Posts Tagged ‘resilience’

Engaged, or Merely Checked-In?

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

[reprint of previous post, and once again I am in the same situation]

Today is the last day of a lovely vacation. I am well tanned, well fed, and emotionally, well, chaotic. This is how I get during transitions: swirling. Half distraught about leaving the beach so soon, half delighted about the coming challenges. Today I am the putty pulled between these two poles.

I know this territory. I’ve visited it often over the decades. And I’ve learned that how I feel over the next week or two has everything to do with how I manage my energy on Monday morning.

When I assess a new client’s – or my own – well-being, relational energy is a major KPI. We have only four ways of relating to our challenges. We can be:

  • Checked-out
  • Checked-in
  • Engaged
  • Obsessed

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The Power of Doing Nothing

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I spent the holidays doing nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. I read the kind of mindless novels I never make time for. I skied for the first time in 16 years. I went to parties and watched football and planned outrageous surprises for the kids and conspired with them on outrageous surprises for their mom. Made playlists. Exercised.

But I didn’t read business books or blogs. I unplugged from Twitter. I didn’t write. Cancelled client meetings. Closed for business.

I felt borderline depressed for the first week. I didn’t know who I was. Then one day I woke exhilarated. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Art of Being Inconsistently Consistent

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Effective entrepreneurs keep their organizations focused on unchanging goals. At the same time, they cannot become married to specific plans because conditions change. While striving to balance consistent vision with adaptable plans, leaders must also ensure all stakeholders opt in. Whoever said it was easy?

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How to Know If You Are Resilient

Monday, January 10th, 2011

If you are curious about how resilient you are, Dr. Al Siebert offers a 2 page self-administered quiz in his fine book, The Resiliency Advantage (pg. 16-17). If you’re feeling fragile and any good at test taking, the “correct” answers will be obvious, and you will be able to reassure yourself that you are indeed good a bouncing back.

The fun part comes a couple pages later, where he offers five extra credit questions: Read the rest of this entry »

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Resilience Can Be a Verb: Just Do It!

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Resiliency has many dimensions. It is a quality, an attitude, an ability. But most importantly, it is a choice and that means it is an action – a verb, albeit a little known one.

The action of resiliency is defined by Dictionary.com as “to spring back.” In response to unexpected, adverse situations that might leave others flattened, the resilient person bounces back.

But Nietzsche was only half right when he wrote “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” in Twilight of the Idols. Unless you choose to use adversity to become stronger, you can be left wounded and weaker. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Can Leaders Manage the Unforeseeable?

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

[The following is excerpted from our new ebook, ROADMAPP]

Great leaders have a bias towards Action. They plot their course, set their sails, and point their helm at their destination. They strike a noble pose, appearing to all as masters of their fate.

Except that even the best sailors get blown off course with great regularity.

The Bad News: No matter how good your preparation and decision making, plans never, ever, ever go according to plan. Build your plan knowing that something else will happen.

The Good News: You can correct your course. Read the rest of this entry »

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Got a Great Product? Now Make a Great Business (Pt 2)

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

As discussed in Part 1, having a great product, insight, or vision is a fine starting point for building a great business. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly enough. We continue analyzing what else you will need if you’re not going to end up begging your former employer to take you back. Read the rest of this entry »

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Got a Great Product? Now Make a Great Business (Pt 1)

Monday, October 18th, 2010

In the 80’s, Procter & Gamble invented a superior shampoo technology that could obsolete the need for a separate conditioner. It worked great in the lab and in-home-use tests. The company was convinced it represented the future of their haircare business.

Except consumers didn’t care. P&G couldn’t sell the stuff.

Sound familiar? How many brilliant engineers have built a better mousetrap only to find that no one wanted one?

Maybe you’re one of those for whom creating something remarkable is satisfaction enough. But most of us aspire to generate income, make a difference in the world, or both. Read the rest of this entry »

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Abundance! The Power of Accepting What Is

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

One weekend last year, the kids and I decided to go to a movie, then roller skate. We were excited by the plan and chatted happily during the car ride. But the movie upset my 7-year-old, with animals killing each other for survival (G-rated! What were they thinking?), and when the skating rink turned out to be closed, she burst into tears. “I didn’t like the movie and now I can’t even skate! Now I’ll never have fun!”

I immediately was flooded with feelings. First, of course, I felt like the world’s worst dad. Read the rest of this entry »

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Passion and Leadership: A Primer

Monday, September 20th, 2010

“Passion” has been one of this decade’s buzzwords. Leaders must be passionate. Employees must be passionate. Entrepreneurs must be passionate. But can one be successful without passion?

A respected colleague, Dave Taylor, argues that passion is overrated, that business people should follow the money, addressing whatever opportunities that fit their skill set. Read the rest of this entry »

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Black, White, Gray, & Something Completely Different

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

A core competency of leadership is the balancing of competing needs and constituencies. There is a right way to do this and a wrong way. To do it right, think like a painter: you need both black and white. If you do it wrong, you get a palette full of gray. There are three key skills needed to avoid gray in the quest for balance:

  • Cultivating diversity rather than  uniformity
  • Recognizing which of a range of ideas is most appropriate to the moment
  • Knowing how to build on opposing ideas to reach a superior solution

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Balance vs Extremism

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

“We’ll meet on edges soon, said I” – Bob Dylan

It sometimes seems that all organizations and movements are surrounded by powerful magnets pulling them off their centers. The French Revolution, which began with a Declaration of the Rights of Man, quickly devolved into the Reign of Terror. Recently Newsweek published an article by Jacob Weisberg about how Irving Kristol’s intellectual neocon movement of the ’70′s got hijacked by emotional ideologues. A recent WSJ article discussed how the GOP leadership’s strategy to rebuild after 2008 by attracting moderates was overwhelmed by tea party extremists. History is filled with similar examples.

I call it the Than Thou Syndrome. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Your Reality Filled with Obstacles or Opportunities?

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Right here, right now, it’s a treacherous world. Customers either don’t know what they want or are showing symptoms of impending change. Competitors huddle in secret cabals, scheming to transform the battlefield to their advantage. Suppliers miss deadlines or quality standards or pressure to accelerate your payables. Employees have morphed into free agents ready to jump for the first better offer.

How wonderful! Do you smell the opportunity?

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Learning, Luddites, and Content Machines

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Leaders must be learners. If their organizations are structured to encourage and facilitate learning, they will succeed. Otherwise, not so much. Sounds easy. We all made it through school, didn’t we? But…sometimes it gets overwhelming.

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