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  • silhouette of a man's head with a glowing light bulb, and gears. the concept of making big idea. File is saved in AI10 EPS

    Do You Have the Courage to Read Reading for Leading

    My intent today is to create new and realistic hope and purpose. But I need you to go uphill with me. Please don’t give up. Give me a few paragraphs before you do. Yes? Why make this unusual plea? Because I know that few leadership […]

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  • trump-fear

    I Froze and Didn’t Lead

    Friends, I could not write Reading for Leading last night. Maybe it was just how upsetting that debate was. An AMERICAN presidential candidate called their opponent “the devil.” And said if he were president, “she would be in jail.” That is frightening.  I have fearful […]

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  • learning-to-ride

    Why We’re Scared to Lead

    I think she almost laughed at me. Kind of blurted an involuntary guffaw. But then my Teaching Assistant followed up her involuntary non-verbal display with sincere verbal reassurance. We were recapping the last 3 classes, all of which were led by students themselves. We were […]

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  • authorized-stamp

    Who Authorized You?

    I am in the middle of an experiment in the course I am teaching to Masters in Public Policy students at Berkeley. I share this for two reasons that I hope you will find value in, and which I will explain in the 2 numbered […]

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  • what's up

    Dirty Management Truth: What’s Up?

    Dirty truth:  Most of us were never taught how to manage an individual, and especially when that individual goofed up. We mimic our parents, bosses, Murphy Brown, Donald Trump. We dislike it. They dislike it. It’s just something that has to be done, like vomiting […]

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  • dan in consternation mode

    2 Ways to Make a Really Tough Call – Opening to Wisdom

    We all face times where we go back and forth on a difficult decision that we have:  Do you accept the job offer? Do you let somebody go? Do you hire person X or person Y? Do you raise a tough issue with your partner, […]

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  • Don't Think Twice Commune

    Improv Your Way to Being a Winner-Leader

    There’s a wonderful movie out called Don’t Think Twice. It’s directly about Improv  — so enjoy some very funny scenes. Yet it moves beyond Improv to Improv’s relationship with mainstream “show business.”  And, as Keegan-Michael Key shared with Stephen Colbert it actually moves well beyond that […]

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  • leadership bubble get smart

    Don’t Be a Leader in a Bubble

    As we swim in the national soup of a presidential campaign, the best learning about leadership lies outside the usual back-and-forth.  Whether we are leading in an office or company, a school or family, a church or neighborhood, we have to grapple with IMPRESSIONS and […]

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  • 20160728_203033

    4 Pledges to Build Resilience – as American enters the 100-day race

    Note: I hope no phrase in this message is partisan. Forgive me (and point it out to me) if I stray. I write not for a candidate but for us, the voters, the everyday leaders required to make a representative democracy function. Well into my […]

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  • Mobius Adversary Ally

    How to Turn an Adversary into an Ally

    I have been doing a lot of thinking about — and a considerable amount of coaching with — partners, or those I describe as “paired leaders.”  Their relationships range from manager-to-direct-report, to diagonal reports, to straight-up peers.  Most are “work spouses,” but I have also […]

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