Leadership Thought #367 – Be Authentic and Honest In Your Communication

I find that most of us tend to avoid the emotionally difficult or awkward conversation. Instead of addressing an issue head on, we “beat around the bush” or try and avoid the issue altogether. This puts the onus on the other person to become a verbal detective and/or force the issue. This isn’t fair to them or us. Moreover, I find that most of these types of exchanges devolve into a passive-aggressive dynamic which is unhealthy for the relationship. You ever notice that avoidance never works – it just delays the inevitable. In matters of importance to you or someone else, when you don’t say what you truly mean (or feel) this is the textbook definition of be inauthentic as fellow human being.

Leadership Thought #352 – What I Learned From My Mom

A mother is a very special person in a child’s life and if you are lucky, a lingering positive presence throughout your adult life. Much of what we first learn comes from our mom. She is often the calm in the midst of the many storms we encounter. She is there for you no matter what. I am blessed that my mom had so much to offer. The following lessons are just a small sampling of her overall impact on my life:

Leadership Thought #473 – The Disease of Half-Listening

Too many people really aren’t fully listening. As part of my work, I am in a lot of meetings and conference calls.  It’s amazing and disheartening at times to see how the quality of these interactions can vary. There are moments where it feels like everyone is “dialed-in” and paying rapt attention, but these are […]

Leadership Thought #421 – Listening Is A Lost Art

A conversation without listening is merely the exchange of two monologues. If we limit our exchange of information to what we already know or believe, we are limiting our capacity to learn, grow and have healthy relationships. Almost everyday you witness evidence of public or private figures that really have no interest in hearing what anyone else is saying. It has become practice to become intractable in your views and block out any contrary evidence. In reality, our society tends to reward brashness and poor behavior these days. Just look at who dominates the airwaves.

Leadership Thought #384 – How Strong Are Your Relationships?

If we are honest with ourselves, most of our relationships in life are out of convenience or due to necessity. Typically these types of friendships are fine as long as things stay relatively stable and major life issues don’t complicate the mix. However, once something bad happens, you do learn who your true friends are and it may surprise you. Friendship is easy when life is easy. When life gets hard, some people just don’t have the stomach for it. Always remember that this says more about them than you. Some people are just much more comfortable taking rather than giving – sad for them. Others just can’t handle any level of emotional depth or commitment.

Leadership Thought #216 – 12 Keys To A Successful Life

Very few of us ever attain, what would be termed, sustained and lasting success. Instead, we bounce up and down (sometimes sideways) in search of the seemingly elusive goals of career success and personal happiness. In my experience, these two objectives are not mutually exclusive, but intertwined and critical to an individual’s sense of self worth and meaningfulness.

Leadership Thought #197 – You Have To Know Your People

Leadership can be a delicate balancing act. You want to push your people to achieve high performance and exceed what they thought was possible, while also appreciating that you hire employees and people show up with all of their human needs for understanding and support. If you push too hard they resent you and find you harsh and uncaring. If you don’t push hard enough then you enable mediocrity and stunt their growth. It’s not always easy to know where the line exists.

Daily Leadership Thought #81 – Make Eye Contact and Smile

I’ve written a number of times about the need that all of us have for personal validation and acknowledgement. A simple way to do this is to look someone in the eye, actually listen to what they say and smile when it is appropriate.