Your Problem is a Solution

January 29, 2024

Realizing my problem was a solution, was a personal breakthrough.  Seeing problems as outdated solutions has changed how I view myself and how I work with clients.  Nothing wrong that needs to be fixed or banished, nothing to be ashamed of.  Rather an update required of an old friend who kept my younger self safe.  […]

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Experiencing Without the Experiencer

January 4, 2024

There are two approaches to developing leaders.  The typical one, horizontal development, is to help them add tools to their toolkit.  Developing new skills, to contribute to better delegation, running more effective meetings, or confronting a performance issue.  The other approach is vertical development which requires helping a leader fundamentally change their minds about how […]

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You Are Not the Problem

November 3, 2023

Those of us open to change, learning what it is to present the best version of ourselves in situations that require our response, can miss the point.  “If only I could change this about me, I would be a better person, or if only I was more like _______, I would get better results.”  We […]

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Hallucinating Our World

September 11, 2023

A leader’s primary job is to make good decisions.  These decisions require judgement.   As leaders we don’t always see the situation clearly when under stress.  Stress can trigger overly emotional and irrational internal narratives (e.g. “I have to be 100% right before I speak” OR, “this person thinks I am too old to know about […]

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What’s the Problem?

June 8, 2023

As coaches in service of enabling executive development, we trade in the world of organization and leadership problems.  An organization with a problem is like a person with a problem; interesting!  We need to help our leaders see that the right expression of the problem makes for interesting conversations with their teams. Ajahn Chah (a […]

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A Senior Leader’s Job is NOT…

May 1, 2023

…to solve the organization’s problems, only to formulate them correctly. I stole this phrasing from a book on critiquing Russian short story writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by George Saunders.  “Art doesn’t have to solve problems, only formulate them correctly.”  Saunders went on to say, “the artist (writer) makes us feel the […]

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How Change REALLY Works

March 16, 2023

Leaders too often see major challenges as technical problems, when they are actually adaptive challenges, requiring personal adaptive change, sometimes followed by technical skills. In my view this is the biggest barrier to effective leadership. (adapted from Ron Heifetz, Leadership Without Easy Answers) The above adaptation of a Ron Heifetz statement is one of the […]

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The Trigger is Not the Cause

February 17, 2023

(Compassionate communication) I poured my heart out in that email I sent to him last week. No response. How freakin’ rude. He obviously doesn’t care about me. Screw him! How many of us have had this kind of internal self-talk when we are triggered by a behaviour that we don’t like and take personally? How […]

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How to Be with your Goals

January 13, 2023

I set personal and professional goals. Some explicit and some implicit. “Humans are a goal-directed species” (Elliot Jaques, Ph.D. in Human Capability). I encourage my clients to set goals. That is the starting point for development, keeping our attention, behaviour and resources aligned on essential life goals. However, during the first two years of Covid, […]

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Thank God We Disagree on This

October 19, 2022

We are losing our willingness and ability to disagree with each other. Development toward a better self, a better community, largely depends upon the outcome of conversations that value and express disagreement. When we cease to challenge and listen to each other, we have signalled that self-protection and personal promotion are more important than learning […]

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