Leadership … with love

A couple of Saturdays ago, my sweetheart Arthur and I were talking business. (One of our many points of compatability is a shared passion for business geekery!) Having attended a leadership conference the day before, I asked him for his definition of leadership. (I believe leadership skills can be taught, and I also believe that, just like anything, certain people have a special …

The real reason why organizations (and people) fail to succeed

Organizations fail to succeed because they haven’t defined success. I don’t mean they’ve failed to set goals or have no vision of what they want to accomplish. I mean they haven’t defined success as a concept in and of itself. And it’s a tremendously loaded concept. The problem with the concept of success We all have psychological and emotional baggage around …

The art of asking good questions

It’s one thing to have the courage to ask for help, as I mentioned in my last post about Amanda Palmer’s book The Art of Asking. It’s something else again to be able to form a question that actually elicits helpful answers. We’ve been discussing this in my Facebook group, the Clarity Kitchen, and there have been some interesting and insightful comments. …

The Art of Asking: Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking, by musician/writer Amanda Palmer, hit the bookstores just before the holidays last year. Having watched her TED talk months before, I knew I wanted to read the book. I did not expect to have an addition to my Must Read list for business owners. And yet, here we are: this is a Must Read. You don’t have …

Failure … or defeat?

Failure is not the same as defeat. Unless you allow it to be. It’s probably cliché to quote Thomas Edison, but it’s also relevant:  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If he’d allowed his first – or 100th, or 9,999th – failure to equal defeat, someone else would have invented the lightbulb. We are …

Visible doesn’t mean exposed

I was talking with a client last week who told me that her biggest challenge in being in business has to do with visibility. “I’m a private person,” she said, and went on to describe her fears of having to put too much of herself on public view in order to succeed in her business. As an introvert and a private …

Limitation or invitation?

It’s easy to let ourselves and our work be defined by what we believe are our limitations. But those definitions keep us from being who we are and doing what we want to do – and therefore from helping the people who truly need us, who are waiting for us to show up and help them out of the chaos we …

Define your terms

John A. Toomey was my ancient history professor at Bard College. He assigned a paper every week. Most of his students thought that was a lot, but as a writer, I didn’t mind, and as someone who was learning to think, it was invaluable. One of the things he pounded into his students was this: Define your terms These days, we casually …

Setting yourself up: failure or success

A week or so ago, I posted this on Facebook: If you know how to set yourself up for failure (and most of us do!), then you also know how to set yourself up for success. In answering the many comments this inspired, I noticed how much the idea surprised people. (It certainly surprised me when I first noticed!) And I …