Leadership Culture

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Impact Earth - meteor in route collisionIn the movie Armageddon, the President of the United States is talking to NASA scientist Dan Truman, played by Billy Bob Thornton, about the approaching asteroid. Let’s listen in…

President: What is this thing?

Truman: It’s an asteroid, sir.

President: How big are we talking?

Scientist: Sir, our best estimate is 97.6 billion.

Truman: It’s the size of Texas, Mr. President.

President: Dan, we didn’t see this thing coming?

Truman: Well, our object collision budget’s about a million dollars a year. That allows us to track about three percent of the sky, and begging your pardon, sir, but it’s a big-ass sky.

Check out the rest of my post on LeadChangeGroup.com!


An Awfully Big Adventure

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“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.” Kevin Aucoin

How would you like to live… really live?

Can I make a suggestion?

  1. STOP WHAT YOUR DOING, NOW.Big Adventure

I can’t really see your list but if you did it, I can guarantee you it’s an awesome list of stuff!  Now here are the final two things to add to your list to finish it out…


Stop making excuses… “to live would be an awfully big adventure!” (Robin Williams as Peter Pan)  

Go have an adventure! 



Selfish is the New Yes

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Which Voice Will You Listen ToFor your entire life there have been critics, bosses and managers you have answered to. “I don’t think you can fix this”, “Don’t even think about it”, & “Here’s another project that even you can’t screw up,” may have been among the verbal barbs thrown your way.

Bad leaders use language and tactics to manage by fear and control. They may not even be aware that their style is based in a deep rooted insecurity or fear of incompetence on their own part. No matter the reason or reasons, there’s no place for “leadership by intimidation” in a healthy workplace.
If you’re one of those kinds of leaders, would you do the rest of us a favor? Stop it.  

We’ll even offer you several choices on how you can stop it.

  1. Shut up.  Harsh? Yes.  But you’re insecurities being vomited out on those you lead isn’t helping.  Zip it.
  2. Grow up.  The pettiness and grade school antics in the business world are mind blowing.  Leave it in your childhood.
  3. Go away.  Give people some space.  Hateful helicopters don’t increase productivity.  Step away now.
  4. Get some help.  Seriously, talk to someone who loves you but isn’t impressed by you.  Ask for honest evaluation of you.
  5. Get a grip. Take a breath.  Life is too short for “lid flipping” over little stuff.  Geesh.

No one has a right to crush your spirit or crush your dreams.  It doesn’t matter if they manage your team or manage a Fortune 500 company you work for.  Stop for a few seconds.  Compare the importance or value of the negative firestorms of a bad boss to these things:

  • Eternity
  • The love of your family
  • The amazing possibilities of life in front of you
  • The taste of great BBQ
  • A beautiful spring evening at  the ballpark with friends
  • Special life moments with your children
  • A quiet moment enjoying your faith and spirituality

Has anything that your horrible leader has said matched up in importance or quality to anything on this list?  No?  I didn’t think so.  Does that mean those times will never happen again, or that you’ll never be on the receiving end of someone else’s emotional impotence?  Nope.  It just means now you know what voices matter.

What will you do the next time you find yourself on the end of a “bad emotional beating”?  

How will you keep the perspective that you know is real?

This Moment Changes Everything

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The Time That is Given UsTime… currency of the universe.  It spends day in and day out, without our consent. Although we can choose how and where it is spent, we cannot stop or even slow the flow of it from our life’s account.  Not only does it drain away, day by day, but we had no control where we would be placed in the time line of space & eternity.  We had no choice to be placed in Ancient Egypt, in England during the Middle Ages, or the great western frontier in America.  We’re here… now.  

World politics seem out of control, and economies pitch and roll with nauseating uncertainty.  Technology seems to advance at a breakneck speed, while cultural institutions like marriage, family and religion are morphing and changing daily.  Corporate downsizing and relocation cause families to be uprooted and moved across the country.  Immigration challenges, banking woes and governmental involvement in our daily lives can push us to the edge of sanity.

Life may not seem fair.  It’s probably not fair.  OK, Life isn’t fair.  While we’re at it, sometimes Life isn’t fun, interesting, fulfilling or easy.  So what do we do? What can we do?

    1. Refuse to Be a Victim.  It’s fair to acknowledge how circumstances affect us.  It’s a coward’s way out to blame society or forces outside ourselves for how we respond to those circumstances.  You are not in charge of the world, but you ultimately are in charge of your heart and your mind.  History is filled with people like Helen Keller, Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Branson & Bill Gates, people who at one time were beaten down and at the bottom, but chose to rise above their circumstances and win.  You are that person.  Be that person.   
    2. Demand of Yourself Time Daily to Recalculate.  Success requires focus, and focus demands quiet, thoughtful time daily to think, meditate and redirect your passion & energies.  This “think time” is non-negotiable if you expect to make the most of the rest of your time.  Schedule it, guard it and make the most of it.  Remove the people and technology distractions that permeate your life, if only for a small window of time every day, and give yourself the gift of quietness to think, to pray or to ponder.  You’ll be amazed at how it will transform the use of the rest of your day.
    3. Embrace Change With Courage.  Winston Churchill said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

 Every problem you encounter lays down the same challenge… “Will you be victim or victor?”   Nearly every great success story has in it’s foundation stories of struggle and overcoming adversity.  Most of us have been in groups or on teams with a “whiner/complainer/excuse maker”… Make a personal commitment to never, ever be that individual.

  1. Accept Responsibility for Consequences & Kudos.  Finally, whether you choose to admit it, you’re responsible.  Responsible for your actions, for your attitude and for the way you invest the precious moments of your life.  Will you screw it up sometimes?  Sure.  When you do, accept credit for it, be humble, sacrifice to make it right or better, and learn from it as you head on down the road.  Will you surprise even yourself sometimes when you succeed?  I believe you will!  And when you do, the plan is still the same.  With success as with failure, you should accept credit for it, be humble, sacrifice to make it even better, and learn from it as you head on down the road.  

Life is hard today… that much is true for all of us.   What will you do today to make the most of the moments in front of you?

Check out this video from Will Smith, and what he has to say the power of your words and thoughts.


Eat the Early Bird…

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Eat the Early BirdWhy settle for instant gratification?  Quick little victories may meet a selfish need for immediate results, but is that really what’s best in the long run?

We’ve all heard it said that patience is a virtue.  Virtue, from the Latin “virtus”, meaning “worth”.  It’s hard to wait.  But the best things in the life, the most important and valuable things in this life… they are worth the wait.

Many businesses or organizations are all about making a quick buck or doing whatever it takes to make a sale, regardless of whether or not it’s fair, legal or appropriate.  Just get the worm, and beat everyone else to it.  Don’t be that guy.  Don’t be that bird.

Clients deserve our best.  They deserve to be treated with respect and honor.  Go for the long win by putting out the extra effort to invest and serve well.  It’s harder, yes.  It takes more time, more effort and even more money.  Do it anyway.

In the mean time… scope out the birds so caught up in their early morning, quick fix grabs for success in business and in life.  Be patient and watch.  When the time is right, you’ll be the one sitting down to an awesome dinner.  For the record, birds are much tastier than worms.



Who is your HERO?

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Our heroes shape us…  They shape our values…

Our heroes display us…  Who our heroes are show people what we look like on the inside…

Our heroes give us hope…  They give us something to reach for, to dream for, to become…

Who is YOUR Hero?




Reflections of Workplace Leadership Styles- What Do YOU Look Like?

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self-reflection“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who’s the fairest of them all?”  It’s not just evil queens who need to ask this question about fairness!  When it comes to picking apart those who lead us, it’s easy to point out flaws and weaknesses in their leadership style.  But when is the last time you looked into your own Leadership Mirror?  

If we only chose to look into a mirror once or twice per year to check our hair, we would get pretty ragged in between those checks.  Our personal leadership style is no different.  Regular, even daily evaluation by checking out our “leadership reflection” keeps us sharp and effective!  Can you spot yourself below?

Control Freak/Dictator

  1. When Do They Get Involved?  Before there’s ever a problem, which is sometimes the cause of the problem!
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They want to control every person, every decision, every outcome.  It’s all about power and control for this person.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  Micromanagement of individuals and teams;
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  You never have to wonder where this leader stands!  It’s hovering above you!  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Overbearing, smothering, and stifles the ability of individuals to work out their problems in a healthy and productive manner.  WHAT ELSE?



  1. When Do They Get Involved?  They stand back and on the sidelines and don’t get involved unless asked to.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They feel a need to “fix” the people, not address the problems.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  They try to isolate the parties, “fix” them, and then report back the results to the other parties.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  They do understand that many times the issues are deeper than can be seen from the  surface.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Sometimes the problem isn’t the people, but the issues, the policies, the location or a variety of other issues.  WHAT ELSE?



  1. When Do They Get Involved? Progressively as the situation develops, many times based on gossip or prejudicial and slanted perspectives.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  Either to protect their friendship, or because they can’t stand for people to not “get along.”
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  Usually at the request of one of the disgruntled parties.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  They are invested emotionally (at least with one of the parties) and will want to see resolution. WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  They may lack objectivity.  WHAT ELSE?



  1. When Do They Get Involved? They don’t get involved until the problem is completely out of hand.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  Only because they have been put into the leadership position, and their position forces them to get involved.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  They politely and privately ask permission to help with the situation.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  They are nice people.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  People with even a slightly strong personality can run this leader over and never find resolution.  WHAT ELSE?



  1. When Do They Get Involved?  After they have personally been affected by the conflict. 
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They get involved only after your problems have annoyed them.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  This leader explodes on whoever has dared to disrupt their routine or cause them grief.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  This kind of leader typically hates bullies, and will deal quickly and effectively with them.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Many times they are oblivious to fairly serious problems; but as long as the problems don’t affect them, they don’t notice or don’t care. WHAT ELSE?



  1. When Do They Get Involved?   Conflict doesn’t seem to bother them UNTIL they see it is the result of broken rules.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  This person is the strict “rule enforcer” of policies and procedures.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  They typically go straight to the rule book, and communicate through documentation.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  Making sure staff work within the approved guidelines can keep you out of legal trouble later.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Their attachment to the rule book comes before the people involved, or even the good of the organization.  WHAT ELSE?



  1. When Do They Get Involved?  They rarely get involved, if ever.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They avoid getting involved because they hate conflict, or they are afraid to.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  Butt first.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  None.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  Conflict left unaddressed rarely gets better, and nearly always gets worse.  WHAT ELSE?



  1. When Do They Get Involved?  The best kind of leader in conflict.  They assess each situation individually, and determine whether inserting themselves quickly, or allowing those in conflict the time and space to work it out.
  2. Why Do They Get Involved?  They not only have the best intentions for the organization, but for the team members as well.  They take their responsibility as a leader seriously.
  3. How Do They Get Involved?  They observe closely, they communicate effectively, they treat people with respect, and they stick to the issues while understanding the personalities involved.
  4. Upside(s) of This Leader-  They are effective.  WHAT ELSE?
  5. Downside(s) of This Leader-  There just aren’t enough of this kind of leader.  WHAT ELSE?

So which leadership reflection best mirrors your own style?