I confess, I’m a holiday Grinch. People find this surprising about me because in general, I'm a friendly, upbeat sort of person. And, I’ve been known to bake and decorate the occasional sugar cookie. But the truth is, I don’t love the holidays. Why? Oh, lots of reasons. And all of which are personal to me, and none of your business. I don’t sound so friendly and upbeat now do I? Well, I’m not alone. In fact, right around this time of year, many of my clients confess their own
The surest way for a leader to get stuck is to prioritize their own personal comfort over the truth of what’s happening around them. In the field of system leadership theory, this refusal to see reality in favor of what we wish was real is called “absencing”. When we’re absencing, rather than bravely stepping into the future, we cling to the past. We shut ourselves off from what is emerging. We turn our backs on our employees and ultimately, we turn our backs on ourselves. Wh
It took a year for Rene Zellwegger to prepare for the role of Judy Garland in the movie Judy. She had to learn to sing Over the Rainbow, a classic that almost everyone remembers from their childhood, and then convincingly perform it in front of live audiences. There was no room for error. And it was terrifying. “At times, if I could have run away, I would have,” she told Vanity Fair. Each of us has felt that way at some point in our career. And the temptation to run away can
Usually, sometime around their second or third session, my coaching clients realize that all this Unstuck Leadership stuff I’ve been going on about on this blog and in The Unstuck Leader is hard. Really hard. It’s hard to manage our needs for certainty and significance. It’s hard to continually prioritize truth over comfort. It’s hard to identify the maladaptive systems at play in ourselves, as well as in our organization. It’s hard to let go of what’s not working. And, it’s
Last week we talked about a terrible, awful thing called the Contractive Cycle. Being in a contractive state is the number one cause of being miserable at work. But happily, there’s also something called an Expansive Cycle. It looks something like this: When we’re in an expansive state, we’re grounded in core values, but open to new ideas, situations and people. From here, we experience heightened creativity, energy and joy. Sound good? Excellent. It’s time to rumble with our
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Okay, maybe you’re happy at work. But, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, a lot of the people around you aren’t. In fact, about 80% of my clients tell me in their first session that they feel they’re in the wrong job. Being in the wrong job was also the number cause of stuckness expressed to me by interviewees in The Unstuck Project. So, it seems a great many of us are miserable at work. You’ve got to wonder; what’s going on? In my experience, nine times out of ten, it’s a question