We are not okay

I heard a horrifying and profoundly sad statistic this morning. Over 60,000 school-age kids have buried a parent during the pandemic. Sixty thousand. There have been over 889,000 deaths in the U.S. from covid, and over 5,616,000 deaths worldwide. Eight hundred eighty nine thousand in the U.S. Five million six hundred sixteen thousand worldwide. Someone on your team is dealing …

Who makes the decisions?

Who makes the decisions in your company? It’s a cultural question, isn’t it? Hierarchical command-and-control organizations keep decision-making firmly at the top. And that means there’s generally a lack of trust, plus a lack of rank-and-file understanding of, and commitment to, strategic goals and objectives. This in turn leads to a lack of context for the people doing the work …

Debunking “normal”

Normal, according to Merriam-Webster, means “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.” Predictable. Stable. A sense of certainty, of knowing what’s likely to happen. None of that ever truly existed, of course, but at least we could pretend, act “as if.” We could set strategy, make five-year plans, look to …

Setting goals amid uncertainty

How can we set goals when everything seems to be changing from one week – one day! – to the next? One minute we’re all ready to head back to the office (at least some of the time), and the next minute we have a new covid variant and a whole new set of questions to answer. Reality can be …

What does “failure” look like?

I talk a lot about the need to define success. (And it is a need, not just a nice-to-have or a default to “but everyone knows what it means”; read more here and here; links open in new tabs, so you won’t lose your place.) But we also need to define failure. We do a lot to avoid failure – but – do …

Re-excitement!

Performance reviews. Ugh, right? (And probably not what you were expecting to read about under the headline Re-excitement!) Everyone pretty much dreads the annual review cycle. I know I did as an employee – and I know I did as an executive and leader. I won’t enumerate all the reasons why we dread the process. And if you’re part of …

Let’s just stop glorifying burnout

Everywhere I look, I see articles, podcast episodes, social media posts, all asking what can we do about burnout? I have one very succinct and heartfelt answer: ~ stop glorifying burnout ~ It’s part of hustle culture. It’s part of the “Oh, I’m so busy!” badge of “honor.” (In quotes because yegads, people, let’s just stop – it’s not an “honor” to …

Care to predict?

I asked senior leaders and executives what they felt their first-line and mid-level leaders most needed to learn, understand, and practice. Every one of them said the same thing. ~ strategic thinking ~ No question: understanding strategy, how to envision and plan for the future, is an essential leadership skill. These days, with so much in flux (Omicron variant, anyone?), …

Priority list – or to-do list?

Did you know that the word priority was never plural until the 1940s-ish? Think about it. It makes sense. Priority means The Most Important Thing. How can there be more than one? Yet as leaders and within organizations, we have endless lists of priorities. Too many. Research tells us that, to be effective, we should focus on at most three projects at …

The missing skill for leadership and life

Let’s talk about listening. (See what I did there?) I’ve said over and over again that we need to teach communication skills in grade school, high school, college, and postgrad – all the way through and all the way up. There are classes in writing, public speaking, presentations, negotiation, and so on, but all those classes focus on specific types …