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January 23, 2020

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November 22, 2019

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 be overwhelming. I know I’m haunted by more than one moment from my past where I might have been able to put in a little more, but instead stopped.

One of my favorite quotes from The Unstuck Project came from a CEO I’ll call Andy. Andy’s company is growing so rapidly, I see him in the news at least once a week these days...

October 3, 2019

Hi there! Please note that this week's post is a follow-up to last week's post on co-creation. You can read it here.

Before we can understand the nature of emergence, we have to understand the nature and behavior of complex adaptive systems.

You already know what complex adaptive systems are, even if you don’t know you know. You’ve seen them in practice. You’ve watched teams self-organize to address a problem. You’ve watched cross-functional interactions resulting in product or service changes. You’ve watched companies adapt to new situations or environments.

Complex adaptive systems are informal groups that arise to solve a problem or capitalize on an opportunity. They are the result of the interconnectedness of people and ideas both inside and outside of the organization. They are unpredict...

September 26, 2019

How did we all get onto this notion that leaders must be the single supreme creative force behind their organizations? Was it Steve Jobs? Henry Ford? Cornelius Vanderbilt?

Let’s give it a rethink shall we?

Co-creation isn’t about rolling up our sleeves and leading a team of creative people. It’s about creating an environment where co-creation happens around us, in spite of us and occasionally, through us. It’s about eliminating the separation of planning and doing.

This of course, requires us to grapple with our needs for certainty and significance. We like the certainty of knowing we’re in charge and we attach ourselves to the notion that because we’re in charge, things will unfold as we want them to. And, we like the significance of being the person with all the answers and all the authorit...

June 21, 2019

You’ve been going to the gym every weekday morning for three months. You’ve lost ten pounds. You’re sleeping better. You feel strong. You no longer get winded going up a flight of stairs. It’s the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. Then one morning, you press snooze on your alarm. And you do it again the next morning. And the one after that.

You decide to speak up more in meetings. It’s a little awkward at first, but soon, you’re pretty good at voicing your opinions. And, to your delight, you’re being taken seriously. In fact, a couple of your ideas have been implemented. Then one day, an opportunity to say something arises, and you don’t speak up. Nor in the next meeting. Or the one after that.

You commit to being more collaborative with your team. In your next team strategy session,...

June 14, 2019

Good question.

You came to coaching because... well, you just felt it was time. Perhaps you sensed something big on the horizon. Or you sensed your own untapped potential. Or perhaps, it was a lingering sense of decline that brought you to this moment.

So here you are. And I’m so happy to have you.

As of this moment, we’re partners.

And if we do this right, by the end of our time together, you will feel a motivation that’s driven from your truest self. You’ll be more confident and energized. Your team will be more focused, trusting and collaborative. Issues will arise sooner and problem solving will be more creative. And, it will all come from you. Because true leadership is as much about who and how we are as it is about what we do.

That’s why our first few weeks together will focus on reclaim...

April 25, 2019

There’s a big difference between a stuck leader and an Unstuck Leader. You can read all about it here, but the crux of it is this: a stuck leader operates from an ego-system (as in me, me, me) and an Unstuck Leader operates from an eco-system (as in we, we, we). And as a result, Unstuck Leaders are far more effective, especially in the long-term, than stuck leaders (obvs).

Below, I’m going to show you the five steps to becoming an Unstuck Leader.

But first, a warning.

All this Unstuck Leader stuff sounds awesome, but it’s also really, really hard. And uncomfortable. And at times, exhausting. And that’s why the most important type of management for the Unstuck Leader is self-management. That is to say, it’s impossible to become the kind of person who does the things an Unstuck Leader does unle...

April 25, 2019

Meet Bob. He’s a CEO.

Bob’s a vision guy. He believes his personal brand of visionary leadership is imperative to his company’s continued health and success. He is fiercely loyal to and protective of his team and has fostered an “us against the world” mentality when dealing with suppliers, regulators and sometimes, even customers. He’s a great problem solver who reacts quickly and decisively during a crisis, and there are lots of crises to react to. Though he has set targets, created a clear reporting structure and put operating policies and procedures in place, he often handles things on his own because he doesn’t want his team to know that at times, the company has been in danger of going under. He gives great, constructive feedback at annual reviews. He’s a relentless competitor who is d...

April 13, 2019

We all want to be successful. That’s why we get up and get going and work hard. And why not? With success comes fulfillment. And happiness. And, let’s not be coy about it, money. Sometimes lots of money.

Who wouldn’t want all that? Who would resist their own innate desire to become successful?

Well, as it turns out, a lot of us. Success is tricky.

Fear of success is one of the most common issues my clients grapple with. After dozens of conversations about it, I’ve come to know that many of us harbor hidden beliefs about success that are actually very negative. These negative beliefs are due to our fear of the change that success will bring – and how that change will mess with our sense of certainty and significance.

The first change we fear is the end of striving. Striving is de...

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