Time to Look Down

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Do you know how things are? For many leaders, the coronavirus will be a career-defining moment.And unless your company was a master at scenario and/or strategic planning, for the most part, it’s been learning by doing. And that’s not a criticism.  It just is. Focusing upward and outwardRegardless of where you are in the organizational hierarchy, you’ve likely not had time for much else other than your historic responsibilities and the…

It’s No Time to Be Wishy-Washy

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Is That Truly What You Mean? According to Merriam-Webster, “wishy-washy” means “lacking in character or determination, [as in] ‘ineffectual wishy-washy leadership’“.  Google defines it as “feeble or insipid in quality or character; lacking strength or boldness“. Not sure I’d want to be known as “insipid in character”.Merriam-Webster adds that “wishy-washy” was first used in 1703.  Curiously, their website doesn’t indicate where it was used.  Suffice it to say, we’ve had wishy-washy…

And Are Your People Ready?

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Working in the Next Normal Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay So by now your organization’s workforce:a) has returned to work;b) started to return to work;c) are planning their eventual return to work; ord) has always been at work (with a personal shoutout to my wife and all the other nurses!)No doubt, you and your team have been planning how to make the workplace as safe as possible. So let’s say that’s…

Do You Feel Like an Impostor Now?

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If you do, join the crowd. Wikipedia defines Impostor Syndrome as “a psychological pattern in which one doubts one’s accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud'”. The term dates back to research by Clance & Imes published in 1978, in which they examined the “impostor phenomenon” in high-achieving women.  They studied social and psychological factors, and provided recommended therapeutic approaches. Impostor Syndrome in the…

Did You See COVID-19 Coming?

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Avoiding the Curse of Cassandra In Greek mythology, Cassandra is wooed by the god Apollo, who grants her the ability to see the future.  However, she doesn’t return his affection, and in true Greek-myth-godlike response, he curses her with not being believed. So she can see the future, but no one will believe her.She later warns the Trojans about the Greeks hiding in the Trojan Horse, and true to form, the…

How to Lead in a Crisis

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Leading others through uncertainty On 9/11, I was working in Manhattan.  Today, when people discuss 9/11 and New York City, everyone knows there were two planes, and only two planes, that struck the Twin Towers.  That morning, though, no one knew how many more there would be, or what else was to come. Not that the comparison is parallel, but we’re in similar times.  We’re not quite sure what’s to…

Are You Okay Being Right?

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Trust me, I know these things… As a leader, it’s important to be right.  A leader’s credibility and influence are based, in part, on his or her ability to be right about matters relevant to their role, function, and organization. But how right does a leader need to be? Here’s an image you will not see “right” or correctly.  To reiterate, if you’re alive and breathing while reading this, you…

Do You Confuse Perception & Reality?

So which do you see?  Two faces or a vase?  If you said, “I see a candlestick holder”, okay, you still get a point. If I asked you, “Which is more correct?  The two faces or the vase?  Which is more real?”, you’d say something like, “Don’t be foolish, Dave.  It’s both.  I see the two faces and I see the vase.  They’re both real.” So why is it when leaders receive feedback…

You’re Not Alone: Everyone Fakes It Sometimes.

Congratulations!  You got that promotion!! That job you had your eyes on for so long is finally yours.  What a rush!  Your partner/spouse is thrilled!  Your parents are thrilled!  Even the dog seems happier to see you when you come home.  Life. just. couldn’t. get. any. better. So why do you feel so much like a fraud? And why are you worried people will find out you don’t quite know what you’re doing? Answer #1:…

You and I May Not Know We’re Incompetent

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She was completely paralyzed on her left side. And yet if you asked her if she could move her left arm, she would say that she could. Even more interesting, if you pointed to her left arm and asked her whose arm it was, she would tell you it belonged to her mother. If you then asked her, well where was her mother, she’d say her mother was hiding under the table.…
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