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“Hate” A Colleague’s Idea? 4 Ways to Keep Your Attitude in Check

October 12, 2017 by Leave a Comment

I was at an interfaith service recently and a Muslim cleric stated the following: While it feels good to hate what we believe is bad, what is really bad is the hating mind. I thought a lot about that. In today’s politics - national, state, and local - we see a lot of effort to demonize or delegitimize the other side and their perspectives – “hate” from the opposition. We see this play out on the national stage daily and that negativity is very corrosive - oftentimes I simply have to turn off the TV. But when we “hate” (o... Continue Reading

What I Told the CEO of a $10B Company about Productivity

September 28, 2017 by Leave a Comment

I met with one of my most admired clients last week and we had an interesting discussion about his efforts to maintain momentum for all the initiatives that he has underway. This is the second company I have worked with "Sam" at and he is currently President and CEO of a firm that is rapidly approaching over $10 billion a year in sales. Sam is bringing on two key staff, has a culture / strategy initiative underway, and has his team negotiating several important acquisitions. I am consistently amazed at the energy Sam brings to his lea... Continue Reading

The Importance of GRIT – My Recent Adventure in the Wild

September 13, 2017 by Leave a Comment

There is an interesting Ted Talk about Grit, which is defined as having the passion and perseverance to invest in a pursuit of longer term results. The presenter is Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Grit requires stamina to stay with a task or cause. We are reminded that life is like a marathon, not a sprint. I thought about this recently when I went on an adventure in the wilds of Wyoming to see the solar eclipse. My brother invited me in January and it sounded like lot of fun so I went all ... Continue Reading

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How to Deconstruct Resistance to Change – 3 Real Life Scenarios

August 17, 2017 by Leave a Comment

I recently gave a speech on the subject of "Delivering Results in an Era of Change" to a group of CEOs that are members of the Association Forum of Chicago. This is a 4000 member organization that serves the large number of associations that are headquartered in the area. The overall theme of the meeting was Construct, Deconstruct and Reconstruct. Over the last several months I have seen that theme repeated with clients and their relationships with peers and subordinates in organizations that can be consistently characterized as undergo... Continue Reading

When Was Your Last “Mental Health Day”?

July 26, 2017 by Leave a Comment

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune related the story of how a leader provided a strong affirmation to one of his employees who was taking a day off to "focus on my mental health". This was interesting because the leader was lauded by many for being supportive when one of his staff informed everyone via email of the reason for her absence from work for a few days. He was quoted as saying that he uses such an example "as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health and that you are an example to us all, and help u... Continue Reading

How to Manage a Team Dialogue Constructively

June 29, 2017 by Leave a Comment

I recently facilitated a meeting with a very successful team of financial advisors who manage client assets in excess of $7 billion. The executive committee of this group has been a client of mine for many years. Two retirements, one recent and one pending, had created friction within the team as it struggled with issues of planning and succession. I'm happy to report a very successful outcome to the meeting and I hope that you find lessons learned about how to manage a team dialogue in a constructive fashion relatable to your situati... Continue Reading

Why Won’t Somebody Do Something About…???

June 7, 2017 by 1 Comment

How often do you hear this question at work when some issue or concern goes unresolved for an extended period? Procrastination or neglect can often make the resolution of these concerns both time-consuming and expensive; but it happens over and over. With the weather improving here in the Chicago area where I live, one of the things I see more and more of are the homeless. Not everyone who looks down and out or is asking for spare change is homeless, but in Chicago we have about 4,646 individuals who stay in shelters each night. There's ... Continue Reading

Let Your Story Out: How to Construct Great Business Stories

May 24, 2017 by 2 Comments

I thought I wanted to be a playwright because I was interested in stories and telling stories. - Francis Ford Coppola Note: This post was originally published on Oct 13, 2015. I was reminded of it during a recent speaking engagement I had, so I'm republishing it today with an updated intro for those who may have missed it and/or would like a refresher. I was asked to speak at an evening event for recent graduates of a healthcare financial professional certification program. Current graduates and other members of this notable group... Continue Reading