Of Mountaintops and Valleys

“Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them.” — Winston Churchill Leadership isn’t just inspiration, it is also the ability to get things done. We’ve met many leaders, young and old, who have wonderful ideas (they can see the mountain tops), but they have no idea how to turn those ideas into reality (walking through the valley). When we work with leaders, we are always asking them to keep an eye on the mountaintops that will inspire their teams but to…

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Stop Admiring Your Problems & Start Fixing Them!

“We’re great at admiring our problems, but we haven’t got a clue how to fix them!” An executive that we admire, we’ll call him Rick, was sharing with us the struggle he was having with his new team. He was candid about the fact that he had started to “drink the kool-aid”—he too had started to stand back and admire the problems that had plagued the company for years. When he realized that he was slipping into a state of…

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Overcome Your Fears & Take the Risks You Need to Take

We were recently meeting with a CEO of a medium-sized business. Our conversation focused on how she could get over her fear and take the risks she knows she needs to take in her business. Her language was language of “jumping off a cliff,” “taking the leap,” and “I’ve got to risk the business.” It was language that accurately reflected her experience but didn’t accurately reflect what she should do next.   When you reach a point in your life,…

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Stop Worrying and Start Problem Solving

“Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive.” — Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth   We love this quote and the distinction it makes between problem solving and worrying, and they are very different.   Worrying is defined at as: “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; to fret.”   We have all been there, feeling truly tormented by disturbing thoughts about our life, our…

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There Are Always Possibilities

In the past few weeks, we have had several conversations with both clients and with friends who were feeling down because something that they had hoped would go one way had gone quite a different way, and now they were “stuck.” To support them on their journey, we shared with them one of the pillars of leadership (from our Leader in You framework): A leader sees the possibilities inherent in obstacles and challenges The key word here is inherent. It…

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Resistance: When You Cannot Get Out of Your Own Way

We have recently been reading the book “The WAR of ART: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles“ by Steven Pressfield.  We have heard a range of reactions to this book but what spoke to us the most was his exploration of “resistance,”  and why most of us struggle to bring our most cherished gifts to life. Pressfield describes the power of resistance to derail our efforts and the increasing power resistance commands when those efforts are…

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Conquering Fear

Fear has a funny place in our culture – it is both sought after and it is abhorred.    As a species, we are comfortable with fear on our own terms – like when we watch horror films, ride rollercoasters, or engage in adrenaline-rushing sports.  In these instances, it’s quite clear what is causing the fear and, more importantly, what we need to do to manage the fear should we begin to feel overwhelmed by it.     We are…

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Our Choices

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” -Professor Albus Dumbledore   (Okay we admit it, we are Harry Potter fans and for good reason, namely, there are quotes like this one.)   This quote highlights what we have found to be true in our combined 30+ years of working with people, that every choice you make defines or re-defines who you are more than anything else you do.    If you take…

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The Final Three Feet

We recently read a story about a young woman who had the opportunity to train with Philippe Petit, the man who walked between the Twin Towers on a wire 1,300 feet above the ground.  As she was working with him, he noticed that she would get so excited about getting where she was going, she would falter where she was.    He told her she needed to understand the final three feet.  He said, “You’re not there yet.  You can…

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If You Want a Different Outcome…

One of the more challenging aspects of being a human is that we have the ability to cognitively understand the need to change and what needs to happen to bring about a change, but we struggle with practicing the behaviors that will actually sustain the change.  Often, we hope that change will occur without us actually changing.  Ah, humans.  We are a funny species.  We tell ourselves that because we understand that we need to change and because we understand…

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