Posts

Taking a stand ALWAYS requires courage

No matter how committed we are to living courageously, and how experienced we are at taking a stand for the future and living accordingly, it doesn’t seem to get easier or less scary with time. I have been a student and teacher of these concepts and conversations for more than 30 years. I practice them in my own personal and professional life, and I teach and coach others to do the same. Still, with all my experience, every time I need to take a stand in my life, I find myself confronting my own fears, doubts and skepticisms. It takes openness, faith, trust and courage to live consistently with your stand and commitment. Openness to […]

Life is Too Short to Compromise

My wife and I try to live life according to the mantra: “life is too short to compromise.” There are multiple phrases you could put at the end of the phrase: “Life is too short to….” …Wait for what you want, …Hold back, …Spend time with people who drain your energy rather than give you energy, or …Not express your love to the people you care about. However, how often do we actually stop to reflect if we are living our life accordingly? Living without compromising on the important things is a powerful and courageous way to live. How many times have you compromised on personal and/or professional relationships that mattered to you, or sold […]

You can promise the uncertain

You can promise the uncertain Can you promise an outcome that you don’t know how to fulfill or that you don’t own and control all the aspects that are needed in order to fulfill it? My answer is yes! In fact, I think in many cases, these type of promises are the ones most worth making because they often reflect our aspirational dreams and game changers. When Kennedy promised that the USA would put a man on the moon and get him back safely by the end of the century, NASA didn’t exist. In fact, all of the key technologies and materials needed to achieve Kennedy’s lofty vision didn’t exist. But, by making the promise, […]

You can have it all if you are willing to do what it takes

Someone wise once told me that there are two things that make people upset: one is that they don’t get what they want, and the other is when they do get what they want. The first reason always made complete sense to me. I could understand from my own life experience how failing to achieve a goal or expectation could lead to upset. In fact, I have experienced a few of these in my lifetime. But, the second scenario of being upset due to getting what we want initially seemed a bit more counterintuitive. It’s not that I didn’t or don’t understand the logic. I do. In fact, the more I have had the fortune […]

Do you know how to receive a compliment?

Do you know how to receive a compliment and praise, or do you typically tend to dismiss, deflect or reduce what is being said? I was having dinner with a long time client and friend for whom I have a great deal of admiration and respect. At some point in the evening, I expressed my heartfelt appreciation, gratitude and acknowledgement for the great person sitting in front of me including everything they have achieved in the previous months. My client listened quietly and then respectfully and graciously said something to the tune of: “Thank you so much for your kind words BUT I don’t deserve the praise and what I did wasn’t really that special.” […]

Fifty-five is a notable age.

This week I turned 55. I don’t know how 55 should feel or look. But, I don’t feel 55 and people tell me that I don’t look or behave it. I am sure we’ve all heard the saying “the fifties is the new thirties.” Statistics support this view too. In fact, I recently saw a statistic that in modern countries such as the USA and Canada, the average expectancy of a man has increased in the 20th century from 46 to 74 and women from 48 to 80. But statistics is one thing and how we feel, look and behave is another. Fifty-five is a notable age. It’s the middle of my life, or as […]

Is your Leadership Team making a positive or negative difference?

Any organization is a reflection of its leaders and leadership team (LT). If the leaders build a strong and genuine team dynamic of trust, unity, communication and ownership among themselves, these characteristics will be cascaded through the veins of the organization and internalized in its culture and DNA. If the leaders operate as individual silos, not a team, their people will follow suit. And, if they have trust issues among themselves, harbor resentments or are the source of negativity or victim behaviors, the same issues, sentiments and behaviors will be inculcated throughout their organization. And, it doesn’t matter what leaders say in public. Even if it’s all the politically correct things, their people will watch […]

It takes courage to say NO to cynicism, resignation and suffering!

I was speaking to one of my clients a while back and in our conversation as he was talking about his work he described it as: “My job is my 8 hour inconvenience”. At first I laughed because I wasn’t sure if he meant it seriously or as a joke. It seemed a bit blunt, harsh and sarcastic. But, then as I reflected more on his sentiment, as well as my thirty-plus years experience working with people in organizations all around the world, I could think of so many examples of people who, even though may never say a statement like that, share similar sentiments. So many people seem to feel powerless in their job […]

Do less. You’ll be able to achieve more!

In my line of work I attend many business meetings, and many of them look like this: people sit around the table with their laptops or iPads open. There are relatively brief moments where everyone is deeply present, listening, paying attention and engaged in the conversation. Most of the time people are sporadically engaged but mostly working on their computers, iPads or smartphones responding to emails and focusing on other work related things. Most people who work in organizations seem to feel that they have to attend too many meetings and that many, perhaps most of these meetings are too long and not productive. In fact, many times people say that most meetings are a […]

Agreeing to disagree is always a cop-out!

How many times have you seen the following scenario? A team meets to discuss issues that are critical to the organization’s future. The conversation goes on and on without resolution, as different people have divergent opinions about the best course of action. When the leader tries to bring it to a conclusion, they are no closer to alignment. They leave the meeting “agreeing to disagree.” Such meetings are worse than a waste of time: they actually damage the organization, which is then no closer to making the necessary decisions and assuming responsibility for them. People have stayed within their comfort zones at the expense of moving the organization forward in new and dynamic ways. This […]

Choosing when you think you don’t have a choice…

My wife and I recently learned from a dear friend that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. We were shocked and saddened at first by his revelation. But, he expressed such a positive, optimistic and confident, attitude and message about how he will ‘rise above the disease and use his new predicament to become a better person and make a difference around him’ that I was blown away and inspired by his extraordinary spirit and courage. This got me thinking – in life we often need to choose between things – between this job and that job, between this partner and that partner, between this field or that field. And, at times, depending on the situation […]

Living Courageously Through Journaling

My last series of blog posts focused on living courageously: doing something everyday that scares us, eliminating cynical and jealous thoughts, making time for self-improvement. Courageous living means identifying your dreams and goals and taking an honest look at the situations and circumstances between you and your dreams. A great place to start your journey to a more courageous life is in a daily journal. The Benefits of Journaling Scores of studies have been done on the benefits of daily journaling. By turning into ourselves and disclosing our feelings and thoughts in a safe environment, we are giving ourselves permission to process, reflect on, and take responsibility for our actions and reactions. Daily journaling has […]