1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows

Two of Ai Wei Wei’s sayings I treasure because they so resonate deeply with my beliefs about leadership.

“Your own acts tell the world who you are and what kind of society you think it should be.”

“I call on people to be ‘obsessed citizens,’ forever questioning and asking for accountability. That’s the only chance we have today of a healthy and happy life.”

This is the spirit of personal responsibility that points to my conviction that “all leadership begins with personal initiative to create impact that makes a difference that matters.” This responsibility is not something imposed upon us. It is not an obligation or a requirement. Rather, it is the expression of our individual humanity.

Ai Wei Wei suggests that there is a transition in our understanding of leadership taking place. It is from a person being in authority to an expression of our individual humanity. This is why accountability is so essential to a healthy life for a society.

“I see myself not as a leader but as somebody who initiates things or finds the problem or provokes a discussion. You have to be always ready to engage, willing to participate. When events or history happen, you just have to be aware and respond.”

The Meltdown of Friendships

The Meltdown of Friendships

Over the last year, I have had a number of disturbing conversations that have effectively ended a number of friendships. It has been a painful experience because I care about these people. I am finding that I am not the only one who has experienced the emotional melt-downs that lead to broken relationships. The problem is that I am not the one having the psychotic break. These meltdowns are an emotional break from reality. 

If you were to talk to these friends of mine, I suspect they would tell you that I am responsible. I have been told that I am insane, that I believe in conspiracy theories, which I don’t, and that I am a danger to society, which I am not. I have had phone calls abruptly end in mid-sentence and people tell me that they don’t want to see me. In almost every case, a reasonable explanation of my views is not permitted. If you read this blog or read the books that I have written, you’ll understand my perspective. I want to make sense of the world. In doing so, it means we know how to act in it. 

My point here is not to argue my perspective. Instead, I am more concerned with helping people discover their own minds. You don’t have to see things as I do. Hardly anyone does. It is important that you have clear reasons why you make the decisions that you do and take the actions that follow those decisions. You do need this for your own peace of mind. If in the process you find out that you made some decision based on faulty reasoning or inadequate information, you can say to yourself, “Okay. Glad to know that. Let’s fix this.” 

Leadership Conversations

Leadership Conversations

Let’s Talk

There is a phenomenon that is occurring that is worth noticing. And you can be a part of it. 

People don’t learn well without conversation. When they talk about an idea, it is how they grow in self-awareness for the purpose of gaining greater situational awareness. The integration of knowledge into practice is now a goal. This is how we learn to be better decisions, solve the most difficult programs, and build teams of people who genuinely respect and trust each other. 

We grow as persons and as leaders of impact when we talk with each other. We get better at the practice of living our lives, doing the work that we do, and actually achieving the goals that we set. 

It is for this reason that I believe we need to carve out more time to talk, to converse, to interact, to learn from each other. Every conversation that I have never fails to give me something to think about that I find valuable and practical. This is why leaders need to be talking with each other. A few of us have a plan, and we’d like you to join us.

Self-awareness in the midst of change

Self-awareness in the midst of change

When did self-awareness become an obstacle in our lives?
After a quarter-century of consulting with organizations and coaching their leaders, I realized that it was the self-awareness of people that was a prime hurdle to fulfilling potential, creating impact, and leading people.
Let’s look into this.
WHAT IS SELF-AWARENESS?
Self-awareness is knowing who you are within the context of your life situations.
There are two sides to self-awareness. One is knowing who we are as persons. The other is understanding the situations that we are in. Self-awareness and situational awareness are indelibly intertwined.
Self-awareness is being aware of who we are, who we can become, what our potential is, and, maybe more importantly, who we are not. This is particularly true in a time where social media has the power to mold people into persons that their friends and family do not recognize.

Getting the Best from Your Teams in a Hybrid Office Era

Getting the Best from Your Teams in a Hybrid Office Era

Whether you are a small business person or a corporate executive, getting the best work out of your people is one of the most challenging aspects of leadership. It takes more than attractive compensation packages and inspirational pep talks. It takes creating a culture of trust that unites people together around a common desire to give their best. Here are five steps any leader can take to build a relationship of trust with their team.

Add to the mix the shift from in the office to a hybrid structure where they are working from home some days, at the office other days, and whether this arrangement will remain or continue to change.