Important Questions

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17 06, 2014

The Fault in Our Institutions is the Fault Within Ourselves

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:28+00:00 June 17th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |1 Comment

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 continuing to sink. A recent Gallup poll found that only [...]

12 06, 2014

Is It Always Right to Be Right?

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:28+00:00 June 12th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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.”

29 05, 2014

Jack Be Nimble: Sure, but how?

By | 2014-10-20T16:56:01+00:00 May 29th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

This would have been the message if the speaker at your last business meeting presented in nursery rhymes: Jack be nimble. Jack be quick. Jack jump over The candle stick. You feel better, right? You now know what is expected of you and the definition of success. And, you have no real context for why it is important or idea about how to move forward.

19 05, 2014

Break the S-R Loop to Make Change Work

By | 2014-10-20T20:03:28+00:00 May 19th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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.

27 04, 2014

Defining Integrity: How Leaders Earn Trust & Respect

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:30+00:00 April 27th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

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?

20 04, 2014

Generating Urgency: What’s Keeping You from Changing?

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:30+00:00 April 20th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |2 Comments

The willingness and urgency to change are based on emotional readiness not intellectual understanding. If intellectual understanding – knowing what we should do – was all it took to change, the gap between realizing we need to do something different and the work of implementing that change would be non-existent. But that’s not how it works.

21 03, 2014

Why You Will Lose Your Best Employees

By | 2014-10-20T19:56:41+00:00 March 21st, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Your best employees are contemplating quitting. Some of them already have – even though they are still on the job. Hiring is picking up – especially for the stars who more than compensate for their cost with superior performance. Your best employees will have the opportunity to leave. Are you vulnerable for an exodus? Chances are the answer is yes if you are guilty of any of the following:

17 03, 2014

10 Words Entrepreneurs Should Use Every Day

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:36+00:00 March 17th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |4 Comments

Jay Goltz writes a blog on small business and entrepreneurship for the New York Times. His March 10, 2014 posting was titled “10 Words Entrepreneurs Should Use With Caution.” In that piece, Goltz shared 10 words that he believes have become jargon in the world of entrepreneurship.  They are: Passion [...]

11 03, 2014

Inside the House of Lies: Why Large Consulting Firms Are Often Bad at Change

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:36+00:00 March 11th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |3 Comments

I received this email last week. The author’s name has been withheld in order to protect his/her job: “I read your book Make Change Work. and it made me angry. What made me angry is the fact that I work as a management consultant for one of the largest consulting firms and I am ashamed how few (if any) of the wisdoms we actually take from your book and coach our clients accordingly. Very often, we are in gross ignorance of the very valid insights and tips you have in your little book.”

24 02, 2014

What Political Races Can Teach Us About Standing Out in Our Marketplace

By | 2016-10-29T15:29:36+00:00 February 24th, 2014|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |1 Comment

Who do you choose when there is very little difference between the choices? Do you take the time to understand the small factors that might distinguish one choice from another, or do you go with what is easy or the name that you hear the most often? There are four individuals running to represent their party for the office of state representative in the area where I live. All four seem like nice people, and all four are virtually indistinguishable in their stance on the issues. Seriously, you could copy and paste any of their individual responses onto the web site for any of their competitors, and no one would notice.