April 29, 2020

First of all, let’s get one thing straight. You’re not a terrible person.

I know this because I’ve been in your shoes. I once had to spend a day laying off 27 people one at a time from a magazine that I created, and that had failed. It was an awful day. I had nightmares about it for weeks, and even now, more than a decade later, despite the fact that each of those 27 people landed somewhere else, I feel the burden of it.

More than half of the people and clients I talk to these days have been forced to let staff go. And each and every one of them is heartbroken. And in pain. None of them wanted this. All of them tried to find a better solution. But, it had to be done.

I feel terribly for those who have lost their jobs in the past few weeks. But I also have enormous compassion for those wh...

April 22, 2020

There was the initial frenzy of terrible, painful decisions, crisis management and figuring out new ways of working. And, then there were discoveries of the small delights. The dog has never been happier. More time with the family. It’s nice to see more of the kids. Movie nights, fun and games. Getting up to speed on the whole home-schooling thing. Evening Zoom cocktail hour. And of course… sour dough baking.

It was all new. And new is better than not new.

Or as Voltaire put it:

“If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new.”

But now… it’s a slog.

I bet you can feel it already. My first pang was when I had writer’s block last week, I thought I’d just pop over to my local coffee shop to work. A change of scenery has unblocked me before. And then I remembered – o...

April 17, 2020

I’m writing this post during the COVID-19 crisis, but the truth is, active and conscious support of team members is essential to great leadership, even when we’re not fighting a global pandemic.   

So, no matter what crisis you may be facing at this moment, be it big or small, remember: this just might be the making of you. The thing about crises, is they often prove to be a crucible. You will walk through a fire and emerge transformed. The nature of that transformation is up to you.

Will you contract? Will you let fear be your motivator? Will you allow old habits and patterns to hold you back?

Or, will you expand? Will you be courageous? Will you consciously grow your talents and abilities?

The choice is yours.

If you’re reading this, I suspect you’re choosing expansion over contraction....

March 16, 2020

Yup, this sucks.

COVID-19 is highly dangerous, highly contagious and spreading exponentially across the globe. The stock market has plummeted. Plans are delayed. Events are cancelled, travel is over and most of us are working from home while trying to entertain bored children. The world is rife with complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity. And no one knows when it will end.

It seems none of us are in control of our lives at the moment.

So the way I see it, we have two choices:

a.) A nightly wine-soaked Netflix binge.


b.) We can get up and get going.

Just what are we supposed to get up and get going at, you ask?

Well, first, your job. But then, how about your tax return? Or cleaning out that out of control junk drawer(s)? Or organizing your closets? Or painting that thing that needs p...

March 12, 2020

For the past two weeks, I’ve been writing about astronaut Jim Lovell’s astounding courage and ability to overcome failure. These are exceptional qualities indeed, but I think the real reason he’s my hero is his capacity for wonder.

In the sixties, winning the space race was very serious business critical to not only national moral, but also national security. It was a dangerous business too as most of what NASA was attempting had never been attempted before. Imagine being one of the first people to enter outer space, venture out for a spacewalk, leave earth’s orbit or see the back side of the moon. All of the astronauts in the Apollo program were well aware of the importance and danger of what they were doing and were rather stoically focused on completing their tasks and getting home safel...

March 5, 2020

Last week, we talked about my hero, Jim Lovell and the astonishing courage he and his fellow crew members displayed during the Apollo 8 mission when they became the first humans to escape earth’s orbit.

But what most people don’t know, is that during that mission, Jim made a mistake. A big one. A potentially fatal one, in fact.

It happened on the journey back to earth. While physically and mentally exhausted, Jim entered the wrong command into the onboard computer. As a result, the spacecraft thought it was back on the launch pad; so it flipped from its proper nose forward attitude, to a nose up one, as if waiting to blast off. And each time Jim tried to force it back into the correct nose-forward attitude, it just popped back up.

Not good.

Ultimately, Jim was able to reorient the spacecraft b...

February 25, 2020

In my last post, I wrote about courage. This week, I’d like to take that up a notch by telling you about my hero, Jim Lovell. In this post, we'll learn about his incredible courage. Next week, we'll talk about his ability to overcome failure. And the week after that, we’ll learn about his capacity for wonder.

Jim Lovell is best known for being the Commander of the “successful failure” that was Apollo 13 (and for subsequently becoming a member of the “Tom Hanks played me in a movie” club). Apollo 13 was indeed an astounding feat, but ultimately, it wasn’t nearly as important as one of Jim's earlier missions, Apollo 8. And that’s because up until that time, though nearly two dozen people had been to space, no human had ever left earth’s orbit....

February 13, 2020

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues,

because it allows us to practice the others with integrity."

- Maya Angelou

Last week, my friend moved her 92-year-old mother into a seniors home. This was, as you can imagine, a huge moment for the entire family. The day after the move, my friend showed me a picture of her mother sitting on a sofa in her new room. Mom was wearing a red sweater and sat with a nice straight back, smiling gamely for the camera. She’s a pretty woman. But her most defining characteristic in that moment was the look of quiet determination on her face.

And I thought, what a lovely gift my friend’s mom has been given – the opportunity to be brave, even at this time in her life.

And she took it.

Somewhat traumatized by the move, my friend and her sister visited their m...

January 30, 2020

In the coaching business, when someone says they’re stuck, we consider it to be excellent news. Suddenly, that person doesn’t have all the answers. There’s an opening. They’re ready to consider new possibilities and new ways of being.

Through my work as a leadership coach and trainer and my interviews during The Unstuck Project, I’ve talked to hundreds of people about their experiences with being stuck and getting unstuck and here’s what I know for sure:

Stuck is pervasive – everyone gets stuck from time to time

Stuck is personal – what feels stuck to you, might not feel stuck to me

Stuck is perplexing – we often don’t know how or why we got stuck.

And, if left unaddressed, stuckness can leave us feeling disconnected, disillusioned, extremely frustrated and at worst, depressed. Rather than thri...

January 23, 2020

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