What’s Even More Important Than Asking “How?”

I coach leaders and their teams, and am continually inspired by the ways in which their learning unfolds.  When clients come to me, they are anxious to get to work to address their pressing business issues, hoping that I may offer them “fixes” or novel solutions.  What they soon come to realize is that they are the true experts in the “how,” while I create space for inquiry around the “what.” Let me clarify.  When leaders are focused on the how, their minds tend to look for solutions in areas where they have familiarity and experience.  This usually doesn’t offer …

Leadership Triggers: Teachers in Disguise?

Triggers.  We all have them.  None of us are entirely immune.  I say “entirely” because there are things we can do to reduce the impact that triggers have on us as leaders.  Triggers are events that stimulate our brain into a reaction—often “fight or flight.”  The brain checks into the memory banks and looks for a similar event that evoked similar feelings.  Often it is an event from our earlier years, one in which the event felt “unsafe.”  We may have felt humiliated, shamed, embarrassed, scared, or angry.  If the intensity of the present event evokes similar sensations, AND you …

Breath and Leadership: Don’t Wait to Exhale

I am a student who is curious about ways to help leaders with more effective performance and joyful living.  As such, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to an area with a proven ability to impact both:  the breath. Did you know that your state of mind is a direct reflection of your breathing patterns?  If you want to change your current experience, change your breath! Think about a baby.  A baby breathes from the abdomen.   Long, slow exhalations, and inhalations that “just happen.”  The baby’s breathing is relaxed.  We all used to breathe in such a way.  Somewhere …

A Healthy Culture Begins With You

I recently heard a talk on “Health Cells and Healthy Cultures” by Judith Glaser, author, executive coach and organizational anthropologist.  Judith’s core message is that cultures are determined by relationships and relationships come from conversations. Therefore, having healthy conversations can literally change the DNA of an organizational culture.  I couldn’t agree more.  I appreciate her work.  In working with leaders and teams, we deploy many of these same principles.  The result is that they are consciously creating trusting cultures that get results in a healthy way. Glaser explained that in biology, as in organizations, there are two kinds of cells …

What Gets In the Way Of Your Being Original?

I’ve been thinking a lot about being innovative, creative and original. Fortunately, I’ve recently come across a book with a truly extraordinary perspective on the topic.  For life-long learners in leadership, it should be placed near the top of your “must-read” list.  The book is titled “Originals:  How Non-Conformists Move the World” by Adam Grant. There is so much written about the topic, but I doubt if you’ll find anything more “original” than this book.  As a social scientist, the author rigorously integrates research findings across multiple disciplines to make his point–that we are all capable of being a champion …