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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I Suck at Meditating

August 12, 2022

When I asked Joe if he had ever meditated, he reacted strongly. “I suck at it. I can’t sit still for 30 minutes. I can’t clear my mind for more than a few seconds, without random thoughts creeping in. I don’t have that kind of time every day. Every minute is already allotted.” Most of […]

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Living Life in Three Parts: from no power, to power, to meaning.

July 8, 2022

In the first third of our lives, we are relatively powerless and surrounded by power figures. We are little. They are big. They tell us what to do, and we are supposed to do what we are told, or we suffer. They are not only more powerful than us, but they are also flawed human […]

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The Road to Freedom

June 6, 2022

Some also call this a spiritual journey. In my opinion the spiritual journey is a road to freedom. Regardless of how you see this path through the levels of maturing ego development, it involves an ongoing investigation of our fear and safety-motivated mind games (internal stories, beliefs, assumptions) until we decide to call out their […]

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