Tag Archives | personal development

Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Are you a flip-flopper? Do you evolve, or just stay the same? “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” wrote George Bernard Shaw. (Hobgoblin: the mischievous, frightening and sometimes dangerous spirits.) In career development, it’s usually the little things that derail a manager or exec. Thus, I typically focus on granular career issues. […]

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Leadership Failure. . . And What Can Be Done About It

In his masterful study, Leadership BS: Fixing workplaces and careers one truth at a time, Jeff Pfeffer forces his readers to deal with the actual realities of leadership. The picture is not pretty. His description is both highly analytical and comprehensive, dealing with both leadership practice and thinking. Acknowledging the truth of his description will be painful for […]

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How High Is Your Listening Quotient

Listening is one of those behaviors that most people take for granted. Until, that is, they miss something very important that impacts their job and career. So when interviewing for a developmental client, I inevitably ask about my client’s listening skills. Nearly always the first response is that the client is a “good listener.” Then […]

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“What Am I Missing?”

The key question about big data, economists reveal, is not “What did I measure?” but “What did I miss?”  However, the question has a lot more value than merely its role in big data. Indeed, when well-placed in a problem-solving conversation, there are few questions more important. Why is “what am I missing?” so rarely […]

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How to Take Advantage of Personal Vulnerability

You blush. Confused and discombobulated. Embarrassed. You’re found out. You know the rule in business: don’t let anyone know what you don’t know. Keep up a good front. Don’t trap yourself and have to admit ignorance. Never, never open up and admit to personal vulnerability on any business subject. For nearly all of us, vulnerability […]

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Gen-Y, Gen-Why?, and Gen-WTF?!

As a result of interacting with a number of Gen-yers over the past few years, I’ve developed a sense of when their input can be trusted and when it can’t. MIT’s Josh Hartshorne and Harvard’s Laura Germine recently validated my hunches, providing a great deal of clarity. Two areas are very significant, one of little surprise […]

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The Marshmallow Test. . . .

Or, how innate is willpower? Back in the 1960s, Walter Mischel created a simple, but ingenious, experiment to study delayed gratification. The now famous “marshmallow test” presented a group of four and five-year-old kids from Stanford University’s nursery school with a difficult challenge. They were left alone with a treat of marshmallows. They were told they […]

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Misunderstandings Can Be Very Good For You

There are few experiences that can drive learning more than misunderstandings with a business colleague. Misunderstandings happen all the time in organizations and in the best of relationships.  Actually, misunderstanding is more prevalent than understanding.  The reality is that consistently successful communication is especially abnormal in organizational settings.  And although the resulting emotions of embarrassment, threat, fear or […]

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How to Select a Great Non-Fiction Book

The one thing that nearly all my clients seem to remember about my coaching is that I’m book nuts. Just last week, I checked in with a former client and after updating each other on what was going on, his next question was “so what are you reading and recommending now?” I suggested just one […]

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