During a presentation on product innovation in New York City, I was asked a great question: “What tools do I need to be an innovator?” My answer was simple and for many, surprising: “Your eyes and ears.” Opportunities are all around us. When we take the time to notice them, they can stimulate more creative thoughts within each of us. And I really should have added “feet,” because the day before I had walked 40 Manhattan blocks looking for interesting and outrageous inputs to spur my own innovative thinking. Here are two examples of what I found.Read More
The mainspring of motivation is the belief that something different, perhaps better, is possible. It is that cause that motivational leaders tap into when inspiring others. And from such beliefs habits emerge that perpetuate goodness, possibility, and the desire to do more, to achieve more. Motivational leaders incite action and deepen relationships. The habits of motivational leaders foster a bias for action and connectedness amongst all those fortunate to be inspired by such people.Read More
Millennials, possibly more than any generation before them, crave high touch leaders; mentors and dare I say friends as bosses who are willing to have deep, meaningful conversations with them. They are sincerely interested in us sharing our wisdom and perspective, especially when we take the time to do so in a way that meets them where they are. In my conversations with them, I find myself focusing on three simple things to help them live a life of meaning and purpose:Read More
Have you tried having a conversation where you intentionally remove the underbrush while speaking with the intention of helping the other person? Have you intentionally structured the way you communicate to bring in the listener without dramatic flair? Imagine how much more commanding your presence would be. Upon analyzing Karé’s communication patterns, I realized that she has found a way to connect with people in a powerful way. That we could all learn from such purposeful communication patterns would be an understatement. Let me tease out three underused tactics I learned from my conversation with Karé.Read More
It is all too easy to accept others’ definitions of achievement. To get caught up in other people’s aims and ambitions. To take others’ priorities as read.
This is the road to disaster. To throwing all your energy into goals you don’t really care about, growing tired and disillusioned, working with less and less energy at something you don’t love. If you’ve ever spent your days watching the clock, wishing the hours away until you can go home, then you know that feeling.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.Read More
There is the need for fierce conversations and an empathetic ear, the freedom of empowerment and fences of boundaries, the philosophy of failing forward and character strength of making tough personnel decisions, and the list goes on. With high awareness and self-management, leaders are much better equipped to navigate the complexities of the leadership paradox. And today, as we move further and further away from the era of command and control to the human side of business, the polarities become more pronounced and the paradox more illuminated.Read More
I shared recently how I’ve been holding myself back lately, trying to appear reasonable in order to bring more doubters over to The Human Side of Business. I think a big part of that was my own fear of being rejected. But finally it occurred to me, you know what? That’s enough. Like the Far Side cartoon, Noah’s Ark is casting off from the dock. If we leave a couple of dinosaurs behind… well, you can only help the willing.Read More
Am I an amateur? I try my best to be one.
To many, amateur is a dirty word today.
In a much-discussed 2007 column in The Weekly Standard, and a subsequent book, Andrew Keen argued “Web 2.0 technologies…enable amateurs to make dumbed-down replicas of professional work,” and crowd out professional creative types. This fear goes well beyond the creative world. Journalism, finance, medicine and law are among the many professions whose members have been, to some extent, crowded out by tools and enhanced access to content that enable amateurs to demand less of their services.Read More
I’ve got something urgent to declare: I’m tired of being reasonable. It isn’t working for me. And if you count yourself among the ranks of the reasonable, I can almost guarantee without even knowing you that it isn’t working for you, either.
There is nothing realistic about success. There is nothing reasonable about winning – at anything. The truth of the matter is that you have to be a bit self-deluded in order to break out of life’s expectations and make something phenomenal of yourself.Read More
Each time we interact with someone, we leave more than literal fingerprints behind. We leave figurative ones as well. We leave unique impressions, perceptions and a lasting impact on everyone and everything we interact with – the way we treat people, the way we speak, the way we conduct ourselves. We are leaving figurative prints everywhere we go, with everything we do, all day long.Read More
Far, far away, say half a world away, there was a small, brick school. Atop the school was a bell, which rang promptly at eight o’clock every morning to call the children to class. The boys and girls arrived reluctantly and precisely on the hour. Never a minute early, occasionally a little late. The bell would ring again at precisely three o’clock every afternoon, liberating the children to go play. At the first sound of the bell, the children would bolt out the door of the school. Never lingering a moment longer.
Except for one.Read More
“Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it saved my ass,” Michael J. Fox said. In an economy of individuals with everyone in the world close to all the information in...Read More