listening Archive

  • 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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  • 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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  • Ask the fruitful question

    Gather Your Courage and Ask a Transformational Question

    Note:  This was originally published in June, 2015 10 of my law school classmates made it to sandy, sunny Lake Michigan for a weekend gathering, truncated into 36 hours, due to widespread workaholism and our cross-country flights. As if the decompression time wasn’t short enough, […]

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  • President Barack Obama listens as Vice President Joe Biden makes a point during a meeting with the Democratic leadership in the Oval Office, June 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

    How Can You Lead When You’re Unsure

    I invite my students to begin the semester by writing about what would make this their Best Class Ever. You could think, I suppose about what could make this your best summer ever (need that be impossible?). Perhaps best ever “family summer,” or best ever “work […]

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  • Ferguson collage

    5 Things Leaders Do When Emotions Are High

    Last week, I noted that any leadership problem that’s worth its salt will have emotion bursting through it. Whether that problem’s a “rebellious teenager,” the Israelis and Palestinians, employee layoffs, or controversial strategy. I asked your thoughts about what a leader should do with emotion, and […]

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  • megaphone (2)

    Bosses Forget They Have Permanent Megaphones

    My friend Miss Take – the professor of the school of lessons-from-experience — taught me a good one again this week.  It was a “dad mistake,” but reminiscent of “boss mistakes” I’ve seen and boss mistakes I’ve made. In short, I forgot that central authority […]

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  • leverage

    Gaining Leverage With Challenging “Allies”

    Although we battle with some adversaries, e.g., Obama v. Assad; most of our difficulties – truth be told are with allies, those in our tent: Boehner with the Tea Party, mom with dad, CEO with COO, boss with worker. We forget that we’re on the […]

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  • right under your nose

    How We’ve Discovered Untapped Resources

    I was with a client last week and they repeatedly used the word “under-resourced.”  If you’re not Google or Twitter, that statement probably applies to you, right?  We’re all stretched thin in these days of do-more-with-less.  Yet I’ve been blessed by raining-down resources, and perhaps […]

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  • 12angrymen

    When an Important Partnership is Strained – Part Two

    Last week I suggested that the best way to renew a strained partnership is to work on yourself. I suggested I must lead with my best self to begin with the assumption that I have done something to contribute to stress or a breakdown.  It takes […]

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  • signershall-hero

    Lincoln, Washington, You – stature and leadership

    Friends, To paraphrase Tina Turner, “What’s height got to do with it?”  Well, it seems like a lot.  When George Washington at 6’1″ served as first president he was literally a head taller than many of his cohorts: John Adams was 5’7″ and James Madison […]

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