Perfectionism, inconsistency, and leadership

A few weeks ago, I wrote a LinkedIn post stating that perfectionism is a recipe for failure and disappointment. Simply put, the more we strive for perfection in any field, especially interpersonal endeavors such as leadership and management, the more likely we are to fail and to feel like a failure. Leadership and management are inherently foggy gray areas, filled with …

“You’re fired” and other tales of psychological safety

The first thing I did when I was promoted to project manager was to ask my team to tell me if there were problems or delays, instead of waiting until things reached a crisis point. Looking back, I was at least attempting to create psychological safety in a company where that wasn’t exactly the norm. Long before anyone was fired …

Pizza, pineapple, and cilantro?

These are three things people feel strongly about: pizza, pineapple, and cilantro. There are those who are adament that pineapple should never be anywhere near a pizza, and then there are those who are fans of Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapple). And there are those who love cilantro, and those who think it tastes like soap and hate it. I’m …

Tall poppies and sticky-out nails

Once upon a time, when I was still working in corporate, my boss – a VP at the company where I worked – called me in to his office to tell me to stop speaking up in meetings. These were the same meetings where another VP – a woman – was constantly interrupted and talked over. The difference between her …

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 …

When you just *can’t*

Leaders are supposed to keep on keeping on. They’re supposed to make decisions, offer support, give feedback, notice who’s struggling, catch all the balls, help their teams through burnout, keep projects on track, stagger out of the office and deal with the kids, the dog, the cat, the partner, the family, the friends, the neighbors … Shall I stop now? Because …

Twisties, anyone?

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to this year’s Olympics, you know that Simone Biles, considered the greatest gymnast of all time, withdrew from the all-around and, as of the time I’m writing this, is uncertain for the individual competitions. The public reaction has been predictably … intense. From those condemning her (I’m not going there) to those …

Verb your values!

The problem with most companies’ values (and, dare I say, most people’s values) is follow-through. What we do about them once we’ve declared them. I wrote here about whether values are really values if we don’t always manage to live up to them. Spoiler alert: yes, because we’re human. But – and this is an important point – if we don’t …

Values, preferences, needs, and wants (oh my!)

“Values are important” – there’s a real Captain Obvious statement, hm? I’ve written about values before, and I call out that importance – quite emphatically – in the Empowered Leadership program. But how do we go about discovering and defining our values – instead of just taking it for granted that of course we have them? My thoughts on this …

Better? Worse? Different!

We’re a bit over a year into the pandemic. Some people are struggling. Some people are coasting. Some people have found silver linings – and some of them feel guilty about that. Some people are nostalgic for how things were. Interestingly enough, though, they’re a significant minority. Most people do not want to go back to How Things Were. The people …