being vulnerable, and I would be no exception. I don’t mind being transparent, in fact I value transparency as a component of authenticity, but vulnerability can be a fear-full thing.

I find myself vulnerable when I have to take responsibility for a mistake I made where others have to pay for it in some way. As I reflect  Please Continue Reading …

Worried?

We had nothing to do with the creation of our life at the beginning, so why do we worry about tomorrow?

I asked this question of someone once, and they (indignantly) replied, “because we have agency.” Sure, we have the ability to make decisions and take action, but why would we employ this ability in worry? Plan, review, analysis, contemplate, calibrate, learn…but why worry? We literally could not stop the coming of our life, and we ultimately can not stop its passing.

The #1 principle for personal resilience is spiritual as a connection to the transcendent; to the larger that is beyond us. I can visualize this as being caught in a powerful storm, but having an anchor that holds my boat steady. Better yet,  Please Continue Reading …

inCorporated Character

I have been struck by concept over the past few weeks, and it has been growing in clarity and conviction for me: the importance of Corporate Character.

I am a self-declared values-based leader, and I have advocated long and hard in relation to the impacts of corporate culture. I have debated along with others about the merits of culture versus strategy – as if either of the two could ever stand on their own.

Character can be defined as: The combination of  Please Continue Reading …

Keys to Accountability

There are really only 4-keys to ensuring accountability related to maintaining necessary protocols and practices.

 

The first 3 keys need to be explored in the following order:

Is the item:

  1. Clear?
  2. Understandable?
  3. Doable?

The answer to each of these leads to a natural next step of change, which provides some hope for future performance, while the 4th is the most defining: Please Continue Reading …

A simple metaphor for corporate resilience

Given that an organization is ALWAYS a composite of individuals, and that each individual person is organic, a tree serves fairly well as an organization structure metaphor/picture.

 

Fist, note that it is relatively upside down as compared to a traditional organizational chart, with the bulk at the top, and the leadership at the bottom. This supports  Please Continue Reading …

One reason to give up the pursuit of happiness

There’s been lots of talk about happiness in various circles over the past few years. Which countries have the most of it? How did they get there? How can WE get there and get a slice of the good life too?

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with being happy! However, the road to happiness may not be what we would expect it to be, it may even be directionally backwards to what we would assume. Please Continue Reading …