Tag Archives: Integrity

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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Is It Always Right to Be Right?

The 1971 Oscar in the Short Film, Cartoon category went to a piece titled “Is It Always Right To Be Right.” It was directed by Lee Mishkin, narrated by Orson Welles, and written by Warren Schmidt.

The opening words of the film are:

There once was a land where people were always right. They knew they were right and they were proud of it. It was a land where people stated with confidence, “I am right and you are wrong.” These were words of conviction, courage, strength, and moral certainty.

In this fictional land, any attempt at cooperation and understanding were viewed as cowardice and weakness. Everyone was so convinced of their rightness that no one dared to utter words such as, “You may be right” or “I may be wrong.”
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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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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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The Truth About Liars

Liars – we’ve all seen them, fallen victim to them, and if we are truthful, joined their ranks from time to time. Some do it for malicious reasons. Others do so out of a sense of kindness or benign indifference. But, we all do it.

There are times when that article of clothing makes us look fat. There are times when we feel like crap, and there are times when we feel the pressure to say what is untrue to cover for our lack of performance.

And that is why you need to read The Truth About Lies in the Workplace. Continue reading

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Opportunity Lost

In its “Economic Prospects for the Year 2000,” the writers at Business Week saw a glass half-empty and chose to see it as mostly full.

The world painted in its 1989 article would have been a great place. The vision that they created was completely possible. We missed the opportunity. We lacked the rigor in our thinking and failed to consider all the possible implications of our choices. We lacked the discipline to execute toward the vision. And, we lacked the courage to confront reality and put long-term success ahead of short-term reward. Continue reading

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Advertising, Congress, and Car Sales – Oh My!

The Gallup organization just released its latest survey results about the perceptions of honesty and ethics for 22 professions.

There are honest and ethical people in every profession. Rankings such as this reinforce a very important principle: Scandal paints with a roller not a brush. When enough people in any profession act dishonestly and unethically, it hurts everyone in the profession. Continue reading

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An Attitude of Gratitude – Moving from Success to Significance

The people who have moved from success to significance in the personal lives don’t give because they are successful. They are successful because they give. They are not merely thankful for their success. They are thankful for the opportunity to strive.

Research cited by Dr. Robert Emmons in his book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, suggests that people who operate from a heightened place of gratitude and thankfulness typically experience better overall health, fewer physical symptoms, higher income, more energy, larger social networks and stronger marriages. Continue reading

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