Category Archives: Trust

Leaders and Posers

I have stayed away from any direct public comment about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. I don’t know the facts, and any comment would be pure conjecture. But, I do know what I’ve seen in the way … Continue reading

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What’s in a Name Change? Part III

The first two parts of this blog series dealt with what went wrong when the National Speakers Association announced a name change and re-branding effort at its annual convention on July 2. Today we look at what went right. Continue reading

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What’s in a Name Change? Part II

Napoleon said, “A leader is a dealer in hope.”

When it comes to change, that responsibility extends to creating the context of why and how the current reality should and could be different. Continue reading

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What’s in a Name Change? Part I

The majority of the world spent the last five days living their life. A small slice of the universe who make their living selling ideas, however, were agitating themselves into a frenzy.

In case you missed it, the National Speakers Association, an association of which I am a member, decided to re-brand itself and change its name to PLATFORM.

This is a first world problem. In the context of all of the turmoil in the world, the re-naming of this 41-year old association ranks right up there with … well almost nothing.

And yet, people on all sides of the argument lit up the blogosphere and social media channels supporting their positions … even if it meant refusing to consider that others might be equally right in their own stance (see my blog on “Is It Always Right to be Right” for more on that phenomenon.) Continue reading

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The Fault in Our Institutions is the Fault Within Ourselves

The lack of confidence in the institutions that define our collective culture is threatening the civility, economic prosperity, and standing of the United States as a world leader. Let’s start with the government. The President’s approval rating is underwater and … Continue reading

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Break the S-R Loop to Make Change Work

We taught mice and pigeons to do all sorts of interesting things during my graduate school class in behavioral psychology. The principle is simple: provide a stimulus and elicit a response. The stimulus-response cycle still plays an important role in animal training today. And, it is evident in virtually every routine action we take.

You don’t think about your response; you just make it. And at some point, it becomes automatic. On most days, those automatic responses are benign routines that allow you to effectively navigate.

Unfortunately, they can also become anchors that prevent you from making a change that will transform your business and your life.
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Focus on What Truly Matters

These days it seems that we’re all so busy, overcommitted, and information-obsessed. Our never-ending to-do lists are long and we run around trying to “keep up” or “be important,” and in the process stress ourselves out. Unfortunately, it often takes something bad to happen to slow us down, wake us up, and force us to focus on what truly matters most in life. Continue reading

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Should You Put Lipstick on the Brussels Sprouts? How Leaders Communicate Forced Change

My presentations about leading change usually include a story about Double Stuf Oreos and Brussels Sprouts. You can view the story here, but the basic principle is simple:

A child will willingly change what they are doing to reach a jar of cookies on top of your refrigerator. You seldom see them act with the same sense of urgency to acquire Brussels sprouts.

With that in mind, leaders generate creative tension when the vision they create for change is compelling – like cookies – rather than boring like vegetables. Continue reading

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Defining Integrity: How Leaders Earn Trust & Respect

How do you define integrity? Is there an absolute definition? Or, do you find yourself quoting the phrase made famous by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: “I know it when I see it”?

We know that it appears at or near the top of every list of desirable leadership traits. It is the essential ingredient for building and sustaining trust with others.

Go ahead—take a stab at it. Integrity is . . .

It is more difficult to define integrity than you thought, isn’t it? Continue reading

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Why Responsive Government is an Oxymoron … and Why Your Elected Officials are to Blame

The government we want is nimble, flexible, and responsive. The government we experience, in many cases, is slow, cumbersome, and totally unresponsive.

Let’s put this another way: We want our government to operate like our favorite business. We believe, in contrast, that our government is the poster child for lumbering bureaucratic inefficiency and employees who are out of touch with the realities of the marketplace.

Twenty plus years of working with private and public sector organizations has taught me that the truth is actually somewhere between the two extremes.
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